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US5923805: Connector for plastic optical fiber

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Filing Information

Inventor(s) Jerry Max Anderson · Arthur Wallace Carlisle · Gary J. Grimes · Norman Roger Lampert · Charles Joseph Sherman ·
Assignee(s) Lucent Technologies Inc. ·
Attorney/Agent(s) Michael A. Morra ·
Primary Examiner Brian Healy ·
Application Number US8995643
Filing date 12/22/1997
Issue date 07/13/1999
Predicted expiration date 12/22/2017
U.S. Classifications 385/86  · 385/56  ·
International Classifications G02B 636  ·
Kind CodeA
International Classifications 38553;56;59;60;62;76;78;77;81;86;87;88;89;139 ·
21 Claims, No Drawings


Abstract

An optical connector is disclosed for terminating an optical cable 10 comprising a plastic optical fiber 11 surrounded by a protective jacket 12. The connector includes a housing having an exterior latch 201 that secures it to an adapter 31. The latch is constructed as a cantilever with its fixed end positioned toward a front end of the housing. The connector further includes a cable-holding structure that attaches to the jacket of the optical cable in such a manner that the plastic optical fiber 11 connects to an associated optical device without the use of a ferrule. One cable-holding structure includes a guide tube 45 that is made from metal and is pressed, or insert molded, into the back end of one plastic housing 40. A portion of the guide tube protrudes from the back end of the housing and is crimped onto the optical cable. Here, the optical cable is immovably attached to the housing. Another cable-holding structure includes an extender cap 21, a spring 60, and a guide tube 15 having an enlarged diameter at one end 16. The spring surrounds the tube and presses against its enlarged end. The spring also presses against an interior surface of the extender cap, which inserts into the back end of another plastic housing 22. Here, the optical cable is movably attached to the housing.

Independent Claims | See all claims (21)

  1. 1. A connector for attachment to an optical cable, which comprises at least one plastic optical fiber surrounded by a jacket, said connector including a housing having a latch for securing it to an associated receptacle, the housing including a longitudinal passageway that extends from a back end of the housing toward a front end thereof, said passageway being sized to receive the optical cable,CHARACTERIZED BYa cable-holding structure that attaches to the jacket of the optical cable in a manner that enables the plastic optical fiber to be connected to an optical device without the use of a ferrule; andwherein the latch comprises a single cantilever that is disposed on an outside surface of the housing, said cantilever having a fixed end that is positioned toward the front end of the housing and a free end that is positioned toward the back end of the housing.
  2. 6. A connector for attachment to an optical cable, which comprises a plastic optical fiber surrounded by a jacket, said connector including:a housing having a latch for securing it to an associated receptacle, the housing including a longitudinal passageway that extends from a back end of the housing toward a front end thereof; anda metallic tube having an axial passageway for receiving the end portion of the optical cable, the tube being immovably held within the longitudinal passageway of the housing, said tube having an inner diameter that is slightly greater than the outer diameter of the optical cable, and said tube extending beyond the back end of the housing by an amount that enables it to be crimped onto the cable.
  3. 7. In combination, an optical connector attached to an end portion of an optical cablethe optical cable including a transparent plastic optical fiber surrounded by an opaque jacket, said plastic optical fiber having a diameter that exceeds 300 micrometers, said jacket being removed from an end portion of the optical cable to expose the plastic optical fiberthe optical connector including:a molded plastic housing including a longitudinal passageway that extends from a back end of the housing toward a front end thereof; anda cable-holding structure mounted within the longitudinal passageway of the housing, said cable-holding structure comprising an extender cap that interlocks with the back end of the housing, a spring member, and a cylindrical tube having an enlarged diameter at one end, the cylindrical tube being firmly attached to the jacket of the optical cable, said spring member being disposed around the outside of the tube and pressing against its enlarged end and against an interior surface of the extender cap; whereby the exposed plastic optical fiber is longitudinally movable within the connector.
  4. 8. In combination, an optical connector attached to an end portion of an optical cable,the optical cable including a transparent plastic optical fiber surrounded by an opaque jacket, said plastic optical fiber having a diameter that exceeds 300 micrometers, said jacket being removed from an end portion of the optical cable to expose the plastic optical fiberthe optical connector including:a housing having a latch for securing it to a jack receptacle, the housing being molded from a thermoplastic material and including a longitudinal passageway for receiving the optical cable into its interior, the passageway extending from a back end of the housing toward a front end thereof;means for immovably holding the optical cable within the longitudinal passageway of the housing such that the exposed plastic optical fiber extends beyond its front end for making end-to-end connection with an optical device without the use of a ferrule.
  5. 12. An optical interconnection between first and second optical connectors, each having a longitudinal axis and a front end, said front ends being joined together end-to-end within an adapter,the first optical connector comprising a plastic housing having a latch member on an outside surface thereof for securing it to an input side of the adapter, and a plastic optical fiber which is immovably attached to the housing and which extends beyond its front end without a ferrule;the second optical connector comprising a plastic housing having a latch member on an outside surface thereof for securing it to an output side of the adapter, and a plastic optical fiber which is movably attached to the housing and which extends beyond its front end without a ferrule; andthe adapter including a pair of back-to-back cavities for receiving the front ends of the first and second optical connectors, each cavity having means for interlocking with said the latch members, a cylindrical passageway extending between the cavities and holding the plastic optical fibers in axial alignment without the use of ferrules.
  6. 15. A jumper cord comprising a length of optical cable having a connector affixed to at least one end of the cablethe connector including an exterior latch for securing it to an associated receptacle, the latch comprising a cantilever having its fixed end positioned toward a front end of the connector, the connector further including a longitudinal passageway for receiving the optical cable into its interior, the passageway extending from a back end of the connector toward the front end thereof;the optical cable including a plastic fiber having a diameter that is greater than 300 micrometers, said plastic fiber being surrounded by a layer of jacket material that is tightly coupled to the plastic fiber, the jacket material being removed from an end portion of the optical cable such that the plastic fiber is fully exposed at the front end of the connector; anda tubular member that surrounds the jacket material adjacent to the end portion of the optical cable and is tightly coupled thereto, said tubular member being captured within the connector.

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents

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Other Publications

S. E. Miller, et al. eds., Optical Fiber Telecommunications II, Academic Press, Inc., 1988, 301-325.
"Plastic Optical Fiber And HCS.RTM. Fiber Cable And Connectors For Versatile Link," Hewlett Packard product brochure.
"Proposal of SMI (Small Multi-media Interface) Connector for Long Distance IEEE 1394", IEEE p. 1394.b meeting, Fort Lauderdale, Dec. 2-3, 1997.
"FO7 Duplex Plastic Fiber System," AMP Catalog 889058, May 1997.

Referenced By

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