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 more than one tool out there that could have made the task easier! This situation is certainly one that many fiber optic installers know all too well. As being a gentle reminder, what percentage 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 utilize 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 important and there are lots of excellent causes of training available. Tend not to mix your electrical tools together with your fiber tools. Utilize the right tool for the task! Being experienced in fiber work will end up increasingly necessary as the importance of data transmission speeds, fiber to the home and fiber for the premise deployments still increase.
Many factors set fiber installations besides traditional electrical projects. Fiber optic glass is quite fragile; it’s nominal outside diameter is 125um. The slightest scratch, mark as well as speck of dirt will change the transmission of light, degrading the signal. Safety factors important simply because you are working with glass that will sliver into your skin without getting seen by the eye.
Transmission grade lasers are incredibly dangerous, and require that protective eyewear is essential. This industry has primarily been working with voice and data grade circuits that may tolerate some interruption or slow down of signal. Anyone speaking would repeat themselves, or perhaps the data would retransmit. Today we have been working with IPTV signals and customers who can not tolerate pixelization, or momentary locking of the picture. All of the situations mentioned are cause for the customer to search for another carrier. Each situation might have been avoided if proper attention was given to the methods used while preparing, installing, and maintaining FTTH cable production line.
With that being said, 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 under the jacket and Buffer Strippers will eliminate the acrylate (buffer) coating from the bare glass. A protective plastic coating is applied to the bare fiber right after the drawing process, but before spooling. The most typical coating is really 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 very engineered, providing protection against physical damage due to environmental elements, such as temperature and humidity extremes, contact with chemicals, point of stress… etc. while minimizing optical loss.
Without this, the maker would struggle to spool the fiber without breaking it. The 250um-coated fiber will be the building block for many common fiber optic cable constructions. It is usually used as it is, especially when additional mechanical or environmental protection is not required, including inside of optical devices or splice closures. For further physical protection and easy handling, a secondary coating of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or Hytrel (a thermoplastic elastomer which has desirable characteristics to be used as being a secondary buffer) is extruded over the 250um-coated fiber, improving the outside diameter as much as 900um. This kind of construction is called ‘tight buffered fiber’. Tight Buffered could be single or multi fiber and they are observed 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’ could 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, you can use a ‘Universal Fiber Access Tool’ which is made for single central buffer tube entry. Used on the same principle as 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 such as a spatula or perhaps 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 remove the 250um coating so that you can assist the bare fiber. The next step will be washing the FTTH cable production line and preparing it to be cleaved. A good cleave is one of the most significant factors of making a low loss over a splice or perhaps a termination. A Fiber Optic Cleaver is really a multipurpose tool that measures distance from your end in the buffer coating to the point where it will likely be joined and it also precisely cuts the glass. Remember to utilize a fiber trash-can for that scraps of glass cleaved from the fiber cable.