Patch cable

A patch cable, patch cord or patch lead is an electrical or optical cable used to connect ("patch in") one electronic or optical device to another for signal routing. Devices of different types (e.g., a switch connected to a computer, or a switch to a router) are connected with patch cords.

A Category 6 patch cable with 8P8C plugs, wired according to T568B
A couple of managed Gigabit Ethernet rackmount switches, connected to the Ethernet ports on a few patch panels using Category 6 patch cables. (All equipment is installed in a standard 19-inch rack.)

Patch cords are usually produced in many different colors so as to be easily distinguishable from each other. Types of patch cords include microphone cables, fiber optic spectroscopy cables, headphone extension cables, XLR connector, Tiny Telephone (TT) connector, RCA connector and ΒΌ" TRS phone connector cables (as well as modular Ethernet cables), and thicker, hose-like cords (snake cable) used to carry video or amplified signals. However, patch cords typically refer only to short cords used with patch panels.

The term "patch" came from early use in telephony and radio studios, where extra equipment kept on standby could be temporarily substituted for failed devices.[citation needed] This reconnection was done via patch cords and patch panels, like the jack fields of cord-type telephone switchboards. Furthermore, patching could also create temporary atypical connections between devices for unusual needs. Analog music synthesizers typically use patch cables to interconnect functional sections, such as oscillators, filters, etc.


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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Patch cable, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.