Recently i watched my coworker disassembling a computer using only one tool. Was it the right tool for the job? Yes and no. It was the tool he had… it worked, however, there is definitely multiple tool out there that would have made the work easier! This example is definitely one that many fiber optic installers know all too well. As being a gentle reminder, what percentage of you have used your Splicer’s Tool Kit (cable knife/scissors) to remove jacketing or even slit a buffer tube and then utilize the scissors to hack away at the Kevlar? Did you nick the glass? Did you accidentally cut through the glass and have to start over?
Correctly splicing and terminating Fiber Coloring Machine requires special tools and methods. Training is very important and there are many excellent types of training available. Tend not to mix your electrical tools together with your fiber tools. Utilize the right tool to do the job! Being familiar with fiber work can become increasingly necessary as the importance of data transmission speeds, fiber towards the home and fiber to the premise deployments still increase.
Many factors set fiber installations besides traditional electrical projects. Fiber optic glass is very fragile; it’s nominal outside diameter is 125um. The least scratch, mark or even speck of dirt will impact the transmission of light, degrading the signal. Safety factors are important since you will work with glass that can sliver to your skin without being seen from the eye. Transmission grade lasers are incredibly dangerous, and require that protective eyewear is essential. This industry has primarily been dealing with voice and data grade circuits that could tolerate some interruption or slow down of signal. The person speaking would repeat themselves, or even the data would retransmit. Today we have been dealing with IPTV signals and customers that will not tolerate pixelization, or momentary locking from the picture. Each of the situations mentioned are reason for the client to search for another carrier. Each situation might have been avoided if proper attention was presented to the strategies used while preparing, installing, and maintaining fiber optic cables.
With that being said, why don’t we review basic fiber preparation? Jacket Strippers are utilized to remove the 1.6 – 3.0mm PVC outer jacket on simplex and duplex fiber cables. Serrated Kevlar Cutters will cut and trim the kevlar strength member directly beneath the jacket and Buffer Strippers will eliminate the acrylate (buffer) coating through the bare glass. A protective plastic coating is used to the bare fiber following the drawing process, but just before spooling. The most typical coating is actually a UV-cured acrylate, that is applied by two layers, resulting in a nominal outside diameter of 250um for the coated fiber. The coating is extremely engineered, providing protection against physical damage caused by environmental elements, including temperature and humidity extremes, exposure to chemicals, point of stress… etc. while also minimizing optical loss. Without one, the producer would not be able to spool the fiber without breaking it. The 250um-coated fiber is the building block for most common fiber optic cable constructions. It is often used as is, particularly when additional mechanical or environmental protection is not required, such as on the inside of optical devices or splice closures. For extra physical protection and ease of handling, a secondary coating of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or Hytrel (a thermoplastic elastomer which has desirable characteristics for use as being a secondary buffer) is extruded within the 250um-coated fiber, enhancing the outside diameter as much as 900um. This kind of construction is called ‘tight buffered fiber’. Tight Buffered may be single or multi fiber and are observed in Premise Networks and indoor applications. Multi-fiber, tight-buffered cables often can be used as intra-building, risers, general building and plenum applications.
‘Loose tube fiber’ usually is made up of bundle of fibers enclosed in a thermoplastic tube referred to as a buffer tube, that has an inner diameter which is slightly greater than the diameter of the fiber. Loose tube fiber has a space for that fibers to expand. In certain climate conditions, a fiber may expand and then shrink over and over again or it may be subjected to water. Fiber Cables will sometimes have ‘gel’ within this cavity (or space) as well as others which are labeled ‘dry block’. You will discover many loose tube fibers in Outside Plant Environments. The modular style of SZ Stranding Line typically holds approximately 12 fibers per buffer tube using a maximum per cable fiber count in excess of 200 fibers. Loose-tube cables can be all-dielectric or optionally armored. The armoring can be used to guard the cable from rodents including squirrels or beavers, or from protruding rocks in a buried environment. The modular buffer-tube design also permits easy drop-from teams of fibers at intermediate points, without interfering with other protected buffer tubes being routed to other locations. The loose-tube design will help with the identification and administration of fibers within the system. When protective gel is found, a gel-cleaner such as D-Gel will likely be needed. Each fiber is going to be cleaned using the gel cleaner and 99% alcohol. Clean room wipers (Kim Wipes) are a great decision to use with all the cleaning agent. The fibers inside a loose tube gel filled cable will often have a 250um coating so they are definitely more fragile than a tight-buffered fiber. Standard industry color-coding can also be utilized to identify the buffers as well since the fibers inside the buffers.
A ‘Rotary Tool’ or ‘Cable Slitter’ can be used to slit a ring around and through the outer jacketing of ‘loose tube fiber’. As soon as you expose the durable inner buffer tube, you can utilize a ‘Universal Fiber Access Tool’ which is made for single central buffer tube entry. Used on the same principle since the Mid Span Access Tool, (that enables accessibility multicolored buffer coated tight buffered fibers) dual blades will slit the tube lengthwise, exposing the buffer coated fibers. Fiber handling tools such as a spatula or perhaps a pick will help the installer to access the fiber needing testing or repair. When the damaged fiber is exposed a hand- stripping tool will be used to eliminate the 250um coating in order to work using the bare fiber. The next phase is going to be washing the fiber end and preparing that it is cleaved. A great cleave is probably the most important factors of creating a low loss over a splice or perhaps a termination. A Fiber Optic Cleaver is a multipurpose tool that measures distance from the end of the buffer coating for the point where it will be joined and it precisely cuts the glass. Never forget to use a fiber trash-can for your scraps of glass cleaved from the fiber cable.
When performing fusion splicing you will need a Fusion Splicer, fusion splice protection sleeves, and isopropyl alcohol and stripping tools. If you are using a mechanical splice, you will want stripping tools, mechanical splices, isopropyl alcohol along with a mechanical splice assembly tool. When hand terminating a fiber you will require 99% isopropyl alcohol, epoxy/adhesive, a syringe and needle, polishing (lapping) film, a polishing pad, a polishing puck, a crimp tool, stripping tools, fiber optic connectors ( or splice on connectors) and piano wire.
When a termination is finished you have to inspect the end face from the connector with FTTH Cable Production Line. Ensuring that light is to get through either the splice or perhaps the connection, a Visual Fault Locator can be applied. This piece of equipment will shoot a visible laser down the fiber cable so you can tell that we now have no breaks or faulty splices. When the rhnnol light stops down the fiber somewhere, there is most probably a break inside the glass in that point. If you have more than a dull light showing at the connector point, the termination had not been successful. The light must also pass through the fusion splice, when it fails to, stop and re- splice or re-terminate.