A patch cable (also known as patch cord or patch lead) is an electrical cable that comes in varied lengths. The cable has connectors on both the ends and is used to connect a device with a power source. The common usage of patch cable can be seen while connecting laptops or desktop computers with any power outlet which is generally a wall outlet. The cable got its name from the function that it performs, i.e. patching-in a device with a power source or outlet.
The patch cord can usually be called a copper cable which has connectors on both the ends. The connectors can be of any type among the TERA, RJ45 or the GG45 type connector. There are even the hybrid versions of the patch cable that has different types of the connectors on either of the ends.
A patch cable is most commonly used to connect two electronic or optical devices together, for signal routing. These cables are usually manufactured in varied colors so as to make them discernible from one another when seen in a bunch of wires. Though the cables are available in different measures, but these are usually kept short in length so as to avoid entangling of wires. The usual length of a patch cable is 2 meters. There are various types of patch cables available for diverse usage like single conductor wire, optical fiber cable, shielded cable, unshielded cable or coaxial cable.
Some examples of patch cables are XLR connector, RCA connector, microphone cable, TT (Tiny Telephone) connector, headphone extensions and more. Though, the typical Patch cable is the cable which is generally short in length and is used with patch panels.