Category: Cleaning

How the IPA shortage affects fiber cleaning practices

For years experts have been telling fiber-optic technicians not to use isopropyl alcohol (IPA) to clean fiber endfaces. Some technicians have listened; some haven’t. Today, one of Covid-19’s many effects on global commerce is the scarcity of IPA. Sticklers national accounts manager Rick Hoffman talks about the IPA shortage and its practical impact on fiber cleaning in this article.

New Does Not Equal Clean

Fiber Optic Connectors need to be pristine when they are connected for several reasons. First, dirty or damaged connectors are the number one cause of network outages. Second, if a dirty or damaged connector is plugged into another connector, your problem just doubled. Lastly, if test equipment, like an OTDR, or a network element, such as a receiver, is damaged it can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair or replace them.

Best Practices for Cleaning Fiber Optic Connectors

85% of network failures are caused by dirty connectors. The connectors entrusted to carry the critical information that passes through your network deserve far more than a wipe on a t-shirt. As data center bandwidth continues to increase, adherence to best practice fiber endface cleaning and inspection methods must improve. Download AFL’s best practices guide for cleaning.

Webinar: Installing, Terminating, and Testing High-Density Fiber-Optic Cable

As fiber-optic cabling continues to grow in popularity, it is being installed in more types of environments than ever before. Some of these environments have inherent restrictions on or challenges to routing, installation, termination, and verification practices. While some recommended practices apply across a broad range of applications and environments, other fiber deployments require unique or specialized practices. This webcast looks at fiber deployment in different environments, including an examination of multiple termination styles, proper test procedures, cleaning processes, and inspection techniques.

FOTC panelists answer fiber-related questions

When we caught up with four members of the TIA’s Fiber Optic Technology Consortium after their panel discussion at the BICSI Winter Conference, we asked them questions they didn’t have the opportunity to address on-stage. Among the topics: the installed base of singlemode, multimode’s future, keeping MPOs clean, and high-speed connectivity.

Inspect Before You Connect Poster

Do you Inspect Before You Connect? The VIAVI full-size wall poster will serve as a helpful reminder that Contamination is the #1 Reason to Troubleshoot Optical Networks. Dirty connectors cause 80% of field test failures. Microscopic debris significantly degrades signal performance and can cause permanent damage. Mating dirty connectors can break apart, spread, and migrate particles. And a typical dust particle is 2 to 15 µm and is only visible with a microscope.

Cleaning Expanded Beam Connectors

Expanded beam connectors have a high tolerance for dirt and debris, but EB fiber optic systems are not immune to contamination. They should be cleaned routinely but standard fiber optic cleaning tools simply will not work. The CleanStixx™ EB swab can clean 1.2mm and larger EB connectors. The porous, thermally-sintered, variable-density polymer tip fits over the lens of the EB connector and removes dust, liquids and finger prints delivering a fast, reliable fiber optic network

A sticky situation: Removing static improves fiber network performance

Static is an invisible hazard to fiber-optic networks. Electrostatic charges draw and hold unwanted dust particles onto fiber network connector endfaces just like a magnet. Although this dust contamination is merely microns in size and only visible when magnified with an inspection scope, it can still cause serious performance problems for a network. Dust in a signal’s path may change or obstruct the light’s index of refraction, or the route of the signal, through the fiber. This causes insertion loss that weakens the signal and slows down the network speed. And if the refraction angle is altered enough, the network signal may be lost altogether.