Selecting the right optical fiber connector depends upon the installation it will be used in. If there is already existing optical fiber infrastructure, the first thing you should do is check which type of connectors are being used with that equipment because your connectors will have to be compatible.
It is important to remember that every optical fiber connector has two main properties: the connector type and the polishing type of the fiber inserted into it. This means that for an existing installation, the male and female connectors plugged into each other must be compatible in terms of both properties. The same connector type (SC, FC, LC, ST) must always be used to ensure proper mechanical coupling. The fiber polishing types (APC, PC, UPC) do not necessarily have to be the same, but they should be if you want to minimize loss. APC polishing must be matched with that same type, but the PC and UPC polishing types are compatible with each other. The quickest and easiest way to ensure compatibility is to make sure that the connector ends are the same color.
Finally, if your optical fiber infrastructure is being designed as completely new, you Will have more freedom to choose your connector types. In this case, you should always try to maintain as much uniformity as possible throughout the entire design. Here are some other best practices we recommend:
- In applications involving CATV, SMATV, or MATV, we recommend SC/APC for indoor use and FC/APC for outdoor use.
- For applications involving FTTH, we recommend SC/APC or LC/APC, depending on how much space is available for the connectors.
Connectors with APC polishing tend to be more expensive, but they can prevent return loss problems that can interfere with the signal. SC and LC connectors are simple but effective (an LC takes up half as much space as an SC), while FC connectors are threaded to improve attachment, which is needed in some outdoor applications.