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Introduction to Optical Fiber Patch Cable

fiber optic patch cablesOptical fiber patch cable is used as a jumper to connect device and fiber optic cabling link. It has a thick protection layer, which is generally used as the connection between optical terminal and terminal box.

Optical fiber patch means that both ends of the cable are equipped with a connector plug to link optical circuit activities. The end with a connector is called pigtail. Optical fiber patch cable is similar to coaxial cable, only that it is without the mesh shielding layer, but it has glass core at its center for optical propagation. In a multimode fiber, the diameter of the core is 50μm~65μm, roughly the same as the thickness of human hair. While the diameter of a single-mode fiber core is 8μm~10μm. In order to keep the optical fiber within the core, a layer of refractive index, which is lower than the glass envelope is used to surround outside the core. Furthermore, outside the glass envelope is a layer of thin plastic jacket to protect the glass envelope.

Classified by different transmission media, optical fiber patch cable can be divided into common single-mode silicon based optical fiber, multimode patch cable and other optical fiber patch cables that are transmitted through plastic. While classified by the structure of connectors, optical fiber patch cable can be divided into FC patch cable, SC patch cable, ST patch cable, LC patch cable, MTRJ patch cable, MPO patch cable, MU patch cable, SMA patch cable, FDDI patch cable E2000 patch cable, DIN4 patch cable, D4patch cable, etc. The common optical fiber patch cables can also be divided into FC-FC, FC-SC, FC-LC, FC-ST, SC-SC, SC-ST, etc.

The color of single-mode fiber patch cables are usually yellow, but the connector and the protective sleeve are blue. Single-mode fiber is used for long distance transmission. While the color of multimode fiber patch cables are usually orange, sometimes it is gray, but the connector and the protective sleeve are buff or black. Multimode fibers are used for short distance transmission.

Tips for Usage
The wavelength transceiver of both ends of the optical modules must be the same. That is to say, the wavelength of the two ends of the optical fiber must be equal. A easy way to distinguish whether the wavelength is the same is the color. Same color means same wavelength.
1. Do not bend and circle optical fiber excessively during the usage, or it will result in light attenuation during the transmission.
2. After the usage of optical fiber patch cables, protective sleeve must be used to protect the connector from dust and oil stains since they will damage the coupling of the optical fiber.
3. Cotton swab dipped with alcohol can be used to clean the optical fiber connector if it gets dirty, otherwise the quality of communication will be affected.
4, The ceramic ferrule and ferrule end surface of the optical fiber patch cable must be cleaned with absorbent cottons and alcohol before usage.
5. Minimum bending radius should not be less than 150mm during the usage.
6.After the disassembling, a dust cap should be used instantly to protect the core and the ferrule end surface from bruise, contamination and dust.
7. Do not stare at the fiber end surface when the laser signal is being transmitted.
8. When it comes to the situation that the damage is already beyond control, optical fiber patch cable should be replaced instantly.
9. Instructions should be carefully read before installation; besides, installation debugging should be proceeded by the manufacturers or distributors’ guidance.
10. When optical fiber network or system does not work, troubleshooting method may be applied. Usually a visible laser pen can be used to estimate the entire optical fiber link. Or a optical fiber insertion loss return loss set can be used to test the indicators. Indicators within the acceptable range indicating the patch cables are at working order, otherwise it means something wrong with it.

1. Low insertion loss
2. Good repeatability
3. Huge return loss
4. Excellent mutual insert performance
5. Outstanding temperature stability
6. Distinguished tensile properties

Optical fiber patch cables are widely used in the communications room, fiber to the home, local area networks, fiber optic sensors, fiber optic communication systems, fiber optic transmission equipment connected, defense readiness and so on. It applies to cable television, telecommunications networks, computer networks and fiber optical test equipment. And can be subdivided into several aspects.
1. The optical fiber communication systems
2. Optical Access Network
3. fiber optic data transmission
4. The optical fiber CATV
5. Local Area Network (LAN)
6. Testing Equipment
7. Fiber Optic Sensor

Guide for Selection
Classified by the end types, optical fiber patch cables can be divided into ST-ST, SC-SC, ST-SC three types. While classified by the optical fiber types, it can be divided into single-mode optical fiber and multimode optical fiber. Its length specification are 0.5m, 1m, 2m, 3m, 5m, 10m,etc. Classified by cable outer jacket material, it can also be divided into common type, common flame retardant, low smoke zero halogen (LZSH), LSZH type.

According to the building fire-protection rating and the fire resistance of the materials requirements, the comprehensive wiring system should take the corresponding measures. In the flammable area and building shaft, flame retardant cables and optical cables should be used. In large public places the flame retardant, low smoke, low toxicity cables should be adopted. While between adjacent devices room or cross connections closet, flame retardant type wiring device should be employed.

Fiberstore has all the optical fiber patch cables you need, for more information please visit Fibertore.

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