Fiber optic adapters are also known as couplers. They are designed to connect two or more fiber optical cables. Fiber optic adapters connect single and double fibers and are called simplex and duplex respectively. When these fiber optic cables are used to connect four fibers, they are called a quad.
Fiber optic adapters are best suited for single-mode and multimode cables. They provide precise alignment of the connector tips. Furthermore, single-mode adapters can be used to connect multimode adapters, but not vice versa. When used inappropriately, these adapters may cause misalignment and loss of signal strength attenuation.
When connecting two multimode fibers, it is important to ensure that they are of the same core diameter that is 50/125 or 62.5/125. A mismatch in this will result in attenuation in one direction, wherein the larger fiber will transmit light into the smaller one.
With this understanding, let us further delve into the details of fiber optical adapters.
1. Types of Fiber Optic Adapters
The various types of fiber optic adapters are:
- ST Connectors
They are available in single-mode and multimode.
They are widely used for multimode fiber optic LAN applications.
They contain a 2.5 mm diameter ferrule made of plastic or stainless alloy.
These connectors combine with an interconnection adapter and are latched into place by a twist-on mechanism.
- FC Connectors
They are available in single and multimode.
Best-suited for telecommunication applications to deliver non-optical disconnect performance.
They have a threaded coupling for durable connections.
They contain a 2.5 mm ferrule made of ceramic or stainless alloy.
- SC Connectors
They are available in single-mode and multimode types.
Widely used in single-mode applications.
They feature snap-in connection design for quicker patching of cables into the rack.
- FDDI Connectors
They are available as duplex and multimode. These connectors utilize 2.5 mm ferrules.
They are sheltered from damage due to the fixed shroud used in the construction of the connector.
They are used to connect equipment from a wall outlet.
- ESCON Connectors
They are similar to FDDI connectors.
They contain a retractable shroud instead of a fixed shroud.
They have two 2.55 mm ceramic ferrules and a robust strain relief design.
2.Key Features of Fiber Optic Connectors
Fiber optic connectors have two main features. They are:
- Insert loss or attenuation
- Return loss or reflection
A few other features include:
- Low Insertion Loss
Insertion should not be more than 0.5 dB and must ensure quality fiber link.
- High Return Loss
Return loss measures the quality of match with regard to two connectors or lines. The higher the return loss, the lower the insertion loss.
- High Reliability
The connectors help facilitate smooth optical transmission in harsh environments.
- Ease of Use
These connectors help users save installation time and enhance working efficiency.
3.Components of Fiber Optic Connectors
The three basic components included in the connectors are:
The ferrule is a fiber alignment and holds the glass fiber. It includes a hollowed-out center and forms a tight grip on the fiber. It is made of metal, ceramic or plastic.
- Connector Body
This is also known as a connector housing. The connector body contains the ferrule and is attached to the jacket. This strengthens the fiber cable. It is made of metal or plastic.
- Coupling Device
It is a part of the connector body that keeps the connector in place when attached to a bulkhead coupler and optical transceiver.
The above-mentioned aspects of fiber optical adapters will help you understand the various types of connectors, their uses, and the key features that make them an important part of every cable network.
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