Recently i watched my coworker disassembling a 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 multiple 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, how many of you have used your Splicer’s Tool Kit (cable knife/scissors) to remove 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 have to start over?
Correctly splicing and terminating optical fiber coloring machine requires special tools and techniques. Training is very important and there are lots of excellent types of training available. Tend not to mix your electrical tools with your fiber tools. Make use of the right tool for the task! Being proficient in fiber work will become increasingly necessary as the value of data transmission speeds, fiber towards the home and fiber towards 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 least scratch, mark as well as speck of dirt will affect the transmission of light, degrading the signal. Safety factors are important since you work with glass that will sliver into your skin without having to be seen by the human eye.
Transmission grade lasers are incredibly dangerous, and require that protective eyewear is a must. This industry has primarily been coping with voice and data grade circuits which could tolerate some interruption or slow down of signal. The individual speaking would repeat themselves, or even the data would retransmit. Today we are working with IPTV signals and customers that will not tolerate pixelization, or momentary locking from the picture. All the situations mentioned are cause of the client to look for another carrier. Each situation could have been avoided if proper attention was given to the techniques used when preparing, installing, and maintaining optical fiber proof-testing machine.
Having said that, 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 underneath the jacket and Buffer Strippers will take away the acrylate (buffer) coating from the bare glass. A protective plastic coating is applied for the bare fiber following the drawing process, but prior to spooling. The most common coating is really 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, including temperature and humidity extremes, being exposed to chemicals, point of stress… etc. while minimizing optical loss.
Without it, the producer would not be able to spool the fiber without having to break it. The 250um-coated fiber will be the foundation for most common fiber optic cable constructions. It is often used as is, specially when additional mechanical or environmental protection is not required, including inside of optical devices or splice closures. For extra physical protection and simplicity of handling, a secondary coating of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or Hytrel (a thermoplastic elastomer that has desirable characteristics to be used as a secondary buffer) is extruded within the 250um-coated fiber, improving 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 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’ 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 designed for single central buffer tube entry. Used on the same principle because the Mid Span Access Tool, (which allows access to the multicolored buffer coated tight buffered fibers) dual blades will slit the tube lengthwise, exposing the buffer coated fibers. Fiber handling tools like a spatula or even a lqzgij will help the installer to gain access to the fiber needing testing or repair.
After 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 will be cleansing the Secondary coating line and preparing it to be cleaved. An excellent cleave is among the most significant factors of producing a low loss over a splice or a termination. A Fiber Optic Cleaver is really a multipurpose tool that measures distance from your end in the buffer coating to the stage where it will probably be joined plus it precisely cuts the glass. Remember to utilize a fiber trash-can for the scraps of glass cleaved from the fiber cable.