For anyone that wears glasses you know how that finger smudge on your lens can drive you nuts because it clouds your vision, right?
Well that smudge on the end-face of a fiber connector does the same thing. Only it’s worse because the light is so focused that any impairment will have dramatic effect... read loss.
A smudge is one thing. A speck of dust can be even worse. When that speck is crushed between those two mated connectors it smashes into many pieces causing more light loss.
If you’re lucky, that loss is temporary, and eliminated, once the connectors are cleaned.
If you’re not lucky, you now have a scratch that goes through the center on the end-face of the connector that will refract light to areas of the fiber path that were unintended.
Now, you either need to re-polish that connector or replace it. All because a simple step of cleaning both connectors was not done.
It takes less than 10 seconds to clean a mated pair of fiber connectors. How long does it take to replace them?
Below are five best practices* for ensuring maintain well-functioning fiber optics.
No. 1 >> A fiber end face should be free of any contamination or defects.
No. 2 >> Make sure to watch out for common contamination and defects.
No. 3 >> If the connector fails for defects… clean it.
Use designed-for-optics cleaning tools to avoid damaging the connector. If IBYC has been practiced throughout the product lifecycle the defects will clean off easily.
No. 4 >> Examine your fibers before you connect them.
No. 5 >> Inspect, clean, inspect again and go!
There are immense benefits when you follow these simple steps for fiber inspection and cleaning.
- Fiber Optic Connector Cleaning and Inspection Kit Instructions
- LC/SC and MPO Module Port Cleaning Instructions
*These best practices and images are courtesy of CommScope®.