Not long ago i 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 exists definitely more than one tool available that will have made the work easier! This case is certainly one that many fiber optic installers know all too well. As being a gentle reminder, what number of you might have used your Splicer’s Tool Kit (cable knife/scissors) to remove jacketing as well as slit a buffer tube and then use 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 SZ Stranding Line requires special tools and techniques. Training is essential and there are numerous excellent types of training available. Usually do not mix your electrical tools along with your fiber tools. Utilize the right tool for the job! Being experienced in fiber work will become increasingly necessary as the value of data transmission speeds, fiber towards the home and fiber to the premise deployments still increase.
Many factors set fiber installations besides traditional electrical projects. Fiber optic glass is extremely fragile; it’s nominal outside diameter is 125um. The least scratch, mark or perhaps speck of dirt will change the transmission of light, degrading the signal. Safety is important because you work with glass that may sliver to your skin without getting seen from the human eye. Transmission grade lasers are incredibly dangerous, and require that protective eyewear is important. This industry has primarily been dealing with voice and data grade circuits that may tolerate some interruption or slow down of signal. The individual speaking would repeat themselves, or the data would retransmit. Today our company is coping with IPTV signals and customers who will not tolerate pixelization, or momentary locking in the picture. All 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 techniques used when preparing, installing, and looking after Secondary Coating Line.
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 underneath the jacket and Buffer Strippers will remove the acrylate (buffer) coating through the bare glass. A protective plastic coating is applied for the bare fiber following the drawing process, but before spooling. The most common coating is really a UV-cured acrylate, that is applied in 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. while also minimizing optical loss. Without it, the producer would not be able to spool the fiber without breaking it. The 250um-coated fiber is definitely the building block 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 needed, including inside of optical devices or splice closures. For further physical protection and ease of handling, a secondary coating of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or Hytrel (a thermoplastic elastomer which includes desirable characteristics for use as being a secondary buffer) is extruded on the 250um-coated fiber, enhancing the outside diameter approximately 900um. This type of construction is known as ‘tight buffered fiber’. Tight Buffered may be single or multi fiber and are seen in Premise Networks and indoor applications. Multi-fiber, tight-buffered cables often can be used as intra-building, risers, general building and plenum applications.
‘Loose tube fiber’ usually consists of a bundle of fibers enclosed in a thermoplastic tube referred to as a buffer tube, that has an inner diameter that is slightly bigger than the diameter from the fiber. Loose tube fiber has a space for that fibers to grow. In particular climate conditions, a fiber may expand and after that shrink repeatedly or it could be exposed to water. Fiber Cables will sometimes have ‘gel’ in this cavity (or space) and others that are labeled ‘dry block’. You will find many loose tube fibers in Outside Plant Environments. The modular design of loose-tube cables typically holds up to 12 fibers per buffer tube with a maximum per cable fiber count of over 200 fibers. Loose-tube cables could be all-dielectric or optionally armored. The armoring is used to safeguard the cable from rodents like squirrels or beavers, or from protruding rocks in a buried environment. The modular buffer-tube design also permits easy drop-off of teams of fibers at intermediate points, without disturbing other protected buffer tubes being routed to 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 such as D-Gel will likely be needed. Each fiber will be cleaned using the gel cleaner and 99% alcohol. Clean room wipers (Kim Wipes) are a great eygmcn to utilize with the cleaning agent. The fibers inside a loose tube gel filled cable usually have a 250um coating so that they tend to be more fragile when compared to a tight-buffered fiber. Standard industry color-coding can also be utilized to identify the buffers along with the fibers inside the buffers.
A ‘Rotary Tool’ or ‘Cable Slitter’ may 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, 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, (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 such as a spatula or a pick will help the installer to access the Fiber Coloring Machine in need of testing or repair. Once the damaged fiber is exposed a hand- stripping tool will be employed to remove the 250um coating in order to assist the bare fiber. The next phase will likely be cleansing the fiber end and preparing that it is cleaved. A good cleave is one of the most important factors of making a low loss on the splice or perhaps a termination. A Fiber Optic Cleaver is a multipurpose tool that measures distance through the end from the buffer coating to the stage where it will likely be joined plus it precisely cuts the glass. Never forget to utilize a fiber trash-can for your scraps of glass cleaved off of the fiber cable.