Fiber Optic Connectors: Small But Mighty
Technology never ceases to amaze me. The invention of new products, the reinvention of old materials, products evolving to be made smaller and cheaper and better . . . it’s a fantastic thing, technology. Today we’re going to talk about fiber optic connectors, flexible and transparent fibers that are only slightly thicker than a human hair. These revolutionary fibers, made of high quality extruded glass (silica) or plastic, are able to transmit light between the two ends of the fiber. Isn’t that amazing?
Fiber optic communication allows the transmission of data over very long distances at very high bandwidths, and it also has less data loss and electromagnetic interference than most other forms of communication. Over the last 30 years, there have been many advancements in fiber optic technology that have led to it being an integral component in some electronic power connectors.
An optical fiber connector is connected to the ends of the optical fibers in a cable, allowing the cable to attach to other equipment. It ensures a quick connection and disconnection that is much more efficient than splicing.
Over the years, about 100 different fiber optic connectors have been introduced to the marketplace. Most of these are plugs (male connectors) and they are color-coded: beige for multi-mode fiber, blue for single-mode fiber, and green for APC (angled connectors). Some of the most common fiber optic connectors include ST, SC, FC, LC, FDDI, ESCON, MT-RJ, Opti-Jack, Volition, LX-5, MU, and MT.
Both the connector and the glass fiber can affect the performance of a fiber optic connector, so it’s important that every component is top-notch. Factory and field testing ensure that the shape is correct, there aren’t any blemishes, and there aren’t significant point losses or return losses.
Isn’t it amazing what optical fibers can do, despite being similar in size to a human hair? Even the small can be mighty!