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Fiber Optic Connector:  Basic Types

The technology of fiber optic makes it possible for information to travel from one place to another in 1/10 of a second or in the speed of light.  Since it was first discovered that light can travel a certain kind of glass and that light can be carriers of information, optic fiber technology has improved by leaps and bounds. 

Today, we use fiber optic cables for our TV Cable, internet and telephone lines.  They are beginning to replace cable wires which we see lining up our roads.  But the main problem in using them is how they can be terminated and re-connected.  The solution to the problem is fiber optic connector.

There are over a hundred kinds of fiber optic connectors in the market today. Over the years, companies have never stopped studying and improving the technology. Today, the most common types used are the SC, FC, ST, LC and MT-RJ. You need a basic understanding of these connectors, such as the Packard connectors so that you can choose the right one for your use.  

SC or Subscriber Connector was developed by NTT, one of the biggest telecommunications technology corporations in Japan.  The connector has a plastic housing and works through push-pull.  It is one of the most popular connectors today because it is easy to use and it is also one of the cheapest because its housing is made of plastic.  It has been one of the most used connectors even in the 90’s.  The only downside with SC is its size.  When a system needs a single mode cable, it is not one that is recommended because of its relatively big size.

FC fiber optic connector or Fixed Connected is developed by Nippon Electric Company (NEC), another giant company from Japan.  It uses screw to lock the terminated cable.  It introduced the ferrule and the sleeve parts.  It is used more frequently in single-mode cables.  It is often used in telecom test systems. 

ST connector is also called Straight Tip.  Like the SC, it is push-pull type.  It is developed by American company AT&T in the 80’s.  It is the top choice the past decade.  There are still many companies who use it but it SC connector is gaining more popularity this decade.  ST connector is used for multi-mode applications and only has the simplex version.  It can easily be inserted and easily locked because of the new spring design.  The downside of this connector is that you can experience high insertion loss if the connection is not proper.

MT-RJ fiber optic connector or what we call the Mechanical Registered Jack has the structure of an RJ-45.  This connector is widely used for systems that have to do with data transmission.  One connector is made of one male and one female.  The make connector contains 2 small protruding pins while the female part has 2 guide holes.  They are inserted together and this makes a very accurate connector.  Insertion loss is very minimal because of this mechanism.

There are many other kinds of fiber optic connectors. As well as there are many kinds of connectors in general such as the Delphi connectors. The ones discussed here are just the basics. Make sure that you do your research first or talk to an authority before choosing the type of connector to use.