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Cutting Assembly Errors: Keyed Optical Fibre SMAs

November 27, 2023

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OMC, a UK-based company, has developed a family of key-coded SMA fibre optic connectors that offer over 50 different orientations. These connectors feature clockface-style multiple keyways, with each keyway numbered for easy identification. Additionally, OMC can create custom keyway positions upon request, allowing for even more unique connections.

The inspiration for these key-coded SMA connectors came from a customer's request for a keyed connector for a four-channel installation. OMC's engineering team rose to the challenge and designed a family of connectors that eliminate installation errors. According to OMC, each variation of the key-coded SMA connector retains the benefits of the standard SMA connector, including robustness, ease of installation, and a secure locking nut.

The key-coded system is available on OMC's H22 PCB-mount housing, as well as their H1 turret-style receptacle and proprietary VSMA (vertical SMA) housing, which occupies a mere 7 x 8mm of board space. OMC manufactures these connectors at their UK facility and can also align and house their full range of multimode fibre-optic transmitter and receiver diodes in any of the key-coded housings.

OMC's multi-key system is machined using CNC sliding-head lathes and an iterative program developed by the company. This program automatically increments the angular separation between the two keyways from one part to the next, engraving each connector with a unique channel number corresponding to its angular separation.

Established in the mid-1980s as The Fibre-Data Group, OMC is headquartered in Cornwall, UK. The company holds ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 45001 accreditations. Their FDH1M SMA fibre optic housing was recognized with the 2019 Electronics Weekly Elektra Award for Excellence in Product Design for High Reliability Systems.

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