What is a Patch Cable and Why Do You Need It?

  • Last modified: December 28, 2023

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When it comes to the smooth operation of optical and electronic equipment, the only thing that matters is a patch cable. A patch cable bulk — whether ethernet patch cable and fiber optic patch cable — permit systems to work at intended high bandwidths and speeds.

Why do you need a patch cable?

A patch cable is used to connect two optical or electronic devices together for the purpose of signal routing. Basically designed for network applications, a patch cable patches signals from one router, switch, or hub to another router, switch, or hub. Patch cables are used to carry a wide array of signals, such as:

  • Audio
  • Video
  • Telephone
  • Digital signals for both non-network and network applications.

Although the term patch cable is synonymous with a patch cord, there’s a little difference; the latter is used for non-networked applications.

Patch panels or routers are mounted hardware assembled with ports to manage and connect outgoing and incoming patch cables in a LAN (local area network). If you want to arrange circuits in patch panels, you can unplug or plug the concerned patch cables.

Patch cables are made from a wide array of cable types:

  • STP
  • UTP
  • Coaxial
  • Fiber optic patch cables.

The pigtail in a patch cable refers to a type of cable that is terminated at one end with exposed bare copper conductors/wires. Pig tale patch cables allow you customized termination in the field for a permanent and direct connection.

Speaking of ethernet patch cables, the bare copper conductor is used due to the following reasons:

  • Ductility,
  • Tensile strength,
  • Pliability,
  • Thermal expansion,
  • Corrosion Resistance.

You must take note of the following: ethernet cables and patch cables are the same things as their composition is the same. The only thing that differentiates patch cables from ethernet cables is the fact that patch cables are much shorter in size when compared to simple ethernet cables. There’s an unwritten rule that patch cables usually do not exceed 2 meters in length. However, there are some networking applications that need longer patch cables for looping, to leave room for future movement, or with the intention to remove slack, kinkling, or potential damage.

Local Area Networks (LANs) usually use Cat5 ethernet patch cables, Cat5e ethernet patch cables, Cat6 ethernet patch cables, or Cat6a ethernet patch cables. Almost all manufacturers use slightly different techniques to permit unique electrical performance. Therefore, it is very important to check all specifications to select the right brand when you go to buy patch cables.

The second type of patch cable is fiber optic patch cords. These cables are also called jumper cables. These cables are assembled with a fiber optic cable terminated at each end. The pre-terminated end connectors permit them to be easily connected to a CATV, optical switch, or any other telecommunication equipment. A fiber optic patch cable connects a terminal box, receiver, or optical transmitter. Furthermore, just like ethernet patch cables, fiber optic patch cables come in two types: Single-mode patch cables and multimode patch cables.

Here at New York Cables, we take pride in manufacturing premium quality patch cables, both ethernet patch cables, and fiber optic patch cables. Our cables not only meet but also exceed all industry standards and come with free shipping on orders above $299.99. To get the best value for your money and to get complete peace of mind, reach out to us NOW!

Specification Cat5e Cat6 Cat6a
Cable Jacket Plenum, Riser & PVC Plenum, Riser & PVC Plenum & Riser
Wire Gauge 24-AWG 23-AWG 23-AWG Highly Twisted
Frequencies 350 MHZ 550 MHZ 750 MHZ
Installation Temp 0°C to 60°C 0°C to 60°C 0°C to 60°C
Pairs 4 Twisted Pairs 4 Twisted Pairs 4 Twisted Pairs
Package Easy Pull Box Easy Pull Box Wood Spool
Colors Black, Blue, White, Red, Green, Yellow Black, Blue, White, Red, Green, Yellow Black, Blue, White, Red, Green, Yellow
Luke Emerson

Luke Emerson, our accessory expert, crafts seamless solutions for optimal connectivity. His blogs merge technology with user-friendly design for a superior networking experience.

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