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 several tool out there that could have made the task easier! This example is definitely one that many fiber optic installers know all too well. As a gentle reminder, what percentage of you have used your Splicer’s Tool Kit (cable knife/scissors) to eliminate 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 secondary coating line requires special tools and techniques. Training is important and there are many excellent sources of training available. Do not mix your electrical tools along with your fiber tools. Make use of the right tool to do the job! Being proficient in fiber work can become increasingly necessary as the significance of data transmission speeds, fiber to the home and fiber towards the premise deployments carry on and increase.
Many factors set fiber installations aside from 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 simply because you will work with glass that may sliver in your skin without having to be seen by the human eye.
Transmission grade lasers are incredibly dangerous, and require that protective eyewear is important. This industry has primarily been working with voice and data grade circuits that may tolerate some interruption or decelerate of signal. Anyone speaking would repeat themselves, or even the data would retransmit. Today we have been dealing with IPTV signals and customers who can not tolerate pixelization, or momentary locking of the picture. Each of the situations mentioned are reason for the client to search for another carrier. Each situation might have been avoided if proper attention was presented to the techniques used while preparing, installing, and looking after secondary coating line.
With that in mind, 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 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 after the drawing process, but prior to spooling. The most typical coating is a UV-cured acrylate, which is applied by two layers, resulting in a nominal outside diameter of 250um for that coated fiber. The coating is extremely engineered, providing protection against physical damage due to environmental elements, such as temperature and humidity extremes, exposure to chemicals, reason for stress… etc. as well as minimizing optical loss.
Without it, the maker would not be able to spool the fiber without having to break it. The 250um-coated fiber will be the building block for most common fiber optic cable constructions. It is often used as is also, particularly when additional mechanical or environmental protection is not needed, such as on the 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 that has desirable characteristics to use being a secondary buffer) is extruded on the 250um-coated fiber, increasing the outside diameter approximately 900um. This kind of construction is referred to as ‘tight buffered fiber’. Tight Buffered could be single or multi fiber and 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 through the outer jacketing of ‘loose tube fiber’. Once 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 since the Mid Span Access Tool, (that 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 perhaps a lqzgij may help the installer to get into the fiber needing testing or repair.
When the damaged fiber is exposed a hand- stripping tool will be utilized to remove the 250um coating in order to work together with the bare fiber. The next step will be cleaning the secondary coating line and preparing that it is cleaved. A great cleave is among the most significant factors of producing a low loss on the splice or a termination. A Fiber Optic Cleaver is really a multipurpose tool that measures distance from your end from the buffer coating to the point where it will likely be joined and it also precisely cuts the glass. Remember to employ a fiber trash-can for that scraps of glass cleaved off the fiber cable.