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Fiber optic patch cord Some common cables

Posted on 19th Jul 2013 @ 11:08 AM

Fiber optic patch cable can take many forms. Here's a look at some of the most common:

Simplex and zip cord cables consist of one or two fibers that have been tight-buffered and Kevlar-reinforced and jacketed. Such optic fiber cables are used mostly for patch-cord and backplane applications.

Tightpack optic cables, also known as distribution cables, are made up of up to several tight-buffered fibers bundled under the same jacket with Kevlar reinforcement. These cables are small in size, but because their fibers are not individually reinforced, they need to be terminated inside a patch panel or junction box. They are generally used for short, dry conduit runs as well as riser and plenum applications.

Breakout fiber cables are made of several simplex units, cabled together to produce a strong, rugged design suitable for conduit runs and riser and plenum applications. Because each fiber is individually reinforced, this type of cable allows for a strong termination to connectors and can be brought directly to a computer back plane. Breakout cables are larger and more expensive than tightpack cables.

Loose-tube cables are considered ideal for outside plant trunking applications. Depending on the actual construction, they can be used in conduits, strung overhead, or buried directly into the ground.

Composite cables are those that contain a number of copper conductors (jacketed and sheathed depending on the application) in the same cable assembly as optical fibers. Be careful of the terminology there. Prior to 1993 NEC, such cables were known as hybrid cables, but today that term typically refers to cables that contain only optical fibers - but both multi-mode and single-mode fibers.

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