Some Notes Of Buying Fiber Pigtails

In any fiber optic cable installation, the way the cables are attached to the system–is vital to the success of the telecommunications network. If done well, the connection allows optical signals to pass with low attenuation and little return loss. One of the proven ways to join optical fibers is with a fiber pigtail–a fiber cable with a installed connector on one end and unterminated fiber on the other end.

Pigtails are basically cable assemblies. Ninety-nine percent of singlemode applications use pigtails, also used in many multimode applications. One of the benefits of using pigtail is lower labor costs. The end of the pigtail is stripped back and fusion spliced to another single fiber. This is done easy in field with a multi-fiber trunk to break out the multi-fibers cable into its component for connection to the end equipment. Installers working with singlemode fiber typically have access to a fusion splicer–an expensive piece of equipment that costs $6000 to $30,000 or more. With a fusion splicer you just splice the pigtail right onto the cable in a minute or less.

Pigtails bridge a critical junction in the fiber-optic network. Pigtails consist of–a connector, a ferrule, standard fiber and jacket types, including singlemode and multimode varieties. The most important element you should know is that the quality of the connector itself. You need to know certain characteristics, such as insertion loss, the type of polish used and how well the connector is terminated to the cable. As fiber cable termination is the addition of connectors to each optical fiber in a cable. The fibers need to have connectors fitted before they can attach to other equipment. Two common solutions for fiber cable termination are pigtails and fanout kits or breakout kits.

Ferrule material, whether zirconia ceramic, plastic or stainless steel, must also be specified when buying a pigtail. If you go with a metal ferrule, it is a waste for any singlemode application.

The length of the pigtail is another element that must be specified. The extra slack allows for splicing errors to be corrected, without it, you may have to start with another pigtail.

Pigtails can have female connectors and be mounted in a wall mount or patch panel, often in pairs although single-fiber solutions exist, to allow them to be connected to endpoints or other fiber runs with patch cables. Alternatively they can have male connectors and plug directly into an optical device. Pigtails are different from patch cords, as both ends with connectors, like common patch cord LC-LC.

Testing a pigtail in the field is not easy. The unterminated end is difficult to check until the pigtail is actually spliced to the equipment.
Quality is typically high because the connectorized end is attached in a controlled environment–FiberStore. FiberStore can make singlemode pigtails more accurately than a field termination can be done.

Classification of Fiber Optic Patch Cords

This article is designed specially for those who want to quickly while without going into details to understand the wide range of fiber patch cable types.

What is fiber optic patch cord?

Fiber optic patch cable, which is often referred to as fiber optic patch cord or fiber jumper, is the segment of fiber optic cable with optical connectors on both ends. It applies in two main areas: a computer work station – the output fiber optic patch panels or optical cross – rapredelitelny center. Optic patch cords are used only indoors.

The most common types of optical patch cords

Fiber optic patch cords can be divided into different types depending on the type of optical fiber structures such as optical connectors, polishing type and cable length.

Fiber type of fiber optic cable

Single-mode optical fiber patch cables (SM): A single mode fiber patch cord consists of a piece of fiber optic cable with a core diameter of 9/125 micron, terminated on both sides of single-mode optical connectors. Sheath-mode fiber optic cable usually has a yellow color.

Multimode fiber patch cables (MM): Multimode optical patch cord consists of a piece of multimode fiber optic cable with a core diameter of 62.5/125 microns or 50/125 microns connectorized on both sides with multimode connectors. The shell of a multimode fiber optic cable, usually has an orange color, and the connectors are gray.

10G multimode fiber optic patch cable (such as OM3, OM4): 10Gib multimode optical fiber patch cable 50/125 micron is specially designed and optimized for laser VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface

Emitting Laser – semiconductor vertical cavity lasers) is based on 10Gig Ethernet. They have backward compatibility with existing network equipment and provide the bandwidth three times larger than conventional optical fibers with a core diameter of 62.5/125nm. 10Gib is targeted at distances up to 300 meters using a wavelength of 850nm. The shell of such a cable is usually celadon.

Structure of the fiber cable:

Simplex optical cords: an optical fiber patch cable has a single fiber cable and one connector on each end.

Duplex optical cables: double optical patch cord has two fibers with two connectors on each end. Each fiber is marked with a marker to indicate polarity.

Ribbon optical cords: ribbon cable has one connector on one side, such as MTP (12 fibers) and other multiple fiber optic cables with connectors SC, LC, FC, etc.

Difference in the types of optical connectors:

Optical cable with identical connectors: the optical connectors on both ends of the optical fiber patch cable is the same.

Transient optical cables: fiber optic patch cord has different optical connectors on the ends of fiber optic patch cord, allowing connection of equipment with different optical adapters.

Difference in the type of polishing

Fiber optic connectors are designed and polished to different shapes. This is done in order to minimize back reflection. This is especially important when using a single-mode optical fiber. Back

reflection depending on polishing can have the following values: -30 dB, -40 dB, -50dB and -60dB.

PC (Physical Contact): Typical back reflection < – 40 dB for single-mode and multimode optical fibers.

UPC (Ultra Physical Contact): Typical back reflection < -50 dB for single-mode optical fiber. (usually connector SC, LC blue, and shanks to the FC and ST – Black)

APC (Angled Physical Contact), angular polishing: Typical back reflection < – 60dB for single-mode optical fiber. (Connector SC, LC and FC shank on ST and green)

Fiber Optic Pigtails

Cable types include copper and fiber. Copper cable is a group of insulated conductors enclosed within a common jacket while fiber optic cable refers to one or more optical fibers enclosed within a protective covering and material to provide strength. Cable assembly is a cable that has connectors installed on one or both ends. If connectors are attached to only one end of the cable, it is a pigtail. If its connectors are attached to both ends, it is known as a fiber jumper & fiber patch cable. General use of these cable assemblies includes the interconnection of multimode and single-mode fiber optic cable systems and optical electronic equipment.

FS is the professional supplier of fiber pigtails SC, SC/APC, ST, ST/APC, FC, FC/APC, LC, LC/APC, MT-RJ, MPO, MTP, E2000, E2000/APC, bunch/ribbon/bundle fan out fiber optic pigtails. Fiber optic pigtail is used to splice outside plant cable to the backside of a fiber optic patch panel.

Generally speaking, pigtail fiber optic cable is a fiber end with a connector factory-attached for future splicing into a system. It starts as a manufactured patch cord or jumper with a connector at each end. Then you can cut the jumper in half and have two pigtails ready to splice. Pigtails are available with a variety of connectors, depending on your needs. These products have advantages over field terminations because the connectors are factory-installed and polished to exacting standards. By this way to save time over attaching a connector to the end of an optical fiber, and it typically produces a better connection. They are especially useful in situations where many connectors have to be added to cables in a relatively short time, or in a location where is easier to make a splice than it is to add a connector. On the downside, fiber pigtails require hardware to protect the splice and investment in a fusion or mechanical splicer, in addition to the cost of the connector and hardware itself.

Common connector type of fiber pigtails is SC, LC, FC, ST, MU, MTRJ, etc. ST pigtail connector is with metal outer body and with a long spring located ferrule hold the optical fiber. ST cable can be 9/125 single mode or 50/125 multimode or 62.5/125 multimode. ST fiber pigtails connector ferrule interface can be PC, UPC or APC.

Besides, FS supply various kinds of fan out pigtails, include ribbon, bunch, bundle fan out fiber pigtails. Fanout fiber pigtail is designed for easy connectorization. The break out cables can be 3mm outer diameter or 0.9mm outer diameter, the break out part of the pigtail can be with break out kits or with heat shrinkable tubes, and the cable length can be customized to fit for your special needs.

FS also offer the armored and waterproof fiber optic pigtail, they are produced strictly according to IEC standards, the products feature low insertion loss, high return loss, good interchangeability and repeat push-pull performance, which make them easy to use.

Typical Cable Components for Network Connection

This article will describe some typical cable components involved in transmitting data from the network area to the telecommunications room or enclosure. These typical cable components are horizon cable, backbone cable, and patch cables which is used in cross-connections and for connecting to network devices.

Patch Cords
Patch cords are used in in patch panels to provide the connection between field-terminated horizontal cables and network connectivity devices and connections between the telecommunications outlets and network devices such as printers, computers, and other Ethernet-based devices. They are part of the network wiring you can actually see. Since the fact that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Because of their exposed position in structured cable infrastructures, patch cords are always the weakest link. Patch cords include optical fiber patch cable.

Horizontal and Backbone Cables
The name horizontal cable and backbone cable have nothing to do with the cable’s physical orientation toward the horizon. Horizontal cables run between a cross-connect panel in a telecommunications room and telecommunications room and a telecommunications outlet located near the work area. Backbone cables run between telecommunications rooms, and enclosures, and the main cross-connect point of a building, it usually located in the equipment room.

Whereas horizontal UTP cables contain solid conductors, patch cords are made with stranded conductors because they are more flexible. The flexibility allows them to withstand the abuse of frequent flexing and reconnecting. Although you could build your own field-terminated patch cords, we strongly recommend against it.
At first glance, patch cords may seem like a no-brainer, but they may actually be the most crucial components to accurately specify. When specifying patch cords, you may also require that your patch cords be tested to ensure that they meet the proper transmission-performance standards for their category. Fiber patch cables are used for fiber optic cabling. Usually it is divided into single mode fiber patch cord and multimode fiber patch cord. Single mode fiber operators to a long transmission distance, while multi-mode fiber is a short transmission distance.

Choosing the right cables for your job
Professional cable installed and cable-plant designers are called upon to interpret and/or draft cable specifications to fulfill business’ structured-cabling requirements. Anyone purchasing cable for business or home use may also have to make a decision regarding what type of cable to use. Installing inappropriate cable could be unfortunate in the event of a disaster such as a fire.

Cable plant designer can held accountable in court and held responsible for damages incurred as a result of substandard cable installation, Cables comes in a variety of ratings, and many of these rating has to do with how well the cable will fare in a fire.

Using the general overview informations provided here, you should now have adequate information to specify the proper cable for your installation.

First, you must know the installation environment and what the applicable NEC and the local fire-code requirements will allow regarding the cables’ flame rating. In a commercial building, this usually comes down to where plenum-rated cables must be installed and where a lower rating is acceptable.

The second decision on cabling must be on media type. The large majority of new installations use fiber optic cable in the backbone and UTP cable for the horizontal.

For fiber optic cable, you will need to specify the fiber type first, single-mode or multimode. If it is multimode, you will need to specify the core diameter. That is 62.5/125 or 50/125. Most new installations use an 850nm, laser-optimized 50/125 multimode fiber, better know to the industry as OM3 fiber. A special fiber patch cable takes multimode ST patch cable for example, it can be either with OM1 62.5/125 types or OM2 50/125, simplex or duplex, connector types of ST-ST, ST-MTRJ, ST-LC, etc. The large majority of new networks use an 850nm, laser-optimized 50/125 multimode fiber, better knows to the industry as OM3 fiber. Of UTP cable, you need to specify the appropriate transmission-performance category. Most newly installations today use Cat6, and there is a growing migration to Cat6A. Make sure that you specify that patch cords are rated in the same or higher category than the horizontal cable.

Fiber Optic Patch Cord Wiki

Fiber Optic Patch Cord Wikipedia

Patch cord wikipedia defines that Fiber optic patch cord (Fiber Patch Cable or Fiber jumper) are used for linking the equipment and components in the fiber optic network, is a fiber cable that has fiber connectors installed on one or both ends. The fiber optic patch cord types are classfied by the fiber optic connector types. For example, LC fiber optic patch cord means this cable is with LC fiber optic connector. There are PC, UPC, APC type of fiber patch cord types, different from each other because of the polish of fiber connectors. 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. General use of these cable assemblies includes the interconnection of fiber cable systems and optics-to-electronic equipment.

Fiber patch cords are made of 2 major parts: optical connector and fiber optic cable. If the fiber connectors are attached to only one end of a cable, it is known as a fiber optic pigtail. If the fiber connectors are attached to both ends, it is known as a fiber jumper or fiber patch cord.

Fiber optic patch cords types are also commonly divided into single mode fiber optic patch cords and multimode patch cord. Here the word “mode” means the transmitting mode of the fiber optic light in the fiber optic cable core. usually, single mode fiber optic patch cable is with 9/125 fiber glass and is yellow jacket color, multimode fiber optic patch cables are with 50/125 or 62.5/125 fiber glass and is orange color.

Fiber Cable Structure

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.

Below is an example color scheme for patch cables.
fiber optic patch cord wikipedia types
Availabilities of Fiber Optic Patch Cord Types:
-Full specifications, FC, SC, ST, LC, MTRJ, E2000, DIN, D4, SMA, etc.
-Simplex and Duplex assemblies available -Singlemode and multimode available
-PC, UPC and APC polishing available
-Hybrid patch cords are available upon request
-Fan-out available (Ribbon type/bundle type)
-Pigtail available -Loopback available
-Customized lengths upon request

Applications of Different Fiber Optic Patch Cord Types:
FTTH application
Premise installations
Data processing networks
Wide Area Networks (WANs)
Telecommunication networks
Industrial, mechanical and military


Based on patch cord wikipedia, we have a good understanding of patch cords. FS.COM provides a comprehensive line of different fiber optic patch cord types, such as OM3 and OM4  multimode fiber cable and OS2 single mode fiber. Want to know more about our fiber patch cord types, please visit FS.COM.

Related Article:
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Optical Fiber
What Kind of Fiber Patch Cord Should I Choose?