Recently 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 several 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 a gentle reminder, what percentage 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 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 secondary coating line requires special tools and techniques. Training is important and there are many excellent sources of training available. Usually do not mix your electrical tools with your fiber tools. Utilize the right tool to do the job! Being experienced in fiber work will become increasingly necessary as the importance of data transmission speeds, fiber towards 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 very 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 simply because you work with glass that may sliver into your skin without being seen by the eye.
Transmission grade lasers are incredibly dangerous, and require that protective eyewear is important. This industry has primarily been coping with voice and data grade circuits that could tolerate some interruption or slow down of signal. The person speaking would repeat themselves, or even the data would retransmit. Today we are working with IPTV signals and customers who can not tolerate pixelization, or momentary locking of the picture. All of the situations mentioned are reason for the client to look for another carrier. Each situation might have been avoided if proper attention was given to the techniques used when preparing, installing, and maintaining Fiber drawing machine.
Having said that, why don’t we review basic fiber preparation? Jacket Strippers are utilized 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 from the bare glass. A protective plastic coating is used to the bare fiber after the drawing process, but just before 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 the coated fiber. The coating is very engineered, providing protection against physical damage caused by environmental elements, including temperature and humidity extremes, exposure to chemicals, reason for stress… etc. while minimizing optical loss.
Without it, the maker would struggle to spool the fiber without having to break it. The 250um-coated fiber will be the foundation for most common fiber optic cable constructions. It is often used as is, particularly when additional mechanical or environmental protection is not needed, like on the inside of optical devices or splice closures. For extra physical protection and simplicity of handling, a secondary coating of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or Hytrel (a thermoplastic elastomer that has desirable characteristics for use as being a secondary buffer) is extruded on the 250um-coated fiber, improving the outside diameter approximately 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 as 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, use a ‘Universal Fiber Access Tool’ which is perfect 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 can help the installer to get into the fiber looking for testing or repair.
After the damaged fiber is exposed a hand- stripping tool will be employed to eliminate the 250um coating so that you can work together with the bare fiber. The next phase will likely be washing the optical fiber coloring machine and preparing it to be cleaved. A great cleave is among the most important factors of making a low loss on a splice or even a termination. A Fiber Optic Cleaver is actually a multipurpose tool that measures distance from your end from the buffer coating to the point where it will probably be joined and it also precisely cuts the glass. Always remember to utilize a fiber trash-can for that scraps of glass cleaved off the fiber cable.