TIPS

TIPS

Apex Offset for APC Ferrules

When interpreting APC geometry results in order to modify the polishing process to improve results, it is important to understand Apex Offset—-namely, that Apex Offset (for both PC and APC ferrules) is really the result of two components:  Angle and Key Error. In...

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Notes on suppliers, specs and best practices

Connector supplies with any quality supply their UPC or pre-angled APC connector ferrules within the Telcordia spec for Radius of Curvature and Apex Offset.  Depending on the size of the ferrule and the amount of damage or reforming that needs to been done, this...

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Considerations and Tips regarding freezing epoxy

Here are tips and considerations regarding freezing epoxy: After fabricating the connectors or cable assemblies, the remaining material in the syringe must be frozen right away. A certain amount of pot life will have been used, and freezing does not further impact pot...

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Passive component tester configurations

Passive component testers are a combination of firmware and hardware that, as noted earlier, must be correctly configured for your specific product. Many PCTs offer the following features: Insertion Loss/Return Loss module, which contains light sources and a detector...

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MT ferrule geometry measurements

In regards to MT ferrule geometry measurements, Minus Coplanarity (or Minus-Side Coplanarity) is one way to describe how “flat” or “co-planar” an array of fibers is to ensure minimum optical performance requirements of the telecom world, it is important to ensure that...

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SMA connector application

Laser cleaving shows also a significant process advantage for large-core fiber applications with SMA connectors terminated as the laser beam cuts thicker fibers which are more difficult to scribe.       Additional resources from the FOC team include:...

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Epoxy de-gassing

Epoxy De-gassing: When a two-part epoxy is mixed, it is very likely now filled with many small air bubbles.  These bubbles MUST be removed prior to injection into a ferrule (production lines commonly use centrifuges or vacuum chambers to remove gasses / bubbles...

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Purchasing bulk material for fiber optic epoxies

Almost all epoxies used in fiber optics are two part and have dissimilar mix ratios.  Purchasing bulk material requires the most amount of handling.  The resin and hardener will have to precisely weigh out before mixing.  Any mistakes here will lead to problems down...

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Fiber diameters

Fiber diameters play an important role in the correct amount/volume injected into the connector. For example, the 900 micron buffered fiber will displace more epoxy than a 250 micron fiber resulting in totally different volumes required to inject into the connector....

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Testing of dissimilar connector styles

One key point to consider in Bi-Directional testing is the testing of dissimilar connector styles, i.e. SC to LC.  During referencing the launch and receive cables need to be connected and if they aren’t the same they can’t be connected using a standard adapter. ...

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How lapping film is typically used

Here is how the lapping film is typically used:  After the epoxy is cured and the fiber is scribed it must be denubbed.  This step usually requires a rough grit silicon carbide film, something between a 16 um and 5 um, depending on the bead size.  This...

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Fiber stripping blades

Fiber Stripping: If the blades are dull, coating edge at the stripped boundary may be rough and jagged.  Such a rough coating edge can lead to lateral forces on the fiber when it is inserted into the ferrule holder / ferrule assembly (causing degraded product...

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SMA High Power application

For high power connectivity, where epoxy-less free-standing SMA’s is used, most companies use supportive wax like CrystalBond in the SMA connector to prevent the fiber from breaking during polishing while it need to be removed afterwards which is a time consuming...

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Solutions for clean connections

There are solutions to ensure that clean fibers will provide clean connections. Very simply, in addition to using clean test cords and keeping them clean at all times, the step of cleaning connectors during the installation phase must become a mandatory part of the...

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Cleaning is critical

Cleaning is critical – The act of polishing removes material, similar to sanding wood. To prevent contamination, it’s vital to thoroughly clean the fixture and ferrules between every polishing step. Contamination causes scratching and will negatively impact visual...

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Fiber Bundle application

Another application that noticed a great advantage using the laser cleaver is fiber bundles. As multiple large fibers and significant amount of epoxy forces the manual cleave being far from the ferrule tip, the laser cleaver will “cut” in multiple scans from multi...

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Tips on inner-housing

Some insight when it comes to changing a connector supplier…..  let’s discuss a singlemode SC connector for first example: Starting from the point that the SC is an industrial standard connector, everyone knows that it is standardized on the connection point, meaning...

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3D printed objects start with a good print job

Start with a good print job – Use the 3D printer’s smallest layer height (highest resolution). On most printers, this is 0.1mm or less. This is especially important for the outermost layer. Sanding and polishing will remove some material from the surface, which can...

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How to characterize oven ports

One way to characterize oven ports is by using a thermocouple probe inserted and potted with epoxy into a ferrule – just like when terminating a fiber, except you’ll be inserting the thermocouple tip instead of a fiber. Cure it, as you would a regular termination, and...

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Ribbon Fiber application

With regards to ribbon fiber technology such as MT ferrules a laser cleaver offers a nice even scan providing a uniform fiber height over all fibers. A traditional manual operation shows often either a dome scribe just above the epoxy beat or a straight scribe with...

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Instructions for burst pouch bi-packs

Best Practice tips and techniques for epoxy burst pouch / burstable seal bi-packs. You may want to save these tips – and refer to them when training your cable assembly production team.     Here are instructions for burst pouch bi-packs (with notes for best...

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Epoxy preparation and curing

Epoxy Preparation and Curing: Epoxies used in FO cable assembly production are carefully selected for their cured bonding properties—their ability to keep a strong fiber / ferrule bond during the service life of the cable assembly.   During their lifetime, connectors...

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Dual asymmetric centrifuge tips

A dual asymmetric centrifuge is a mixer that combines centrifugal type rotation (rotation around a point outside the sample holder) with rotation around the central axis of the sample holder.  This combination of opposing forces enables rapid mixing of the...

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Cross sectioning and detailed failure analysis

Fiber Optic Center offers the service of Cross Sectioning and detailed failure analysis and also provides the equipment and training to companies that need internal capability for cross sectioning. FOC offers this unique cross-sectioning service to identify and...

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Tips on 2-stage heat cure

One method to encourage bubbles to come out of the bulk material is a 2-stage heat cure.  This is a short, initial cure at an elevated, but lower, temperature than the final cure.  An example is a 50°C cure for 30 minutes, for a product that has a final cure at 85°C. ...

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Epoxies and minimizing handling

When working with epoxies, MINIMIZE HANDLING where applicable.  Proper packaging for your application and application process comes into play here.  If you choose/need to work with bulk material, such as 8 oz. kits, there will be significantly more handling.  It is...

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Buoyancy and diffusion

Place your thoroughly mixed material in the refrigerator (5 to 10ºC) to slow down the cure process and preserve the pot life.  Let the mixture stand in the refrigerator for several hours (depending on pot life, overnight might be a possibility). This will permit...

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When scratches appear after using the final film

The four different versions of AngstromLap Ultimas Final Polish Lapping Film (Ultimas-P, Ultimas-U and two Ultimas Flock versions) can address multiple requirements and needs. Here is a very brief overview of the different types of AngstromLap Ultimas Final Polish...

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Fiber cleaning

Fiber Cleaning: For the epoxy to properly bond to the fiber, the fiber must be clean and free of oils or other contamination.   This is usually done by wiping the bare fiber with soft, lint-free wipe and high quality alcohol.   Proper cleaning...

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Heat-cure two component epoxy

As most connectors use a heat-cure two component epoxy it’s very important to ensure the proper mix ratio and following the curing time. Some applications require a 3 step curing process (pre-heat, curing, cooling down) to ensure that the epoxy is properly distributed...

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Abrasive lapping films

Abrasive lapping films are coated with precision graded abrasives on a polyester film. The raw materials used to make up the abrasives and the adhesives used to secure them onto the backing need to be controlled.  The coating process should be carried out in a clean...

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Fiber stripping

Fiber Stripping Tip: Fibers must be stripped of all protective coatings prior to inserting into a connector.  Mechanical stripping, by far the most common method, consists of using tools with sharp, precisely machined metal cutting blades to cut into the...

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Ferrule sizes

  Some insight when it comes to changing a connector supplier…..  let’s discuss a singlemode SC connector for first example:  Starting from the point that the SC is an industrial standard connector, everyone knows that it is standardized on the connection point,...

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Best practices to properly prepare epoxy

Epoxy must be thoroughly mixed and then degassed to remove bubbles. (In the production process, you don’t want to dispense any bubbles inside the ferrule.) You may have heard the advice to mix epoxy based on time, for example, 1 minute of mixing or 90 seconds of...

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Bonding process curing schedule starting point

When setting up a new bonding process and establishing the curing schedule OR in your production process are experiencing fiber movement and need to adjust curing temperature or time, please find this FOC TIP to help validate your curing schedule: The starting point:...

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