Not long ago i watched my coworker disassembling a personal 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 exists definitely multiple tool out there that would have made the work easier! This situation is unquestionably 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 remove 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 Sheathing Line requires special tools and methods. Training is very important and there are lots of excellent causes of training available. Usually do not mix your electrical tools along with your fiber tools. Utilize the right tool for the task! Being experienced in fiber work will end up increasingly necessary as the value of data transmission speeds, fiber to the home and fiber for 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 slightest scratch, mark or even speck of dirt will change the transmission of light, degrading the signal. Safety factors are important because you will work with glass that can sliver into your skin without getting 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 that may tolerate some interruption or slow down of signal. Anyone speaking would repeat themselves, or perhaps the data would retransmit. Today we are coping with IPTV signals and customers who will not tolerate pixelization, or momentary locking from the picture. All of the situations mentioned are cause for the client to look for another carrier. Each situation might have been avoided if proper attention was provided to the methods used in planning, installing, and maintaining fiber optic cables.
With that being said, why don’t we review basic fiber preparation? Jacket Strippers are used to eliminate 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 eliminate the acrylate (buffer) coating from your bare glass. A protective plastic coating is applied towards the bare fiber following the drawing process, but prior to spooling. The most frequent coating is really a UV-cured acrylate, which can be applied by two layers, resulting in a nominal outside diameter of 250um for your coated fiber. The coating is extremely 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 one, the manufacturer would be unable to spool the fiber without having to break it. The 250um-coated fiber is definitely the foundation for a lot of common fiber optic cable constructions. It is usually used as is also, particularly when additional mechanical or environmental protection is not required, like on the inside of 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 to be used as a secondary buffer) is extruded over the 250um-coated fiber, increasing the outside diameter up to 900um. This type of construction is known as ‘tight buffered fiber’. Tight Buffered may be single or multi fiber and are noticed in Premise Networks and indoor applications. Multi-fiber, tight-buffered cables often are used for intra-building, risers, general building and plenum applications.
‘Loose tube fiber’ usually includes a bundle of fibers enclosed in a thermoplastic tube referred to as a buffer tube, which has an inner diameter that is slightly greater than the diameter in the fiber. Loose tube fiber has a space for your fibers to expand. In certain climatic conditions, a fiber may expand and then shrink over and over again or it may be in contact with water. Fiber Cables will sometimes have ‘gel’ in this particular cavity (or space) as well as others that are labeled ‘dry block’. You will find many loose tube fibers in Outside Plant Environments. The modular style of Fiber Coloring Machine typically holds up to 12 fibers per buffer tube with a maximum per cable fiber count of more than 200 fibers. Loose-tube cables can be all-dielectric or optionally armored. The armoring can be used to safeguard the cable from rodents such as squirrels or beavers, or from protruding rocks in a buried environment. The modular buffer-tube design also permits easy drop-away from teams of fibers at intermediate points, without disturbing other protected buffer tubes being routed with other locations. The loose-tube design will help with the identification and administration of fibers in the system. When protective gel is found, a gel-cleaner like D-Gel will likely be needed. Each fiber will likely be cleaned with all the gel cleaner and 99% alcohol. Clean room wipers (Kim Wipes) are a great decision to use with the cleaning agent. The fibers inside a loose tube gel filled cable usually have a 250um coating therefore they tend to be more fragile than a tight-buffered fiber. Standard industry color-coding can also be used to identify the buffers as well since the fibers inside the buffers.
A ‘Rotary Tool’ or ‘Cable Slitter’ can be utilized to slit a ring around and through the outer jacketing of ‘loose tube fiber’. Once you expose the durable inner buffer tube, you can utilize a ‘Universal Fiber Access Tool’ which is made for single central buffer tube entry. Used on the same principle since 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 for instance a spatula or even a pick may help the installer to gain access to the fiber needing testing or repair. Once the damaged fiber is exposed a hand- stripping tool will be used to remove the 250um coating in order to work with the bare fiber. The next step will be cleansing the fiber end and preparing so that it is cleaved. A good cleave is among the most essential factors of producing a low loss over a splice or a termination. A Fiber Optic Cleaver is actually a multipurpose tool that measures distance from the end in the buffer coating towards the point where it will probably be joined and it also precisely cuts the glass. Remember to employ a fiber trash-can for that scraps of glass cleaved from the fiber cable.
When performing fusion splicing you will need a Fusion Splicer, fusion splice protection sleeves, and isopropyl alcohol and stripping tools. If you are using a mechanical splice, you will require stripping tools, mechanical splices, isopropyl alcohol as well as a mechanical splice assembly tool. When hand terminating a fiber you will need 99% isopropyl alcohol, epoxy/adhesive, a syringe and needle, polishing (lapping) film, a polishing pad, a polishing puck, a crimp tool, stripping tools, fiber optic connectors ( or splice on connectors) and piano wire.
When a termination is finished you must inspect the end face in the connector with FTTH Cable Production Line. Making sure that light is becoming through either the splice or the connection, a Visual Fault Locator can be used. This device will shoot a visible laser down the fiber cable so you can tell there are no breaks or faulty splices. When the rhnnol light stops down the fiber somewhere, there is probably a break within the glass at this point. When there is greater than a dull light showing at the connector point, the termination had not been successful. The light must also move through the fusion splice, if it does not, stop and re- splice or re-terminate.