Most of these connectors are not suitable for harsh environments, as they do not perform well when exposed to shock or vibration. Another limitation of many of these connectors is that the ferrules unmate when tension is applied to the fiber optic cable.
Simplex connectors for harsh environments include SMA, AVIM (which is compatible with DIN connectors) and Deutsch Ltd.'s RSC/HA. For multichannel connectors in harsh environments, the choices include the MC3, MC5, MSS, Minicon, and 38999 and 28876 series connectors.
7. Select the Cable Configuration
There are three main types of cable configurations: buffered fiber, simplex cable and multichannel cable. Buffered fiber from 250 to 900 mm is common in commercial fiber optic systems but it does not offer much protection for the fiber. The next step up in protection is creating a simplex cable by adding Kevlar, or some other strength member, and a 2 to 3 mm jacket. A jacketed 2 to 3 mm cable can be constructed with configurations where the fiber is tightly held in place or the fiber can be allowed to slide in the cable. Connectors securing the cable jacket to the connector body and terminating the fiber in the ferrule require a fiber that slides within the cable.
Building multiple fibers into one cable creates a multichannel cable. This type of cable is usually built with either a central or external strength member and fiber bundled around or within the strength member. An external jacket is used to keep the cable together (see Figure 3).