Recently i watched my coworker disassembling a pc only using one tool. Was it the correct tool to do the job? Yes and no. It absolutely was the tool he had… it worked, however, there exists definitely more than one tool on the market that will make the job easier! This situation is unquestionably the one that many fiber optic installers know all too well. As a gentle reminder, what number of you might have used your Splicer’s Tool Kit (cable knife/scissors) to remove jacketing or even slit a buffer tube then make use of the scissors to hack away at the Kevlar? Did you nick the glass? Have you accidentally cut through the glass and have to start over?
Correctly splicing and terminating optic fiber cable equipment requires special tools and methods. Training is essential and there are many excellent causes of training available. Do not mix your electrical tools along with your fiber tools. Utilize the right tool for the job! Being familiar with fiber work can become increasingly necessary as the importance of data transmission speeds, fiber for the home and fiber to the premise deployments carry on and increase.
Many factors set fiber installations apart from traditional electrical projects. Fiber optic glass is very fragile; it’s nominal outside diameter is 125um. The slightest scratch, mark or perhaps speck of dirt will change the transmission of light, degrading the signal. Safety is important simply because you will work with glass that will sliver in your skin without being seen through the human eye. Transmission grade lasers are extremely dangerous, and require that protective eyewear is important. This industry has primarily been dealing with voice and data grade circuits that could tolerate some interruption or decelerate of signal. The individual speaking would repeat themselves, or even the data would retransmit. Today our company is coping with IPTV signals and customers who will not tolerate pixelization, or momentary locking in the picture. Each of the situations mentioned are cause of the client to look for another carrier. Each situation might have been avoided if proper attention was provided to the methods used while preparing, installing, and looking after fiber optic cables.
Having said that, why don’t we review basic fiber preparation? Jacket Strippers are utilized to take away 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 remove the acrylate (buffer) coating from the bare glass. A protective plastic coating is used for the FTTH cable production line after the drawing process, but prior to spooling. The most common coating is actually a UV-cured acrylate, which is applied in two layers, resulting in a nominal outside diameter of 250um for the coated fiber. The coating is extremely engineered, providing protection against physical damage due to environmental elements, like temperature and humidity extremes, contact with chemicals, point of stress… etc. as well as minimizing optical loss. Without it, the maker would be unable to spool the fiber without having to break it. The 250um-coated fiber is definitely the foundation for many common fiber optic cable constructions. It is often used as is also, especially when additional mechanical or environmental protection is not required, such as within optical devices or splice closures. For additional physical protection and ease of handling, a secondary coating of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or Hytrel (a thermoplastic elastomer which includes desirable characteristics to use as a secondary buffer) is extruded over the 250um-coated fiber, increasing the outside diameter as much as 900um. This type of construction is referred to as ‘tight buffered fiber’. Tight Buffered might be single or multi fiber and are observed in Premise Networks and indoor applications. Multi-fiber, tight-buffered cables often are used for intra-building, risers, general building and plenum applications.
‘Loose tube fiber’ usually is made up of bundle of fibers enclosed in a thermoplastic tube known as a buffer tube, which includes an inner diameter that is slightly larger than the diameter of the fiber. Loose tube fiber features a space for that fibers to grow. In some weather conditions, a fiber may expand then shrink over and over again or it might be exposed to water. Fiber Cables will sometimes have ‘gel’ in this cavity (or space) and others which are labeled ‘dry block’. You will discover many loose tube fibers in Outside Plant Environments. The modular form of loose-tube cables typically holds up to 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 is used to protect the cable from rodents such as squirrels or beavers, or from protruding rocks in a buried environment. The modular buffer-tube design also permits easy drop-from groups of fibers at intermediate points, without upsetting other protected buffer tubes being routed to many other locations. The loose-tube design will help with the identification and administration of fibers inside the system. When protective gel exists, a gel-cleaner including D-Gel will be needed. Each fiber will likely be cleaned with the gel cleaner and 99% alcohol. Clean room wipers (Kim Wipes) are a good option to use with all the cleaning agent. The fibers within a loose tube gel filled cable normally have a 250um coating so they are definitely more fragile when compared to a tight-buffered fiber. Standard industry color-coding is also employed to identify the buffers and also the fibers inside the buffers.
A ‘Rotary Tool’ or ‘Cable Slitter’ may be used to slit a ring around and through the outer jacketing of ‘loose tube fiber’. When you expose the durable inner buffer tube, use a ‘Universal Fiber Access Tool’ which is designed for single central buffer tube entry. Used on the same principle because the Mid Span Access Tool, (that allows 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 even a pick can help the installer to get into the fiber in need of testing or repair. Once the damaged fiber is exposed a hand- stripping tool will be utilized to eliminate the 250um coating in order to work with the bare fiber. The next step is going to be washing the fiber end and preparing it to be cleaved. A great cleave is probably the most important factors of producing a low loss on the splice or perhaps a termination. A Fiber Optic Cleaver is a multipurpose tool that measures distance from your end of the buffer coating to the level where it will likely be joined and it also precisely cuts the glass. Always remember to employ a fiber trash-can for the scraps of glass cleaved off the fiber cable.
When performing fusion splicing you may need a Fusion Splicer, fusion splice protection sleeves, and isopropyl alcohol and stripping tools. If you are using a mechanical splice, you will require stripping tools, mechanical splices, isopropyl alcohol as well as a mechanical splice assembly tool. When hand terminating SZ stranding line you will need 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.
Each time a termination is complete you have to inspect the final face from the connector using a Fiber Optic Inspection Microscope. Making sure that light is to get through either the splice or yphlby connection, a Visual Fault Locator may be used. This piece of equipment will shoot a visible laser along the fiber cable so that you can tell there are no breaks or faulty splices. In the event the laser light stops on the fiber somewhere, there is most likely an escape in the glass when this occurs. Should there be over a dull light showing at the connector point, the termination had not been successful. The lighting must also go through the fusion splice, if it fails to, stop and re- splice or re-terminate.