Fiber optic connectors are routinely maintained because of their instability in a fiber network. A reliable connection requires inspection and cleaning.
Here’s a brief overview of the inspection and cleaning products for fiber optic connectors.
Inspecting Fiber Optic Connectors
Using a fiber microscope you can easily detect the condition of a fiber optic connector.
On the ends of a connector even the smallest of particulates can cause a disturbance in the connectivity of the cable. Typical contaminates on a connector include oil, dirt, scratches, pits and chips.
Here’s what a contaminated fiber optic connector may look like:
Regardless of the size of the contaminants on the connector–whether one micron or ten–the area must be entirely clean for your network to work at its highest efficiency.
In between each round of cleaning use the microscope to see if the connector is free of particulates.
You can mate the connections when your connector looks like this:
Cleaning Fiber Optic Connectors
There are a few methods of cleaning a connector, and the type of product you use depends on how difficult it is to remove the contaminants.
For contaminants such as oil and dirt, dry wiping is recommended and economical lint-free wipes or fiber-optic swabs should be used.
If the contaminants aren’t completely removed, then your next step would be to wet the wipe with a fiber-optic cleansing solution, such as the Electro-Wash® PX from Chemtronics. Or, if your application requires a non-flammable solution, use the CZ-version instead.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one cleaning solution, we recommend this seven-piece fiber-optic cleaning kit.
For more information on these products and fiber optic cleaning, reach out to our product expert team at Sales@all-spec.com.