Fibre Optic Pigtails

What are Fibre Optic Pigtails?

Fibresales Fibre Optic Pigtails are short, 1.5-metre length cable, coated with a 900-micron buffer, with a connector on one end only. Fibre Optic Pigtails are typically used when splicing connector ends onto an un-terminated fibre run. This can be either achieved by using a mechanical splice or by fusion splicing.  

Let us however take a step back and look at how these Pigtails are made. They are usually made in a factory facility under strict rules and specification’s, using highly sophisticated polishing machines. This is how they can achieve such exceptional results as high throughput, excellent performance and a high yield, across a range of connector types.

Fibresales pigtails are manufactured as a 3mtr length patch lead (meaning one connector on each end) and then tested end to end via the terminated connectors to ensure the best performance results have been achieved. They are then split to make up two single-ended pigtails.

Some Advantages of Using Factory -Terminated Pigtails.

  • Reduction in installation time and labour cost. As the connector is already attached, all you need to do is splice it onto the cable, job done.
  • All pigtails have been factory-made and guaranteed that they meet quality and industry standards.
  • All pigtails come with test results, showing the low losses and low reflections achieved.
  • Limited Waste, as they are made in a controlled environment, which eliminates any issues in the field.

Fibre Optic Pigtail decisions to make prior to installation.

You will need to know a few important things before purchasing any fibre optic pigtails.

  • Fibre Type required – Singlemode or Multimode OM1-3-4-5? An important note to make here is that you should not mix these and they should always match the trunk cable being used.
  • Connector type – ST, SC, LC, SCA, LCA, with many more options are available? This will typically need to match either legacy equipment or new equipment being installed.
  • Connector polishes – UPC (Ultra Physical contact) – APC (Angled Physical Contact)? It is important to note here that you cannot mate a UPC connector to an APC connector. So this decision must be made at the design stage. However, should you need to you can easily convert the connector finish, using a patch cable at the patch panel, if required?
  • How many do you need – In our case we offer either a 6 pack or a 12 pack – depending on the amount of fibre’s being spliced?

Fibre Optic Pigtail Color Guide.

You will find that each pigtail provided will follow the industry-standard TIA-EIA_598-A Color scheme. They are color-coded for easy identification.

This makes it easy to splice each pigtail buffer to the corresponding color used by the trunk cable you are connecting to.

Fibre Optic Pigtail Connector Color.

Another thing to note is that the colours of the connectors allow you to identify the fibre optic cable being used.

Fibre Optic Pigtail Installation Practices.

They should be installed where they will be protected and spliced, so they are mostly used with fiber optic management equipment, such as a Rack Mount or Wall Mount enclosure.

Care needs to be taken when fitting fibres and spliced pigtails into such equipment. You may find some fibres get damaged as the trays, cassettes, or closures are assembled. Not only during installation but also when troubleshooting or conducting repairs can damage be done.

Protection of the actual splice itself is made possible by a splice cassette fitted inside the enclosure; here the spliced fibres are neatly and compactly secured, with little to no movement after installation. –

  • The heat-shrink sleeves around the fibre optic pigtail and the trunk cable ensure durable protection and extra strength to the joined fibre. These sleeves are heat-bonded and are designed to maintain long-term protection.

  • The lid of the splice cassette makes sure no dust particles can get in and minimises damage to the fibres as well.


Fibre Optic pigtails make splicing optical fibre fast and easy, especially in the field. The use of fully automated fusion splicers makes joining fibres quick and very accurate these days.

Compared to this, direct connectorisation is a much more difficult and involved process.

You need time and precision optical equipment; such as epoxy, scribes, and polishing machines. While the process is somewhat automated in a factory, it is still very time and labour intensive in the field. One must also consider the waste factor of losing some connector assemblies as well.

Splicing a factory-made fibre optic pigtail to fibre in the field, therefore, makes perfect sense!