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A fiber optic adapter is a small device for connecting fiber optic patch cables together. Fiber optic adapters may come in different shapes, but they are all designed to achieve the same function—to join and align the connectors of two fiber optic patch cables. A fiber optic adapter allows fiber optic patch cables to be attached to each other singly or in a large network, allowing many devices to communicate at once.
How Does a Fiber Optic Adapter Work?
We know that the requirements for a fiber optic connection and a copper connection differ significantly. While two copper conductors can be joined directly by a solder or by connectors that have been crimped or soldered to the wires, the key to a fiber connection is the precise alignment of each fiber core. And such an alignment is achieved by two precision components—the ferrule within each connector and the alignment sleeve within each adapter. On the one hand, most connectors are based on a 2.5-millimeter-diameter ferrule, in which the fiber is located. The ferrule both secures and aligns the fiber. On the other hand, inside each fiber optic adapter is the alignment sleeve. Its purpose is to bring together the ferrules of the two connectors being mated within the adapter’s sleeve and at its approximate midpoint.
Types of Fiber Optic Adapters
There are a number of different shapes of fiber optic adapters available, depending on the make-up of the two cables that are to be connected as well as the diversity of the fiber optic connectors. According to the types of fiber optic connectors that adapters are used for, there are several common adapters: LC adapter, FC adapter, SC adapter, ST adapter, E2000 adapter, MTP/MPO adapter, etc.
LC Adapter LC adapters can be used for the connection of LC patch cables or LC connectors. There are different types including LC to LC, LC to FC, LC to SC, LC to ST, and LC to MU, etc. All these adapters can be available in simplex, duplex, quad, single-mode, multimode, UPC, APC, PC with plastic housing, zirconia sleeve, and optional bronze sleeve.
FC Adapter FC adapters can be used for the connection of FC patch cables or FC connectors. FC adapters include square type, single D type and double D types, in single-mode and multimode versions. All these adapters are with metal housing and ceramic sleeves. The FC square adapter is available in the standard body styles with nickel plated brass or nickel plated zinc housing. FC round adapters come with a choice of D or double D Flange, and feature nickel plated brass housing for corrosion resistance.
SC Adapter SC adapters can be used for the connection of SC patch cables or SC connectors. There are various types including single-mode and multimode, zirconia sleeve and bronze sleeve, simplex and duplex versions. Standard female to female SC adapter and hybrid SC adapters are also available. Typical SC adapters are with plastic housing. There are also metal housing SC adapters. Most of these adapters come with ceramic sleeves, while there are bronze sleeve SC adapters which are generally multimode types.
ST Adapter ST adapters can be used for the connection of ST patch cables or ST connectors. There are simplex, duplex, single-mode, multimode, metal, and plastic ST adapters. Most ST adapters are simplex with zirconia sleeves, and optional bronze sleeve adapters are available for multimode.
E2000 Adapter E2000 adapters can be used for the connection of E2000 patch cables or E2000 connectors. There are single-mode and multimode E2000 adapters. These adapters include both UPC and APC polish types. The E2000 adapters are with zirconia sleeves and in simplex style. E2000 is a trademark of Diamond company.
MPO adapter MPO adapter provides the connection between cable to cable or cable to equipment in the MPO style. It works for any MPO Connector from 4 fiber to 72 fiber, which are widely applied in 10G/40G/100G networks, data center, optical fiber communication system, cable television network, fiber optic access network and video transmission.
A Special Fiber Optic Adapter: Bare Fiber Adapter Bare fiber adapter is a type of adapter that can be used to attach a bare fiber optic cable to a connection piece. This type of adapter allows the cable to fit into a connection slot, whether into a mating sleeve or into an electronic device. The fiber optic cable can be fit into an adapter that works with any of the standard shaped connectors.
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