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Publication Date: 2004-Jun-16

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The Prior Art Database


This article relates to the assembly of a fiber optic connector and specifically to multi-fiber connector assembly. Fiber optic connectors usually consist of an assembly of parts based around one major component, typically designated here as the "main body". The main body can be separated into two symmetrical halves along its horizontal axis to facilitate connector assembly. The main body can be a single, hollow component to allow passage of a multi-fiber ribbon that can be terminated at a fiber optic ferrule. Previously, fiber optic connectors have been made by initially threading the appropriate components, such as the crimp ring and main body, over a fiber ribbon and then sequentially assembling the individual pieces. If one failed to initially pre-thread a component over the ribbon it was not possible to post-thread the component, thus the partially assembled connector may have to be scraped. By separating the main body along its horizontal axis, one has the ability to assemble the main body at any stage of the manufacturing process. Thus the main body does not require pre-threading and fewer connectors may need to be discarded. The two halves of the main body can be secured together by a number of means, such as, for example: (1) as shown in the illustration below, close fitting pins could be used to create a press fit assembly; 2) adhesives could be used; (3) if the main body was constructed of plastic, the halves could be bonded by ultrasonic or fusion welding; and (4) the halves could be screwed together to allow non-destructive, postproduction separation. It is conceivable that some of the existing connector components could act as the securing means for the split body design. For example, the f-housing can snap onto the front end of the main body and the cable jacket/strength member compression sleeve can be crimped on the aft end of the body. Both of these components combine to create clamping forces that might be capable of locking the main body halves together. The main advantage of this design is the ability to pre-thread the main body over the fiber optic ribbon. This has two positive aspects: (1) if an assembler fails to prep-thread the main body, it can be post-installed, thus the connector does not have to be scraped due to improper assembly procedures; and (2) in order to polish the fiber ribbon which has been terminated in a ferrule, one must be able to slide the pre-threaded components away from the ferrule a sufficient distance to allow clamping of the ferrule in a polishing fixture. In some cases the main body can be slid over the bare fiber ribbon, but cannot be slid over the outer cable jacket. A two-piece main body permits post-polish assemble.