Choosing your fiber jumpers is no easy task. The fiber optic jumper cable you pick can affect how quickly data is transmitted from point to point.
This is the 10th in a Telect blog series, entitled The A-B-Cs of Cable Management. Product Specialist Alex Sankey takes a look at what jumpers you need for your fiber optic network.
A fiber jumper—more commonly called a fiber patch cord—is a length of fiber cable that connects end devices or network hardware to your structured cabling system. The cable is terminated with LC, SC, MTRJ or ST connectors at each end.
Jumpers come in simplex or duplex and should be chosen based on your network needs. Figuring that part out is as easy as knowing the difference between its and it's when you're writing blog posts.
Simplex cables, a single strand of glass encased in plastic, are generally used when a data transmission needs to travel in only one direction. They're a great choice for connections within buildings or across large areas like cable TV networks.
Duplex cables, two strands of fiber in a single cable, are like a two-lane highway. The signal needs to go both ways, called bi-directional communication, between your active gear.
One cable is transmitting the signal, while the other is receiving it. Duplex cables are typically used in larger work stations, switches, servers and on major networking hardware.
Duplex cables also come in zipcord or uniboot construction. In zipcord, two fiber strands are fused together but are easily torn apart when it's time to mine out either the transmission or receiver strand.
For uniboot, the two fibers merge into a single connector at either end, making replacement and maintenance a bit more difficult and costly than zipcord cables.
Single-mode simplex fiber carries only one ray of light at a time. It's extremely reliable and holds a high-carrying capacity for long-distance transmissions.
Since it requires less material, it's usually more cost-effective than duplex cable. It's the most commonly used cable in modern communications, because of its high capacity, allowing for higher transmission speeds and more bandwidth.
The risk you run is the amount of fiber you're going to have on your fiber distribution frames.
You know … spaghetti syndrome.
Duplex jumpers help keep your data center cleaner and tidier. They allow you to require less cable, and maintenance becomes a lot easier.
The choice between simplex and duplex jumpers really depends on your network—who it's serving and how complex it needs to be.
Alex Sankey is a Product Specialist at Telect. He is driven to ensure our customers continue to receive the superior cable management and quality support for which Telect is known.
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