The main difference between fiber pigtails and fiber patch cords is that pigtails have one side that ends with a connector and other side that ends with loose wires, while patch cords have two connectors on both ends. Let’s see with more details what is the use of these equipment and how are they distinguished.
What is Fiber Pigtail?
A fiber pigtail usually has an optical connector pre-installed at one end where occur the fusion spliced into a single fiber of a multi-fiber trunk. 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.
What is Fiber Patch Cord?
A patch cable, also called patch cord or patch lead is an electrical or optical cable used to connect one electronic or optical device to other. 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 the two sides, or it can have an SC connector at one side and an LC connector at the other one. Fiber optic patch cords are jacketed can come in simplex (1 fiber), duplex (2 fibers), or in MPO (12 fibers).
How to Test Connectors?
The difficulty of testing the connectors it’s another big difference. Testing a pigtail in the field is not easy because of the unterminated end being difficult to check until the pigtail is connected to the equipment, so usually patch cords are cut in two pieces in order to make two pigtails. This way, installers usually buy already unjacketed fiber patch cords, which are easier to test the performance, and then cut them as two pigtails.