In any fiber optic communication system, the daily maintenance of fiber optic patch cords is really important. During routine maintenance, the following two factors must be kept in mind.
According to industry experts, fiber patch cord cleanliness plays a vital role in the integrity of fiber optic networks. Based on various findings, we can safely say that pollution is the biggest risk factor in fiber optic networks. This is because fiber optic communication light is used to transmit signals. Light is easily intercepted by solid particles, causing information flow across the link to be partially or completely blocked. Here, it is important to understand that the supplier's instructions must be followed when planning cleaning activities for fiber optic connectors.
Generally speaking, wet cleaning and dry cleaning are two methods that are widely used to clean connectors. There are various cleaning solutions on the market, such as: end cleaning pens, end cleaning boxes, cotton swabs and special wipes.
It is critical to ensure that you have a clean and tidy fiber infrastructure. It is important to clean existing or new fiber optic patch cords before installing or inserting fiber optic adapters. There are a variety of fiber maintenance tools on the market with which you can maintain your physical network in top condition.
1. Wet wipes
Cleaning fiber optic connectors with a wipe is a very basic and easy method. In the market, both dry wipes and IPA wipes can be used. We believe it's better to soak the pre-soaked wipes in the proper amount of cleaning solution, as these wipes are soaked everywhere. On the other hand, dry wipes are not as easy to use as pre-soaked ones, and cleaning solutions must be purchased separately for these wipes.
2. Cleaning box and cleaning tape
Cleaning boxes and tapes are considered an alternative to alcohol-based cleaners and other cleaning solutions. This type of cleaner comes with room-grade cleaning media that effectively removes dirt, grease, debris, and dust from the end faces of fiber optic patch cords. The scratch-resistant construction of these cleaners ensures fiber safety. Cleaning media remains covered when not in use, so it cannot become contaminated.
3. Cotton swabs
Cotton swabs provide basic horizontal cleaning. You can use cotton swabs to clean contactor faces, adapters, and gaskets.
4. Insert cleaner
Ferrule cleaners are simple machines that clean connectors with an easily pushable mechanism. The expandable tip of the ferrule cleaner allows access to hard-to-reach recessed connector areas. These cleaners are designed to ensure optimum performance against a wide range of contaminants. For best cleaning results, you can rotate the ferrule cleaner 180 degrees.
5. Optical microscope
Optical microscopes come in all sizes and shapes. The connectors of these microscopes can be easily adjusted to suit the type of fiber optic connector being examined.
When looking through an optical microscope, look for visible traces of contamination, dirt, dust, oil, etc. After cleaning the connector, you should see a clean, neat and perfect surface.