Optical Fiber connectors
Fiber Connectors are used at termination points of fiber where an optical signal is routed. Fiber cables transmit light pulses instead of electrical signals, so their terminations must be much more exact. Instead of simply allowing pins to make metal-to-metal contact, fiber optic connectors essentially align microscopic glass fiber perfectly in order to make proper communication. There are many different types of fiber connectors available, that shares similar design characteristics. The most common design is Simplex vs. duplex: In simplex design 1 connector used per end while duplex means 2 connectors per end.
There are three major components of any fiber connector: the ferrule, connector body, and the coupling mechanism.
It is a thin structure (generally cylindrical) that actually holds the glass fiber. It contains a hollowed-out center that forms a tight grip on the fiber. Ferrules are made from ceramic, metal, or high-quality plastic, and typically will hold one strand of fiber.
It is a plastic or metal structure that holds ferrule and attaches to the jacket and strengthens members of the fiber cable itself.
It is a part of the connector body that holds the connector in place when it gets attached to another device.
Commonly Used connector types are –
Standard Connector (SC):
It is a general-purpose push/pull type connector. Push-on/pull-off mechanism is generally easier to use than the twist-style ST connector when in tight spaces. The body of an SC connector is square-shaped, and two SC connectors are usually held together with a plastic clip (this is known as a duplex connection).
Related – Fiber Optic Sensors and Types
Ferrule Core Connector (FC):
It was the first fiber optic connector using a ceramic ferrule, developed by Nippon Telephone and Telegraph. The screwed type fitting of the connector is vibration-proof; therefore it is used in applications under motion. It is also used in precision instruments (such as OTDR) and it is very popular in CATV.FC connectors are more typical in test environments and for single-mode applications. FC connectors were designed for use in high-vibration conditions.
ST Connector (ST):
ST stands for Straight Tip. A quick-release bayonet style connector has a long ferrule. ST connectors were predominant in the late 80s and early 90s. Developed in the USA by AT&T and used in professional environments such as corporate networks as well as the military field applications.
Lucent Connector (LC):
LC stands for Lucent Connector. The LC may be a small form-factor connector very similar to the SC connector but with a ferrule that’s half the dimensions. Lucent Connector or Little Connector developed by Lucent Technologies and released in 1997. Push-and-pull type fitting. Safer and more compact than the SC-type connectors, allowing even more density of connectors in racks, panels, and FTTH.
Some others are listed here –
Related – Optical Fiber Sensors and their Types
Enterprise Systems Connection Connector (ESCON):
ESCON connectors were developed by IBM for interfacing peripheral storage devices, including tape drives, to their mainframes. ESCON connector is a half-duplex serial interface that uses FOC.
Fiber Distributed Data Interface Connector (FDDI):
FDDI provides a data transmission rate at 100 Mbps in a dual ring token local area network within a 200-kilometer range. The FDDI connects network equipment to a wall plug. The connector has a 2.5mm ferrule that can mate onto ST and SC connectors by making use of adapters.
Plastic Fiber Optic Cable Connectors