Fiber Optic Cabling
The SC connector is a snap-in type connector that latches with a push-pull motion. SC stands for "subscriber channel". These are the most common type of connector deployed. They can be used for individual "drop" distribution channels or high density patch panels.
LC is similar to SC in design but much smaller.
LC stands for "Lucent connector" as it was developed by Lucent Tec. Referred to as SFF type/family of connector (Small Form Factor) it uses a push-pull latching mechanism like the SC connector, but is much smaller to facility higher density patch applications.
Round outer connector ring is a twist-lock type of connection ST stands for "straight-tip". These connectors were developed by AT&T and are used in similar applications as the SC connector type.
FC is similar in appearance to ST however the outer ring provides a threaded screw-on connection. FC stands for "fixed-contact". These connectors are suitable for use in test equipment or equipment that may be mobile or not stationary.
The MTRJ connector is a 2 fiber, per connector (duplex) configuration. MTRJ stands for "mechanical transfer registered jack" and was developed by Corning, Amp, and Tyco. The MTRJ is a push-pull latch connector used in similar applications as the SC, however it's used is declining. This example shows 2 connectors for a total of 4 fibers.
MTP or MTO Connector
These connectors are 12 fiber connectors that can be used with 40 Gig and 100 Gig distribution systems, or in conjunction with fan-out kits and MTP/MTO cassettes. These connectors were developed through efforts by US Conec and NTT. High density data center applications are the most common use of this connector design.
The SC 12 fiber/6 duplex example is shown here.
These allow for "plug and play" installation as well as the flexibility to de-assemble and reassemble the cables and cassettes in different configurations and locations.
MTP/MTO Fan-out Assembly
This example shows 12 fiber MTP to 6 two fiber MTRJ connectors.
Single Mode Fiber
When selecting fiber optic connectors for use with Single Mode fiber, make sure to ascertain whether an APC, UPC, or PC type will be required. These acronyms refer to the polish type at end or mating surface of the connector. APC is Angled Physical Contact, UPC is Ultra Physical Contact, and PC is simply Physical Contact. The APC type connectors are typically used for long haul, video, and sensitive distribution systems that have a low tolerance for back reflection and/or return loss and require the highest quality of fiber coupling and transmission characteristics.
While there are more types of connectors out there, this represent the most commonly used. It is important to be aware of every connector type in your signal chain. Many times, when laying out or designing a distribution system, the focus is on the station drop only, or the segment of fiber from the telecommunications room rack to the user work area outlet. Be sure to consider the connector types on the other interfaces in your network such as:
- Work station NICs
- Media Converters
- Distribution and "Edge" Fiber Switch Ports
- Switch Uplink Ports
Maintaining a common or "standard"connector within your structured cable system will prevent future frustration by ensuring that you always have the correct patch cables on hand and all new additions to the system have a standard to follow.