Determining the best connector for FTTH can be overwhelming given the variety of splice options available to fiber network planners. Therefore, cost, availability, or previous product use are often not considered too much when selecting a connector. However, each connector has its unique design, so let’s take a look at the types of fiber optic connectors today! And how to choose?
What is the Fiber Optic Connector?
Fiber optic connectors are flexible devices that connect fiber optic cables that require quick connection and disconnection. Fiber optics terminate fiber optic connections to fiber optic equipment or join two fiber optic connections without splicing. There are hundreds of fiber optic connector types to choose from, but the key differences are mechanical coupling technology and size. Fiber optic connectors ensure a stable connection because they ensure that the fiber ends are optically smooth and properly aligned end-to-end.
Fiber optic connectors are also called optic fiber connectors.
What Types of Fiber Optic Connectors are there?
Fiber optic connectors are basically the ends of fiber optic cables used to connect fiber optics to various network devices. Fiber optic connectors terminate the ends of optical fibers and are faster to connect and disconnect than fusion splices. These connectors may also be referred to as plugs to make connections. Fiber optic connectors basically consist of a rigid cylindrical barrel with a protruding ferrule that secures the optical fiber around the ferrule. Fiber optic connector ferrules are made from a variety of materials, including ceramic, stainless steel, and plastic.
SC Fiber Connector
The SC is a Snap-On connector with a 2.5mm ferrule and is known for its superior performance. The connector is simple, robust and low cost. It’s simple push-in/pull-out operation makes it a popular choice.
ST Fiber Connector
ST connectors remain one of the most widely used connectors, especially for multimode networks such as college campuses and most buildings. The connector is very easy to use due to the spring-loaded, keyed, and “push and twist” mechanism in its design. ST connectors feature a bayonet mount and a long cylindrical 2.5mm ceramic or polymer ferrule to secure the fiber.
FC Fiber Connector
FC connectors are widely popular in fiber optic networks, but recently their use has declined in favor of SC and LC. Connectors use threaded containers and alignment keys. Once positioned, it stays in place with great precision.
LC Fiber Connector
LC connectors have some of the smallest ferrules at 1 1/4 mm, about half the size of ST connectors. Their tiny size puts them in the category of small form factor terminals. These connectors are suitable for multimode transceivers and single-mode cables.
MT-RJ Fiber Connector
It is a duplex connector in which both fibers are in a single polymer ferrule. It utilizes pin alignment and is available in male, female, and plug-and-jack formats. MT-RJ is duplex and often difficult to test as most testers do not allow direct mating of connectors
MU Fiber Connector
The MU connector is similar to a micro-SC with a 1.25mm ferrule. MU connectors are small in size and have a small footprint for use in dense applications. The connectors are square and lock with a push-pull mechanism. This connector is more popular in countries such as Japan.
E2000 Fiber Connector
E2000 connectors are mainly used in modern telecommunication networks. Features a unique spring-loaded baffle that protects the ferrule from dirt, dust and scratches. Since the connector uses a one-piece ceramic ferrule, there are no issues associated with different coefficients of expansion.
MPO Fiber Connector
MPO or MTP terminated cables are widely used in high-density cabling environments such as data centers. Traditional tight-buffered multi-fiber cables require individual termination of each fiber by skilled technicians. MPO cables carrying multiple fibers are pre-terminated. Factory-terminated MPO/MTP connectors typically have 12-fiber or 24-fiber arrays and are typically used to terminate multi-fiber ribbon connections in indoor environments. To the naked eye, there is little difference between the two connectors.
SMA Fiber Connector
There are two types of SMA fiber optic connectors: the SMA-905 has a straight ferrule, and the SMA-906 has a stepped ferrule design. The SMA-905 is a non-contact connector commonly used in medical, industrial, and military applications. The stepped ferrule design allows for alignment sleeves when two SMA 906s are mated together, so the connection has low insertion loss. The SMA 905 is not aligned to the bushing, so the insertion loss of the 905 is higher than the 906.
DIN Fiber Connector
DIN connectors are precision-threaded nickel-plated brass for consistent performance and durability. DIN connectors are half the size of FC or ST connectors and have twice the port density of traditional fiber optic connectors. Selected ceramic ferrule, professional grinding technology, precise butt joint of fiber end faces; lower insertion loss ≤0.15dB, more stable transmission, and more efficient connection.
LC Uniboot Connector
LC Uniboot Connectors are constructed for duplex transmission within a single 2.0mm or 3.0mm cable with two fibers in one physical cable with a design that reduces the occupied space on a patch panel by 50% when it connects two optical ports.
LC Fast Fiber Connector
LC fiber optic fast connectors are divided into single-mode and multi-mode, and polished types include UPC and APC. Jumper connectors are available to terminate 1.6 to 2.0mm simplex and duplex cables. They connect and disconnect easily thanks to the trigger and standard latch. In addition, patch cord connectors are suitable for wiring LAN, central office, and premises distribution systems.
SC Fast Connector
The most popular type of fast connector on the market, SC Fast connectors feature a pre-polished ferrule that couples to optical fibers that are terminated with precision mechanical alignment and a proprietary gel that ensures low loss. This SC quick connector offers easy assembly and great stability.
Waterproof connectors are designed with specific sealing O-rings to prevent water ingress. They are suitable for outdoor and harsh environments and include wireless telecommunications antennas, radio equipment, tactical radios, and outdoor sensors.
How to Choose Fiber optic Connector?
Before choosing fiber connectors, you should know that they are used to connect fiber optic cables.
Fiber optic Cable
There are two basic types of fiber optic cables: single mode and multimode. Are your fiber optic cables single-mode or multimode? Single-mode fiber optic cables allow one mode of light to travel at a time, while multimode means that multiple modes of light can pass through the fiber. Multimode also has a larger center core than a single mode to allow for different light rays. You can identify whether a cable is single mode or multimode by the jacket color.
Typically, single-mode cables have a yellow or blue jacket, and multimode cables have an orange or green jacket.
Fiber connectors are also available in single-mode and multi-mode. Single-mode fiber connectors usually have blue or green covers, while multimode connectors have beige covers. However, different manufacturers may have different color choices, so it is best to check with the supplier before purchasing. With the development of technology, many fiber connectors, such as FC and LC, can be compatible with both single-mode fiber and multi-mode fiber.
Next, you should also consider the type of finish, which includes PC Polish, UPC Polish, and APC Polish. If you’re looking to choose a connector for high-precision fiber optic applications, APC is your first choice. However, if you don’t need such accurate fiber optic signals, UPCs are well-suited for most fiber optic applications.
There are many types of connector terminations. Should You Choose Epoxy and Polished Terminations or Quick-Fit Connectors? It depends on the installation quality and cost
All in all, you need to know what equipment the fiber optic connector will plug into and what fiber optic cable you will be using, then choose the best fiber optic connector. If you are still confused about choosing the correct connector type, you can contact us.