TIPS

TIPS

Techniques when using stripping tools

Damaging inner materials when stripping any layer of the cable, is a ticking time-bomb.   A fiber which has been scratched on the outer diameter may indeed function perfectly well for some time. Stress points from which cracks in the glass can propagate over time,...

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Aramid yarns and Good stripping techniques

Aramid yarns.  These strength members are also known by the trade name Kevlar®).   They provide tensile strength to the finished cable assembly (they are crimped to the connector body, so that any pull stress applied to the cable after it is connectorized will be...

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End-face quality and cleanliness

Fiber end-face defects (scratches, pits, cracks) and particle contamination have a direct impact on the performance of the connector, which contributes to poor IL/RL. Any irregularity that impedes light transmission from one fiber to the other will negatively affect...

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Reproducibility Tip

As we all know, the internal temperature of the deposition tube is what matters, since the reaction is occurring on the inside. However, the process pyrometer is reading the external temperature. SG Controls offers a diameter control system, which controls and...

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Polishing FAQs and what we do not recommend

Polishing information and what we do not recommend Can you polish successful dry – with no lubricant? Some fiber optic cable assembly houses do, but I do not recommend this. Certain fiber optic applications require continuous flow of water: one or two drops a second....

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Refractive index importance

Refractive index is a measure of how light propagates through a material.  The higher the refractive index the slower the light travels, which causes a correspondingly increased change in the direction of the light within the material.  What this means for...

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Scratches and final film

When scratches appear after using the final film, this typically relates back to earlier operational steps. It’s important to isolate and correct problematic issues throughout the assembly process. At Fiber Optic Center, we developed the ÅngströmLap Final Polish...

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Crimping process steps require checklists

Even for a seemingly straightforward process step such as crimping, you need to have good manufacturing procedures, the right tools, good-quality components, and well-trained operators. We encourage you to call Fiber Optic Center if you have questions. We’re here to...

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If you use too much water and flood the platen

If you use too much water and flood the platen If too much water is applied, you’ll risk overflow and flooding the platen. Liquid can seep underneath the rubber (or glass) pad and start slipping, and that’s a risk you want to avoid at all costs. Thankfully, today’s...

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Refractive index is a measure

Refractive index is a measure of how light propagates through a material.  The higher the refractive index the slower the light travels, which causes a correspondingly increased change in the direction of the light within the material.  What this means for lenses is...

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IL @ 1550 higher than 1310

IL @ 1550 higher than 1310 A connector, or an entire product design, showing a significantly higher Insertion Loss at 1550 than at 1310 indicates the likely presence of a stress point on the fiber somewhere in the cable assembly—most likely a fiber bend that exceeds...

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Use the proper crimp tool tip

For each connector body, the connector manufacturer specifies the crimp tool, die set (hexagonal or round die), crimp sleeve, and crimp force to achieve the best crimp and maximum pull force for that assembly. It’s absolutely critical to use the proper tools and...

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Connectors aligned and contacted optimally

The ideal (minimum-loss) fiber path would have NO connections. Instead, it would be one continuous, straight-through glass fiber from Point A to Point B – with no interruptions. Since fiber networks usually require connectors for modularity, path splits, etc., we need...

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Improving epoxy work surface

A favorite tip: Make a polyethylene work surface. PE can be cut using woodworking tools, and you can place it in any dedicated space to create an easy-to-clean work surface. PE is gleaming white in color, chemically resistant, and available in 1/8” or ¼” sheets. You...

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Assess the quality and condition of test cables

When it comes to assessing the quality and condition of test cables, first ensure the test cable’s connectors are clean. Next, take a close look to ensure they are in good condition. Keep in mind that both connectors and coupling sleeves don’t last forever. They will...

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The “golden rule” in stripping

Note the cable diameter and jacket thickness for each cable – Stripping cables and fibers is a delicate process. Carefully set your hand tool or machine tool to the right cable diameter and jacket thickness to prevent damaging the inner materials: aramid yarns, inner...

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IL @ 1310 higher than 1550

IL @ 1310 higher than 1550 A connector, or an entire product design, showing a significantly higher Insertion Loss at 1310 than at 1550 indicates a likely problem in core-to-core alignment between the two mated ferrules.   The difference may be small, and indeed may...

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Fiber stripping and damage tips

Fiber Stripping: Damage to the fiber during stripping may not always cause the fiber to break immediately.  It is very possible for a damaged fiber to remain unbroken during the production line processing.  Unless the weakened fiber breaks during production...

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Training your crimp operators

Again, each component requires as specific crimp tool, die, and sleeve. Do not mix-and-match components! In some production lines, we’ll see 10 or 15 die sets with various tools – the operator must know which tool to use for each connector. Here’s a tip: Make your...

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IL @ 1310 and 1550 similar

IL @ 1310 and 1550 similar If made properly, the cable assembly will test about the same at either 1310 or 1550.  1550 Insertion Loss results are generally better by a few hundredths of a dB, due to, in part, its lower fiber attenuation.    It’s normal that Insertion...

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Fiber height variation

When polishing an MT ferrule, it is virtually impossible to polish an array of fibers to EXACTLY the same heights. There will always be some deviation in height between fibers in the array. But, when the fibers and ferrule are mated and under load, they undergo a...

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Crystallization in epoxies is common

Crystallization in epoxies is common, and it’s likely that you’ll discover a crystallized container. When you do, please don’t be alarmed. Simply follow the heat treatment procedures FOC has published. This is a fast and easy remedy. In fact, one of my customers...

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IL/RL explained

Most likely, your testing specifications present minimum requirements for a Low IL and High RL. If your production facility is challenged with meeting the desired IL/RL specs, there are common causes you can investigate and address. However, before addressing common...

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Tips on epoxy curing (a favorite one~)

A favorite tip: Cure the epoxy by itself (not in your application) to ensure it meets the manufacturer’s specifications. This simple experiment may offer clues to determine how to tweak your process. For example, if the epoxy takes longer to cure, you can keep it in...

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Cross-sectioning is an effective diagnostic tool

Cross-sectioning is an effective diagnostic tool – a practical solution to identify process issues, which can lead to problem resolution. When fiber optic connectors fail, cross-sectioning can help to determine the cause and identify process issues. Fiber Optic...

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Tips on epoxy injection into ferrule

Epoxy Injection into Ferrule: It is common practice to inject epoxy into the rear of a ferrule, until a small bead of epoxy is observed exiting the ferrule tip. This is an effective way to ensure that the entire ferrule hole has been filled with epoxy prior to...

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The goal of fusion splicing

The goal of fusion splicing is to join two optical fibers end-to-end so that light passing through the fibers is not scattered or reflected by the splice.  The splice should be as strong as the intact fiber.   Additional resources from the FOC team include:...

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Clean fiber connections

In addition to failures due to the light loss, there is the possibility of equipment failure and the nightmare of unexpected costs for troubleshooting, replacing and fixing damages.   Fiber Installation Cleanliness Resources:   Cisco had this information...

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Return Loss (RL) is a measure of power reflected

Return Loss is a measure of the relative power reflected back from a splice, connection, or defect in the fiber. In the early days, this was a big problem. Lasers could be destabilized by power coming back at them, and analog video would suffer ghosts. This is largely...

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Passive component testers and wavelength

For the most part, corporate and government communication entities connecting data centers around the world – bringing fiber to the office (FTTO) and fiber to the home (FTTH) – have standardized measurement wavelengths. When researching passive component testers,...

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Measuring a PC ferrule’s Apex Offset

Because the longitudinal axis of a PC ferrule is perpendicular to the interferometer camera, the measured Apex Offset value remains constant regardless of the orientation of the ferrule in the equipment fixture. If you measure a PC ferrule’s Apex Offset, and then...

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Fiber stripping and nicks

Fiber Stripping: Any nicks to the fiber during stripping create an EXTREMELY weak point in the fiber.  The transition point where the protective coating ends and the stripped fiber begins is especially prone to damage, and is always the weakest part of the entire...

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