importance of fiber cleaning
mel at beckman.org
Wed Sep 21 09:53:49 UTC 2016
This is a very comprehensive article, and worth handing out to techs. I have one comment on Balder’s OTDR suggestion, and one on the article’s microscope instructions.
Although it certainly can’t hurt to run an OTDR test (except for extended downtime), I fear hauling out the extra gear will prompt many techs to put off fiber cleaning. In my experience, just doing the cleaning solves 99.9% of the problem. Anything that an OTDR would pick up would likely severely impact performance, while dirty connector will just increase the error rate.
Also, the article didn’t mention eye safety when using a fiber microscope. The example showed a USB digital video microscope, but many maintainer kits in the field have much cheaper direct-view optical microscopes. Viewing an energized fiber with a direct-view microscope can cause major eye damage. I recommend all fiber kits throw out their optical scopes and substitute a USB or WiFI scope (some of these can be used with a cell phone or tablet).
> On Sep 21, 2016, at 1:58 AM, Baldur Norddahl <baldur.norddahl at gmail.com> wrote:
> It is a good article. It is missing a few points:
> If you are going to do the full efford of cleaning and then microscope each connector, you would also want to finish off by doing a OTDR scan of the link. This is your documentation for a clean link.
> Always use optics that can monitor the signal level. The reality is that best practice, as described in the article, will not always be followed. In most case you will be good anyway as long your optics report back a signal strength with a good margin. Have your automated monitoring system watch over those signal levels.
> Slightly dirty connectors will often give a sufficient link quality anyway if you have plenty of power budget to spare. We use many 1G single mode BIDI optics which cost about 10 USD each for 20 km modules and most of the links are only 1-5 km. The customer end of those links are probably all half dirty, but nobody cares as long we get a strong signal back with power budget to spare.
> On 09/21/2016 07:56 AM, Mikael Abrahamsson wrote:
>> This is an excellent article regarding fiber cleaning and its importance. Please do share with other people in our business. I'm sure lack of proper fiber cleaning causes a lot of unneccessary outages and operational problems worldwide, partly because people aren't aware of its importance.
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