Fiber optic connector field termination methods have been optimized over many years, and today there are two basic methods.  Epoxy and polishmethods involve the familiar process of injecting an epoxy or adhesive into the connector ferrule along with the fiber, waiting for it to harden, and then polishing away the endface. Improvements for this method involve use of a quick-curing anaerobic adhesive and fine-tuning the polishing process to limit the termination time and number of polishing papers required.

The second method of field termination involves the use of no-epoxy, no-polish connectors (NENP), which have an internal fiber-stub and are pre-polished within the factory.  Installers enjoy the faster speed of termination and reduced consumables, but these benefits have to be weighed against the higher component cost and additional loss with a mechanical splice.  Improvements in the termination method have really focused on the tooling and speed of the process.  Sometimes these connectors are advertised as being able to be installed in just a few seconds.  The actual timing is typically longer if you include time for fiber preparation and cleaving.  However, once the fiber is ready, the actual termination process goes very quickly.

Many of today’s NENP connectors no longer require a separate installation tool, such as a base or crimper, and can more easily be installed in tight spaces, where a flat work surface is not available.  Additionally, an optional visual fault identifier (VFI) may be used to see when the field fiber mates up with the internal fiber stub.  This can be seen in this installation video of the CommScope Qwik Connector II, where the wedge clip factory-placed on each connector negates the need for a special installation tool and provides a window for viewing light from the VFI.

The next two videos demonstrate the termination process. Let us know if this information is helpful.

CommScope Fiber Optic Qwik II Connector Termination

LC Connector Termination

About the Author

Eric Leichter

Eric Leichter is director for business development for CommScope Mobility Solutions, focused on fiber and power solutions for remote radio deployments. He has over 15 years of experience with telecommunications and optical fiber solutions, including roles supporting application and field engineering, product management, standards and training. While supporting a mix of wireless, data center, campus, and outside plant applications, Eric has experience with a multitude of vendor and generic solutions sets. He is a multiple patent holder, has provided several dozen published articles and conference presentations, and is a LEED Green Associate. Eric has an engineering degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) and an MBA from Gardner-Webb University.

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