Basic Knowledge of Fiber Optic Connector

Terminating the end of an optical fiber, the fiber optic connector is utilized to join optical fibers where a connect or disconnect capability is required. A fiber optic connector has three major components: the ferrule, the connector body and the coupling mechanism. Generally made from ceramic, metal or high quality plastic, the ferrule is a thin structure (often cylindrical) that holds the glass fiber. The connector body is a plastic or metal structure that holds the ferrule and attaches to the jacket and strengthens members of the fiber cable itself. And the coupling mechanism is a part of the connector body that holds the connector in place when it gets attached to another device.

Since the fiber cable transmits pulses of light instead of electrical signals, it is important to choose a good fiber optic connector that aligns microscopic glass fibers perfectly in order to allow for communication. Nowadays, there are many different types of fiber optic connectors in the market (as shown in the following figure). Different kinds of optical fiber cables may need different connectors. Seen from the types of optical fiber, the fiber optic connectors may be loosely classified into standard fiber optic connectors, small form factor fiber optic connectors and ribbon fiber connectors. These family types of fiber connectors sometimes may overlap with each other.

fiber optic connector

  • Standard Fiber Optic Connectors

Generally having a ferrule of 2.5 mm, standard fiber optic connectors are connectors commonly used in the fiber network. They can be both simplex and duplex and available in single mode and multi-mode fibers. ST, FC, SC, FDDI and ESCON are all standard fiber connectors. But they also differ from each other. ST connector is the most popular connector for multi-mode fiber optic LAN applications. FC connector is specifically designed for telecommunication applications and provides non-optical disconnect performance. SC connector is widely used in single mode applications for its excellent performance. FDDI connector, which is a duplex multi-mode connector, utilizes two 2.5mm ferrules and is designed to used in FDDI network. ESCON connectors are similar to FDDI connectors, but contain a retractable shroud instead of a fixed shroud.

  • Small Form Factor Fiber Optic Connectors

To meet the demand for devices that can fit into tight spaces and allow denser packing of connections, a number of small form factor fiber optic connectors have been developed since the 1990s. In this type of small form factor fiber optic connectors, some are miniaturized versions of older connectors, built around a 1.25mm ferrule rather than the 2.5mm ferrule. For example, the LC, MU, E2000 connectors. While the others are based on smaller versions of MT-type ferrule for multi-mode fiber connections, or other brand new designs. For example, the MT-RJ connector, which has a miniature two-fiber ferrule with two guide pins parallel to the fibers on the outside. Its overall size is about the same as a RJ45 connector.

  • Ribbon Fiber Connectors

MTP and MPO are compatible ribbon fiber connectors based on MT ferrules which allow quick and reliable connections for up to 12 fibers. Since the MTP product complies with the MPO standard, the MTP connector is an MPO connector. Along with the MTP patch cables (for example, MTP-MTP fiber trunk cable), MTP connectors can upgrade the 10G network to 40G/100G.

The fiber optic connector is an essential part in fiber optical network. As the popularity of fiber optical network, about 100 fiber optic connectors have been introduced to the market. As the main professional fiber optic products supplier in China, Fiberstore offers various kinds of fiber cable connectors, especially the commonly used FC, LC, SC, ST and MPO connectors.

Fiber Optic Access Network Will Be The Main Force Of Internet Information Highway In The Future

As with the rapid development of social information, fiber optic technology and devices which are dedicated to provide transfer of a new business for WAN and fiber optic access network. Developments of MSTP and PON are the most representative. They are also the best solution to provide various new business in the MAN and fiber optic access network which are based on fiber optic transmission technology. As water to the fish, the developments of fiber optic access technology can not without the support and development of fiber optic access devices.

Due to the constantly updated fiber optic access technology and more and more manufacturers’ accession, nowadays the fiber optic access devices categories are more and more obvious, mainly divided into three categories:

  • Fiber optic connection elements, it is applied into telecommunications and computer network terminal connections, related product: Fiber optic patch cable, fiber optic connector and so on.
  • Fiber optic transceiver, it is utilized for computer network data transmission, related products: Fiber optic splitter, fiber patch panels and so on.
  • Fiber optic engineer devices and fiber optic testers, it is specially for large-scale project, related products: Fiber optic fusion splicer, fiber optic testers.

Next we will introduce these three fiber optic access devices with a representative products respectively, they are fiber patch cables, fiber optic splitter, fiber optic fusion splicer.

Fiber optic patch cable (shown as the figure)is fiber optic cable or fiber optical unit which without fiber optic connector, it is used in fiber distribution frames on various link roads. Fiber patch cables are also used in long distance local optical network, data transmission and private network, various testing and control system.

fiber patch cable

Fiber optic splitter (shown as the figure), someone calls it as fiber coupler, it belongs to optical passive components, it is used in the telecommunications networks, fiber cable television networks, subscriber loop system. Fiber optic splitters can be divided into standard coupler (double branch, unit 1 x 2, that is, the light signal into two power, for example, 1×2 fiber optic splitter, 1 x4 fiber optic splitter, 1 x 8 fiber optic splitter and so on), star/tree fiber splitters and wavelength division multiplexer (WDM, if the wavelength is a high-density separation and wavelength spacing is narrow, it belongs DWDM).

fiber optic splitter

Fiber optic fusion splicer(shown as the figure) is mainly used in telecommunication for fiber optic cables construction and maintenance, it is applied into telecommunication operators, engineering companies, private network, also used in the production of optical passive and active devices and fiber optical modules for fiber splicing.

Fiber optic fusion splicer

All above the fiber optic access devices highly improve the data transmission and processing capabilities of fiber optic access network, and at the same time they can bring two advantages:

First, it solved the long distance transmission problems of fiber line attachment,and made its coverage range more widely. In this way, then it can reduce the number of transit nodes through whole the coverage network, make the structure of the network easier.

Second, it satisfied people’s needs to various broadband business, and improve the quality of new business data. It solved the problem of traditional copper cable access network fundamentally and laid a good foundation for achieving the dream of FTTH. I believe that in the future, fiber optic access network will be the main force of internet information highway.

New Application of Fiber Optic Connector Assembly at the Scene

Recent years, PON technology has been more widely used in the fiber optic industry because of its advantages on building cost, protection cost and the broad width. And in China, the three major telecom operators – China telecom, China unicom and China mobile all bring the EPON and GPON into the telecommunication network, at the same time, in order to support the application of PON technology, ODN network is built strongly, then it put forward higher requirements to fiber optic connection, protection as well as the application and management of fiber cable devices, the most obvious device among them is fiber optic patch cable.

We all know that tradition fiber patch cables are made to follow as the certain length of fiber optic connector assembly process, different lengths of fiber cables and connectors composed of a wide variety of fiber patch cords, they can be used in fiber optic patch panels, fiber transfer boxes, fiber cable devices and the connection between the devices and other optical ports, but just because these different fiber patch cables, it bring heavy pressure to storage management. Except this, traditional factory custom the length of fiber patch cables usually more than the actual length if the route and it leaves the length of the excess in a small disk space, we can see from the figure that not only it adds the cost of distribution frame and other cable devices but also not easy to manage, and too longer fiber cables always happens intertwined, knotted squeeze and circumstances, then result in unnecessary trouble, increase the cost of maintenance and management.

longer cable

Therefore, how to control the length of fiber patch cables effectively, to avoid all the trouble. To solve the problem, Fiberstore makes his opinion. we use the on site assembly of fiber connectors, and on the 2 mm or 3 mm fiber pigtail?into end and make fiber patch cable at the scene, replacing the traditional custom factory fiber patch cables, it can greatly alleviate the traditional fiber patch cables left too long, difficulties of managements, frequent failure those a series of maintenance problems. Fiberstore comes with the close communication with all the operators and joint efforts, apply the fiber optic connector assembly of FTTH at the secne into fiber patch cables managements of fiber equipments.

After the constant experiments and used for many time successfully, we have to believe that the embedded optical fiber types of fiber optical connector assembly at the scene will be the first choice for the fiber distribution frame, cable box, optical distribution boxes and other cable device in the future, it also can give ODN network cabling system maintenance and management to bring a revolutionary change.

Excellent Solution to Fiber Patch Cable Management

Recently I saw many people be in trouble in fiber patch cable management, usually see them stack the cables casually, many people will have the feeling of a mess and always envy other people can do it well, maybe today’s article can give you a lot of help and don’t have to be jealous of other people’s good work.

Fiber patch cords have the possibly to be the weakest link in the fiber optic network, usually in order the finish optimum performance and reliability we must observe true procedures in administration of the fiber patch cords, the best solution will be the smallest cost and changes or moves. In the fiber patch cable managements, the voice connection should be also careful. Well, let’s tell you detailed procedures.

patch cable

When we receive the request from the administration, be sure that you know the introduction and design of the fiber cabling and you should also know that if you have fiber patch cords that can match to the stalled cabling, the reason is that fiber optic cables have different types and they should be distinguished. Then choose suitable length of fiber cable. The length depends on its points of connection. It is the shortest one that does not obstruct or interfere with other cords and connectors on the fiber patch panels, avoiding running cords and connectors on the panel. The next step is that tight the fiber patch cords, it will be pulled on connectors and too much slack complicates cable management, making the fiber patch panel more difficult to operate in. At the fiber patch panel, the patch cables equally toward both sides of the vertical cable management channels to prevent overloading one side. Be careful not to mix up cords of different core diameters. Additionally, cords must be of the same or higher bandwidth as the behind-the-wall cabling. Before the patching, there is a point we need to remember, it is cleaning the connector, the cleaning parts include connector ends on patch cords, connector ends on panels, connector ends on network equipment, as for how to clean different types of the fibre optic connector, such as fibre optic sc connector, fibre optic lc connector…We mentioned it in our Fiberstore’s blog, if you are interested in it, welcome to visit Fiberstore’s blog. For example, exceeding the bend radius can result in significant additional loss and adverse impact on channel performance. For example, mpo fiber cable, the minimum bend radius is ten times the core diameter. Take care not to use excessive force during the patching process. This can stress cords and connectors, reducing their performance. If you need to go to force in pulling a cord, something is wrong. If the existing core is the right length, it may be possible to re-use it. If this is the case, remove the cord completely and re-run it in through the cable pathways. This is the only guaranteed way to ensure there are no tangles, kinks or strains in the cord. The final step is to update the documentation of the as-built configuration and close the work order associated with the completed change request.

The above contents are the summary of fiber patch cable management steps, if there are some trouble when you are putting into the practice, welcome to discuss with us, and the related fiber optics that i mentioned in this page, such as various of fiber cables, fiber connectors, fiber adapters even fiber patch panels, you all can find from Fiberstore. Look forward to your coming.

Performance of fiber optic connector

The performance of optical fiber connectors, we should first consideration the optical properties, in addition to considering the interchangeability, repeatability, tensile strength, temperature and mating cycles.

(1) Optical properties: optical performance requirements for fiber optic connectors, mainly insertion loss and return loss of these two basic parameters.
The insertion loss (InsertionLoss) connection loss, refers to the effective optical power loss due to the import of the connector link. Insertion loss as small as possible, the general requirements should not be greater than 0.5dB.
Return Loss (ReturnLoss, ReflectionLoss) refers to the suppression of the connector to link optical power reflection, the typical value should not be less than 25dB. The practical application of the connector, the pin surface after a special polishing allows greater return loss is generally not less than 45dB.

(2) Interchangeability, repeatability
The fiber optic connector is a common passive devices, for the same type of fiber optic connectors, can generally be any combination of uses, and can be used repeatedly, which to import the additional loss is generally in the range of less than 0.2dB.

(3) Tensile strength to do fiber optic connectors, and general requirements for the tensile strength should be not less than 90N.

(4) Temperature
General requirements, fiber optic connectors must be temperature-40oC to 70oC the normal use.

(5) Mating cycles
At present, the fiber optic connectors Can be inserted and pull out over l000 times.

If you want to get more information about fiber optical connectors, please visit the Fiber optic products site.