Category: Cleaning

Cabling Mistakes #10: Skipping Fiber Inspection Steps

Contaminated connections are the number one cause of fiber-related problems and failures in a data center, Enterprise backbones and other fiber networking environments. The #10 most common cabling mistake is skipping out on proper fiber inspection! One tiny speck of dirt on the fiber core can cause loss and reflections that increase error rates and degrade performance.

Is Your Fiber End Face Up to Scratch?

Contamination remains the number one cause of fiber link failures. Defects on a fiber end-face come in all types, shapes and sizes. They include scratches, cracks, and pits and contaminants like dirt, dust, oil and even salt. If you properly clean a fiber end-face with lint-free wipes and a specialized solvent designed specifically for fiber cleaning, it’s possible to remove contaminants from the fiber end-face. But what about permanent surface defects like scratches, cracks and pits that can’t be removed via cleaning?

Three Myths of Fiber Cleaning

For modern optical networks to perform at their peak, fiber must be properly installed and maintained. This includes ensuring that all connections and splices are kept perfectly clean to avoid potential problems, such as insertion loss, back-reflection or complete system shutdown. Despite the importance of cleanliness some installation technicians and their managers are disinclined to spend resources, including time and money, to inspect and clean fiber connections. Some seasoned technicians who have long histories of working on older, slower networks are not convinced that modern, high-speed networks need more attention and care than older networks. They maintain that their legacy practices are still adequate, and they often do not have the time, tools or budget to clean fiber. We refer to these long-held opinions as the “three myths of fiber cleaning” — 1) there is nothing to clean; 2) cleaning takes too much time and money and 3) You don’t need special tools.

Tips for Inspecting APC Fiber Connectors

If you are a technician who is new to working with fiber, a video microscope is a great way to accustom yourself with what a clean or dirty fiber looks like. Working with angled physical contact (APC) connectors — whether duplex or MPO/MTP® — requires different camera tips than those used for physical contact (PC) connectors. The angle at the end of the APC connector changes the focal depth, and in turn requires an angled camera tip. Note that all single-mode MPO/MTP® connectors are APC. The cleaning supplies will be the same between PC and APC, only the camera tips need to change with APC inspection.

Webinar: the Road to Single-mode Fiber

This Webinar addresses the factors driving the adoption of SMF in short reach data center applications, duplex vs. MTP options, understanding insertion loss budgets, optimizing your cabling system for density,  cable and end face testing tips, and trouble shooting using an OTDR. Great information to make sure you put your SMF project on the right track.

Blog – Fluke Networks Singlemode Fiber is on Rise

The use of singlemode fiber is on the rise, driven by benefits such as increased distance and bandwidth, the connection to carrier networks and emerging SMF applications in development. With SMF comes more stringent testing requirements, because of the small core size, the need to test at 1310 and 1550 nm, and the proliferation of APC singlemode connectors, which require that the cleaning apparatus be aligned at the same 8-degree angle of the connector

A clean sweep for 5G | Fibre Systems

Clean fiber interconnects are essential to 5G performance. A fiber is only slightly thicker than a human hair, so the smallest speck of dust is detrimental to its signal path. Any contamination found on the core of the fiber – where the signal travels through – can cause back reflection, insertion loss and equipment damage. Causes include fingerprint oils, lint, moisture, exhaust fumes or simply dust.