We’ve designed many different methods for connecting our fiber networks together. In this video, you’ll learn about ST, FC, SC, and many other fiber connectors.
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Our networks are requiring faster speeds and longer distances, so we’re adding a lot more fiber to our networks. Because of that, we have a lot of different fiber connectors that are used between all of these different infrastructure systems that we have. A fiber connector that’s been around for a long time is the ST connector. This is a Bayonet connector, which means you push it in and you twist it to lock it in place. It’s not going to accidentally pop off of the connector because that bayonet keeps it in place, and it’s a relatively straightforward connector. There is a straight tip on the end of it, which gives it that ST name. And if you’re using some of the older patch panels, or you have a system that requires that you have fiber lock in place, the ST is a good option.
The FC connector stands for, Field Assembly connector. You might also see referred to as the Ferrule Connector. This is a connector that is very useful for environments where there’s a lot of vibration because it’s threaded. You simply put it in the connector and twisted it to tighten down. You usually see a connector that snaps in being used a lot more commonly these days, so you tend to see more of an SC or an LC connector being used instead of the FC connector.
The SC connector is a relatively common fiber connector that stands for Subscriber Connector, Standard Connector, but I think I like using the term Square Connector, although the fiber inside is round, the outside of this connector is a square. And it fits into a square connection on the other device, and there’s a tab on the outside of the SC connector that ensures that you’re connecting it in exactly the way that’s appropriate, for that connection.
The LC Connector stands for, Lucent Connector because of it’s association with the company Lucent, and this could also be called the Local Connector. Some people call it the Little Connector. It is a lot smaller in its use and if you have a switch with many different fiber connectors on it we like to keep those interfaces as small as possible so you can fit a larger number of fiber connections across the same amount of space. The LC connector also has these little tabs on the top that are used to lock it in place. Very similar to an RJ45, or an RJ11 copper connection. And when you need to remove it from the connection you simply push down on these tabs, and it releases it from that connector.
Of all the different fiber connectors in this presentation, the MTRJ is probably the smallest footprint. You can see on this MTRJ the two tiny little fiber connectors are right there at the end, so you can have this one connector that plugs in both your Send and Receive fiber at the same time. The MTRJ stands for Mechanical Transfer Registered Jack. You might also see referred to as Media Termination recommended jack, and it’s a very, very small connector where you can put many different connections in a very small space. This also has a lock on it. You could see the latch here at the top, and to remove it from the connection, you simply push down on the plastic at the top, and it disconnects it so that you could remove it from the connector.
One of the challenges with fiber is you don’t often have a say at what type of connector is going to be on your infrastructure equipment. You may be connecting an SC to an LC, and because of that you may have to have a different type of connector on the end of your fiber, and you somehow need to connect those two together. In those cases, it’s common to use something like a fiber coupler which can not only extend one fiber into another, but it can also change the type of connector. So that you can easily go from an ST or an LC, to an SC connector on the other side, for instance, and by using this coupler, we don’t have to go through the very arduous process of reterminating a fiber connection. We can simply use this coupler to connect the two together.