Sometimes called Fiber Jumpers, Patch Cords are used to connect network devices or end devices to a cabling system. These cables generally have various connectors that can be applied to each end. These include; LC, SC, ST or MTRJ connectors. Available in simplex (single cord) or duplex (dual cords) depending on your network requirements. It can be difficult to select which of the variations might best suit your application best.
Before making use of fiber optic patch cords you should ensure that the wavelength of the tranciever module at the end of the cable is identical. This means that the specified wavelength of the light emitting module (your device), should be the same as that of the cable you intend to make use of. There is a very simple way to do this.
Short wave optical modules require the use of a multimode patch cable, these cables are typically covered in an orange jacket. Long wave modules require the use of single-mode patch cables which are wrapped in a yellow jacket.
Simplex vs Duplex
Simplex cables are required when data transmission is required to be send in one direction along the cable. It's one way traffic so to speak and is primarily used in applications such as large TV networks.
Duplex cables allow for two way traffic in that they have two fibers stands within a single cable. You can find these cables being used in workstations, servers, switches and on various pieces of networking hardware with large data-centers.
Typically duplex cables come in two types of construction; Uni-boot and Zip Cord. Uni-boot means that the two fibers in he cable terminate in a single connector. These are generally more expensive than the Zip Cord cables which have the wo fiber stands placed together, but they can be easily seperated.
Which to Choose?
Simplex Patch Cord is great for sending data tansmissions over long distances. It does not require a lot of materials to manufacture and this inturn keeps the cost down when compared to duplex cables. They are incredibly good when it comes to capacit and high transmission speeds meaning higher bandwidth and because of this are very common in modern communications networks.
Duplex Patch Cords are great when it comes to keeping this neat and organised as less cables are required, making them easier to maitain and sort. They are however not as great over longer distances and high bandwidths.
Looking After Your Patch Cords
One of the most import things to consider when making use of patch cords is not to exceed their maximum bend radius. They are, after all, glass stands encased in PVC jackets and can quite easily break if pushed too far. Additionally, ensure that they are always used within optimal conditions and not subject to excess stress by things such as, temperature, moisture, tension stress and vibrations.