I recently 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 more than one tool out there that would have made the task easier! This case is definitely one that many fiber optic installers know all too well. As being a gentle reminder, how many of you might 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 have to start over?
Correctly splicing and terminating Sheathing line requires special tools and methods. Training is important and there are many excellent sources of training available. Do not mix your electrical tools with your fiber tools. Utilize the right tool to do the job! Being experienced in fiber work can become increasingly necessary as the importance of data transmission speeds, fiber towards the home and fiber for the premise deployments still 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 or even speck of dirt will affect the transmission of light, degrading the signal. Safety factors important since you are working with glass that may sliver into your skin without being seen through the human eye.
Transmission grade lasers are incredibly dangerous, and require that protective eyewear is essential. 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 have been dealing with IPTV signals and customers that will not tolerate pixelization, or momentary locking from the picture. All the situations mentioned are cause of the consumer to find another carrier. Each situation could have been avoided if proper attention was provided to the strategies used in planning, installing, and looking after FTTH cable production line.
Having said that, why don’t we review basic fiber preparation? Jacket Strippers are employed 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 under the jacket and Buffer Strippers will take away the acrylate (buffer) coating from the bare glass. A protective plastic coating is used for the bare fiber following the drawing process, but before spooling. The most common coating is a UV-cured acrylate, which can be applied in two layers, resulting in a nominal outside diameter of 250um for your coated fiber. The coating is highly engineered, providing protection against physical damage brought on by environmental elements, including temperature and humidity extremes, being exposed to chemicals, reason for stress… etc. while minimizing optical loss.
Without it, the manufacturer would not be able to spool the fiber without having to break it. The 250um-coated fiber is the foundation for a lot of common fiber optic cable constructions. It is often used as is also, especially when additional mechanical or environmental protection is not required, like inside of optical devices or splice closures. For additional physical protection and ease of handling, a secondary coating of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or Hytrel (a thermoplastic elastomer that has desirable characteristics to use as being a secondary buffer) is extruded within the 250um-coated fiber, increasing the outside diameter up to 900um. This sort of construction is known as ‘tight buffered fiber’. Tight Buffered may be single or multi fiber and therefore 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.
A ‘Rotary Tool’ or ‘Cable Slitter’ can be used to slit a ring around and thru 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 because the Mid Span Access Tool, (which allows accessibility multicolored buffer coated tight buffered fibers) dual blades will slit the tube lengthwise, exposing the buffer coated fibers. Fiber handling tools like a spatula or even a lqzgij will help the installer to get into the fiber in need of testing or repair.
When the damaged fiber is exposed a hand- stripping tool will be utilized to take away the 250um coating so that you can work together with the bare fiber. The next thing will be cleaning the Secondary coating line and preparing that it is cleaved. An excellent cleave is among the most significant factors of making a low loss on a splice or even a termination. A Fiber Optic Cleaver is a multipurpose tool that measures distance from your end in the buffer coating to the point where it will be joined and it also precisely cuts the glass. Always remember to employ a fiber trash-can for your scraps of glass cleaved off of the fiber cable.