What is a Fiber Optic Patch Cable

fiber patch cables play a crucial role in modern optical communication networks, facilitating reliable and high-speed data transmission while maintaining signal integrity over extended distances. Their versatility, durability, and performance make them an indispensable component in the world of optical communications.
patch cord combination
Table of Contents

What are Fiber Patch Cables

Fiber patch cables, also known as fiber optic patch cables or simply patch cords, are essential components in optical communication systems.

They can establish a connection between two devices, such as optical transceivers, switches, routers and other networking equipment, enabling the transmission of data via optical signals.

Types of fiber optic patch cord

·Fiber Types: Fiber patch cables come in various types, with the most common ones being single-mode and multi-mode fibers.

Single-mode fibers usually use in long-distance communication, while multi-mode fibers are suitable for shorter distances within data centers and local area networks (LANs)

fiber optic patch cable types

Connector Types: Patch cables have different connector options on each end to match the specific interface requirements of the connected devices.

Some common connector types include LC (Lucent Connector), SC (Subscriber Connector), ST (Straight Tip), and MTP/MPO (Multi-Fiber Push-On/Pull-Off) connectors.

Jacket Material: The outer jacket of the fiber patch cable is typically made of a durable material like PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) or LSZH (Low Smoke Zero Halogen), which offers protection to the fragile optical fibers inside.

Duplex and Simplex: Patch cables can be either duplex or simplex. Duplex cables consist of two fibers, enabling simultaneous bidirectional communication, while simplex cables have only one fiber and support unidirectional communication.

·Polishing Type: According to this connector polish types, there are PC, UPC, and APC fiber patch cords.

Nowadays PC polish type nomarly replace by UPC type. Since APC provides less insertion loss than UPC, the APC fiber patch cables are more applicable for high bandwidth applications and long-distance links. Such as FTTx, passive optical network (PON) and wavelength division multiplex (WDM).

UPC fiber patch cords apply to optical systems that are less sensitive to insertion loss such as digital TV and telephony. 

Advantage of Fiber Patch Cable

  • High Bandwidth: Fiber optic technology provides significantly higher bandwidth compared to traditional copper cables. Allowing for faster data transmission and improved network performance.
  • Low Signal Loss: Optical fibers offer low signal attenuation. Meaning data can be transmitted over longer distances with minimal loss of signal strength.
  • Immunity to Electromagnetic Interference: Unlike copper cables, fiber patch cables are not affected by electromagnetic interference. Making them suitable for use in areas with high electrical noise.
  • Compact and Lightweight: Fiber patch cables are thin, lightweight, and easy to handle. Making them ideal for high-density installations in data centers and other networking environments.

Structure Introduction

Fiber optic patch cables are identical to coaxial cables in structure. With the exception that fiber patch cable do not have a mesh shielding layer and the center is a glass core for light propagation. A glass envelope surrounds the core, followed by a thin plastic jacket (PVC or Teflon) on the outside.

It’s crucial to understand the distinction between fiber patch cords and pigtails.

The pigtail has only one end with a connector plug, while the other end is a broken end of a fiber optic cable core that is fusion spliced to other fiber optic cable cores. (Couplers, patch cable and other similar devices).

The patch cable has moveable connectors on both sides. Interfaces come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Different couplers are required for different interfaces.

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