What is the Procedure of fiber optic termination? / How to Terminate Fiber Optic Cable?

The fiber optic termination process differs across fiber optic connectors.

A fiber optic connector is an intermediate device that is used for enabling the connection between two fiber optic cables or to terminate the ends of fiber optic cables. The following are a few common types of fiber optic connectors.

  • ST: These connectors are highly utilized in multimode networks. It is an AT&T lab trademark and features cylindrical ferrules and bayonet mounts.
  • SC: SC connectors feature a snap-in type of mechanism. These types of fiber optic connectors are suitable for single-mode and duplex networks.
  • FC/PC: FC/PC is a type used for single-mode networks. They are screw-mounted and offer negligible signal loss, therefore are being preferred over SC and LC type connectors.
  • LC: LC is a small form factor (SFF) connector. It is a smaller version of SC connectors. There are few more SFF connectors available in the market such as MT-RJ, Opti-Jack, etc.

These different types of fiber optic connectors are used for fiber optic termination. 

Fiber Optic Termination: Procedure

There are following two methods of fiber optic termination.

  • Termination by Connectors: Fiber optic termination by using connectors is a temporary way of termination. The following steps are followed in the process.
    • Most connectors are plug and play type. Therefore, first, plug the fiber optic ferrules with the connector’s male plug.
    • Once the ferrules are protruded through the connector’s male port, attach the connector holding mechanism. Depending on the type of connector, the holding mechanism can be bayonet, snap-in, or screw type.
    • Fasten the connector and then pull the fiber optic strands to align with the centerline of signal transmission.

    This termination process is suitable for single and multimode networks, however, it depends on the connector type.

  • Fiber Optic Splicing: Fiber optic splicing is a process of aligning two fiber optic strands to the same centerline via which the signal is to be passed. However, there are two different ways of fiber optic splicing, namely, mechanical splicing and fusion splicing.
    • In mechanical splicing, the fiber optic strands are aligned and covered with a snap-type mechanical cover to fasten those two ends together. This technique is highly used for single-mode transmission but is suitable for duplex and multi-mode transmission as well.
    • In the fusion splicing, two ends of fiber optic cables are welded together, therefore there is a minimal signal loss.

    One of the two methods can be followed to perform permanent fiber optic termination by splicing.