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What is a Patch Lead and How is It Used?

If you are interested in learning more about patch leads and how they are used, then you have come to the right place. Here at Scott Electrical, we supply a wide range of electrical products and components, including patch leads. 

So, without further ado, let’s explore what patch leads are and their usage!

What are Patch Leads?

A patch lead, also known as a patch cord or patch cable, is an electrical cable that simply connects two devices together in a network. It is worth noting that although used interchangeably, ‘patch cord’ can refer to non-networked applications, such as cables for wiring stereo components. 

You will usually find these between computers and other hardware. It can also carry telephone, video, and audio signals between devices that are not connected via the same network, i.e microphones and headphones. 

There are different types of patch leads, including:

  • CAT5/CATe ethernet cables
  • RCA connectors
  • TRS phone connector cables
  • Microphone cables
  • XLR connectors 
  • And more

A patch lead always has connectors on either end of the cable, and are usually no longer than two metres. Compared to standard copper cables, patch leads are designed for better flexibility, and can be made of:

  • Coaxial cabling
  • Fibre optic
  • Shielded (U/UTP) or unshielded (S/UTP) CAT5/5e/6/6A
  • Single-conductor wires

How Do Patch Leads Work?

Patch leads work by ‘patching in’ one electrical or optical device to another. As mentioned previously, this is typically done for signal routing, allowing the patch cable to carry signals from one device to another. 

Perhaps the most common use for patch leads is as ethernet cables, but patch cables tend to be shorter and only used over short distances. Another common use for patch cables is as fibre optic ‘jumper cables’, connected to an optical switch or other equipment. 

As you can see, patch leads have many applications.

At Scott Electrical, we provide a collection of electrical products, including patch leads. For high-quality electrical products and components, browse our online store today. Alternatively, if you have any enquiries about our products, please don’t hesitate to contact the Scott Electrical team - we are more than happy to assist with any questions that you may have.