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Fiber Optic Connectors and Their Common Types

Fiber optics and fiber optical connectors have rapidly advanced our capabilities of communication, allowing for data to travel at much higher speeds and distances when compared to conventional copper wiring. Utilizing light for transmitting data, fiber optics pose a major benefit to applications ranging from home entertainment to the operations of medical devices. Fiber optics also are set to revolutionize aviation and avionics, posing major benefits to device capabilities in regard to speed and transmission quality. As fiber optic technology continues to increase in implementation and availability, it can be useful to familiarize oneself with the various common optical connectors available and how they work so that an optimal setup may be achieved.

Depending on whether one is implementing fiber optics for networking or for audio/visual applications, there are varying forms of connectors that may be used. Commonly coming in the form of LC, SC, and ST types, it is important to understand the differences between each to ensure that the correct parts are used for a particular system. While fiber optic accessories such as adapters can remedy incompatible connectors in some instances, it is best to initially start with the correct components ahead of time to best avoid any mishaps and to ensure efficiency.

The Lucent connector (LC) is a type that features a 1.25 mm ferrule that is half the size of either the SC or ST connector. With their small design, LC connectors are commonly used in high-density applications where their minimal footprint is highly advantageous. They also commonly serve small form-factorable pluggable (SFP) modules and fiber optic extenders, though such implementation is dependent upon manufacturer. Regardless, LC connectors are known for their compact design and their use of a clip for management.

The subscriber connector (SC) is a type that is fairly low in cost and is quite durable, and such components are known for their ease of installation. With a locking tab, the SC connector is a push-pull device that can be attached to an assembly without difficulty. With a ceramic ferrule for its design, the SC connector can achieve highly accurate alignment in a fiber-optic link. Larger than LC connector variations, the SC connector is commonly used with various types of fiber optic extenders. Additionally, it was the first connector that was chosen for the TIA-568 standard.

The ST connector, or straight tip connector, is a type that was designed and developed by AT&T. Commonly used in the late 1980s and into the early 1990s, such components are a type of quick release, bayonet style connector that may serve networking applications. The ST connector has a 2.5 mm ferrule, and they attach to assemblies with a twist lock coupling. Due to the fact that such connectors have a spring-loaded design, they must be seated correctly within the assembly.

When deciding upon which connectors or fiber optic terminators are best for an application, one should first consider the type of equipment and fiber used. Based on the design of equipment, the style of connector may be determined. For instance, high-density installations for networking applications will often require a compact and reliable device, and as such the LC connector is often the best option. It is also highly recommended to familiarize oneself with common color coding and polish types, ensuring that connectors are chosen correctly for the most optimal operations. Nevertheless, one may be able to use adapters if necessary, and patch cables, couplers, and other fiber optic accessories are also beneficial options. Once you have considered your various needs and requirements and are ready to begin procuring fiber optic optical connectors, there is no better alternative to NSN Gamut.

NSN Gamut is a leading distributor of all types of aviation tools required for aircraft maintenance, and we are your sourcing solution for top quality bracket fiber optic connector parts, fiber optic terminators, fiber optic accessories, and much more. As you explore our vast offerings, we invite you to request quotes on items that you are interested in for your comparisons. With team members readily available 24/7x365, customers can receive responses to their requests in just 15 minutes or less. Get started on the purchasing process today and see why customers choose to steadily rely on NSN Gamut for all their operational needs and requirements.


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