:: Fiber Cleaning Tools , What Kind Do You Need?
Fiber cleaning tools is a very big category including tools for finishing a variety of jobs in fiber optic industry. So before looking further, please ask yourself: what do I want to do using this tool kit?
There are kits available for traditional epoxy and polishing connector termination, quick connector termination, fusion splicing, mechanical splicing, optic cleaning, fiber optic testing, and many more.
So let's take a quick look at each type and their functions.
1) Traditional Epoxy and Polish Connector Termination Tool Kit
This type of kit sometimes is also called universal connectorization epoxy tool kit. They include all the tools necessary for hand-polishing termination of epoxy optic connectors such as FC, SC, ST, LC, etc. The following list shows all essentials items that should be included.
a) Fiber cable jacket stripper to remove outer jacket from optical cables
b) Fiber stripper to remove fiber coatings (900um tight buffer or 250um UV coating layer) to expose the bare fiber cladding
c) Kevlar scissors to cut the yellow strength member inside fiber jacket
d) Fiber connector crimp tool for FC, SC, ST, LC
e) Fiber scribe tool to scribe the bare fiber
f) Epoxy for fixing the fiber inside the connector, empty syringes for epoxy dispensing into the connector
g) Glass polish plate so you can place rubber polish pad on top of it
h) Rubber polish pad so you can place the lapping films on top of it
i) Lapping films (several grits included, typically 12um, 3um, 1um and 0.5um)
j) Connector hand polish pucks for FC, SC, ST, LC
k) Inspection microscope so you can inspect the quality of your work
l) Heat cure oven to cure the epoxy (either 220V or 110V)
m) Other misc. items for cleaning such as Kimwipes, Isopropyl alcohol, etc.
2) Fiber Cleaning Tools
Fiber optic cleaning tool kit is pretty simple since they don't include tools but just some cleaning supplies. They mostly include:
a) Canned air (optic grade)
b) 2.5mm foam swabs for cleaning FC, SC, ST connectors, mating sleeves and adapters
C) 1.25mm foam swabs for cleaning LC and MU connectors, mating sleeves and adapters
d) Lint free Kimwipes
e) Pre-soaped alcohol wipes
f) Fiber connector reel cleaners for FC, SC, ST, LC, MTRJ, etc.
g) Isopropyl alcohols
Since cleaning tool kits usually include alcohol, in most times, they are ground shipment only.
5) Fiber Optic Testing Tool Kit
Basic fiber optic testing usually only involves insertion loss testing, visual fault location, and optional return loss testing.
You can buy fiber testing kit with or without fiber stripping and cleaving tools. The most essential items are actually the light source, power meter, and optional visual fault locator. You can always get fiber stripper, cable jacket stripper, etc from tools kits you may already own, such as an universal epoxy connector termination tool kit.