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How do I Recognize a Quality Fiber Patch Cord?

Where are Fiber Patch Cords used?

The use of fiber optic transceiver modules and fiber patch cable plays an important role in fiber optic data transmission, especially data transmission between the switches and equipment, and now are widely used in both telecommunication and data communications. Telecommunication testing equipment also needs fiber patch cord to connect to the systems for testing scenarios. Besides the data center connections and interconnections, fiber patch cords may be used in various access methods such as CATV connections and on the last mile in the FTTH - Fiber to the Home.

Features of Fiber Patch Cords

Fiber Patch Cords are constructed by capping the ends of a multi-mode or single-mode fiber cable with a type of connector that will be latching with the same type of connector pigtail attached at active board/port of the optical equipment. These two main components, the fiber and the connectors will determine the optical patch cord features: low insertion loss, high return loss, good interchange and environmental adaptability. Transmission medium is either single mode or multi-mode fiber resulting in general a yellow patch - for single-mode SM fibers long distance transmission and orange, aqua or magenta patch for multi-mode MM fibers short distance transmission.

Which different Fiber Cable Modes are there?

There are single mode fiber patch cables and multi-mode fiber patch cables. The word mode means the transmitting mode of the fiber optic light in the fiber optic cable core. Single mode patch cables are with 9/125µ fiber glass and are yellow jacket color, while multi-mode patch cables are with OM1 62.5/125µ or OM2 50/125µ fiber glass and are orange color. In addition, there is 10 Gigabit Laser Optimized OM3 and OM4 which cable jacket are usually aqua. Meanwhile OM4 is mostly available in magenta color.

What is the Structure of a Fiber Patch Cord?

Simplex fiber patch cable is consist of single fiber core, while duplex fiber patch cable is consist of two fiber cores and can be either multi-mode or single-mode. Additionally, there is also ribbon breakout cable assembly (i.e. one end is ribbon fiber with multi fibers and one ribbon fiber connector such as MTP connector (12 fibers), on the other end are multi simplex fiber cables with connectors such as ST, SC, LC, etc.).

What different Connector types of Fiber Patch Cords are there?

Picking the right connector type for your particular use of the patch cord is essential for example for the successful remote field teams intervention at interconnecting devices of a distant telecom node, it is not desirable to have a patch cord with FC-FC connectors trying to connect to board’s pigtail SC type. Most of the current configurations include: LC-LC, SC-SC, ST-ST, E2000-E2000, LC-SC, LC-ST, LC-E2000.

What Fiber Patch Cord Length are available?

Cable length mainly impacts the attenuation induced by the patch. Multi-mode fibers have an attenuation value of 3.5 dB per kilometer. BlueOptics SFP3131EUXMK multi-mode OM3 LC-LC Duplex Fiber Optic Patch Cords are available in 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7.5, 10, 15, 20, 30 or 50 meter length. Custom lengths are also available on request. BlueOptics SFP2121BUXMY single-mode SM G.652.D LC-LC Simplex Fiber Optic Patch Cords have an attenuation value of 0.4 dB per kilometer. They are available in 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7.5, 10, 15, 20, 30 or 50 meter length. Custom lengths are also available on request.

Recognized Vendors Names on the Market - Why to buy from High Quality Manufacturers?

Main vendors on the market are Corning, Fujikura or YOFC for the fiber glass. These vendors, combined with recognized connector vendors such as Amphenol, Diamond, Nissin Kasei or Reichle & De-Massari ensures that lossless transmissions exclusively branded fibers patch cords that are sold under the name of BlueOptics is a right choice. A quality patch cord ensures that materials used for connectors are following the latest trend in the industry such as the use of highly reliable Zirconia ceramic ferrule and achieve a lifetime of up to 1500 mating cycles. To minimize losses associated with the mated connector interface, it is imperative that connectors provide accurate fiber alignment (core-to-core alignment of the fiber media) and that the ferrule end face be precisely shaped so that optimum physical contact can be maintained between each mated fiber pair. Two common ferrule materials–zirconia ceramic and lower-cost plastic composites–provide comparable performance and achieve compliance with TIA/EIA-568-B.3 requirements (Insertion Loss under 0.75dB and Return Loss >20dB). However, the ability of each connector type to maintain physical contact can differ over a variety of structured cabling applications and environmental conditions. Ceramic ferrules are well known for having high durability and the highest levels of dimensional control, making them suitable for use in all fiber applications (both single-mode and multi-mode).

BlueOptics Fiber Patch Cords are manufactured to meet generally accepted industry standards and norms and are equipped with a flame-retardant LSZH jacket. In case of a fire thus creates a very low smoke emission in comparison to PVC coated patch cords. Furthermore no halogen is released. BlueOptics Fiber Patch Cords meet the following Norms: IEC-61034, IEC-754-1, IEC 60332-1, IEC 60332-3, IEC/EN 60950 and RoHS

Impact on the Transmission System

Since at the beginning of the design of a transmission system that will use the fiber optic as the principal medium for carrying the data streams and main medium for interconnection between telecommunication equipment, system architects have to consider the insertion loss of the passive components: fiber patches attenuation proportionally with its length and connector attached attenuators as compensators. It is very important to rely on these component’s fabric properties in order to perform the correct actions in the optical system. There is no excuse to interconnect thousands euro cards with no name fiber patch cord that do not preserve fiber quality and connector degrades in time.