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fiber optical patch cord end face detection and cleaning method

Posted on 21st Jul 2018 @ 6:22 PM

The end face of the fiber jumper refers to the flat section at the end of the connector with different shapes and structures at both ends of the fiber jumper. It is a place that is often easily overlooked and is easily contaminated due to irregular operation.

It can be known from the optical principle that this will cause an increase in the attenuation of the optical signal, causing network failure. For example, in the network troubleshooting process of intermittent packet loss, when the OTDR is used to check the optical path state, it is found that the intermediate jump point of one core is greatly attenuated, reaching 2.2 db at 1300 mm wavelength. After checking that the attenuation anomaly is caused by the unclean end of the fiber jumper, after the cleaning, the attenuation value of the optical path returns to normal, and the OTDR test passes smoothly. The intermittent loss of the original fault disappears and the network communication returns to normal. Figure 2 and Figure 3 are the optical path comparison diagrams of the problematic fiber jumper end face before and after cleaning with the OTDR. The left picture is before cleaning and the right side is after cleaning.

 

Through the above fault cases, we can fully understand the importance of fiber end face cleaning. In daily operation and maintenance of the optical path, the operating specifications should be strictly enforced to ensure the cleanliness of the fiber jumper end face. If the end face of the fiber is contaminated, it must be cleaned according to the specified procedures. Let's talk about how to check the cleanliness and cleaning method of the fiber jumper end face.
1, end face dirt inspection method
●Visual inspection
After disconnecting the device, pick up the fiber jumper and face the light. Check whether the end face is clean and smooth by observing whether the end face is bright enough to refract light. Observe that if the reflection of the end face to the light is smooth and bright, it is considered to be relatively clean. If the reflection of the end face is not too bright and not smooth enough, it is likely that there is dirt or scratches on the end face. The end face will seriously affect the quality of light transmission. Of course, the inspection of the end face by means of the instrument can more fully understand the details of the end face.
●Instrument inspection
At present, there are many inspection tools for fiber end faces, among which fiberscopes are the most widely used professional inspection instruments. In general, the fiber microscope for multimode shows a magnification of 200 times, while the fiber microscope for single mode shows a magnification of 400 times.

Through the above fault cases, we can fully understand the importance of fiber end face cleaning. In daily operation and maintenance of the optical path, the operating specifications should be strictly enforced to ensure the cleanliness of the fiber jumper end face. If the end face of the fiber is contaminated, it must be cleaned according to the specified procedures. Let's talk about how to check the cleanliness and cleaning method of the fiber jumper end face.1, end face dirt inspection method●Visual inspectionAfter disconnecting the device, pick up the fiber jumper and face the light. Check whether the end face is clean and smooth by observing whether the end face is bright enough to refract light. Observe that if the reflection of the end face to the light is smooth and bright, it is considered to be relatively clean. If the reflection of the end face is not too bright and not smooth enough, it is likely that there is dirt or scratches on the end face. The end face will seriously affect the quality of light transmission. Of course, the inspection of the end face by means of the instrument can more fully understand the details of the end face.●Instrument inspectionAt present, there are many inspection tools for fiber end faces, among which fiberscopes are the most widely used professional inspection instruments. In general, the fiber microscope for multimode shows a magnification of 200 times, while the fiber microscope for single mode shows a magnification of 400 times.

2, end face dirt cleaning method

● Clean the end face without the aid of professional tools

In the absence of tools, you need to prepare anhydrous alcohol, clean cotton balls, and lens paper. The cleaning steps are as follows.

(1) Holding a clean cotton ball in one hand, then dropping the absolute alcohol on the cotton ball, the alcohol should not be dripped too much.

(2) Wiping the end face in the same direction with a cotton ball with absolute alcohol, the number of times depends on the degree of dirt on the end face.

(3) Wipe the end face in the same direction on the lens paper folded over 3 layers by rubbing the end face with alcohol until the alcohol is completely dry and the end face reflects the light to reflect the glare.

(4) Carefully check the light reflection in each part of the end face and whether there is any fiber debris on the end face. If necessary, repeat steps 1 to 3 until the end face is clean and flawless.

 

● Clean the end face with the help of professional tools

At present, there are many manufacturers of professional fiber end face cleaning tools, including fiber cleaning cloth, fiber cleaning card, fiber cleaning pen, cleaning gas, etc., which are very convenient to carry and use. The specific steps of use are as follows.

       a, contact cleaning method

(1) Clean paper or dust-free cloth

Wipe the end of the fiber connector with a lint-free paper or a lint-free cloth with absolute alcohol. The dust-free paper adopts the original wood pulp with special processing technology, ultra-low dust, pure texture, high-efficiency water absorption, fine paper, and will not scratch the surface of the swab. The non-woven fabric is tough and soft, does not produce lint, does not carry any chemical impurities, does not cause allergic reactions, and is not easy to fluff and hair loss. The method is characterized by simple operation and low cost, but the effect is general.

 

(2) Cassette cleaner As shown in Figure 7, the cassette cleaner looks like an early tape recorder "tape", which uses a dedicated roll of wiping tape in a rollable casing, thanks to its principle of strong adhesive bonding. The dirt on the end face of the device sticks away, so no alcohol is needed and it is very effective for each cleaning. The disadvantage is that sometimes the adhesive itself remains on the end face of the connector, and the adhesive tape is a consumable item, and the rubbed area cannot be reused, and the cost is high. (3) Special cleaning rod (pen) The fiber-optic cleaning rod (pen) is specifically designed to clean the inside of the fiber optic adapter or to clean the ferrule end face that is not easily accessible inside the adapter. It looks like a pen and one end can fit inside the ceramic sleeve of the adapter. The working principle is not only the use of cotton swabs and anhydrous alcohol, but also the use of strong adhesive. Common specifications are 1.25mm and 2.5mm. 1.25mm is used to clean LC type connectors, and 2.5mm is used to clean connectors such as FC/SC/ST.


b, non-contact cleaning method (1) Ultrasonic cleaning method Those who have been engaged in fiber ferrule grinding know that after the fiber connector is finished, there is an "ultrasonic cleaning" process for cleaning the glue and dirt on the ferrule end face. Nowadays, there is a portable ultrasonic cleaner on the market. Its principle is not much different from other ultrasonic cleaning methods. The key is how to turn the cleaning liquid into an ultrasonic "liquid column" to the end face of the connector in such a small space. The waste liquid is recovered and sucked up in the same small space. The entire process takes more than a dozen seconds, and there is no contact with the connector except where it should be cleaned, and there is no harmful residue.         (2) High pressure blowing method The principle is to apply a cleaning solution to the end face of the connector, and then use high pressure gas to align the end face of the connector. The advantage of this method is that it takes a short time and can be done in a few seconds, but it cannot be cleaned without high pressure gas. There are also some special gas cleaning tools on the market, which is very convenient. For the cleaning method to be selected, it is necessary to combine the performance requirements of the product, the site environment, and the cost incurred, and select the most cost-effective method under the premise of meeting the system performance requirements.

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