How to Assemble Fiber Optic Connectors?

What is a fiber optic connector?

A fiber optic connector is a device used to connect two optical fibers together in a removable (movable) manner. It precisely aligns the two ends of the fibers, allowing the maximum coupling of the transmitted light energy into the receiving fiber and minimizing the impact on the system caused by its insertion into the optical link. This is the basic requirement for a fiber optic connector.

To some extent, the fiber optic connector affects the reliability and performance of the optical transmission system.

Fiber optic connector assembly steps

Connectors such as SC connectors belong to traditional connectors. They are "adhesive" connectors with complex manufacturing processes and larger sizes. In order to make the fiber port and installation process fast, simple, and neat, without adhesive, the crimping type fiber optic connection technology and its corresponding LC (LCight Crimp Plus) fiber optic connector have emerged and quickly become popular.

The components of LC connectors include: a precision ceramic sleeve, a crimping tool with grooves, an externally protected sleeve with color markings, etc. It is made of plastic material and is compatible with TIA/EIA, IEC, CECC, and EN standards. It has multimode and single-mode connection heads.

LC connectors provide consistent crimping performance, with a small size (their duplex adapter is equivalent to an RJ-45 socket); no polishing or heating of the connection head is required. The core size of the LC connector is 1.25mm, which is half the size of the SC connector with a core size of 2.5mm. The LC connector has a rated insertion count of 500, with a typical insertion loss of 0.25 dB. An interesting feature of LC connectors is that in certain designs, the core can be "adjusted" or rotated with a special tool after assembly. This provides significant performance advantages. The design and performance of LC connectors meet the requirements for high density and low insertion loss.

LC connectors can be used for termination and connection in many places, especially for SFP transceivers used in gigabit transmission. When using LC connectors, matching crimping tools must be used: including stripping tools, cutters, crimping tools, cable racks, cut-to-length guides, LC grinding tools, etc. The manufacturing process for ST connectors is much simpler, with only 4 steps.

1. Strip the cable and use the appropriate stripping tool from the toolbox to remove the outer jacket (outermost layer) and the outer protective cover (inner layer) of the fiber cable, then clean the fiber with alcohol and a tissue/cloth.

2. Cut the fiber. Pass the fiber through the externally protected sleeve with color markings, the ceramic sleeve, and the crimping tool, and cut the fiber to the required section with a cutter.

3. Crimp the connector. Position the LC connector assembly with the threaded fiber in place, and use a standard handheld crimping tool to crimp the LC connector.

4. Inspect the LC connector. The inspection method for LC connectors is the same as for SC and ST connectors.

When assembling fiber optic connectors, it is essential to use high-quality components and tools provided by reputable fiber optic connector suppliers to ensure precise termination and reliable connections, complemented by efficient cable management solutions such as a plastic fiber distribution box.

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