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The Cheater Guide to Choosing Fiber Optic Patch Cables

What are fiber optic patch cables?

Fiber optic patch cable is a fiber optic cable terminated with fiber optic connectors on both ends. It has two major application areas: computer work station to outlet and fiber optic patch panels or optical cross connect distribution center.

Common types of fiber optic patch cables

Fiber optic patch cables can be categorized to different groups based on optical fiber mode, fiber cable type, termination types, connector polishing styles and fiber cable sizes.

Optical Fiber Mode

1. Single mode fiber patch cables

Single mode fiber optic patch cables use 9/125 micron bulk single mode fiber cable and single mode fiber optic connectors at both ends. Single mode fiber optic cable jacket color is usually yellow.

2. Multimode fiber patch cables

Multimode fiber optic patch cables use 62.5/125 micron or 50/125 micron bulk multimode fiber cable and terminated with multimode fiber optic connectors at both ends. Multimode fiber optic cable jacket color is usually orange.

3. 10gig multimode fiber optic patch cables

10Gig multimode fibers are specially designed 50/125 micron fiber optimized for 850nm VCSEL laser based 10Gig Ethernet. They are backward compatible with existing network equipment and provide close to three times the bandwidth of traditional 62.5/125 multimode fibers. 10 Gigabit is rated for distances up to 300 meters using 850nm Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSEL). 10Gig fiber optic cable jacket is usually aqua.

MPO/MTP Trunk Cable jumper Fiber optic Patchcord

Fiber Cable Type

1. Simplex fiber optic patch cables

Simplex fiber patch cable has one fiber and one connector on each end.

2. Duplex fiber optic patch cables

Duplex fiber patch cable has two fibers and two connectors on each end. Each fiber is marked “A” or “B” or different colored connector boots are used to mark polarity.

3. Ribbon fan-out cable assembly

For ribbon fan-out cable assembly, one end is ribbon fiber with multi fibers and one ribbon fiber connector such as MTP connector (12 fibers), the other end is multi simplex fiber cables with connectors such as ST, SC, LC, etc.

Termination Types

1. Same connector type fiber patch cable

This fiber optic patch cable has the same type of connector on both ends, such as ST, SC, LC, FC, etc.

2. Hybrid fiber optic patch cables

This fiber optic patch cable has different connectors on each end. One end can be SC and the other end can be LC, ST, FC, etc.

Connector Polishing Styles

Fiber optic connectors are designed and polished to different shapes to minimize back reflection. This is particularly important in single mode applications. Typical back reflection grades are -30dB, -40dB, -50dB and -60dB.

MPO/MTP connecor jumper Fiber optic Patchcord

1. PC (Physical Contact)

Typical back reflection

2. UPC (Ultra Physical Contact)

Typical back reflection

3. APC (Angled Physical Contact)

Typical back reflection

Fiber Cable Sizes

You can choose your fiber cable jacket size for your particular application.

1. 250um bare fiber

2. 900um tight buffer fiber

3. 1.6mm fiber optic cable

4. 2.0mm fiber optic cable

5. 3.0mm fiber optic cable

Popular fiber optic patch cables on the market

1. LC

2. ST

3. SC and SC/APC

4. FC and FC/APC


6. E2000

7. VF-45

Special types of fiber optic patch cables

1. Polarization maintaining fiber optic patch cables

2. Mode conditioning fiber optic patch cables (mode conditioning patch cord, mode conditioning cables)

3. Pre-terminated pigtail (fiber pigtails, fiber pigtail, fiber optic pigtail, fiber optic pigtails)

Other names of fiber optic patch cables

Fiber optic patch cords, Fiber optic jumper, Fiber jumper cables, Fiber jumpers, Fiber optic jumpers, Duplex fiber jumper

Cleaning methods for fiber optic patch cables

1. Reel connector cleaner

2. Isopropyl alcohol and lint-free wipes

3. Duster

4. Swab cleaner

Cautions for handling fiber optic patch cables

1. Bend radius:

2. Kink

3. Tie-wrap

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