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 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 might 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 optical fiber ribbon machine requires special tools and methods. Training is very important and there are numerous excellent causes of training available. Tend not to mix your electrical tools together with your fiber tools. Make use of the right tool for the task! Being familiar with fiber work will become increasingly necessary as the importance of data transmission speeds, fiber towards the home and fiber for the premise deployments carry on and increase.
Many factors set fiber installations aside from traditional electrical projects. Fiber optic glass is extremely 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 can sliver to your skin without having to be seen by the eye.
Transmission grade lasers are extremely 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 the data would retransmit. Today our company is coping with IPTV signals and customers who can not tolerate pixelization, or momentary locking of the picture. Each of the situations mentioned are cause of the customer to find another carrier. Each situation could have been avoided if proper attention was given to the methods used when preparing, installing, and looking after FTTH cable production line.
Having said that, why don’t we review basic fiber preparation? Jacket Strippers are used 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 under the jacket and Buffer Strippers will remove the acrylate (buffer) coating through the bare glass. A protective plastic coating is used to the bare fiber following the drawing process, but prior to spooling. The most frequent coating is a UV-cured acrylate, that is applied by two layers, resulting in a nominal outside diameter of 250um for your coated fiber. The coating is very engineered, providing protection against physical damage due to environmental elements, like temperature and humidity extremes, contact with chemicals, reason for stress… etc. as well as minimizing optical loss.
Without one, the maker would struggle to spool the fiber without having to break it. The 250um-coated fiber is definitely 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 inside of optical devices or splice closures. For further physical protection and simplicity of handling, a secondary coating of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or Hytrel (a thermoplastic elastomer which includes desirable characteristics to use being a secondary buffer) is extruded on the 250um-coated fiber, improving the outside diameter up to 900um. This kind of construction is called ‘tight buffered fiber’. Tight Buffered may be single or multi fiber and they are seen in Premise Networks and indoor applications. Multi-fiber, tight-buffered cables often are 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 thru 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, (that enables access to the 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 access the fiber in need of testing or repair.
When the damaged fiber is exposed a hand- stripping tool will be used to take away the 250um coating so that you can work with the bare fiber. The next thing is going to be cleansing the optical fiber proof-testing machine and preparing that it is cleaved. A good cleave is probably the most essential factors of creating a low loss on a splice or even 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 be joined and it precisely cuts the glass. Remember to utilize a fiber trash-can for your scraps of glass cleaved off of the fiber cable.