If you have doubts on the differences between fiber pigtails and fiber patch cords this article will help you to know their main differences. The main difference between these two cables is that pigtails have one side terminated with a connector and other side ends with bare fibers, while patch cords have two connectors terminated on both ends. Let’s see in more detail how these assemblies are used and how are they distinguished.
What is Fiber Pigtail?
A fiber pigtail usually has an optical connector pre-installed at one end and where the other end bare fiber is used for fusion splicing to another fiber. Pigtails can have female or male connectors. Fiber optic pigtails are usually unjacketed in order to be spliced and then protected in a fiber splice tray with a mechanical or thermal splice joint protector.
What is Fiber Patch Cord?
A patch cable, also known as patch cord or patch lead, is an electrical or optical fiber cable used to connect one electronic or optical device to another. The connectors of a patch cord can be installed at the ends with the same type of connector or different ones, for example, it can have an SC connector at both ends or it can have an SC connector at one end and an LC connector on the other end. Fiber optic patch cords are jacketed and are available in simplex (1 fiber), duplex (2 fibers), or in multiple fiber counts like MPO (12 fibers).
How to Test Connectors?
Using a light source, pigtails and patch cords can quickly be tested for continuity, in other words light goes in and comes out at the other end. If it doesn’t, a break or blockage is preventing the light from propagating, so usually patch cords are ordered as unjacketed patch cords, tested with a light source then cut in two pieces in order to make two pigtails.
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What Does Keystone Jack Mean?
Keystone jacks are keystone module connectors used in data communication and LAN wiring. It is the female connector that is usually mounted in a wall plate or patch panel and is connected to the matching male connector, called the keystone plug. A keystone module is a snap-in package that is used for mounting various types of low-voltage electrical jacks. It can also be used for mounting optical connectors into the wall plate or patch panel.
Keystone jacks are used in the wiring system of LAN and Ethernet connections. They are called keystone jacks because the jack looks similar to an architectural keystone, just like the standard RJ-11 wall jack that is used to connect telephones, fax machines and dial-up systems.
They offer the advantage of providing versatility. A single panel can be used to mount many types of keystone jacks in either shielded or unshielded forms. They are also capable of accommodating different types of cords or cables and various types and numbers of conductors. Shielded keystone jacks help protect data from electromagnetic interference.
Some keystone modules have a jack on the front with a different mechanism for the back end. Other modules may have a jack on both the front and the back side. Wiring a keystone jack can be done by punching down the wires into the blades built into the keystone jack.