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 multiple tool out there that would have made the task easier! This example is unquestionably 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 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 secondary coating line requires special tools and methods. Training is important and there are many excellent causes of training available. Tend not to mix your electrical tools with your fiber tools. Utilize the right tool to do the job! Being familiar with fiber work will end up increasingly necessary as the value of data transmission speeds, fiber to the home and fiber towards the premise deployments still increase.
Many factors set fiber installations besides 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 change the transmission of light, degrading the signal. Safety factors important since you work with glass that can sliver in your skin without having to be 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 our company is dealing with IPTV signals and customers that will not tolerate pixelization, or momentary locking from the picture. All 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 methods used while preparing, installing, and looking after Sheathing line.
With that being said, 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 beneath the jacket and Buffer Strippers will take away the acrylate (buffer) coating from your bare glass. A protective plastic coating is applied for the bare fiber after the drawing process, but prior to spooling. The most common coating is actually a UV-cured acrylate, which can be applied by two layers, resulting in a nominal outside diameter of 250um for that coated fiber. The coating is highly engineered, providing protection against physical damage due to environmental elements, like temperature and humidity extremes, being exposed to chemicals, reason for stress… etc. while also minimizing optical loss.
Without it, the maker would be unable to spool the fiber without breaking it. The 250um-coated fiber will be the building block for many common fiber optic cable constructions. It is usually used as is also, specially when additional mechanical or environmental protection is not needed, such as within 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 for use being a secondary buffer) is extruded over the 250um-coated fiber, increasing the outside diameter as much as 900um. This sort of construction is referred to as ‘tight buffered fiber’. Tight Buffered might be single or multi fiber and they are seen 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 thru the outer jacketing of ‘loose tube fiber’. When 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 as 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 such as a spatula or a lqzgij can help the installer to gain access to the fiber needing testing or repair.
Once the damaged fiber is exposed a hand- stripping tool will be utilized to remove the 250um coating so that you can work together with the bare fiber. The next thing will be washing the Secondary coating line and preparing that it is cleaved. A good cleave is probably the most important factors of producing a low loss over a splice or perhaps a termination. A Fiber Optic Cleaver is a multipurpose tool that measures distance through the end of the buffer coating to the level where it will likely be joined plus it precisely cuts the glass. Always remember to utilize a fiber trash-can for your scraps of glass cleaved from the fiber cable.