The word fusion tends to scare people. For those not familiar with optical fusion machines, it sounds like something nuclear and dangerous; those familiar tend to think big money.
In terms of fiber optic cable, a fusion machine perfectly aligns two opposing pieces of fiber of equal size and then heats the ends up to a melt point that fuses (welds) them together. This results in a clean path from one fiber strand core into the joined fiber strand core for the light to travel upon.
Fusion machines come in many varieties. There are core alignment or clad alignment machines. The mechanisms required for core alignment are more substantial than clad alignment, and, therefore, more expensive. Core alignment is critical when fusing two strands of different eras or different manufactures. It is the most versatile machine. Clad alignment is appropriate when the fiber strands are new — manufactured in the past five years or so. Fiber strand makers are better producers, more precise than they were earlier in marketplace, which allows for better alignment and lower loss of light.
Which brings us to the purpose of this post. You can now buy a CommScope® purpose built fusion installer kit, with all required tools, to terminate CommScope’s new splice on connectors for less than $7,000. This kit is incredibly simple to use. And because it’s built to do one thing, install connectors, the variables are eliminated. The result is a machine that your grandma could use to produce great fiber terminations.
Be warned, this kit is not a fusion machine that splices traditional pigtails. It only terminates splice on connectors (SOC). To add to the simplistic nature of the process the right side of the machine has a permanently installed connector holder, so there’s no chance of losing the holder. You only need to insert the fiber into a holder (left side). It’s the same holder used to cleave the fiber once you’ve cleaned the glass.
Other tools included are the FC-8R precision cleaver that auto-rotates the cleave blades and captures the shards of glass being cleaved. This is the top of the line precision cleaver. You’ll also find a miller strip tool, Kevlar scissors, spare electrodes, fiber tube holder for patch cordage, Sticklers lint free wipes and fiber optic cleaning fluid. The case containing these tools is built to last and is cushioned to make sure nothing is damaged on the way to the site.
The purpose of this kit is to provide the installing technician with a “no fail” tool that delivers outstanding optical performance at a price point that’s incredibly affordable. One project could recoup the costs for this kit.
We have one of these kits at our shop if you’d like to see a demo. We also rent the kit out if you need to do a fiber project.