What are the Functions of Fiber Pigtails?

NADDOD Adam Connectivity Solutions Consultant Jan 17, 2023

What is Fiber Pigtail?

Fiber pigtail is also called pigtail, fiber optic connector, it is a kind of cable with connector at one end and without connector at the other end, the end without connector can be connected to the core of other cables by fusion splicing. Fiber pigtail is also often found in fiber optic terminal boxes, used to connect fiber optic cables and fiber optic transceivers. Fiber pigtails are divided into multimode fiber pigtails and single-mode fiber pigtails. Single-mode fiber pigtail is yellow, wavelength 1310nm and 1550nm, transmission distance of 10km and 40km, respectively; multimode fiber pigtail is orange, wavelength of 850nm, transmission distance of 500m, for short distance interconnection.

What are the Differences Between Fiber Pigtails and Patch Cords?

It should be noted that fiber pigtails and patch cords are not a concept. The main difference between fiber optic patch cord and fiber pigtail is that only one end of the fiber pigtail has an active connector, and both sections of the patch cord have active connectors, in short, the patch cord can be divided into two as a pigtail to use.

Different Kinds of Fiber Pigtail Connectors

fiber pigtail connectors are mainly LC, SC, FC, ST and MTRJ these five types, the following table lists the five types of connectors applications, models, shapes and descriptions.

Type Application Connector Model Description
LC Generally used in optical transmission modules LC/UPC Snap-on square connectors
SC Mostly used in routers and switches SC/UPC Square connectors
FC Mostly used for patch panels FC/UPC Round connectors
ST Generally used in fiber optic transceivers ST/UPC Snap-on round connectors (with thread)
MTRJ Particularly suitable for fiber to the desktop applications MTRJ Mechanical conversion-standard socket

Different Types of Fiber Pigtails

There are several types of fiber pigtails, such as single fiber pigtails, multi-fiber pigtails, single-core pigtails, multi-core pigtails and so on. In addition to these common types of fiber pigtails, there are bundled fiber pigtails, ribbon fiber pigtails, armored fiber pigtails and waterproof fiber pigtails, the first two are branchable pigtails, the last two are special fiber pigtails. In addition, we can also classify fiber pigtails into pigtails with jacket, pigtails without jacket.

Bundled fiber pigtail: This type of fiber pigtail, also known as pigtail bundle, consists of Corning tightly sheathed fiber, aramid fiber reinforcing element and flame retardant PVC outer jacket, which is hotter and more widely used than other types of pigtails.

Ribbon fiber pigtail: ribbon fiber pigtail is the same as bundle fiber pigtail, both belong to multi-core pigtail, ribbon fiber pigtail contains 12 cores of fiber, one end is used for fusion splicing, and one end is equipped with connectors.

Armored fiber pigtail: the outermost layer of this fiber pigtail has an extra layer of metal protection than ordinary pigtails, so its durability will be higher.

Waterproof fiber pigtail: low insertion loss, high return loss, good interchangeability and repeated push and pull performance, very easy to use. Waterproof pigtail with a strong sheath and waterproof sealed head connector, can be used in harsh environments.

Materials of Fiber Pigtails

Fiber pigtails are also the same as conventional patch cords, with PVC, LSZH and OFNP options depending on the material, and fiber pigtails can be made into armored types as conventional fiber optic patch cords.

The main cable of bundled fiber pigtail is round, and the branch nodes usually use black heat-shrinkable tubing instead of branches, which can save cost. The main cable of ribbon fiber pigtail is flat, the branch node is usually used black branch, because the ribbon flat cable is not fixed, can not use heat shrink tube.

The concept and meaning of the branch: usually pass in the middle of the branch line or trunk line, consisting of a main input, a main output and a number of branch outputs, where the branch output only gets a small part of the main input signal, most of the signal is still along the main output and continue to transmit backwards.

Application of Fiber Pigtails

Fiber pigtails provide interconnection and cross interconnection applications in the network connection of access equipment, and are widely used in fiber optic communication systems, fiber optic access networks, fiber optic data transmission, fiber optic CATV, local area networks (LAN), test equipment, fiber optic sensors, serial servers, FTTH/FTTX, telecommunications networks, pre-terminated installation.

Fiber Pigtail and Fiber Optic Fusion Splicing

Fiber optic fusion splicing technology is mainly used to connect the fiber to the fiber or fiber to fiber pigtail with a fusion machine, the bare fiber and fiber optic fiber pigtail in the fiber optic cable fused together into a whole, while the fiber pigtail has a separate fiber head. By connecting with fiber optic transceiver, the fiber and twisted pair are connected to the information socket.

The main tools used in the fusion splicing process of optical fiber are: optical terminal box, fiber optic transceiver, fiber pigtail, coupler, special stripping pliers, fiber cutting knife, etc.

  1. Mechanical splicing: the pu set fiber and pigtail are stripped of the outer skin, cut, clean and inserted into the splice matching disk alignment, tangent and locked.
  2. Fusion splicing: use auxiliary tools to lay the fiber and pigtail stripped of the outer skin, cutting, cleaning in the protection of the fusion splice tray and other fiber optic fusion splicer “fusion” into one that is.