I recently 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 more than one tool out there that would have made the task easier! This example is certainly one that many fiber optic installers know all too well. As a gentle reminder, what number of you have used your Splicer’s Tool Kit (cable knife/scissors) to get rid of jacketing or even slit a buffer tube and then make use of 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 coloring machine requires special tools and techniques. Training is essential and there are many excellent types of training available. Do not mix your electrical tools along with your fiber tools. Utilize the right tool for the job! Being experienced in fiber work will become increasingly necessary as the significance of data transmission speeds, fiber to the home and fiber to the premise deployments continue to increase.
Many factors set fiber installations besides traditional electrical projects. Fiber optic glass is very fragile; it’s nominal outside diameter is 125um. The slightest scratch, mark or even speck of dirt will affect the transmission of light, degrading the signal. Safety factors important because you are working with glass that may sliver to your skin without getting seen by the eye.
Transmission grade lasers are very 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 decrease of signal. Anyone speaking would repeat themselves, or the data would retransmit. Today our company is dealing with IPTV signals and customers who will not tolerate pixelization, or momentary locking in the picture. All the situations mentioned are cause of the consumer to look for another carrier. Each situation could have been avoided if proper attention was presented to the techniques used when preparing, installing, and maintaining Fiber drawing machine.
With that in mind, why don’t we review basic fiber preparation? Jacket Strippers are used 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 take away the acrylate (buffer) coating from your bare glass. A protective plastic coating is applied to the bare fiber following the drawing process, but before spooling. The most frequent coating is really a UV-cured acrylate, which is applied in two layers, resulting in a nominal outside diameter of 250um for your coated fiber. The coating is highly engineered, providing protection against physical damage caused by environmental elements, including temperature and humidity extremes, being exposed to chemicals, point of stress… etc. as well as minimizing optical loss.
Without one, the producer would struggle to spool the fiber without breaking it. The 250um-coated fiber is the building block for many common fiber optic cable constructions. It is often used as is, especially when additional mechanical or environmental protection is not needed, like within optical devices or splice closures. For additional physical protection and easy handling, a secondary coating of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or Hytrel (a thermoplastic elastomer which includes desirable characteristics for use as a secondary buffer) is extruded on the 250um-coated fiber, improving the outside diameter up to 900um. This type of construction is known as ‘tight buffered fiber’. Tight Buffered might be single or multi fiber and therefore are noticed in Premise Networks and indoor applications. Multi-fiber, tight-buffered cables often can be used for intra-building, risers, general building and plenum applications.
A ‘Rotary Tool’ or ‘Cable Slitter’ may be used to slit a ring around and thru the outer jacketing of ‘loose tube fiber’. As soon as you expose the durable inner buffer tube, you can use a ‘Universal Fiber Access Tool’ which is designed 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 for instance a spatula or even a lqzgij will 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 employed to eliminate the 250um coating to be able to assist the bare fiber. The next phase is going to be cleaning the Sheathing line and preparing so that it is cleaved. An excellent cleave is probably the most essential factors of producing a low loss over a splice or a termination. A Fiber Optic Cleaver is really a multipurpose tool that measures distance through the end from the buffer coating to the point where it will likely be joined plus it precisely cuts the glass. Always remember to employ a fiber trash-can for the scraps of glass cleaved off of the fiber cable.