What is a Fiber Optic Patch Cord?
A fiber optic patch cord links and connects devices and equipment.
Other names associated with this cord are fiber jumper or fiber patch lead.
Additionally, the fiber patch cable is one of the best-conducting wire choices for your fiber optic patch panel.
It works in areas where conventional copper cables have failed to do so.
Certainly, its superb reliability and adaptability can effectively cross-connect cabling infrastructure.
Common Types of Fiber Optic Patch Cable
As previously said in the article, there are fiber optic patch cord types that you need to familiarize yourself with.
According to Fiber Cable Mode
An optic patch cable mode distinguishes how fast the light beams navigate through the fiber.
Single-mode and multi-mode are the two-mode types of fiber cable.
Single Mode Fiber Optic Patch Cable
Only one mode light passes the entire wire length in a single-mode patch cord.
This mode’s jacket color is normally yellow and uses 9/125 microns.
For this reason, the single-mode fiber can transmit signals at a higher pace with less force.
Multi-Mode Fiber Optic Patch Cable
Compared to the previously mentioned type, the fiber cable multi-mode is bigger at 62.5/125 micron or 50/125 micron.
It accommodates multiple lights all at one time and has an orange jacket.
In addition, multi-mode is best used for a short transmission distance within your control or cable center.
Although short, it still guarantees the transmitting of a heavy volume of data effectively and efficiently.
According to Number of Fiber Strands
The cable’s structure will determine which direction the data will be transmitted.
There are two types of fiber strands: simplex and duplex.
The simplex fiber patch lead only has a single strand and connector on both ends.
That’s why it’s called simplex.
With only one fiber and outer jacket, this fiber patch cord lets information run in a linear or one direction.
Generally, the simplex patch cable is best used in cabling projects that need a one-way data transfer.
The duplex, on the other hand, contains two fiber strands, with each end having a connector.
Information transmits in two different directions with this type of patch cable.
So, most duplex types have A and B marked on the connectors for easy identification.
You can use a duplex patch cord in your workstation, switches and servers, and some fiber modems.
According to Jacket Type
Jackets provide extra protection to your cords.
They ensure that cable is protected while transmitting data and information.
Here are the two types of fiber cable jackets:
This type of jacket is known to be more flexible and is normally being used in indoor areas.
Patch cords covered in PVC can only handle normal temperatures in your computer set-up or wire center runs.
Compared to PVC, LSZH is more resistant to heat but is not that flexible.
This shielding is appropriate for less ventilated spaces exposed to the public.
It can be on subways, post wiring, and tunnels.
According to Polishing Type
A fiber patch cord needs to be appropriately polished to lessen the back reflection.
The back reflection is when information redirects back to the source instead of transmitting directly to your equipment.
There are three types of polishing in patch cords: PC, UPC, and APC.
PC or Physical Contact is a downgraded UPC version.
It has a -40dB typical reflection, commonly used in single and multi-mode.
The Ultra Physical Contact (UPC) fiber patch cords are famous for being less sensitive to insertion loss.
Hence makes it an appropriate type for digital TV and telephone.
It is for single-mode applications having -50dB typical back reflection.
Compared to UPC, Angled Physical Contact or APC polishing type performs with less insertion loss.
Its suitability lies in high bandwidths and far distance connections.
The typical back reflection of APC is -60dB.
As the necessary fiber features for bandwidths evolve, so do optical patch cords.
Here are the other special types:
Armored Fiber Patch Cord
From the name itself, what Armored Fiber Patch Cord separates it from the common cords is its stainless armored tube feature.
It is placed inside the optical patch cord’s jacket.
This armored tube enables the cord to be more sturdy and resistant to falling debris and human weight.
Although it has an armored tube, you can still bend this fiber patch cord easily.
Bend Insensitive Fiber Patch Cord
The little bending radius is featured in this type of cord to help enhance the flexibility of the cord’s structure.
Hence, it holds out against damage related to bendings.
You can best use the Bend Insensitive Fiber Patch Cord in an area that requires wrapping and covering posts.
Mode Conditioning Fiber Patch Cord
This type of patch cord resolves the issue on your single-mode equipment.
Mode Conditioning Patch Cord has a duplex fiber with an attached single-mode at the wire length start.
This patch cord type is to widen the use of your existing cord or equipment and improve signal quality.
Low Insertion Loss Fiber Patch Cord
The goal of this type of cord is to widen the reach of your application while having reduced attenuation.
Generally, the main feature of this type is low insertion loss, which is the primary reason behind the low force exertion.
Though it can still be mistaken for a common patch cord because of its appearance, they highly differ in insertion loss.
This fiber optic cord type has 0.2dB or lower insertion loss than the usual 0.75dB.
What are the cleaning methods of fiber optic patch cords?
Cleaning is essential to maintain and optimize the fiber patch cables’ signal transmission. In detail, here are four ways how to take care of your patch cords:
- Using a reel connector cleaner.
- Wiping the surface with lint-free wipes and alcohol.
- Removing dust and dirt using a dry cloth or duster.
- Using a simple swab cleaner.
What are the precautions for connecting and disconnecting fiber optic patch cords?
When connecting these cords, you need first to remove the safety caps of connectors.
You must also ensure that the transceivers have no cap to link them together easily.
Afterward, tuck in the cables using rubbers or other fixing elements to prevent cable deforming.
In contrast, if you need to disconnect fiber cables, you must first turn off the device where it is connected.
Then gradually unplug the connector from the source and cover all ends with a safety cap.
If you’re having a hard time doing it alone, it’s best to seek help.
How do you store these fiber optic patch cords?
No matter what cord you’re storing, one thing you need to remember is not to bend them over their supposed radius.
Bending fiber cables will lead to damage.
Therefore, you need horizontal cable organizers and place them somewhere safe.
One last reminder: be gentle and avoid hitting the fiber against anything.
After knowing everything about fiber optic patch cables, you must already understand what it is for.
Or maybe you found what fiber cable is most suited to your needs.
No matter what you gain, what’s important is you can now have a sturdy and stable fiber optic patch panel.