How Many Fiber Patch Cord Types? Fiber Patch Cord Selection Guide
Home Cabling What Kind of Fiber Patch Cord Should I Choose?

What Kind of Fiber Patch Cord Should I Choose?

Posted on by FS.COM

Fiber patch cord is seeing broad adoption in applications spanning telecommunication and data communication. With numerous business and enterprise reaping great benefits from it, fiber patch cord represents by far the most sufficient and prevalent bandwidth feeder. As those gigabit-capable networks proliferates, the fueling capacity and speed quest further drives fiber patch cord deployment. When facing various fiber patch cord types on the market, how can we make a valid choice? Some basic understanding of fiber patch cord would be helpful.

What Is Fiber Patch Cord?

Fiber patch cord, often called fiber patch cable or optical jumper, is a length of fiber cable that terminated with fiber optic connectors (LC, SC, MTRJ, ST and etc) at each end. The connectors allow fiber optic patch cord to be rapidly connected to an optical switch or other telecommunications/computer device. Fiber patch cord is a key player for indoor use, like in server rooms or in data centers. Featuring excellent reliability, superior adaptability and improved security, fiber patch cord has ranked the best choice for applications where conventional copper cables fails to reach.

fiber patch cord

What Are Fiber Patch Cord Types

Fiber patch cord can be classified into various types based on different standards, such as fiber cable mode, transmission mode, jacket type, connector type and polishing type.

Fiber Cable Mode: Single mode fiber (OS1, OS2) is colored yellow, while multimode fiber colored orange (OM1, OM2) and aqua (OM3, OM4). Single mode fiber patch cord (SMF) has a diameter of 8-10 µm that allows only one mode of transmission, thus it can carry signals at much higher speeds with lower attenuation. Single mode fiber patch cord are ideal for high data rates or long distance transmission. Multimode fiber patch cable (MMF) is made of larger diameter (50 µm and 62.5 µm) that can carry more than one mode of transmission. They are commonly used for short distances as fiber to the desktop or patch panel to equipment.

fiber patch cord types

Transmission Mode: While for transmission mode, there are simplex and duplex fiber patch cord. Simplex fiber patch cord has one fiber and one connector on each end, whereas duplex fiber patch cord has two fibers and two connectors on each end. Each fiber is marked “A”or “B” or use connector boots with different color to mark polarity.

simplex vs duplex fiber patch cable

Jacket Type: PVC and LSZH are used to describe the jacket material of fiber patch cord. PVC fiber patch cords are very soft, and LSZH patch cords are more rigid as they contain the flame retardant compound that doesn’t emit toxic fumes if it burns. PVC fiber optic patch cord is usually used for horizontal runs from the wiring center while LSZH cable is used between floors in building.

Connector Type: Divided by fiber connector, there are same-connector type fiber patch cord and hybrid fiber patch cord. Fiber patch cables that have the same type of connector on both ends includes LC to LC fiber patch cord, SC to SC fiber patch cord and etc. While hybrid fiber patch cord has different connectors on each end, like fiber patch cord LC to SC.

Polishing Type: Fiber optic connectors are designed and polished to different shapes to minimize back reflection. This is particularly important in single mode applications. According to this connector polish types, we have PC/APC/UPC fiber patch cord.

Special Fiber Patch Cord Overview

Fiber patch cord is evolving to keep pace with the ever increasing bandwidth needs. Some specially designed fiber patch cables emerge to fit different application needs. Knowing the available options would save us significant time and money. Here are some of fiber optic patch cords for using in certain circumstances.

Armored Fiber Patch Cord: It retains all the features of standard fiber patch cord, but it is much stronger. Armored fiber patch cord can withstand stepping by an adult and it is anti-rodents. Strong as it is, armored fiber patch cord is actually as flexible as standard fiber optic patch cord, and can be bend randomly.

armored fiber cable

Bend Insensitive Fiber Patch Cord: This fiber patch cable is highly resistant to bend related damage and loss. It has a small cable bending radius and prevent additional bend losses by innovative core design and enhanced low macro-bending sensitivity. Bend insensitive fiber patch cord is made to support data center and FTTH applications, and high-density cabling that have to wrap and take tight corners.

bend insensitive fiber patch cord

Mode Conditioning Fiber Patch Cord: It is a duplex multimode fiber patch cord that has a small length of single mode fiber at the start of the transmission length. It is designed to solve the technical issue involved in using single mode equipment on existing multimode cable plant. Mode conditioning fiber patch cord aims to drive the distance of installed fiber plant beyond its original intended applications, as well as to improve data signal quality.

mode-conditioning-fiber-patch-cable

Low Insertion Loss Fiber Patch Cable: It bears much similarities with common patch cable judged only by appearance. But the onnectors at two ends are made with relatively lower insertion loss. FS.COM has succeeded in lowering the insertion loss to 0.3 dB for MTP connectors and to 0.2 dB for LC and SC connectors, far less than the industry standard of 0.75 dB.

Uniboot Fiber Patch Cord: Terminated with specially designed LC uniboot connectors, uniboot fiber patch cable integrate two fibers in a single cable, thus delivering significantly more advantages in high density cabling environment. It cut down the cable count up to 50% and represent the best fit for places where space is a concern.

uniboot fiber patch cord

Switchable Fiber Patch Cord: It enables fast and easy polarity change in the field without special tools or training, and avoids potential troubles that may caused by re-terminating connectors. With compact design, switchable fiber patch cord also attributes to more efficient cable management in high-density environment.

switchable fiber patch cord

What Kind of Fiber Patch Cord Should I Choose?

Smaller as it is, fiber patch cord actually forms the very foundation of a sound and solid optical network. When selecting a fiber optic cable, always considering the aforementioned elements:  fiber cable mode (SMF vs MMF), transmission mode (simplex vs duplex), jacket type (PVC/LSZH), connector type (LC, SC, ST, etc) and polishing type (PC, APC, UPC). If your cabling environment is rather demanding, special fiber patch cord mentioned above should fit your need.

Apart from the fiber patch cord types, fiber patch cable price also plays a significant role when making the final choice. How to get the perfect fiber patch cord within your budget? You can count on a trustworthy fiber patch cord manufacture—FS.COM offers reasonably priced fiber patch cable that meet or beyond standard requirement. Here is a fiber patch cord price comparison between FS.COM and other vendors.

Vendor/Product LC to LC Duplex Singlemode fiber (1m) SC to SC Duplex Multimode OM1(1M) LC to LC Duplex Multimode OM2(1M) SC to SC Duplex Multimode OM3(1M) LC to LC Duplex Multimode OM4(1M) LC to LC Duplex Multimode OM5(1M)
C2G $42.99 $18.99 $29.99 $21.99 $33.99 /
Belkin $25.99 / $21.99 / / /
Monoprice $11.35 $6.65 $9.68 $6.85 / /
Startech $26.99 $23.99 $32.99 / $31.99 /
FS.COM $2.80 $2.50 $2.50 $2.60 $2.80 $5.00

Conclusion

Fiber patch cord has helped many people to achieve larger bandwidths and great speeds, and the benefit of which is stretching across a wide range of constructions. FS.COM offers a broad range of standard fiber patch cord types that withstand the rigors of daily use, moreover, special fiber patch cable like armored fiber patch cord, bend insensitive fiber patch cord, uniboot fiber patch cord and etc are also available here. You can also customize your fiber patch cord with specific features with FS.COM. We subject all our fiber patch cord to full system test in strict environment to ensure its performance and reliability. Just rest assured and FS.COM will handle all your needs.

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