How To Choose LC Fiber Patch Cables

The History of LC connectors

The LC connector was developed by Lucent Technologies. It is a evolutionary approach to achieving the goals of SFF (Small Form Factor) connector. The LC connector utilizes the traditional components of a SC duplex connector having independent ceramic ferrules and housings with the overall size scaled down by one half.

The LC family of connectors includes a stand-alone simplex design, a behind-the-wall connector, and the duplex connector available in both single mode and multimode tolerances, all designed using the RJ-style latch.

The most critical parameters you should be looking

Many manufacturers make LC fiber cable, but they are not all created equal. Here are the most critical optical performance parameters you should be looking closely.

. Single mode lc fiber patch cables

Single mode LC patch cords comes in several polishing favors: PC, UPC and APC.

PC stands for physical contact

This is the most basic polishing. The back reflection is not too good, especially for a single mode fiber system. The back reflection is less than -45dB. Since single mode fiber systems are 
particularly sensitive to back reflections, we don’t recommend using PC polish. You should always choose a UPC polish for single mode LC fibers.

UPC stands for Ultra Physical Contact.

It provides a better back reflection performance: less than -50dB. While not offering the superior optical return loss performance of an APC connector – UPC connector has return loss (back 
reflection) characteristics that are acceptable for intraplant serial digital video or data transmissions.

APC stands for Angled Physical Contact.

The endface is polished precisely at an 8 degree angle to the fiber cladding so that most return loss is reflected into the cladding where it cannot interfere with the transmitted signal or damage the laser source.

As a result, APC connectors offer a superior RL performance of -65 dB. APC LC fiber cables are best for high bandwidth applications and long haul links since it offers the lowest return loss (RL) characteristics of connectors currently available.

However, it is extremely difficult to terminate an LC APC connector at 8 degrees with any consistent level of success in the field.

. Multimode LC fiber patch cables

Multimode LC fiber optic patch cords have only one type of polishing: PC (Physical Contact) polishing.

However, there are at least three types of common multimode fibers to choose from. 62.5/125um multimode fiber (also called OM1), 50/125um multimode fiber (also called OM2), and 10Gig laser 
optimized 50/125um multimode fiber (also called OM3).

Among multimode LC fiber patch cables, usually you only care about the insertion loss which should be no more than 0.3 to 0.5dB.

Fiber cable LC come in many different configurations, such as LC to FC, LC to ST, LC to LC, LC to MTRJ, LC SC patch cord and more. LC fibers are also available in simplex and duplex configurations. What type of lc patch cords do you would like to buy?