Recently 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 is definitely several tool out there that would have made the task easier! This situation is definitely one that many fiber optic installers know all too well. As being a gentle reminder, what number 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 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 Fiber coloring machine requires special tools and methods. Training is very important and there are lots of excellent types of training available. Usually do not mix your electrical tools along with your fiber tools. Make use of the right tool to do the job! Being experienced in fiber work will become increasingly necessary as the importance of data transmission speeds, fiber for the home and fiber towards 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 least scratch, mark or perhaps speck of dirt will change the transmission of light, degrading the signal. Safety factors important because you will work with glass that may sliver into your skin without having to be seen from 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 could tolerate some interruption or decrease of signal. The person speaking would repeat themselves, or even the data would retransmit. Today we have been coping 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 customer to look for another carrier. Each situation could have been avoided if proper attention was presented to the strategies 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 employed 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 beneath the jacket and Buffer Strippers will eliminate the acrylate (buffer) coating through the bare glass. A protective plastic coating is used to the bare fiber following the drawing process, but before 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 your coated fiber. The coating is highly engineered, providing protection against physical damage due to environmental elements, such as temperature and humidity extremes, being exposed to chemicals, reason for stress… etc. while minimizing optical loss.
Without this, the producer would struggle to spool the fiber without breaking it. The 250um-coated fiber will be the foundation for most common fiber optic cable constructions. It is usually used as it is, particularly when additional mechanical or environmental protection is not needed, 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 includes desirable characteristics to use as a secondary buffer) is extruded over the 250um-coated fiber, enhancing the outside diameter as much as 900um. This kind of construction is known as ‘tight buffered fiber’. Tight Buffered might be single or multi fiber and they 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’ could be used to slit a ring around and thru 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 designed 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 lqzgij will help the installer to gain access to the fiber needing testing or repair.
After the damaged fiber is exposed a hand- stripping tool will be used to eliminate the 250um coating so that you can work with the bare fiber. The next phase will likely be cleaning the Sheathing line and preparing so that it is cleaved. An excellent cleave is among the most important factors of creating a low loss on a splice or even a termination. A Fiber Optic Cleaver is a multipurpose tool that measures distance from the end of the buffer coating to the point where it will probably be joined and it precisely cuts the glass. Remember to use a fiber trash-can for the scraps of glass cleaved from the fiber cable.