How to Choose the Right Connectors for Passive Applications

In addition to our standard line of WDM passives, Champion ONE offers a wide range of customizable options to fit your network’s exact needs. These options include a wide array of channel plans, form factors, and even the physical connectors themselves. In this article, we will look into the connector options, and explain the common uses behind them.

Connector Background

As shown below, there are a wide range of connector options available for in the world of optical networking for current and legacy applications. However, we will be focusing on SC and LC connectors on single mode fiber (SMF-28 or equivalent), as these are the most widely used in WDM applications.

an image of fiber optic connectors, with LC and SC connectors highlighted. UPC and APC polish are also highlighted.

Both of these connectors can come with two polish options at the connection point with the fiber cable: ultra physical contact (UPC) and angled physical contact. While UPC connections provide a flush connection between the connector and the cable, APC connectors are polished at an 8° angle. This angled connection allows for improved back-reflection performance; the angle reflects light directly into the fiber cladding instead of back into the source. APC and UPC polish are most readily distinguished by green and blue bulkheads, respectively, on the front of the passive filter, as shown below:

LGX passives with LC/UPC (left) and LC/APC (right) connectors.
LGX passives with LC/UPC (left) and LC/APC (right) connectors.

Use on Passive Filters

 For most applications, we recommend LC/UPC connectors. They offer the best balance of size, loss, and back-reflection performance. However, the slightly higher back-reflection characteristics of APC connectors (LC or SC) become necessary for applications with higher launch power requirements. Therefore, these connectors have become the de facto standard for PON and video overlay applications.

To further discuss which passive filter options are best-suited for your application, contact us today to set up a meeting with our WDM experts.

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