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Cleaning Both Ends of a Fiber Connection — Do I Really Have To?

We often get this question. “What happens, if there are dust particles on one of the connector end faces during the connector mating process? Can I save some time and just clean one side?”The short answer is, NO, you’re not going to save any time because the odds are you’ll be back next week to…

How Does Contamination Cause Signal Loss Between a Mated Connector Pair?

Optical fiber is a precisely engineered optical medium with very exactly engineered refractive indices. Obviously, opaque contamination will simply block the light signal and must be removed. But many techs don't realize that translucent residues — like oils or fingerprints or even droplets of IPA alcohol — degrade the signal as well.In fact, translucent residues…

Why Is It Important to Clean Both Ends of the Connector Pair?

The IEC 61300-3-35 in Section 5.1 defines the 'contact zone' for single fiber connectors as a diameter between 130µm to 250µm for both multi-mode and single-mode fibers. If there are any residues in the contact zone, the residues will transfer and cross-contaminate both connectors when they are mated together or plugged into an optical transceiver. The…

Where Does All the Dust Come From on Fiber Networks??

Dust is a real problem with fiber optics. It's granular in nature and resists compression. It often is opaque and completely blocks the optical signal. Getting rid of the dust is a top priority.There are two basic sources of dust-based contamination: 'wear debris' and 'environmental.Wear DebrisThe most common source is wear debris caused by the…

Why Bother Cleaning Fiber Optic Connectors?

Modern fiber optic networks have unbelievable capacity and capabilities. But these fast networks are fragile, so cleaning is critical to the reliability and performance of any network.For companies that generate revenue from their data, such as Netflix or Amazon, downtime can be amazingly costly. Evolven computes that for certain companies the cost of a single…

What Contamination Can Be Found on Fiber?

This microphotograph compares four different types of contamination In very general terms, the contamination found on termini end-faces will fall into three basic categories: particulates, oils and salts. Each requires specialized methods for proper removal.Particulates are solids usually held on the end-face by electrostatic attraction. Static charges will actually attract dust particles in the same way…