So, you’ve come to understand and choose which mode fiber you need based on the data transfer and length of the run by reading our previous blog, Fiber Optic Cable Basics. Now it’s time to go over the possibilities when it comes to the different fiber optic terminations available and how to best identify them. This is incredibly important because while fiber optic connections may appear somewhat similar, they are not interchangeable and do require a bit of identifying to make sure you’re not having to load up on adapters once you’re in the field or on-site.
SC connections are an incredibly common push-pull style connector which secures itself with a locking tab. They can be easily identified by their square shape and come in both simplex and duplex form factors.
FC connectors are round threaded connections which make it a go-to fiber connection when you want to ensure proper alignment and resistance to coming loose from environmental factors like vibration or movement.
ST connections look virtually identical to the FC but employ a twist and lock bayonet style to make to female ST ports.
LC utilizes the same push-pull mating but uses a locking latch instead of the locking tab to make a secure and reliable connection.
Simplex vs Duplex
These connections come in either simplex or duplex, which simply means there are one or two connections on either end of the cable. Duplex is much more common for fiber runs because it allows you to both send and receive signals simultaneously, whereas a simplex cable/connection is only performing one action at a time. However, most duplex connections aren’t permanently molded together, so you can pull them apart easily to make a simplex connection. Simplex connections are primarily used in the repair of one or the other half of a defective duplex connector.
APC VS. UPC
To add a bit more confusion to the variety of fiber cables there is a difference between Angled Polished Connectors (APC) and Ultra-Physical Connectors (UPC). That difference being a UPC connector has a polished end face with no angle, whereas an APC has an 8-degree angle.
Most fiber jumpers are made with UPC connections. You can easily identify this the blue color of the connection. The polishing technique used on UPC connectors allow for light to pass more easily. The downside is that the glass is much easier to damage from mating/unmating the connector.
APC connections are denoted with a green colored connector. These 8 degrees may seem arbitrary, but it helps prevent damage from plugging and unplugging the connector.
These are special connector types used on the ends of both breakout and multi-fiber patch cables. These multi-fiber push on connectors can support 24 strand fiber on one single connection, which eliminates the need to connect multiple simplex or duplex connections on both ends of a run. You can save time on installation by running a breakout MPO/MTP patch cables or MTP/MPO jumper cables when space is limited.
Fiber at NavePoint
If you need help identifying which fiber connection to use in your next install, contact the NavePoint sales team and we will help you find the best option for you to stay locked in.
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