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New Keyed SMA fibre optic system from OMC ensures consistent mated performance

Combines best features of multiple connector styles; eliminates rotational variation

October 2017…OMC, the pioneer in optoelectronics design & manufacture, has launched a new, Keyed SMA (KSMA) connector and diode receptacle system for its wide range of fibre optic transmitters and receivers which offers the rotational consistency of a keyed connector alongside the security and reliability for which the SMA connector is renowned.

The KSMA fibre optic connector system combines a new connector and diode housing design, which OMC describe as delivering the best of all worlds. Unlike the standard SMA connector, which can be inserted at any rotation about the ferrule axis, OMC’s KSMA system incorporates a mechanical keyway mechanism, thus eliminating rotational variation when a cable is mated to the transmitter or receiver. The connector continues to feature the secure hexagonal lock-nut fixing of OMC’s standard SMA connector, ensuring maximum long-term integrity of the connection. Explains OMC’s Commercial Director, William Heath: “Controlling rotational variation is important because if a cable is disconnected and then reconnected, traditional non-keyed SMA devices can rotate throughout the full 360 degrees, introducing the possibility of performance variations and limiting repeatability, which can be problematic in optically demanding applications. Our new KSMA connector system ensures that the link will always deliver consistent, repeatable performance.”

The industrial sector generally finds the SMA (H22) style devices useful because the connector lock-nut, once tightened, ensures that the fibre is firmly secured in place; other styles, for example sprung devices, can allow the fibre to pull back and change the attenuation of the link if any tension is brought to bear on the cable. The new KSMA diode housing also retains another major benefit of OMC’s traditional PCB mount SMA (H22 style) housing - the rugged, all-metal design.

The new KSMA connector system suits industrial applications, particularly if cables will be required to be disconnected and reconnected, or if performance criteria are critical to the application. Installation of the KSMA connector is simple - OMC say that through the use of new, high precision CNC machining capabilities, their keyway mechanism is engineered to couple smoothly and without effort, and as with their standard SMA connector, a small hex spanner is used to gently tighten the lock nut after installation. As well as securing the link, this reduces the likelihood of casual tampering or unintentional demating. OMC’s full range of transmitter (Tx) and receiver (Rx) devices can be incorporated into KSMA housings.

Earlier this year, OMC expanded into a new purpose-built manufacturing facility specifically designed and constructed by the company to suit its complex production and testing requirements. The new factory has dedicated development and assembly departments, as well as specialist test areas and a machine shop capable of both prototyping and mass component production. As part of this expansion, the company has invested in brand new, state-of-the-art CNC machining capabilities to facilitate the cost-effective manufacture their new range of advanced fibre optic connector systems and components.