Fiber optic patch cable is a fiber optic cable terminated with fiber optic connectors on both ends. It has thick layer of protection and is commonly used to connect the optical transmitter, receiver, and the terminal box in fiber optic network. Fiber optic patch cable is also known as fiber optic patch cord, fiber optic jumper.
The fiber optic patch cable is constructed from the core, the cladding, the coating, strengthening fibers and the cable jacket. Transparency of the core permits transmission of optic signals with little loss over great distances; the cladding causes light to be confined to the core of the fiber; the coating’s low refractive index reflects light back into the core, minimizing signal loss; the protective cable jacket minimizes physical damage to the core and coating. And on both end, there are connectors. (shown in the following figure.) For multi-core cable, the core measures 50 um to 65 um in diameter, approximately the thickness of a human hair; while the core of single-core cable is 8 um to 10 um in diameter.
Fiber optic patch cable is characterized by:
- Low insertion loss
- High return loss
- Good repeatability
- Good interchange
- Excellent environmental adaptability.
There are various types of fiber optic patch cables and they can be classified mainly by the types of cables and connectors.
Single-mode fiber is generally yellow with a blue connector, and it has a longer transmission distance.
Multimode fiber is generally orange or grey with a cream or black connector, and it has a shorter transmission distance.
Armored fiber optic patch cable uses a layer to protect the fiber inside from being bitten or other damage.
Bend insensitive fiber optic patch cable is widely used in FTTH and it is not sensitive to stress and bending.
Mode conditioning patch cable is a kind of double multimode patch cable and has a small length of single-mode fiber at the beginning of transmission length.
Fiber optic patch cable can be terminated with various types of connectors, such as LC, SC, ST, FC, MTRJ, E2000, MU and MPO/MTP. In addition, the connectors on both end can be the same or different. Therefore, the following part will focus on different types of connectors.
LC connector has a push and latch structure, with plastic shell and accurate 1.25mm ceramic ferrule. LC connector is in small size and has good performance. It is very popular and widely used for dense installation.
SC stands for Subscriber Connector or Square Connector or Standard Connector. It is a kind of push and pull connector. SC connector has a locking tab which can make accurate alignment through ceramic ferrule. It features low cost, simplicity as well as good durability and it’s commonly used in data communication and telecommunication fiber optic market.
ST stands for Straight-Tip and ST fiber optic cable has a bayonet rotary locking mechanism. There is a 2.5mm diameter ferrule on ST connector, the same as SC connector’s.
FC connector is a kind of bolt type connector. FC stands for Fixed Connector which has a metal shell and bolt connection structure. The ferrule and sleeve on FC connector are the same with SC connector’s.
MT-RJ connector which is developed from MT and RJ connectors. MT-RJ stands for Mechanical Transfer Registered Jack. There are plastic cover and ferrule on MT-RJ connector and it is characterized by the connection with two fibers, that is, two fibers are connected in one MT-RJ connector. MT-RJ connector has female type and male type. The difference between these two types is that the male type is constructed with two ferrules on one connector.
E2000 connector has a spring-compressed valve and push-pull locking device to protect ferule from dust and wear. When inserting the connector, push-pull locking device will fully lock; when pulling it out, the spring-compressed valve will close automatically.
MU connector has a plastic shell and push-pull locking mechanism. MU connector is small in size and has a ferrule with 1.25mm diameter. And MU connector is used in advanced optical transmission and exchange, user system or high speed data application.
MPO connector is high-density fiber optic connector and uses precise modeled MT ferrule. In single MPO patch cable, there are several fiber counts, such as 12 fibers, 24 fibers and 36 fibers. MTP is the optimized version of MPO. MTP adopts push-pull locking mechanism and it’s easy to insert and pull out.
Fiber optic patch cables are widely used in various fields, such as the connections to CATV (Cable Television), telecommunication networks, computer fiber networks and fiber test equipment. Applications include communication rooms, FTTH (Fiber to The Home), LAN (Local Area Network), FOS (fiber optic sensor), Fiber Optic Communication System, Optical fiber connected and transmitted equipment, Defense combat readiness, etc.