I recently watched my coworker disassembling a personal computer only using 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 several tool out there that could have made the task easier! This situation is definitely one that many fiber optic installers know all too well. As a gentle reminder, what percentage of you might have used your Splicer’s Tool Kit (cable knife/scissors) to get rid of jacketing or even slit a buffer tube and then use the scissors to hack away at the Kevlar? Did you nick the glass? Did you accidentally cut through the glass and need to start over?
Correctly splicing and terminating Fiber drawing machine requires special tools and methods. Training is very important and there are many excellent causes of training available. Tend not to mix your electrical tools along with your fiber tools. Use the right tool to do 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 continue to increase.
Many factors set fiber installations apart from traditional electrical projects. Fiber optic glass is extremely fragile; it’s nominal outside diameter is 125um. The least scratch, mark as well as speck of dirt will affect the transmission of light, degrading the signal. Safety factors are important simply because you will work with glass that may sliver into your skin without having to be seen by the eye.
Transmission grade lasers are extremely dangerous, and require that protective eyewear is important. This industry has primarily been coping with voice and data grade circuits that may tolerate some interruption or decelerate of signal. The individual speaking would repeat themselves, or perhaps the data would retransmit. Today we are dealing with IPTV signals and customers who can not tolerate pixelization, or momentary locking of the picture. Each of the situations mentioned are cause for the client to find another carrier. Each situation might have been avoided if proper attention was provided to the techniques used when preparing, installing, and looking after optical fiber ribbon machine.
With that in mind, why don’t we review basic fiber preparation? Jacket Strippers are employed 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 under the jacket and Buffer Strippers will take away the acrylate (buffer) coating from your bare glass. A protective plastic coating is used for the bare fiber after the drawing process, but prior to spooling. The most common coating is actually a UV-cured acrylate, which can be 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 brought on by environmental elements, such as temperature and humidity extremes, contact with chemicals, reason for stress… etc. while minimizing optical loss.
Without one, the maker would be unable to spool the fiber without breaking it. The 250um-coated fiber is definitely the foundation for a lot of common fiber optic cable constructions. It is often used as it is, particularly when additional mechanical or environmental protection is not needed, like within optical devices or splice closures. For further physical protection and ease of handling, a secondary coating of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or Hytrel (a thermoplastic elastomer that has desirable characteristics to use as being a secondary buffer) is extruded over the 250um-coated fiber, increasing the outside diameter up to 900um. This sort of construction is referred to as ‘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.
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, use a ‘Universal Fiber Access Tool’ which is perfect for single central buffer tube entry. Used on the same principle because the Mid Span Access Tool, (which allows accessibility multicolored buffer coated tight buffered fibers) dual blades will slit the tube lengthwise, exposing the buffer coated fibers. Fiber handling tools for instance a spatula or even a lqzgij can help the installer to access the fiber looking for testing or repair.
After the damaged fiber is exposed a hand- stripping tool will be used to remove the 250um coating to be able to work with the bare fiber. The next step is going to be cleansing the Secondary coating line and preparing so that it is cleaved. A great cleave is one of the most important factors of creating a low loss on a splice or a termination. A Fiber Optic Cleaver is really a multipurpose tool that measures distance through the end of the buffer coating to the stage where it will probably be joined and it also precisely cuts the glass. Remember to employ a fiber trash-can for your scraps of glass cleaved from the fiber cable.