Fiber optic patch cable is a simple fiber optic elements, consisting of a short length of optical fiber cable with a connector at each end. According to the optical connectors terminated on both ends, fiber jumpers can be divided into many different types. FC, SC, ST, LC, and MT-RJ are several commonly used connector types. Fiber patch cords with these five kinds of connectors will be briefly introduced below.
FC connector is the choice for singlemode fibers and mainly used in SM fiber optic components and in high speed fiber optic communication links. This high precision, ceramic ferrule connector is equipped with an anti rotation key, reducing fiber endface damage and rotational alignment sensitivity of the fiber. The key is also used for repeatable alignment of fibers in the optimal, minimal loss position. FC fiber optic patch cord come with a zirconia ceramic ferrule with pre-polished PC profile and convex spherical end, and both singlemode and multimode versions of FC fiber optic patch cable are available.
ST connector is used extensively in field and indoor fiber optic LAN applications. Its high precision, ceramic ferrule allows its use with both multimode and singlemode fibers. ST fiber cable connector has a bayonet-style housing and a long spring-loaded ferrule hold the fiber, preventing over tightening and damaging of the fiber end. Horizontally mounted simplex and duplex adapters are available with metal or plastic housing, with a choice of phosphor bronze or zirconia split sleeve. ST fiber patch cord is one of the older generations of connector, but is still widely used for multimode networks, including LANs for buildings and campuses.
LC connector utilizes the traditional components of a SC duplex connector, having independent ceramic ferrules and housings with the overall size scaled down by one half. The LC family of connectors indcludes a stand-alone simplex design, a “behind the wall” (BTW) connector available in both simplex and duplex configurations. LC fiber optic patch cord is a push and latch structure. It is widely used for densely installation with high performance and is highly favored for singlemode applications.
SC connector is becoming increasingly popular in singlemode fiber optic telecom and analog CATV, field deployed links. The high precision, ceramic ferrule construction is optimal for aligning singlemode optical fibers. The connector’s outer square profile combined with its push-pull coupling mechanism, allows for greater connector packaging density in instruments and patch panels. The keyed outer body prevents rotational sensitivity and fiber endface damage. Multimode versions of SC connector are also available. SC fiber patch cord is one of the most commonly used fiber optic cable in fiber optic networks, convenient to use and cost-saving.
MT-RJ connector uses a form factor and latch similar to the 8P8C (RJ45) connectors. Two separate fibers are included in one unified connector. It is easier to terminate and install than ST or SC connectors. The smaller size allows twice the port density on a face plate than ST or SC connectors. There are two variations: pinned and no-pin. The pinned variety, which has two small stainless steel guide pins on the face of the connector, is used in patch panels to mate with the no-pin connectors on MT-RJ patch cords. MT-RJ fiber connectors utilize precision molded MT ferrules pioneered by NTT, together with precision metal guide pins and precise housing dimensions to ensure fiber alignment when mating. MT-RJ fiber patch cable is reliable and simple to terminate.
Fiber optic patch cables are used to connect various componets and instruments in a fiber optic system. Connectors on both ends can determine the overall performance of the system to some degree. Other than choosing singlemode or multimode, simplex or duplex fiber optic patch cables, you also need to make the right choice of which cnnector type you need.