First-Ever connector for all classes in fiber-optic data transmission
Date: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 18:40
SC-RJ fiber optic connection system meets requirements for the new Grade A*/robust multitalented product with three security levels
The Swiss cabling specialist R&M has now defined its SC-RJ fiber optic connector for the premium class of optical data transmission. The compact duplex connector, a development from the R&M lab in Wetzikon (Switzerland), meets the stringent requirements for Grade A* in accordance with the new IEC 61753 standard. That means light transmission from glass fiber to glass fiber in the SC-RJ excels in achieving the values set by experts, conducting the signal virtually free of loss throughout the system.
That makes R&M the first manufacturer to cover all fiber optic performance classes with a single connector system for office, building, campus, industry and computing center cabling. Anyone planning and operating data networks no longer needs to select from several optical connector systems to meet the different requirements. Instead, they can use the multifunctional SC-RJ and combine it with the suitable glass fiber type and the desired glass fiber grade. Planning, installation, spare parts stocking, and network maintenance are substantially simplified as a result.
Security solutions can also be added to the SC-RJ to prevent tampering and faults in connectors and increase data network availability. A new White Paper that R&M has just posted on its website (www.rdm.com) provides details on current standardization and security issues related to the SC-RJ.
Promising product for IT world and automation
In its five years on the market, the SC-RJ from R&M has emerged as a product that large parts of the IT world, as well as industrial automation, have pinned their hopes on. An increasing number of fiber optic networks are being installed between offices, computing centers and manufacturing plants to handle the growing volume of data. Until now fiber optic technology has been an elaborate and costly proposition compared to copper cabling which is why the industry was seeking ways of economizing connection and distribution technology so more cost-effective solutions could be found.
The RJ45 connector for copper cabling is a model in this regard. There have been uniform specifications worldwide for its dimensions, shapes and performance values for many years, which has encouraged the massive spread of computers, data networks and cost-effective connection technology. The SC-RJ is expected to have a similar effect.
The format of the SC-RJ already corresponds to that of the RJ45, explaining the inclusion of the “RJ” in this new connector’s name. The SC-RJ is designed as a small form factor connector, so its connection module fits the RJ45 cut-out in distribution panels. It is the most compact connector in its class and can be combined modularly with legacy copper cabling on one and the same platform, ensuring a relatively high packing density. The groundwork is thus laid for the successive introduction of fiber optics and the massive spread of the SC-RJ. Simple assembly is a further strong point of this product. In many cases, the SC-RJ can be terminated on site.
In undergoing comprehensive international standardization, the SC-RJ became the first-ever fiber optic connector to be officially approved for all types of fiber. The responsible standardization bodies specified the duplex connector for use with classic glass optical fiber (GOF), plastic optical fiber (POF) and plastic cladded fiber (PCF), a type particularly suitable for industry. It can be employed for multimode and singlemode fiber and is compatible with the widely used SC connectors. With SC-RJ IP67, R&M offers a solution for high-quality fiber optic cabling in harsh industrial environments. A round sleeve protects the connection against dust and liquids.
Besides the robust connector body, R&M makes sure of top quality inside the SC-RJ as well, namely the guide sleeves. For this part, R&M relies on 2.5 millimeter ferrule technology. Ultra-high-quality ceramic ferrules are used for fiber optic cabling and precision screw ferrules made of metal, for POF cabling. It is these 2.5 millimeter ferrules that provide the desired flexibility for a variety of possible uses as well as the precision in fiber termination necessary to achieve the highest transmission quality.
In many cases a company’s operations or people’s health depends on well-functioning data connections. Mistakes made in the insertion of a cable or inadvertent network interruptions may have serious consequences. Specific security precautions have to be made with increasing frequency. R&M also took these requirements fully into account early on in its development of the SC-RJ. The standard covering these connectors, the IEC 61754-24, elaborates on the security features in Appendix 1. For instance, the SC-RJ from R&M can be mechanically coded or color coded with sleeves and plastic clips. That helps to avoid mix-ups during patching on the distribution panels. Use and fiber type can be detected immediately and precisely. Input and output and the direction for sending and receiving cannot be switched around inadvertently because the SC-RJ always fits into the connection in just one direction. For maximum security, R&M offers a locking plug-out protection feature that can be opened only by authorized individuals who have the appropriate key.