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General Inspection and Cleaning Procedures of Connectors

This section describes the connector cleaning process. Additional sections provide more detail on specific inspection and cleaning techniques.

General Cleaning Process

Complete these steps:

1.      Inspect the fiber connector, component, or bulkhead with a fiberscope.

2.      If the connector is dirty, clean it with a dry cleaning technique.

3.      Inspect the connector.

4.      If the connector is still dirty, repeat the dry cleaning technique.

5.      Inspect the connector.

6.      If the connector is still dirty, clean it with a wet cleaning technique followed immediately with a dry clean in order to ensure no residue is left on the endface.

Note: Wet cleaning is not recommended for bulkheads and receptacles. Damage to equipment can occur.

7.      Inspect the connector again.

8.      If the contaminate still cannot be removed, repeat the cleaning procedure until the endface is clean.


Figure 1 shows the connector cleaning process flow. 

Figure 1


Note: Never use alcohol or wet cleaning without a way to ensure that it does not leave residue on the endface. It can cause equipment damage.


Connector Inspection Technique

This inspection technique is done with the use of fiberscopes in order to view the endface.

A fiberscope is a customized microscope used in order to inspect optical fiber components. The fiberscope should provide at least 200x total magnification. Specific adapters are needed to properly inspect the endface of most connector types, for example: 1.25 mm, 2.5 mm, or APC connectors.


Tools

 Clean, resealable container for the endcaps

 Fiberscope

 Bulkhead probe

Figure 2 shows different kinds of fibers-copes.

Figure 2


The bulkhead probe is a handheld fiberscope used in order to inspect connectors in a bulkhead, backplane, or receptacle port. It should provide at least 200x total magnification displayed on a video monitor. Handheld portable monitors are also available. Specific adapters are needed in order to properly inspect the endface of most connector types.

Figure 3 shows a handheld fiberscope with probe and adapter tip for 1.25 mm connector.

The bulkhead probe is a handheld fiberscope used in order to inspect connectors in a bulkhead, backplane, or receptacle port. It should provide at least 200x total magnification displayed on a video monitor. Handheld portable monitors are also available. Specific adapters are needed in order to properly inspect the endface of most connector types.

Figure 3 shows a handheld fiberscope with probe and adapter tip for 1.25 mm connector.

Figure 3


Figure 4 shows two types of handheld fibers-copes.
Figure 4


Caution: Read the reminders and warnings before you begin this process.
Complete these steps in order to inspect the connector:
1. Make sure that the lasers are turned off before you begin the inspection.

 Warning: Invisible laser radiation might be emitted from disconnected fibers or connectors. Do not stare into beams or view directly with optical instruments.
2. Remove the protective cap and store it in a clean resealable container.
3. Verify the style of connector you inspect and put the appropriate inspection adapter or probe on your equipment.
4. Insert the fiber connector into the fiberscope adapter, and adjust the focus ring so that you see a clear endface image. Figure 5 shows a clean single mode connector endface.

Figure 5

5. Or, place the tip of the handheld probe into the bulkhead connector and adjust the focus.

Figure 6 shows the handheld probe inserted into a bulkhead connection.

Figure 6

6. On the video monitor, verify that there is no contamination present on the connector endface.

Tip: See the examples in Appendix B - Sample Images of Contamination Conditions for illustrations of different types of contamination.

7. Clean the endface and reinspect, as necessary. Refer to the appropriate section:

o Cleaning Techniques for Pigtails and Patch Cords

o Cleaning Techniques for Bulkheads and Receptacles

8. Immediately plug the clean connector into the mating clean connector in order to reduce the risk of re-contamination.


Related Tutorials

Patch Cord SC Connector

The SC* connectors used for our patch cords are designed to NTT-SC* standards and are fully compatible with existing SC hardware. Two simplex connectors can be configured into a duplex format by adding a duplex clip. In addition to basic testing, some mechanical and environmental tests per IEC or Telcordia are also performed periodically to guarantee the best quality. For standard patch cords, sampling check is performed on ferrule geometry to ensure high percentage of polished connectors meeting GR-326 requirements. For premium grade, ferrule geometry is tested on all patch cords to meet these GR-326 requirements.Other than standard single mode and multimode fibers, G655, OM2, and OM3

Patch Cord ST Connector

The ST* connectors used in our patch cords employ half-twist bayonet locking mechanism and high quality 2.5mm zirconia ferrules. They are fully compatible with existing ST type hardware. In addition to basic testing, some mechanical and environmental tests per IEC or Telcordia are also performed periodically to guarantee the best quality. For standard patch cords, sampling check is performed on ferrule geometry to ensure high percentage of polished connectors meeting GR-326 requirements. For premium grade, ferrule geometry is tested on all patch cords to meet these GR-326 requirements.Other than standard single mode and multimode fibers, OM2, and OM3 fibers are also available upon request.

Simplex Communication

Simply speaking, simplex communication refers to communication that occurs in one direction only. Two definitions have arisen over time: a common definition, which is used in ANSI standard and elsewhere, and an ITU-T definition. The ITU definition of simplex is termed "half duplex" in other contexts. Simplex is a communications mode in which only one signal is transmitted, and it always goes in the same direction. The transmitter and the receiver operate on the same frequency. When two stations exist and they alternately (not simultaneously) send signals to each other on the same frequency, the mode is technically known as half duplex. However, most amateur radio operators refer
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