Category Archives: Fiber Patch Cord

Three Kinds of Polarity Reversal Methods of LC Uniboot Patch Cords

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As the networking environment of today becomes increasingly dependent on high-speed and high-density solutions, effective cable management is a real problem. The challenge is how to manage more cables in a smaller amount of space. The LC uniboot patch cord utilises a special “round duplex” cable that allows duplex transmission within a single 2.4mm or 3.0mm cable, which reduces cable management space by up to 70% comparing to standard LC patch cords. Besides, it has a unique polarity reversal design allows the fiber polarity to be easily switched without the use of any tools. In today’s LC uniboot patch cords market, there are usually three methods to reverse the polarity.

Method One
1. Open connector top.

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2. Switch the polarity.

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3. Close connector top.

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Method Two
1. Locate trigger housing on LC uniboot connector and pull towards the boot.

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2. Open trigger housing is resting on the boot turn each LC connector to the outside 180 degrees one at a time.

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3. Complete the polarity reversal by turning the resting trigger housing 180 degrees around boot and click into LC until you hear a click.

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Method Three
1. Connector Polarity
Uncrossed lines under the connector latch on the housing at both ends indicates uncrossed fiber polarity A-B/B-A.

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2. Unlock Front Housing on One End
Push the keys on either side to unlock the housing to remove the front section of the Uniboot housing.

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3. Remove Front Housing
Slide the front housing away from the rest of the Uniboot.

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4. Rotate Front Housing
Flip the released section of the housing. Do not rotate or twist the fiber.

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5. Attach Front Housing
Push the housing back over the ends and the rest of the Uniboot connector until it clicks back into place.

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6. Connector Polarity
Finished result should now show crossed lines under the flipped connector latch and uncrossed lines on the unaltered end. This would indicate a crossed fiber polarity A-A/B-B.

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Different kind of LC uniboot patch cords may have different polarity reversal design, therefore we must use different method to change the polarity. When you choose to use LC uniboot patch cords in your network, keep in mind to take the polarity reversal methods in to consideration. FS.COM LC uniboot patch cords (easily reverse the polarity with method one) terminated with premium grade zirconia ceramic ferrule connectors which help assure high transmission quality and low optical power loss and offer improved airflow and visibility of equipment within a high-density network environment.

Have You Ever Used Traceable Fiber Patch Cords?

Finding patch cord connections within densely populated patching areas is always a challenge. To meet the ever-growing need to quickly and easily identify and trace network connections in today’s high-density and mission-critical infrastructure environments, traceable fiber patch cords were introduced, which offer quick and accurate method of identifying the termination point of optical patch cords. Have you ever used this fiber cable type? This article may provide some knowledge about traceable fiber patch cords.

Traceable Fiber Patch Cords Design
Seen from the picture below, each end of traceable fiber patch cord features a flashing LED light allowing technicians to visually trace individual patch cords from one end to another without pulling or affecting the patch cord. In terms of power driving, the size of the power adapter will be changed with the variation of length of the cable.

Traceable Fiber Patch Cord

How Do Traceable Fiber Patch Cords Work?
Traceable fiber patch cords feature a LED component inside each connector end. Pushing the activation button causes the LED on both ends begin to flash rapidly, as a result, the connector on the distant end of the patch cords start reflecting the flashing light and can be quickly and easily identified without interruption of service.

Traceable Fiber Patch Cable

Traceable Fiber Patch Cords Features and Benefits
Traceable fiber patch cord is targeted toward high-density and high congestion areas of the telecommunication fiber optic network. Areas of use spans across the network where passive and active fiber management elements are located. The features and benefits of the traceable fiber patch cords are displayed in the table below.

Feature Benefit
LED indicator at both ends of jumper Visual indication of the far end of the jumper
Simple LED tool to apply power to one end of jumper to easily identify the far end of a jumper in connected area Eliminates errors due to mislabeling, missing labels or confusion in high density frames
Assemblies are available in Singlemode Bend Insensitive Fiber (BIF) and multimode OM3 and OM4 fiber types Reduced insertion loss while routing cable through congested fiber trough and tray, dense frames or between equipment
All assemblies meet TIA/EIA and IEC intermateability standards.
RoHS compliant
Reduce OPEX cost by reducing installation, maintenance and trouble shooting time
Available in a wide variety of connector types and lengths.
Custom configurations available upon request, including multiple boot styles, colors and angle options
Simplify and speed up deployment and cross connect
Eliminate errors during move and adds of fiber capacity
Simple ordering process of the right product for the application

FS.COM offers traceable fiber patch cords in 10G (OM3 and OM4) performance for 10-Gbit applications, as well as single-mode or OM1 and OM2 performance for Gbit applications. FS.COM’s traceable fiber patch cords feature an integrated and exceptionally bright LED light that enables easy identification of where the cord is connected. For more information, please contact at sales@fs.com.

6 Steps Help to Choose Right Fiber Optic Patch Cable

Fiber optic patch cables are available in OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4 multimode and OS2 single-mode types. Both ends of the cable are terminated with a high performance hybrid or single type connector comprising of a SC, ST, FC, LC, MTRJ, E2000 connector in simplex and duplex. These are typically not ruggedized, depending on the application, making them suitable for internal use. How to choose right patch cables for your network? Just follow these 6 steps.

Step 1: Choose the Right Connector Type (LC/SC/ST/FC/MPO/MTP)

LC SC ST FC MPO MTP patcah cableOn both ends of the fiber optic patch cable are terminated with a fiber optic connector (LC/SC/ST/FC/MPO/MTP). Different connector is used to plug into different device. If ports in the both ends devices are the same, we can use such as LC-LC/SC-SC/MPO-MPO patch cables. If you want to connect different ports type devices, LC-SC/LC-ST/LC-FC patch cables may suit you.

LC SC ST FC MPO MTP fiber optic patcah cable

Step 2: Choose Single-mode or Multimode Cable Type?
Single-mode fiber patch cord uses 9/125um glass fiber, Multimode fiber patch cord uses 50/125um or 62.5/125um glass fiber. Single-mode fiber optic patch cable is used in long distance data transmission. multimode fiber optic patch cable is use in short distance transmission. Typical single-mode fiber optic patch cable used yellow fiber cable and multi mode fiber optic patch cable used orange or aqua fiber cable.

single-mode multimode fiber optic patch cable

Step 3: Choose Simplex or Duplex Cable Type?
Simplex means this fiber optic patch cable is with one cord, at each end is only one fiber connector, which is used for Bidirectional (BIDI) fiber optic transceivers. Duplex can be regarded as two fiber optic patch cable put side by side, which is used for common transceivers.

simplex duplex fiber optic patch cable

Step 4: Choose the Right Cable Length (1m/5m/10m/20m/30m/50m)
Fiber optic patch cables are made in different lengths, usually from 0.5m to 50m. You should choose an appropriate cable length according to the distance between the devices you want to connect.

Step 5: Choose the Right Connector Polish Type (UPC/APC)
Since the loss of the APC connector is lower than UPC connectors, usually, the optical performance of APC connectors is better than UPC connectors. In the current market, the APC connectors are widely used in applications such as FTTx, passive optical network (PON) and wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) that are more sensitive to return loss. But APC connector is usually expensive than UPC connector, so you should weigh the pros and cons. With those applications that call for high precision optical fiber signaling, APC should be the first consideration, but less sensitive digital systems will perform equally well using UPC. Usually, connector color of APC patch cable is green, and of UPC patch cable is blue.

UPC APC fiber optic patch cable

Step6: Choose the Right Cable Jacket (PVC/LSZH/OFNP/Armored)
Usually, there are three cable jacket types: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH) and Optical Fiber Nonconductive Plenum (OFNP). You can see there features in figure below and choose the right one for your network.

PVC LSZH OFNP Fiber Optic Patch Cable
Besides the three cables mentioned above, there is another common cable—Armored Cable. The double tubing and steel sleeve construction make these patch cables completely light tight, even when bent. These cables can withstand high crushing pressures, making them suitable for running along floors and other areas where they may be stepped on. The tubing also provides excellent cutting resistance, abrasion resistance, and high tensile strength.

Armored Fiber Optic Patch Cable

FS.COM provides all kinds of fiber optic patch cables to meet demands of various customers!

Do You Know about Push-Pull Tab Patch Cables?

More and more data centers are upgrading to 40G and beyond, which adds more floor space is an expensive, disruptive and sometimes un-affordable solution. Therefore, we should use high-density products to solve this problem. Then push-pull TAB fiber patch cables were conceived. This high-density patch cable provides improved accessibility, reduced installation costs and outstanding performance for today’s demanding high-density data center applications. In this article, some knowledge of push-pull TAB fiber patch cables will be provided.

Introduction to Push-Pull Tab Patch Cables
Push-Pull Tab Patch CablePush-pull TAB fiber patch cable is a new patch cord with a special “pull” tab design that can help to solve the problems of finger access in high-density cabling. It has the same components and internal-structure as the traditional patch cords, except a tab attached to the connector used for pushing or pulling the whole connector. With this special design, technicians can finish the installing and removing procedures with only one hand and no additional tools are needed. At present, this high-density push-pull TAB fiber patch cable, with either MPO or LC connector, is widely used in 40G and 100G network cabling.

Types of Push-Pull Tab Patch Cables
There are mainly two kinds of push-pull TAB fiber patch cables in the market: LC-HD TAB fiber patch cables and MPO-HD TAB fiber patch cables. The LC-HD TAB fiber patch cable is designed for the LC-HD switchable& movable connector. And its slim uni-boot design saves much space and makes cables more easily to be managed. MPO-HD TAB fiber patch cables can greatly simplify the use of MPO connectivity when manual access to the release slider and rear portion of the connector is restricted. In this way, easy insertion and extraction of MPO patch cords can be achieved.

push-pull-tab-patch-cords_

Advantages of Using Push-Pull Tab Patch Cables
Though traditional patch cables are popular in the data center, the push-pull TAB patch cables have many unique advantages.

  • Easy to Release Patch Cord

In high-density environment such as 48-port 1U patch panels, inserting and disconnecting patch cords can be challenging for technicians. The flexible pull-tab of the patch cable allows for the connector to be disengaged easily from loaded panels without the need for special tools. In fact, a gentle pull on the tab may disengage the connector from extremely dense fiber optic panels. Furthermore, labeling is also available on the pull-tab so that each cable can be quickly identified.

high-density Push-Pull Tab Patch Cable

  • Higher Flexibility and Adjustability

Push-pull patch cords are available in various specifications which can connect different generation of devices from 10Gb/s to 120Gbp/s or more. It provides safe and easy push and pull of the specific connector without affecting the other connectors around it. What’s more, high-density and ease of installation provide a low initial investment cost. All these benefits provide a high return on investment.

  • Space Saving

The traditional connectors often require a small vertical space above and below the adapters. While the low profile push-pull TAB patch cable, together with its pull tab, allow adapters to be stacked with absolutely no vertical space (as in the following figure).

Push-Pull Tab Patch Cables

Conclusion
We started with 1G switches. Those switches became 10G. Recently we’ve seen the trend of 40G. In the future, those switches will become 100G and even 120G. It has been proved that push-pull tab patch cords can support high durability and flexibility which fit the connection between devices of different data rate. Fiberstore offers a wide range of push-pull TAB patch cables that will help free up space.We supply simplex&duplex LC-HD patch cords, 12&24 fibers MPO-HD patch cords, MPO-LC harness cables, providing low-loss performance for multi-mode and single mode high speed networks and improving network performance.

Which Patch Cable Should I Choose for My Optical Transceiver?

As bandwidth demands increase, fiber optic patch cables and fiber optic transceivers become more and more important in fiber optic data transmission, especially in data transmission between the switches and equipment. But with so many different kinds of patch cables available in the market, which one is suitable for may optical transceiers? This article may on this issue to provide some solutions. Before starting this topic, it is necessary for us to review the basic knowledge of the fiber optic transceiver and fiber optic patch cable.

Fiber Optic Transceiver Overview
Fiber Optic Transceiver is a self-contained component that can both transmit and receive. Usually, it is inserted in devices such as switches, routers or network interface cards which provide one or more transceiver module slot. There are many optical transceivers types, such as SFP+ transceiver, X2 transceiver, XENPAK transceiver, XFP transceiver, SFP (Mini GBIC) transceiver, GBIC transceiver and so on.

Fiber Optic Transceiver

Fiber Optic Patch Cable Overview
Fiber optic patch cable, also known as fiber jumper or fiber optic patch cord. It is composed of a fiber optic cable terminated with different connectors on the ends. Fiber optic patch cables are used in two major application areas: computer work station to outlet and patch panels or optical cross connect distribution center. According to fiber cable mode, cable structure or connector types etc., fiber patch cable can be divided into different types.

Fiber Optic Patch Cable

1.Single-mode and Multimode Patch Cable
According cable mode, patch cables can be divided into single-mode and multimode fiber patch cable. The word mode means the transmitting mode of the fiber optic light in the fiber optic cable core. Single-mode patch cables are with 9/125 fiber glass and are yellow jacket color, while multimode patch cables are with OM1 62.5/125 or OM2 50/125 fiber glass and are orange color. In addition, there is 10G OM3 and OM4 multimode patch cables which cable jacket are usually aqua.

2.Simplex and Duplex Patch Cable
Simplex fiber patch cable is consist of single fiber core, while duplex fiber patch cable is consist of two fiber cores and can be either singlemode or multimode. Additionally, there is also ribbon fan-out cable assembly (ie. one end is ribbon fiber with multi fibers and one ribbon fiber connector such as MTP connector (12 fibers), the other end is multi simplex fiber cables with connectors such as ST, SC, LC, etc.).

3.LC, SC, ST, FC, MT-RJ, E2000, MU and MPO/MTP Patch Cable
Fiber optic patch cable can be also classified by the types of fiber optic connector. For example, LC fiber optic patch cable is named as it is with LC connector. Similarly, there are SC, ST, FC, MT-RJ, E2000, MU and MPO/MTP fiber optic patch cables. What’s more, there are PC, UPC, APC type fiber patch cords, which are differentiated from the polish of fiber connectors.

Which Patch Cable Should I Choose for My Fiber Optic Transceivers?
Now, I will take the Cisco fiber optic transceiver as an example to discuss this topic. For example, we need to choose a right patch cable to connect Cisco fiber optic transceiver SFP-10G-SR and X2-10GB-SR. Which patch cable to use? According to “Cisco 10-Gigabit Ethernet Transceiver Modules Compatibility Matrix”, we may know that SFP-10G-SR is the 10GBASE-SR SFP+ transceiver module for MMF, 850-nm wavelength, LC duplex connector. And X2-10GB-SR is the 10GBASE-SR X2 transceiver module for MMF, 850-nm wavelength, SC duplex connector. Obviously, this two knids of optica trancseivers are both for MMF, so we should choose a multimode patch cable. Besides, we know X2-10GB-SR is designed for SC duplex connector and the SFP-10G-SR is designed for duplex LC connector, so we should use a patch cable with SC-LC duplex connector.

Which Patch Cable Should I Choose for My Fiber Optic Transceivers

The Most Common Used Pacth Cable Selection
In the way mentioned above, you could choose right fiber patch cable for your other transceiver modules. Keep in mind that if your transceiver modules are not Cisco’s, you need to ask your brand supplier to get the corresponding compatibility matrix. In fact, in terms of a same kind of optical transceiver, different supplier may provide the transceiver with different specifications. Here I may list the most common used patch cables selection. Hope to give you smoe reference.

Fiber optic patch cable Applicable fiber optic transceiver connection
LC-LC Simplex 9/125 Single-mode Fiber Patch Cable 1.25Gbps 1310nmTX/1490nmRX BiDi SFP

10GBASE 1270nmTX/1330nmRX BiDi SFP+

LC-LC Duplex 9/125 Single-mode Fiber Patch Cable 1000Base-LX/LH 1310nm 10km LC SMF SFP
LC-SC Duplex 9/125 Single-mode Fiber Patch Cable Cisco X2-10GB-LR , Cisco XENPAK-10GB-LR and Cisco SFP-10G-LR
SC-LC Duplex 10G OM4 50/125 Multimode Fiber Patch Cable Cisco XENPAK-10GB-SR , Cisco X2-10GB-SR and Cisco SFP-10G-SR
LC-LC Duplex OM1 62.5/125 Multimode Fiber Patch Cable 100Base-FX 2km 1310nm MMF LC SFP
LC-LC Duplex OM2 50/125 Multimode Fiber Patch Cable 1000Base-SX 850nm 550m LC MMF SFP
LC-LC Duplex 10G OM3 50/125 Multimode Fiber Patch Cable 10GBASE-SR 850nm 300m Multi-Mode SFP+
LC-LC Duplex 10G OM4 50/125 Multimode Fiber Patch Cable Cisco SFP-10G-SR Compatible 10GBASE-SR SFP+

Related Article: Differences Between SFP, BiDi SFP and Compact SFP

What’s the Difference Between UPC and APC Connectors?

We usually hear about descriptions like “LC/UPC multimode duplex fiber optic patch cable”, or “ST/APC single-mode simplex fiber optic jumper”. What do these words UPC and APC mean? What’s the difference between them? This article may give some explanations to you.

What’s the Meaning of UPC and APC?

As we know, fiber optic cable assemblies are mainly with connectors and cables, so the fiber cable assembly name is related to the connector name. We call a cable LC fiber patch cable, because this cable is with LC fiber optic connector. Here the words UPC and APC are related only to the fiber optic connectors and have nothing to do with fiber optic cables.

Whenever a connector is installed on the end of fiber, loss is incurred. Some of this light loss is reflected directly back down the fiber towards the light source that generated it. These back reflections will damage the laser light sources and also disrupt the transmitted signal. To reduce back reflections, we can polish connector ferrules to different finishes. There are four types of connector ferrule polishing style in all. UPC and APC are two types of them. Among UPC stands for Ultra Physical Contact and APC is short for Angled Physical Contact.

Differences Between UPC and APC Connectors

The main difference between UPC and APC connectors is the fiber end face. UPC connectors are polished with no angle, but APC connectors feature a fiber end face that is polished at an 8-degree angle. With UPC connectors, any reflected light is reflected straight back towards the light source. However, the angled end face of the APC connector causes reflected light to reflect at an angle into the cladding versus straight back toward the source. This causes some differences in return loss. Therefore, UPC connector is usually required to have at least -50dB return loss or higher, while APC connector return loss should be -60dB or higher. In general, the higher the return loss the better the performance of the mating of two connectors. Besides the fiber end face, another more obvious difference is the color. Generally, UPC connectors are blue while APC connectors are green. The following figure picture shows the differences mentioned above intuitively.

UPC and APC Connector

Application Considerations of UPC and APC Connectors

There is no doubt that the optical performance of APC connectors is better than UPC connectors. In the current market, the APC connectors are widely used in applications such as FTTx, passive optical network (PON) and wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) that are more sensitive to return loss. But besides optical performance, the cost and simplicity also should be taken into consideration. So it’s hard to say that one connector beats the other. In fact, whether you choose UPC or APC will depend on your particular need. With those applications that call for high precision optical fiber signaling, APC should be the first consideration, but less sensitive digital systems will perform equally well using UPC.

Fiberstore offers a variety of high speed fiber optic patch cables with LC, SC, ST, FC etc. connectors (UPC and APC polish). For more information about UPC and APC fiber optic connectors, please visit fs.com.

Related Article: 6 Steps Help to Choose Right Fiber Optic Patch Cable

Do You Know About Mode Conditioning Patch Cord?

The great demand for increased bandwidth has prompted the release of the 802.3z standard (IEEE) for Gigabit Ethernet over optical fiber. As we all know, 1000BASE-LX transceiver modules can only operate on single-mode fibers. However, this may pose a problem if an existing fiber network utilizes multimode fibers. When a single-mode fiber is launched into a multimode fiber, a phenomenon known as Differential Mode Delay (DMD) will appear. This effect can cause multiple signals to be generated which may confuse the receiver and produce errors. To solve this problem, a mode conditioning patch cord is needed. In this article, some knowledge of mode conditioning patch cords will be introduced.

What Is a Mode Conditioning Patch Cord?

A mode conditioning patch cord is a duplex multimode cord that has a small length of single-mode fiber at the start of the transmission length. The basic principle behind the cord is that you launch your laser into the small section of single-mode fiber, then the other end of the single-mode fiber is coupled to multimode section of the cable with the core offset from the center of the multimode fiber (see diagram below).

mode conditioning patch cord

This offset point creates a launch that is similar to typical multimode LED launches. By using an offset between the single-mode fiber and the multimode fiber, mode conditioning patch cords eliminate DMD and the resulting multiple signals allowing use of 1000BASE-LX over existing multimode fiber cable systems. Therefore, these mode conditioning patch cords allow customers an upgrade of their hardware technology without the costly upgrade of their fiber plant.

Some Tips When Using Mode Conditioning Patch Cord

After learning about some knowledge of mode conditioning patch cords, but do you know how to use it? Then some tips when using mode conditioning cables will be presented.

    • Mode conditioning patch cords are usually used in pairs. Which means that you will need a mode conditioning patch cord at each end to connect the equipment to the cable plant. So these patch cords are usually ordered in numbers. You may see someone only order one patch cord, then it is usually because they keep it as a spare.
    • If your 1000BASE-LX transceiver module is equipped with SC or LC connectors, please be sure to connect the yellow leg (single-mode) of the cable to the transmit side, and the orange leg (multimode) to the receive side of the equipment. The swap of transmit and receive can only be done at the cable plant side. See diagram below.

mode conditioning patch cord

  • Mode conditioning patch cords can only convert single-mode to multimode. If you want to convert multimode to single-mode, then a media converter will be required.
  • Besides, mode conditioning patch cables are used in the 1300nm or 1310nm optical wavelength window, and should not be used for 850nm short wavelength window such as 1000Base-SX.

Conclusion

From the text, we know that mode conditioning patch cords really significantly improve the data signal quality and increase the transmission distance. But when using it, there are also some tips must be kept in mind. Fiberstore offer mode conditioning patch cords in all varieties and combinations of SC, ST, MT-RJ and LC fiber optic connectors. All of the Fiberstore’s mode conditioning patch cords are at high quality and low price. For more information, please visit fs.com.

Understanding Optical Fiber Cable Fire Ratings

As we all know, optical fiber cables shall be listed as suitable for the purpose. Cable usually be marked in accordance with NEC (National Electrical Code) Table 770.19. Most manufacturers put the marking on the optical fiber cable jacket every 2′ to 4′. The code does not tell you what type of cable to use (such as single-mode or multi-mode). In fact, It tells you this cable can be resistant to the spread of fire. This text will introduce the knowledge of optical fiber fire ratings and help you choose the right fiber for your applications.

Types of Fire-proof Optical Fiber Cable

There are three kinds of cable jacket fire ratings: plenum, riser and general purpose. Plenum cables are held to the most stringent testing of any of the cables rated by the NEC, rated for both flammability and smoke generation. Riser cables are subjected to flame tests only, and are not held to as high of a standard as Plenum rated cables. General Purpose cables may be used anywhere in commercial buildings other than areas where Riser or Plenum cables are required. Besides, optical fiber cable can be divided into nonconductive and conductive according to NEC. Nonconductive cables contain nothing that can conduct electricity, so will not accidentally energize or be energized even when closely associated with electrical conductors. Conductive cables contain noncurrent-carrying conductive members such as metallic strength members, metallic vapor barriers and metallic armor or sheath. Therefore, according to these three cable jackets and whether the cable is nonconductive or conductive, these fire-proof optical fiber cables can be divided into following several types.

Cable Marking Type
OFNP Nonconductive optical fiber plenum cable
OFCP Conductive optical fiber plenum cable
OFNR Nonconductive optical fiber riser cable
OFCR Conductive optical fiber riser cable
OFNG/OFN Nonconductive optical fiber general-purpose cable
OFCG/OFC Conductive optical fiber general-purpose cable

Fire Ratings of Optical Fiber Cable

There are three levels of fire resistance in terms of optical fiber cables. The ratings are hierarchical. For example, from a fire resistance standpoint, a higher rating can be substituted for any lower rating, but not vice versa. Also, nonconductive may be substituted for conductive, but not vice versa. The fire ratings of optical fiber are showed below, from most stringent to least.222

Choosing the Right Fiber for Your Application

In terms of different fire ratings, there are different kinds of optical fiber cables. So choosing the right one becomes a difficult problem. Usually, for those planning or installing a fiber network, the key point of UL 1651 is to help ensure you select the right fiber for your particular need. These are described in article 770.19 of the NEC, but here are some common measures:

  • For a small, in-building deployment, using a riser – OFNP, OFCP, OFNR, OFCR,OFNG, OFCG, OFN, OFC
  • Within an existing, fabricated duct inside a building – OFNP, OFCP
  • In a plenum space that is used for environmental air inside a public building – OFNP, OFCP
  • Inside a fireproof shaft using a riser within any type of building – OFNP, OFCP, OFNR, OFCR,OFNG, OFCG, OFN, OFC
  • When using a metal raceway for in-building deployments covering multiple floors and rooms/apartments – OFNP, OFCP, OFNR, OFCR,OFNG, OFCG, OFN, OFC
  • For vertical runs between floors within a riser – OFNP, OFCP, OFNR, OFCR
  • Within a riser cable routing assembly inside a building – OFNP, OFCP, OFNR, OFCR
  • For in-building deployments with routing only on 1 floor – OFNP, OFCP, OFNR, OFCR,OFNG, OFCG, OFN, OFC

OFNP: Optical Fiber Nonconductive Plenum Cable

With the wide use of optical fiber cables, more and more people show their interests in plenum fiber optic cable, which is also called OFNP cable. In order to learn about this cable, first of all the meaning of the word “plenum” will be explained. And then we may introduce what the plenum fiber optic cable is. At last, applications of the OFNP cable will be described.

What does a Plenum Area Mean?

A Plenum area is a building space used for air flow or air distribution system. In most buildings, the area above a drop ceiling or under a raised floor is used as the air return (source of air) for the air conditioning. Those drop ceiling and raised floors are also where fiber cables are often installed. The concern is that during a fire, if there is burning material in a plenum air space, smoke and fumes can travel through air ducts to the whole building. For this reason, there are codes to restrict the types of materials (such as cables) that can be placed in the plenum.

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In terms of plenum fiber cables, the plenum refers to a cable jacket. National Electrical Code (NEC) requires indoor fiber optic cables be marked with their fire and smoking ratings. According to NEC, a building’s inside area is divided into three types of sections: plenums, risers and general purpose areas. So there are three types of cable jacket in all: plenum, riser, and general purpose. Among plenum cables are held to the most stringent testing of any of the cables rated by the NEC, rated for both flammability and smoke generation.

What is a Plenum (OFNP) Fiber Cable?

7OFNP stands for Optical Fiber Nonconductive Plenum. OFNP is the designation given by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to interior fiber optic cables which contain no electrically conductive component, and which are certified for use in plenum applications. They are engineered to prevent the spread of fire from floor to floor in a building. It is generally intended for horizontal runs especially within an air handing conduit. This type of cable complies with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) fire safety test Plenum/910. They can be installed in ducts, plenums and other spaces used for building airflow. This is the highest fire rating fiber cable and can’t be replaced with any other cable type.

Plenum (OFNP) Fiber Cable Solutions

Since plenum cables are routed through air circulation spaces, which contain very few fire barriers, they need to be coated in flame-retardant, low smoke materials. These materials offer good resistance against possible fire, so plenum (OFNP) fiber cables have fire-resistance and low smoke production characteristics. And even if in the event that they do begin to burn, they will not emit large quantities of harmful fumes. For these reasons, these plenum fiber cables provide a low cost option for gigabit Ethernet network applications and are used for running in walls and air plenums without the use of conduit. If you want to buy this kind of effective cable, I recommend you to visit Fiberstore, which offers fully typed OFNP fiber patch cables (SC, FC, LC, ST, MU, MTRJ, E2000, MTP etc) at only 3 dollars each.

One Small Problem When We Choose the Fiber Patch Cable

There is a common phenomenon that people are always able to distinguish different types of interfaces easily after corresponding to the given pictures, but when we choose the fiber patch cable, such as the polishing type also confused them, it shows UPC or APC, also confused us, recently I finally understand it and share my ideas with you.

First we can look from the definition, the above are acronyms for the following:

    • UPC – Ultra Physical Contact
    • APC – Angled Physical Contact

Only from the words we can have a simple understanding of them, in order to have a deeper understanding, there i named a few examples for you. Usually when we hear about the description like “fiber patch lc apc lc upc”, “e2000 fc apc”, “sc apc to sc upc single mode 9 125 simplex fiber optic patch cord cable“, what do this words apc upc mean? Then we will give you explanations. In Fiberstore, We use different color to distinguish them, the blue is UPC connector and the green is APC connector, shown as the figure.

In fact, it stands for the polish style of fiber optic core and connect the copper connector of copper cable as medium, and we need to know that the connections between the fiber optic connector and the ceramic core. Different fiber optic connector ring’s size, length and polished style is different, different polish of the fiber optic connector rings result in different performance, mainly on the back reflection. Generally, UPC is 50dB or higher and APC is 60dB or higher. All insertion loss of that they should be less than 0.3dB and the lower insertion loss is, the better performance they have, it is the reason why UPC connector is more widespread than APC. At the same time, there is a point we need to pay attention to, we all know that fiber optic cables can be divided into single mode and multimode fiber cables, but single mode fiber optic cables can be with UPC or APC polished connectors, while multimode fibers are not made with APC connectors. When we talk about the insertion loss, fiber optic attenuators have to be mentioned, it also has the diffent db to choose, as for the more knowledge about it, please always pay close attention to.

Fiberstore, you know, it offers kinds of fiber cables to choose, the different connector series all available for UPC/APC version, and we can also provide SM, MM, OM3 cables, simplex and duplex option, 0.9mm, 2.0 mm, 3.0mm cable diameter for choose, as for the fiber length, it can be customized according to your requirements.