What Is A Fiber Optic Pigtail?

Fiber Optic Pigtail

In fiber optic Pigtail installation, or how cables are connected to the system, is crucial to the network’s success. If done correctly, optical signals would pass through the link with little return loss and low attenuation. In 99% of single-mode applications, fiber optic pigtail provides the best means of joining optical fiber. This article provides some fundamental information about fiber optic pigtails, such as the different types of connectors, categories, and splicing techniques.

Fiber Optic Pigtails: What Are They?

A fiber pigtail is a single, short, tightly buffered fiber optic cable with a connector that has been factory installed on one end and unterminated fiber on the other.

Applications Of Fiber Optic Pigtails

As seen in the illustration below, fiber optic pigtails are used to terminate fiber optic cables using mechanical or fusion splicing.

A single fiber or a group of fibers are fused to the end of the pigtail after it has been stripped. The multi-fiber cable is “broken out” into its component fibers by splicing pigtails to each fiber in the trunk for connection to the end equipment.

For the best results when terminating fiber optic cables, use high-quality fiber pigtails along with proper fusion splicing techniques.

99% of single mode applications use pigtails, but pigtails are also used in many multimode applications.

Fiber Patch Cord Vs. Fiber Pigtail: What Is The Distinction?

The other end of a fiber optic pigtail is left empty and has a fiber connector installed at one end only. While both ends of a fiber patch cord are terminated with fiber optic connectors. In contrast to fiber pigtail cables, which are typically spliced and protected in a fiber splice tray, patch cord fibers are typically jacketed while patch cord fibers are typically unjacketed. Additionally, patch cord fiber can be split into two pieces and used to create two pigtails. Simply test the performance of a fiber patch cord before cutting it in half to create two fiber pigtails. This is how some installers prefer to avoid the issue of testing pigtail cables in the field.

Advantages Of Using Factory-terminated Pigtails

  • Lower labor costs

Fusion splicers are frequently used by installers of single mode fiber. With a fusion splicer, you just splice the pigtail right onto the fiber cable in a minute or less

  • Factory guaranteed high quality

The factory, where the factory-terminated pigtails are created, is a controlled environment with top-notch polishing equipment. Low insertion loss and high return loss (low reflection), according to the factory.

Factory-tested insertion loss and return loss values are printed on the labels of each pigtail. A serial number that can be used to locate the factory measurements is also included.

Fiber Optic Pigtail Types

There are many different types of fiber optic pigtails: LC fiber optic pigtails, SC fiber pigtails, ST fiber pigtails, etc. are all grouped together by pigtail connector type. The two types of fiber optic pigtails are single-mode and multimode, respectively. The market offers optical pigtails with 6 or 12 fibers, depending on the fiber count.

By Fiber Type

Single-mode (yellow-colored) and multimode (orange-colored) fiber optic pigtails are the two categories. Multimode fiber optic pigtails terminate 62.5/125 micron or 50/125 micron bulk multimode fiber cables with multimode fiber optic connectors at one end. 10G multimode fiber cables (Additionally, fiber optic pigtails for OM3 or OM4 are accessible. The 10G OM3 and OM4 fiber optic pigtail’s jacket is typically aqua. Single-mode fiber pigtail cables are terminated at one end with single-mode fiber connectors and made of 9/125 micron single-mode fiber cable.

By Connector Type

There are many different types of pigtail cable connectors that are terminated at the end, including MT-RJ fiber pigtails, E2000 fiber pigtails, LC fiber pigtails, SC fiber pigtails, ST fiber pigtails, and FC fiber pigtails. Each of them has distinct benefits in various applications and systems despite having various structures and appearances. I’ll go over a few that are frequently used.

SC Fiber Optic Pigtail: With a 2.5mm pre-radiused zirconia or stainless alloy ferrule, the SC pigtail cable connector is a non-optical disconnect connector. For use in LAN, WAN, test and measurement, CATV, and other applications, SC fiber pigtail is a cost-effective option.

FC Fiber Optic Pigtail: FC fiber pigtails benefit from FC optical connectors’ metallic bodies, which have screw-type structures and highly accurate ceramic ferrules. FC fiber optic pigtails and its related products are frequently used in everyday applications.

ST Fiber Optic Pigtail: For multimode fiber optic LAN applications, the ST pigtail connector is the most widely used connector. It has a long, 2.5mm-diameter ferrule made of ceramic (zirconia), a stainless alloy, or plastic. As a result, SC fiber pigtails are frequently used in the telecommunications, industrial, medical, and sensor fields.

Fiber optic pigtails are available in UPC and APC versions, just like fiber optic patch cords. The most popular varieties are SC/APC, FC/APC, and MU/UPC pigtails.

By Application Environment

Armoured fiber pigtail and waterproof fiber pigtail are two types of pigtail cables that are specially designed to withstand the harsh or extreme environments.

Armored Pigtail: enclosed with stainless steel tube or other strong steel inside the outer jacket, armored fiber optic pigtails provide extra protection for the fiber inside and added reliability for the network, while reduce the unnecessary damage caused by rodents, construction work, weight of other cables.

Waterproof Pigtail: designed with a stainless steel strengthened waterproof unit and armored outdoor In challenging environments like communication towers, CATV, and the military, a waterproof fiber pigtail and PE jacket work great. The use of waterproof pigtail cable in outdoor connections is made easier by its improved toughness, tensile, and reliable performance.

By Fiber Count

1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 24 and 48 strand fiber counts are possible for fiber optic pigtails. A connector and one fiber are on one end of a simplex fiber optic pigtail. On one end of a duplex fiber optic pigtail, there are two fibers and two connectors. Each fiber is identified as “A” or “B,” or the polarity is indicated by the use of different colored connector boots. The same is true for fiber optic pigtails with 4, 6, 8, 12, 24, 48, and more than 48 fibers.

Fiber Optic Pigtail

Splicing A Fiber Optic Pigtail: Easy And Fast Fiber Termination

Because the connectorized end is attached in the factory rather than the field as is the case with field-terminated cables, the quality of fiber pigtail is typically high. By fusion or mechanical splicing, optical fibers can be joined to it. If you have access to a fusion splicer, you can quickly splice the pigtail onto the cable, speeding up the process and avoiding the time and expense associated with field termination. Unlike mechanical fiber optic pigtail splicing, which precisely joins a fiber optic pigtail and fiber patch cord, the joint used in mechanical pigtail splicing may be temporary or permanent, allowing light to pass from one fiber to the other. Always order a few feet more fiber pigtail assembly than you’ll require. The extra room gives room for splicing mistakes to be fixed. In addition, picking a fiber pigtail assembly with dependable quality would make splicing much simpler.

FS.COM Fiber Pigtail Solution

A wide variety of factory terminated and tested fiber pigtail assemblies are offered by FS.COM. Made with 900 m buffered fiber optic cables and a PVC jacket, these pigtail assemblies come in different fiber types, cable constructions, and connector options. The different types of fiber optic pigtails we offer include standard 900 m buffered pigtails, color-coded pigtails with 6 to 24 fibers, armored pigtails, and waterproof pigtails, among others. To guarantee excellence in performance, intermateability, and durability, every fiber pigtail assembly undergoes a thorough testing process. Your fiber optic pigtail can also be customized based on your unique requirements. Custom assemblies can be produced quickly thanks to a large supply of cable and connectors.


In essence, fiber optic pigtails are used to splice with the fiber so that they can be connected to the equipment or patch panel. Additionally, they offer a workable and trustworthy solution for simpler fiber termination, which effectively reduces operating time and labor costs. Take advantage of FS.COM to purchase your fiber pigtail assembly.