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What is Fiber Optic Patch Cord

Fiber Optic Patch Cord is the a fiber-optic cable capped at either end, with connectors from the equipment to the fiber optic cabling link. It has a thicker protective layer and is generally used for the connection between the optical transceiver and the terminal box.
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Fiber Optic Patch Cord is a fiber-optic cable capped at either end, with fiber connectors from the equipment to the fiber optic cabling link.

It has a thicker protective layer and generally use for the connection between the optical transceiver and the terminal box.

Application of patch cord is some fields such as optical fiber communication system, optical fiber access network, optical fiber data transmission and local area network.

This blog post will introduce you what is patch cord.

1. The concept of Fiber Optic Patch Cord

Fiber Optic Patch Cord means that both ends of the optical cable are equipped with connector plugs to realize the active connection of the optical path.

If only one end is equipped with a plug, it is called a pigtail.

It is similar to coaxial cable, but without the mesh shield.

At the center is the glass core for light propagation.

In a multimode fiber, the diameter of the core is 50 μm to 65 μm, which is roughly equivalent to the thickness of a human hair, while the diameter of the core of a single mode fiber is 8 μm to 10 μm.

Glass jacket surround the cores with a lower refractive index than the core to keep the fiber inside the core.

On the outside is a thin plastic jacket to protect the envelope.

2. Classification of fiber optic patch cord

2.Classification of fiber optic patch cord

Fiber optic patch cords play a crucial role in fiber optic communication systems, enabling the transfer of data through light pulses.

These patch cords come in various types, each with unique characteristics and applications. Here is a more detailed classification:

1. According to Connector Type

Fiber optic patch cords can be classified based on the type of connectors at their ends. Some common connector types are:

  • FC-type: These connectors use a metal sleeve for external strengthening and employ a screw-on mechanism for fastening. These are typically used on the Optical Distribution Frame (ODF) side.
  • SC-type: SC connectors usually connect GBIC optical modules. They have a rectangular shell and employ a push-pull coupling mechanism.
  • ST-type: These connectors are commonly used in fiber distribution frames. They have a round shell and employ a bayonet coupling mechanism.
  • LC-type: LC connectors usually connect SFP modules. They feature a latch mechanism similar to a modular jack (RJ) for easy operation.

Other connector types include MU, MPO, E2000, MTRJ, SMA and more. The end contact methods of these connectors can be PC (Physical Contact), UPC (Ultra Physical Contact), and APC (Angled Physical Contact).

2. According to Fiber Diameter and Core Number

Patch cords can also be classified based on the diameter of the optical fiber and the number of fiber cores.

They can have an outer diameter of Ф0.9mm, Ф2mm, or Ф3mm, and the number of fiber cores can be single-core, double-core, 4-core, 6-core, 8-core, 12-core, or as specified by the customer.

3. According to Fiber Type

Patch cords can also be classified based on the type of fiber they use. Some common fiber types include G652B, G652D, G655, G657A1, G657A2, 50/125, 62.5/125, OM3(50/125-150), OM4(50/125-300), and more.

4. According to Mode Type

Patch cords can be either single-mode (SM) or multimode (MM).

  • Single-mode fibers transmit in one mode, with a core generally measuring 9μm, suitable for backbone, high-capacity, long-haul systems.
  • Multimode fibers support multi-mode transmission with a 50μm/62.5μm core, suitable for small-capacity, short-haul systems.

5. According to Connector Color

The color of the connector and the boot can also be used to classify patch cords.

For instance, blue often signifies single-mode PC or UPC connectors, beige or gray signifies multimode connectors, green signifies APC connectors, and aqua signifies OM3 connectors.

The boot color can be gray, blue, green, white, red, black, or turquoise.

3. OM3 multimode fiber introduction

OM3 multimode optical cable is an optical cable which made of OM3 multimode optical fiber plus indoor or outdoor sheath.

It often use in the backbone laying of buildings and the backbone connection between two buildings in close proximity.

OM stands for Multi-mode fiber (Multi-mode fiber, also known as MMF),

There are usually four grades of OM1/OM2/OM3/OM4, the main difference is that the mode bandwidth of the 850nm transmission window is different.

OM2, OM3 and OM4 optical fibers belong to the A1a optical fiber specified in IEC 60793-20. A1a fiber adopts 50/125 structure, 50μm core and 125μm cladding, OM2 is A1a.1, OM3 is A1a.2, OM4 is A1a.3.

OM3 and OM4 are laser-optimized fiber types that can provide higher transmission bandwidth in the 850nm transmission window.

4. Introduction of MPO patch cord

The MPO (Multi-fiber Push On) connector is one of the MT series connectors.

The ferrules of the MT series use two guide holes with a diameter of 0.7mm on the left and right sides of the ferrule end face and guide pins (also called PIN pins) for precise connection.

MPO connectors and optical fiber cables can combine to produce various forms of MPO patch cords. MPO patch cords usually features 2~12 cores, and can be up to 24 cores. Currently, 12-core MPO connectors are most used.

The compact design of the MPO connector makes the MPO patch cord more cores and smaller in size.

MPO patch cords are widely use in environments where require high-density integrated optical fiber lines during the wiring process. Mainly as follows:

  • FTTX
  • 40/100GSFP, SFP+ and other transceiver modules
  • Connections inside and outside the device
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