How to Choose the Best Fiber Patch Cord
1. Types of fiber optic connectors
Different connectors are used for different devices, mainly MPO, SC, FC, LC, ST interface jumpers:
(1) MPO type fiber optic patch cables: used for 40G, 100G optical module connection and high-density data center;
(2) LC fiber optic patch cables: used for the connection of SFP optical modules, it uses modular jacks, and this kind of jumper is generally used on routers;
(3) SC-type fiber optic patch cables: It is connected to the GBIC optical module. Its shell is rectangular, and the fastening method is a plug-in latch type, which does not need to be rotated. It is generally used in routers and switches;
(4) FC type fiber optic patch cables: the external strengthening method adopts metal sleeve, and the fastening method is turnbuckle, which is generally used on the distribution frame;
(5) ST-type fiber optic patch cables: the shell is round, and the fastening method is turnbuckle, which is generally used on the distribution frame.
2. Fiber Type
Multi-mode fiber optic patch cables use 50/125um or 62.5/125um fiber, while single-mode fiber optic patch cables use 9/125um fiber. Long-distance data transmission is handled by single-mode fiber optic patch cables, whereas short-distance data transmission is handled by multi-mode fiber optic patch cables. The jacket of single-mode fiber optic patch cables is yellow, while multi-mode fiber optic patch cables are classified as OM2 (orange), OM3 (water blue), OM4 (purple), and OM5 (orange) (apple green).
3. Connector grinding method
The optical fiber transmission quality is determined by different grinding procedures; PC/UPC is blue, while APC is green.
PC (Physical Contact) is the abbreviation for physical contact. The ferrule's surface is ground into a small spherical shape, and the fiber core is situated at the highest point of bending, reducing the air gap between the fiber components and bringing the two fiber end faces into physical touch.
The ultra-physical end face is referred to as UPC (Ultra Physical Contact). The UPC connector's end face isn't fully flat, but it does have a little curve for more exact mating. UPC is based on PC, but with better end surface polishing and surface gloss, and a more dome-shaped end surface.
The fiber end face is commonly honed to an 8° bevel in APC (Angled Physical Contact), bevel physical contact. By reflecting light through its bevel angle to the cladding rather than directly back to the source, the 8° angled bevel enables for tighter fiber end faces and greater connection performance.
The insertion loss of PC, UPC., and APC connectors is typically less than 0.3dB; however, because of the narrower air gap, UPC /PC connectors are easier to achieve low insertion loss. APC industry-standard return loss is -60dB, PC return loss is -45dB, UPC return loss is often -50dB (or even more), and PC return loss is -45dB.
4. The fiber optic patch cables protective sleeve material
PVC and LSZH are commonly used in fiber optic patch cords.
LSZH (Low Smoke Zero Halogen) is a low-smoke halogen-free material with good environmental protection and flame retardant properties, but it is relatively expensive. PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) polyvinyl chloride material is flammable and produces toxic gas, so it is not suitable for indoor application, and the price is low.
When choosing fiber jumpers, it's also important to think about how long we'll be wearing them. When choosing fiber optic patch cables, we must consider not only the material's reliability but also the transmission rate and loss, as well as the specific parameter information.
The end face of the ferrule should be shielded to avoid bumps while utilizing fiber optic patch cables, and the dust cap should be applied promptly after disassembly. During transmission, the laser signal should not stare straight at the fiber's end face.
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