How Many Types of Patch Cords Are There

In this comprehensive guide, you'll discover how many types of patch cords you need to know about. We'll walk you through the basics and share with you how to choose it.
How Many Types of Patch Cords Are There
Table of Contents

A patch cord is a cable with connections on both ends that connect end devices to power sources.

These cables mostly use to link two electronic devices. Typically, they are copper cables with RJ45, TERA, or GG45 connections on both ends.

It is made up of two parts: an optical cable and a connector kit (housing and ferrule).

MPO patch cable and sc patch cord

1. What Are Fiber Optic Patch Cords Types

① Single Mode (SM) Fiber or Multimode (MM) Fiber

DefinitionOnly supports one mode of a light signalAllows multiple modes of light to travel through the fiber core
Usage scenariosTransfer high-speed data with low attenuation over a long distanceShort-distance transmission within the building or office
Fiber typeOS1 and OS2OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4 and OM5
Outer sheath colorUsually yellowOM1/OM2: Orange OM3/OM4: Aqua/Magenta OM5: Lime Green
single-mode and multi-mode

② Jacket Material(PVC, LSZH)

PVC, LSZH, and other jackets are available for fiber optic patch cables.

PVC-sheathed are frequently utilized in wiring systems.

For they contain flame-retardant chemicals, and LSZH materials are more rigid.

This type of fiber optic patch cord can emit less smoke and is non-toxic.

We recommend PVC fiber optic patch cords for indoor use, whereas LSZH cables better for public use.

pvc material and LSZH material

③ Fiber Count: Simplex and Duplex

Simplex: Refers to a fiber optic system that utilizes a single cable and a single connector at each end.

It enables data transmission in only one direction, which cannot be reversed.

Simplex are commonly employing within buildings, specifically for Ethernet switches and other devices.

Duplex: Has two strands of fiber optic cable with two fiber optic connectors on each end for sending and receiving data.

Duplex is commonly using to connect high-speed network equipment, such as server systems and fiber optic switches.

simplex and duplex patch cable

④ Fiber Optic Connector Types of Patch Cords

Fiber optic patch cords can divide into FC, ST, SC, LC, MU, E2000, MTRJ, SMA, MPO/MTP, etc, according to theconnector classification.

connector divide
MU Connector
MU Connector
E2000 Connector
E2000 Connector
MTRJ connector
MTRJ Connector
SMA Connector
SMA Connector

⑤ Ferrule

PC (Physical Contact): RL <-40dB for SM and MM applications

UPC (Ultra Physical Contact): RL <-50dB for SM applications.

APC (Angled Physical Contact): RL <-60dB for SM applications

pc upc apc

2. Fiber Patch Cable Polish Types

It is well-known that connecting the fiber end to the fiber connector can result in data loss, leading to Optical Return Loss (ORL) where light signals reflect back into the fiber.

To mitigate this back reflection, fiber optic connectors commonly polish in various types.

The three most prevalent polish types are Physical Contact (PC), Ultra Physical Contact (UPC), and Angle Physical Contact (APC).

Ferrule types of patch cords

3. How to Choose the right patch cable

  • Step 1: Select the Appropriate Connector Type (LC/SC/ST/FC/MPO/MTP)
  • Step 2: Determine the Cable Type – Single-mode or Multimode
  • Step 3: Fiber Patch Cord Types – Opt for Simplex or Duplex
  • Step 4: Choose the Correct Cable Length (1m/5m/10m/20m/30m/50m)
  • Step 5: Decide on the Suitable Connector Polish Type (UPC/APC)
  • Step 6: Select the Right Cable Jacket Type (PVC/LSZH/OFNP/Armored)

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