Common Types of Fiber Optic Connectors

Fiber optic connectors make repeatable connections possible and are therefore generally used where flexibility is needed at termination points when an optical signal is routed. Examples of this include connections from receivers to equipment pigtails, normal termination, or when re-configuring systems. Fiber optic connector’s repeatable connections make it easy to meet changing requirements and simplify system reconfigurations. In this blog, we will discuss eight of the most common types of fiber optic connectors and their unique characteristics.

Obsolete Bionic Connector

Obsolete bionic connectors were one of the first connectors used in fiber optic communication links. They are distinguished by the tapering sleeve that fixes onto the fiber optic connector. The narrowing end allows the sleeve to sit on the connector properly. The connection is secured by the guided rings provided with caps that fit over the ferrule and screw onto the threaded sleeve.

Standard Connector (SC)

SC connectors are simple, durable, and low-cost. They use a ceramic ferrule to deliver accurate alignment of the single-mode fiber (SMF). SC connectors feature a locking tab that allows for push on/pull off operation.

Ferrule Core Connector (FC)

Once widely used, FC connectors are now quite rare. They use a threaded container and a position locatable notch to achieve the exact location of the SMF in relation to the receiver and optical source.

ST Connector

ST connectors are designed similarly to a Bayonet Neill-Concelman connector and are extremely easy to use. The ST connector is made in two types: ST and ST-II. Both types are keyed, spring loaded, and use a push-in and twist mechanism.

SMA Connectors

The SMA connector, or Subminiature version A connector, is a semi-precision coaxial connector. Now obsolete, it was the predecessor to the ST Connector. It has largely been replaced by the ST and SC connectors.

Lucent Connector (LC)

Lucent connectors, also known as Little Connectors, are a small-form fiber optic connector that uses a 1.25 mm ferrule. The three types of LC connectors are single mode LC APC, single mode LC UPC, and multi-mode LC UPC. These connectors are used in SFP modules.

Plastic Fiber Optic Cable Connectors

In general, there are fewer options for plastic connectors. Connectors of this type are cheaper and generally designed for easy application. Plastic FOC connectors are available in both standard and bespoke designs.

Enterprise Systems Connection Connector (ESCON)

ESCON connectors were developed by IBM for interfacing peripheral storage devices, such as tape drives, to their mainframes. ESCON is a half-duplex serial interface that utilizes fiber optic connections.

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