Fiber Optic Connectors

By: CableOrganizer®

Fiber optic connectors posed a deep concern for network installers in the past because they were difficult to use. They have, however, evolved, with manufacturers making connectors that are more user-friendly and adhere to industry standards.


The fiber optic connector has several functions. It aligns the fiber with emitters in transmitters, adjacent fibers in splices, and photodetectors in receivers. With the development of various connector styles, each one has its own advantages, disadvantages, and capabilities. All fiber optic connectors have four basic components, which are the ferrule, connector body, cable, and coupling device.



There are several types of connectors that are some of the most prevalent in the fiber optic connector world. For multimode networks such as those used in buildings and campuses, the ST (Straight Tip) is the most common fiber optic connector. This connector has a long cylindrical ferrule for holding the fiber and a bayonet mount. The ST connector is considered the most popular multimode connector because it is cheap and easy to install.


The SC (Subscriber Connector) fiber optic connector, which is a snap-in connector that latches with a simple push-pull motion, is used in single mode systems. This connector shows excellent performance and is also available in a duplex configuration.


A standard ceramic ferrule connector, which is half the size of an ST (Straight Tip) connector, is the LC connector (also known as a Lucent Connector or Little Connector). This connector is used in single mode systems, performs well, and is easily terminated with any adhesive.


The FC or Ferrule Connector has a threaded mechanism that aligns it precisely and securely. This is a connector often used in telecommunications and test equipment.

The MT-RJ connector is duplex and used in multimode systems only, with both fibers in a single polymer ferrule. It resembles a modular RJ-style connector. Pins are used for alignment with male and female versions. This type of connector is frequently used in fiber-to-desktop applications.

A Multiple-Fiber Push-On/Pull-Off (MPO/MTP) connector accommodates multiple fibers in one connector. It is mainly used in data centers and backbone cabling, as a choice for high-density applications.


To diagnose any problems or to check the quality of the termination procedure, a fiber optic microscope is used to inspect fiber optic connectors. Prior to inspecting a connector, it should always be cleaned with specialized fiber optic cleaning products and per the manufacturer guidelines. The microscope allows inspection of the connector from any angle either by tilting the connector or illuminating the angle.

When inspected, the connector should have a smooth and scratch-free finish with no signs of cracks or chips on the fiber, where it is either pulling back into the ferrule or protruding from the end.


As a safety precaution, a worker should always check to make sure there is no power present in the cable before looking at it in a microscope. The fiber end face of a connector should never be touched. Always keep unused connectors covered with a plastic dust cap and discard any damaged connectors.

With the wide variety of fiber optic connectors available, companies, organizations, and communities overall, can easily convert to fiber optic networks to start enjoying the benefits of a faster, more efficient connection.

Shop here for fiber optic connectors at CableOrganizer®.

Related Items