Fiber Optic Connector Selection
Connector is an integral component of the cabling system infrastructure, which keeps the information flowing from cable to cable or cable to device. There are various connector types, including LC, FC, ST, SC, MTRJ, MPO, MTP, DIN, E2000, MU, etc. To design a fiber optic system, optical connector selection is also a very important decision. When selecting an optical connector, you have to take fiber types, polishing styles and number of fibers all into consideration.
Polishing Styles: There are mainly three kinds of polishing styles, PC (physical contact), APC (angled physical contact), and UPC (ultra physical contact). PC, UPC and APC refer to how the ferrule of the fiber optic connectors is polished. PC connector is used in many applications. UPC connectors are often used in digital, CATV, and telephony systems. APC connectors are preferred for CATV and analog systems. The picture below shows these three kinds of polishing styles.
Fiber Types: Single-mode and multi-mode optical fiber are two commonly used fiber types. Accordingly, there are single-mode optical connector and multi-mode optical connector. ST and MTRJ are the popular connectors for multi-mode networks. LC connector and SC connector are widely used in single-mode systems. Single-mode fiber optic connectors can be with PC, or UPC or APC polish, while multi-mode fiber optic connectors only with PC or UPC polish.
Number of Fibers: Simplex connector means only one fiber is terminated in the connector. Simplex connectors include FC, ST, SC, LC, MU and SMA. Duplex connector means two fibers are terminated in the connector. Duplex connectors include SC, LC, MU and MTRJ. Multiple fiber connector means more than two fibers (for up to 24 fiber) are terminated in the connector. These are usually ribbon fibers with fiber count of 4, 6, 8, 12 and 24. The most popular ribbon fiber connector is MT connector.
The key to designing a successful fiber optic system is understanding the performance and applications of different kinds of fibers, cable constructions and optical connectors, and then utilizing the appropriate components. fiber-mart.com provides a wide range of fiber optic cables and connectors. Fiber optic cables can be available in single-mode, multimode, or polarization maintaining, and they can meet the strength and flexibility required for today's fiber interconnect applications.