Types of Fiber Optic Connectors

The termination of fiber optics is extremely important in today’s technology. Fiber optic cable can be terminated in two ways. The first way is with fiber optic cable connectors, which connect two fibers through a temporary joint or connect the fiber to network gear. The second way to connect fiber optic cable is with splices that create a permanent joint between the fibers.

There are many different types of fiber optic connectors, and there are also various ways to install them. There are only a few types that are used in most applications, though. Different connectors and splice termination procedures are used for single mode and multimode connectors. Here’s a rundown of the different types of fiber optic connectors:

ST– This is the most popular type of connector for fiber optic cable that is used for multimode networks. Most professional buildings and college campuses use the ST connector. It is made by AT&T and has a bayonet mount as well as a long cylindrical ferrule to hold the fiber.

FC/PC– FC was one of the most popular single mode connectors for many years. It also uses a 2.5 mm ferrule, but some of the early ones use ceramic inside stainless steel ferrules. It screws on firmly, but you must make sure you have the key aligned in the slot properly before tightening. It’s been mostly replaced by SCs and LCs.

SC– This is a connector that snaps on, and it’s used in single mode systems. Available in a duplex configuration, it offers great performance and it is easy to snap on.

There are also many Small Form Factor (SFF) connectors available. Here are a few:

LC– LC is a small form factor connector that uses a 1.25 mm ferrule, half the size of the SC. Otherwise, it’s a standard ceramic ferrule connector, easily terminated with any adhesive. Good performance, highly favored for single mode.

MT-RJ– A multimode duplex connector, it contains both fibers in a single polymer ferrule. It uses pins for alignment and is available in male and female versions.

Opti-Jack– This rugged duplex fiber optic connector has two ST-type ferrules, and it’s available in both male and female versions.

Volition– This type of duplex connector does not require ferrules to work. It’s available in plug and field terminated jack versions.