If you need to accomplish any IT task, then your first thoughts will probably be about what equipment you have on hand that can carry out the task. There is no point in rushing out to buy something new when you already have the perfect electronic item sitting on a shelf. Where the problems often start is when you try to get different pieces of equipment to work together. While you may know exactly what you want to achieve and which equipment you need to use, it may not be a simple matter to physically connect them together, especially if you initially purchased them for a different purpose and your cables don't have the right connectors. Often when working with communication equipment, your best friends are going to be your patch leads.
How can patch leads help?
For connecting together communication equipment such as CATV systems and optical switches, patch leads are the obvious choice. They are specifically designed to provide a low insertion loss along with a high return loss. The construction of both the coating and the core of a patch lead will have been designed with a refractive index that minimises signal loss even over long distance. While all of these characteristics of patch leads are important, for most people their main concern is going to be whether or not the cable can do the job that is their primary focus.
Different types of patch leads
When choosing patch leads, it is vital to think carefully about the type of signals that you expect the leads to carry. How far must the signals be carried? Which directions will the signals be carried? Answering these two questions will enable you to select the perfect patch leads for your situation.
What distances will be covered?
If you need to transmit signals for long distances, then single-mode patch leads are the obvious choice for fast transmission. If you only need to cover short distances, then multimode cables will work better.
Only one way?
When you need data to travel in only one direction, then a simplex cable is the right choice, but if you need two-way communication between your devices, then you will have to look for duplex patch leads. Duplex patch leads are easy to spot since they will have twice as many connectors at each end as simplex patch leads. If you have any concerns about the type of patch leads that you need, then your equipment supplier will be able to assist you,