Tag Archives: fiber patch cord

Fiber Patch Cable Management

Deploying more fiber optic cable is just the first step to meet the high-bandwidth requirements, strong management over the fiber optic cable is a basic requirement for a successful fiber optic network infrastructure. Fiber patch cable might be the weakest link in optical network infrastructures. To deliver and guarantee and optimal network performance, patch cable management is critical. In addition, cable management of optical fiber can lower operation cost & time and increases the reliability and flexibility of network operation and maintenance. This post will offer the critical elements that should be noted during patch cable management, as well as tips for fiber patch cable management.

Elements That Affects Patch Cable Management

To get a flexible and well-organized patch cable management, the factors that affect the performance of the fiber optic patch cable should be introduced first. Here are four key elements that should be considered during patch cable management.

Bend Radius

Unlike copper, fiber optic made of glass is much fragile and need more protection and attention during the operation and management. Thus, the fiber’s bend radius will impact its reliability and performance. If a fiber cable is bent excessively, the optical signal within the cable may refract and escape through the fiber cladding which will cause a loss of signal strength and is known as bend loss. What’s more, bending, especially during the installation and pulling of fiber optic patch cable might also cause micro cracks and damage the fiber permanently. Generally, there are two basic types of bends in fiber, which are microbends and macrobends as shown in the following picture. The macrobends are larger than microbends.

bend radius

What should be noted is that bend radius might not be seen during the initial installation of fiber patch cable. This is because the number of patch cables routed to the optical distribution ODF is usually small. However, when more patch cords are added on the top of installed patch cables in the future the problems will come across (shown in the following picture). A fiber patch cable that working fine for years might suddenly have an increased level of attenuation, as well as a potentially shorter service life.

effect of adding cable

Path of Patch Cable

Patch cable path is an aspect closely related to bend radius that can affect the performance and maintenance of the patch cable. The path of the patch cable should be clearly defined and easy to follow. Improper cable routing can cause increased congestion in the termination panel, increasing the possibility of bend radius violations and long-term failure. However, the well-managed patch cable path ensures that bend radius requirements are maintained at all points and makes accessing individual patch cable easier, quicker and safer. What should be mentioned is that the well-organized fiber patch cords can help to decrease operating costs and the time required to turn-up or restore service.

Accessibility of Patch Cable

The third aspect is the accessibility of the installed patch cable. If the installed patch cable is easy to be accessed, the maintenance and operation would be quick without inducing a macrobend on an adjacent fiber, and it can also offer proper bend radius protection. Accessibility is critical during network reconfiguration operations and directly impacts operation costs and network reliability.

Physical Protection

Patch cables routed between pieces of equipment can largely affect network reliability. Without proper protection, they would be easy to be damaged by technicians and equipment accidentally. Thus, physical protection of the installed patch cords is very important.

Tips for Fiber Patch Cable Management

According to the mentioned aspects that can affect the performance and maintenance of the fiber optic patch cable, here offers several tips that can help to increase the performance of patch cords, as well as the reliability and flexibility of patch cable management.

Tip 1: Pay attention to the bend radius of the patch cable. Generally, for 1.6mm and 3.0mm cords, the minimum un-loaded bend radius is 3.5 cm, and the minimum bend radius of MPO patch cable is ten times the cord diameter.

bend radius of fiber optic

Tip 2: Never pull or stress the patch cords (shown in the following figure). During the patching process, excessive force can stress fiber patch cables and connectors attached to them, thus reducing their performance. There might be something wrong if you need to use force in pulling a cord.

pulling fiber patch cable

Tip 3: Routing cords through cable pathways. If the existing cord is the right length, it may be possible to re-use it. If this is the case, remove the cord completely and re-run it in through the cable pathways. This is the only sure way to ensure there are no tangles, kinks or strains in the cord. For efficient routing, find the best path between the ports to be connected. Avoid routing cords through troughs and guides that are already congested.

Tip 4: Bundling and tying cords give the panel a neat appearance but tight bundling increases the risk of pinching (as shown in the following figure). Do not tighten cable ties beyond the point where individual cords can rotate freely.

cable management

Tip 5: Labeling is necessary. Labeling is the most important part of a System Administrator’s responsibilities. At any administration point in a cabling infrastructure, including patch panel, accurate labels are essential. These will identify pair modularity and tell technicians where the other end of the cable is terminated.

Tip 6: Inspect fiber cords for physical damage including stress marks from sharp bends on the sheath, or damage to connectors as shown in the following figure.

physical damage


A strong and successful patch cable management which can increase the reliability and flexibility and decrease the cost of network operation and maintenance should provide bend radius protection, reasonable patch cable path, easy accessibility of patch cable and physical protection. When the four mentioned aspects are satisfied, there is already half the success of strong patch cable management.

Source: http://www.fs.com/blog/fiber-patch-cable-management.html

How Fiber Termination Box, Pigtail, Fiber Patch Cord and Fiber Optic Converter Work

In network cabling, outdoors (connections between buildings) generally use fiber optic cables while indoor (inside the building) using Ethernet twisted-pair wires. Then, how to implement the transmission and conversion? During the conversion, which devices will be used? How do they work? And what is the relationship between them? We will make some illustrations to explain these questions in this paper. As shown in the following picture, the related devices and their connections between outdoors and inside the building include fiber optic converter, fiber termination box, fiber cables, fiber patch cord and fiber optic pigtail etc.


connections & functions:

  • Let outdoor fiber optic cables access to the termination box that aims to splice the cables and the pigtails and then output through fiber patch cord.
  • Connect the fiber patch cord to the fiber optic converter in order to convert the optical signals into electrical signals.
  • Go through conversion, fiber optic converter makes electrical signals output. And the transmission medium is twisted-pair wires. Twisted-pair wires here can access to network devices with RJ-45 interface. So far, the conversion of optical signals and electricals has been completed.

connection elements

Note: Nowadays, there are many new devices with optical interface on themselves that will be more convenient for the connection.

Fiber Termination Box
Fiber termination box (FTB) generally refers to the box shape fiber optic management products used to protect and distribute the optical fiber links in FTTH Networks. The direct application of termination box is to terminate fiber optic cables and connect the core of the cable and pigtail. The inner structure of fiber termination box as following:

fiber termination box

As the picture shows, the access fiber cables can be multi-core. For example, a 4-fibers fiber optic cable (namely fiber optic cables with 4 cores), then, after this fiber optic cable accessing to the termination box, it can be splice into 4 pigtails, for 4 fiber patch cords. The picture above shows 2 pigtails, so that they lead to 2 fiber patch cords.

Fiber Pigtail
A fiber pigtail is a single, short, usually tight-buffered, optical fiber that has an optical connector pre-installed on one end and a length of exposed fiber at the other end. One end of the pigtail is stripped and fusion spliced to a single fiber while the other end (with the special connector) connects the fiber optic converter or optical transceiver modules forming an optical data transmission path. When used in the termination box, pigtail connects the fiber cable through the adapter/couplers in the box and then connects to fiber patch cord. The following picture shows a pigtail of a single-mode fiber with ST connector.


Notes: Sometimes, we can’t buy sheer pigtails. We may but the fiber patch cord . In this case, you could have a cut in the middle, stripped its jacket and then into a pigtail.

Fiber Patch Cord

Fiber optic patch cord is also known as fiber optic jumper or fiber optic patch cable. It is composed of a fiber optic cable terminated with different connectors on the ends. For the fiber patch cables, there are two major application areas which are computer work station to outlet and fiber optic patch panels or optical cross connect distribution center. For some experienced engineers, they usually divide fiber patch cord as pigtails.


Fiber Optic Converter
A fiber media converter is a simple networking device that makes it possible to connect two dissimilar media types such as twisted pair with fiber optic cabling. They are important in interconnecting fiber optic cabling-based systems with existing copper-based, structured cabling systems. They are also used in metropolitan area network (MAN) access and data transport services to enterprise customers. Fiber optic converters support many different data communication protocols including Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, T1/E1/J1, DS3/E3, as well as multiple cabling types such as coax, twisted pair, multi-mode and single-mode fiber optics.


How to terminate fiber optic cable? Use fiber termination box. How to convert the optical signals into electrical signals? Use fiber optic converter. How to join these devices together? Use fiber patch cord. FS strives to be your loyal helper with a great range of network solutions. Please contact us without hesitation.

Related articles: Fiber Optic Pigtail: What Is It and How to Splice It?

                             Things You Need to Know About Fiber Optic Cable Uses