I recently watched my coworker disassembling a pc only using one tool. Was it the correct tool for the job? Yes and no. It was the tool he had… it worked, however, there exists definitely multiple tool out there that could make the work easier! This example is certainly one that many fiber optic installers know all too well. As a gentle reminder, how many of you may have used your Splicer’s Tool Kit (cable knife/scissors) to eliminate jacketing or perhaps slit a buffer tube and then utilize 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 techniques. Training is very important and there are many excellent sources of training available. Tend not to mix your electrical tools along with your fiber tools. Make use of the right tool for the job! Being familiar with fiber work will 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 slightest scratch, mark as well as speck of dirt will affect the transmission of light, degrading the signal. Safety factors important because you are working with glass that may sliver in your skin without being seen by the human eye. Transmission grade lasers are very dangerous, and require that protective eyewear is important. This industry has primarily been dealing with voice and data grade circuits that could tolerate some interruption or decelerate of signal. The person speaking would repeat themselves, or even the data would retransmit. Today we have been dealing 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 look for another carrier. Each situation could have been avoided if proper attention was presented to the methods used in planning, installing, and looking after Optical Fiber Coloring Machine.
With that being said, why don’t we review basic fiber preparation? Jacket Strippers are utilized to remove 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 from your bare glass. A protective plastic coating is used to the bare fiber following the drawing process, but just before spooling. The most frequent coating is actually a UV-cured acrylate, which can be 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 brought on by 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 be unable to spool the fiber without having to break it. The 250um-coated fiber is the foundation for most common fiber optic cable constructions. It is usually used as it is, specially when additional mechanical or environmental protection is not required, such as on the inside of optical devices or splice closures. For additional physical protection and easy handling, a secondary coating of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or Hytrel (a thermoplastic elastomer which has desirable characteristics to use as a secondary buffer) is extruded within the 250um-coated fiber, improving 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 for intra-building, risers, general building and plenum applications.
‘Loose tube fiber’ usually includes a bundle of fibers enclosed in a thermoplastic tube known as the buffer tube, which has an inner diameter which is slightly bigger than the diameter in the fiber. Loose tube fiber has a space for your fibers to grow. In particular weather conditions, a fiber may expand then shrink again and again or it may be in contact with water. Fiber Cables will sometimes have ‘gel’ in this cavity (or space) yet others which can be labeled ‘dry block’. You will find many loose tube fibers in Outside Plant Environments. The modular design of loose-tube cables typically holds approximately 12 fibers per buffer tube having a maximum per cable fiber count of more than 200 fibers. Loose-tube cables may be all-dielectric or optionally armored. The armoring is utilized to protect 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-from sets of fibers at intermediate points, without upsetting other protected buffer tubes being routed to other locations. The loose-tube design will help with the identification and administration of fibers within the system. When protective gel is present, a gel-cleaner such as D-Gel will be needed. Each fiber will likely be cleaned with the gel cleaner and 99% alcohol. Clean room wipers (Kim Wipes) are a great eygmcn to utilize with the cleaning agent. The fibers within a loose tube gel filled cable normally have a 250um coating so they are more fragile than a tight-buffered fiber. Standard industry color-coding is also used to identify the buffers as well as the fibers in 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’. When you expose the durable inner buffer tube, use a ‘Universal Fiber Access Tool’ which is designed for single central buffer tube entry. Used on the same principle as the Mid Span Access Tool, (that enables 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 pick may help the installer to get into the FTTH Cable Production Line in need of testing or repair. When the damaged fiber is exposed a hand- stripping tool will be employed to take away the 250um coating so that you can assist the bare fiber. The next thing will likely be washing the fiber end and preparing it to be cleaved. An excellent cleave is probably the most important factors of making a low loss on a splice or a termination. A Fiber Optic Cleaver is actually a multipurpose tool that measures distance from the end from 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 that scraps of glass cleaved off the fiber cable.