Which Fibre Connector is Best? (LC, MU, SC, FC, ST or MTP)

Which Fibre Connector is Best? (LC, MU, SC, FC, ST or MTP)

We recently had to do a fairly big fibre deployment, connecting a factory back to their main office.  During the site survey I discovered a selection of different fibre connectors in use, despite all using the same type of fibre cable.

While we didn’t deploy these, it still prompted the decision that going forward across all of our offices, we would use only one connector type unless there was a very good reason not to.

Which type did I settle on?

In the end I opted for the LC termination (Lucent Connector).  Given the unbelievable amount of debate online about the merits of one connector over another, I decided to simply opt for practical benefits rather than negligible (and debatable) performance ones.

In summary, I opted for the LC because it offered the best combination of these factors:

  • Its highly compact
  • Its been widely adopted making it easily available and compatible with lots of devices
  • Its relatively cheap (because of the wide availability)
  • It snaps in to place (not screws) so is easier in some fiddly installations
  • Due to its compact size, it seems to be the defacto connector for SFP modules in to network switches (allowing you to plug directly in rather than patching if you’re in a pinch)
  • The connector casing allows them to be clipped into pairs or pulled apart as needed

What Options Were Considered

For those curious about the different options, I compiled a list of the connectors while I researched:

TypeFull NameInsertion LossFerrule SizeIEC SpecificationTIA SpecificationField TerminationCoupling Type
LCLucent Connector1.25mmIEC 61754-20YesSnap
MUMiniature Unit0.2dB1.25 mm ZirconiaIEC 61754-6YesSnap
SCSubscriber Connector2.5mmIEC 61754-4YesSnap
STStraight Tip2.5mmIEC 61754-2YesBayonet
FCFerrule Connector2.5mmIEC 61754-13YesScrew
MPO/MTPMulti-fiber Push-on2.5mmIEC-61754-7TIA-604-5NoSnap

Bob McKay

About Bob McKay

Bob McKay is the Managing Director of Fresh Mango BVI & UK, programmer and a self confessed techie-geek type.

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