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Once a fiber-optic cable termination
has been made, it must be connected to the end-point device. There are
a number of different types of fiber-optic connectors.
SMA & ST Connectors
Be able to visually identify the SMA connector
Be able to visually identify Duplex ST connector
While fiber-optics has not found
common use in everyday life, fiber-optics has been in use long enough
to have a legacy connector. That connector type is known as the
SMA connector. The SMA connector features a threaded cap and
housing. It has been replaced in large part by the ST
Figure 17: SMA905 and SMA906
The ST connector
is the most common connector in use today. The ST is popular
both in buildings and finds use in the field. The bayonet mount uses
a keyed coupling and utilizes a push/twist installation that
prevents over-tighting and subsequent damage of the fiber-optic
end. The ST connector is used with both SingleMode and MultiMode
fiber. The shape and connection method is similar to a BNC connector
(as used for 10Base2 cable connections).
Figure 18: Shows an ST fiber connector
One of the newest connectors
in the fiber-optic world is the SC connect. The SC connector is a push-pull
connector and while commonly used with SingleMode fiber, there are versions
that also work for MultiMode fiber as well. The SC connector can be
found as a single connector designed to hold a pair of fiber optic strands
and is known as the SC Duplex connector.
Extra! SC predicted to beat ST!
The SC connector is becoming more popular than the ST connector. This squared face connector is gaining popularity in part to the fact that it is simpler to install in tight spaces.
Can you see FDDI?
Another connector to be familiar with is the Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) connector.
Figure 18a: FDDI Connector
Polish-Inspect, Polish Again
Splicing a fiber-optic cable used to test the patience and handiwork of the best field installers. Even the smallest deviation from a perfect join would result in loss of light, and therefore signal. This meant cutting and polishing the end of each end of the break, inspecting for a true flat surface (under a microscope) and repeating the process until perfection was achieved. Then the pieces were joined with epoxy glue. Happily, these days are in their sunset as creative manufactures have come up with much faster and simpler connectors to repair breaks.
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