Understanding Fibre Patch Leads Types

Fibre patch leads offer a highly reliable way to transmit signals, which is widely used in telecom industry. When selecting the correct fibre patch lead for a data center or network, it may be a challenging task since there are various types on the market. Understanding fibre patch leads types would be greatly helpful.

What Is Fibre Patch Lead?

Fibre patch lead is a fibre optic cable with connectors like LC, SC on both ends. Sometimes it’s referred to as a fibre jumper. Fibre patch leads play important roles for indoor uses like server rooms. Usually, they are used to connect fibre optical transmitter, receiver such as fibre transceiver.

fibre patch leads types

Figure 1: Fibre patch leads.

Understanding Fibre Patch Leads Types

Fibre patch leads are divided into different types according to fibre cable modes, transmission modes and connector types.

Fibre Cable Modes: Single Mode vs Multimode

The mode of fibre cables indicates that how light beams travel within the fibre cables. Single mode fibre patch lead only allows one mode of light to pass along its length with a very thin diametre of 8-10 microns. Thus, it can carry signals at much higher speeds with lower attenuation, which is suitable for long distance transmission. Single mode fibre patch lead (OS1, OS2) is coloured yellow.

Multimode fibre patch lead is more complicated. It’s usually coloured orange (OM1, OM2), aqua (OM3, OM4) or green (OM5). Multimode fibre has a larger core, typically 50 or 62.5 microns, which enables multiple light modes to be transmitted. Multimode fibre patch lead is mostly used in short distance like the transmission within a building or campus. Note that, the two modes are not compatible with each other, that people can not substitute one for the other.

Transmission Modes: Simplex vs Duplex

Simplex fibre patch lead has one fibre and one connector on each end. It’s usually used when a data transmission needs to travel in only one direction. In contrast, duplex fibre patch lead has two fibres and two connectors on each end. The signal in duplex fibre needs to go both ways, which is also called bi-directional communication.

Connector Types: LC/SC/FC/ST/LSH/MU/MTRJ

There are many connector types for fibre patch leads, like LC, SC, FC, ST, LSH, MU and MTRJ.

connector types

Figure 2: Different connectors types.

  • LC fibre patch lead. Its LC connector is a small, squarish one which is the most popular connector at present.
  • SC fibre patch lead. Connector of this fibre patch lead type is square, like an LC connector, but is about twice the size.
  • FC fibre patch lead. This patch lead connector uses round and threaded design.
  • ST fibre patch lead. Its connector is a round one that uses a bayonet mount design.
  • LSH fibre patch lead. This patch lead connector has a dust-proof cover, which can be automatically closed after the fibre is removed.
  • MU fibre patch lead. The MU connector looks like SC connector but with a ferrule about half the size.
  • MTRJ fibre patch lead. MTRJ stands for mechanical transfer registered. MTRJ utilizes two fibres and integrates them into a single design that looks similar to an RJ45 connector.

Note that, fibre patch leads can be terminated with the same connector type or hybrid connector types. The same connector type means that both ends of fibre patch leads must be one connector type. For the hybrid type, one end can be SC and the other end can be LC, FC, etc. And users also must pay attention to different polishing types. There are three types that can be applied to a fibre connector, PC, UPC and APC. Each polishing type represents a different level of back reflection. Users can choose one based on the actual demand.


These are the most common fibre patch leads types. If you know clearly different fibre patch leads types, you are able to determine which type characteristic you need, then you will make the right choice when selecting one. Here at FS.COM, we stock a full line of fibre patch leads, and we also offer the customised service. Welcome to pick and buy.