New key-coded SMA family for fibre optic connectors eliminates connection errors

04-12-2023 | OMC | Industrial

OMC offers a new family of key-coded SMA fibre optic connectors with 'clockface' style multiple keyways in up to 50 different orientations as standard. Initially designed in response to a customer request for a keyed connector for a four-channel installation, the new family of key-coded SMA connectors overcomes installation errors by effectively engineering them out.

In a multi-channel system, the normal way of connecting each fibre optic cable to the correct transmitter or receiver on the PCB is to tag each cable with an ident sleeve and match them up based on an installation plan, but this method is by no means fool-proof, and time-consuming errors are quite easily made. Each variation of the company's new family of housings and connectors have all the benefits of the SMA connector; robustness of design, simplicity of installation and a secure locking nut; but also features two keyways – one master keyway at the 12 o'clock position to fix the orientation, and a second keyway which can be in one of multiple other positions around the clock to fix the channel number. Employing this key-coded system, connecting the wrong fibre optic cable to the wrong transmitter or receiver device is impossible. Connectors and device housings with custom keyway positions for greater numbers of channels are also possible on request should the application require it.

The key-coded system is available on the company's full range of SMA device housings. This new series of all-metal housings and connectors is precision-machined at its UK manufacturing facility, and the company can align and house its full range of multimode fibre-optic transmitter and receiver diodes into any of the key-coded housings.

As a further benefit, the keyway system eradicates rotational variation in the SMA connector mating, further improving performance consistency and link reliability.

By Seb Springall