INNO Instrument has just launched their new Dragon series fiber optic cleavers. Stronger, sleeker, and faster are just some of the words that come to mind after using these precision instruments. There are two dragons to choose from: D1 fully automated cleaver and the D2 manual cleaver.
INNO’s premier model D1 cleaver is fully automatic and is ready to score the most frequently used optical fibers. The first thing that caught my eye was the new body design with stylized dragon artwork on the side. INNO has managed to incorporate a one-step design with an automatic fiber catcher that is sturdy, light weight, and easily fits in my palm. The fiber holder is slotted to hold 250um, 900um, flat cable and fiber jumper cables. Placing the fiber into the fiber holder and closing the lid is effortless. The cleaver automatically resets to the original position, and the glass off-cuts are cleanly disposed of into the catcher.
This bad boy is so much easier to use than a lot of the older cleavers we have all come to know and groan about. The frame feels sturdy and for good reason. It’s made of a magnesium alloy material and has a couple rugged rubberized grip pads at the base. The small, sleek, black case looks great. It has an interior netted pouch, a belt loop, and a carabiner attached for carrying.
The D2 cleaver has a similar stylized design with slimmed down features. This little dragon is even lighter. I can probably fit two in my hand with room to spare. It comes with the same fiber holder as its big brother, but has an open bin for catching off-cuts. The D2 is a two-step cleaver, but can still be operated with one hand. Both cleavers have the same durable feel to them. The case is also smaller, but has the same style and features as that of the D1.
The two new cleavers use the same blade for scoring the fiber during cleaving. The blades have 16 positions, and each position can cleave 3,000 times. So, the blades have a life of 48,000 cleaves. Not bad. Each cleaver has its role. If you cleave fiber frequently, the D1 automatic model is the strong choice. If fiber is only something you dabble with a couple times a month, or you don’t have need of the automatic fiber catcher, then picking up the D2 model will save you about a hundred bucks. Either way, the reliability and quality of cleaves will be consistent, and that’s what matters most.
The first step to a good fiber optic splice is a good cleave angle. A cleave in fiber is usually performed when a nick is made in the fiber, then proper tension is either applied at the same time or after. This tension makes the nick become the fracture point – which in turn results in a flat, cleaved end face. The closer to 90 degrees the cleave is, the more success you will have with matching it to another cleaved fiber to be spliced or mated by a connector. Most fusion splicers like this angle to be less than 3 degrees. In order for this to happen, you must use a cleaving tool, most commonly referred to as a fiber optic cleaver. Fiber Optic Cleavers come in many different brands, shapes and sizes. Mechanical cleavers are the most commonly used cleavers in the industry. They use a diamond or tungsten wheel/blade to provide the nick in the fiber. Tension is then applied to the fiber to create the cleaved end face. The advantage to these cleavers is that they can produce repeatable results through thousands of cleaves by simply just rotating the wheel/blade accordingly. Most mechanical cleavers are built tough and if in need of repair, they can usually be fixed at a relatively inexpensive cost compared to buying a new unit. These fiber optic cleavers also have the ability to cleave multiple fibers at once with the use of the correct fiber holder. Mechanical fiber optic cleavers are widely used and said to be the best value by many Installers in the telecommunications field. Scribes are the least commonly used cleavers as they are not as accurate. The cleave angle is subject to human error and therefore varies greatly in repeatability. Most field and lab technicians shy away from these cleavers due to their ineffectiveness. Scribe cleavers are usually shaped like ballpoint pens with diamond tipped wedges or come in the form of tile squares. Ultrasonic fiber cleavers are utilized mostly by laboratory and semiconductor companies but can also be applied for telecom use as well. These units add tension prior to the fiber being cleaved then vibrate the diamond cleave blade using ultrasonic technology. Some units offer the ability to adjust the cleave angle from zero to fifteen degrees. These are great for Polarization Maintaining fibers and Angled connectors (APC) that need the higher angle degree. Ultrasonic cleavers are easy to use and offer very good repeatability but generally are more expensive in cost. To find pricing, information and more information on the different fiber optic cleavers currently available, visit eFiberTools.com. Contact one of their friendly staff members to learn more about all the fiber optic cleavers with the best value that are present in the industry today. Sign up for their newsletter to get informative news, posts and deals in regards to current products in the fiber optic field.
An optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR) is an opto-electronic instrument that is used to test optical fibers. OTDRs do this by injecting a series of light pulses into the fiber being tested. It then reads, from the same end of the fiber, scattered light (Rayleigh backscatter) and light that is reflected back from points along the length of fiber. (This is similar to the way that an electronic time-domain reflectometer measures reflections due to changes in the impedance of the conductive cable being tested.) The strength of the returned pulses and time are measured, and are plotted as a function of fiber length. Essentially, the longer it takes for a pulse to return to the sensor, the longer the distance to the event. OTDRs are often used to estimate the length and attenuation of a fiber, including splice loss and any loss related to connectors used in the installation of the fiber. Faults, such as breaks as well as optical return loss are also capable of being measured by OTDRs. In order to measure the attenuation of multiple fibers, it is a good practice to take measurements from each end of the fiber, and to average the results. This does create more work, but the result is a more accurate measurement of fiber attenuation. OTDRs are quite automated, with on board computers and graphical displays. Even though the incorporated technology does simplify the process considerably, proper operation and data interpretation is necessary for accurate trace measurement. Specially trained personnel and well calibrated tools are always important resources in the arsenal of the fiber installation and inspection crew. Invaluable tools from manufacture through final installation, OTDRs are commonly used to characterize the length – as well as loss of fibers at any and all steps along the way. Due to the distances involved in final installations, as well as the potential for multiple splices and connections, they are inherently more challenging to measure. OTDR test results are usually saved and archived as a benchmark in case of later failure or for warranty claims. Fiber optic failures are very expensive in terms of repairs as well as lost service. This being the case, it is important to be able to save initial measurements – another value of the technology incorporated into most OTDRs today. The OTDR is available for a variety of fiber types and wavelengths, to suit specific applications. Generally speaking, an OTDR testing at longer wavelengths, such as 1550nm or 1625nm can be used to identify attenuation due to fiber problems as opposed to the more common splice or connector losses. The optical dynamic range is limited by the output power, pulse width, input sensitivity, and signal integration time. Higher pulse output power and input sensitivity combine directly to improve the range of measurement, and are usually fixed. Pulse width and signal integration time, however, are adjustable and require trade-offs that make them application-specific. Longer pulses improve the dynamic range and attenuation measurement resolution, but it comes at the cost of a lower distance resolution. A long pulse length allows you to measure attenuation over a longer length of fiber, but an event may appear to be much longer than it actually is. This would be useful for measuring the overall characterization of the link, but not very useful for locating a fault. A shorter pulse length improves the distance resolution, but reduces range and attenuation measurement resolution. The “apparent measurement length” of an event is commonly referred to as the “dead zone”. The table below illustrates the theoretical relationship between pulse length and dead zone.
Event dead zone
|1 nsec||0.15 m (theoretically)|
|10 nsec||1.5 m (theoretically)|
|100 nsec||15 m|
|1 µsec||150 m|
|10 µsec||1.5 km|
|100 µsec||15 km|
The “dead zone” is a topic of interest to many who use OTDRs. Dead zone is classified in one of two ways: Event Dead Zone, and Attenuation Dead Zone. The former is related to reflective discrete optical events. In an EDZ, the measured zone depends on a combination of pulse length (see table), and he reflection’s size. The latter is related to non-reflective events. In this case, the dead zone is dependent on pulse length and signal loss. In our next installment, we will look at reliability, quality and different types of OTDRs and OTDR-like test equipment. For more information and notification of updates, please sign up for our newsletter. If you would like to purchase an OTDR, or have one to sell, please visit efibertools.com.
There comes a time in every telecommunications company’s life when new fusion splicers need to be purchased. With hundreds of options to choose from, this task can become very difficult in choosing the right splicer for the job. Currently there are over 20 different manufacturers of fusion splicers and more are popping up as I am writing this. Here is some information on the most common types of fusion splicers which include single fiber splicers, ribbon splicers and the differences between them. Single fiber splicers usually splice 250 micron fiber, but can also hold 900 micron jacketed fiber, flat drop cable and splice on connectors also known as (SOC or splice-on-connectors) used mostly for FTTH applications as well. One piece of fiber is stripped, cleaned, cleaved then inserted into the fiber holder. Another fiber repeats the same process to lay in the opposite fiber holder. Most newer models can splice in less than ten seconds and estimate attenuation (loss of light). Of course this is only an estimation and the fiber should be tested more accurately with an OTDR. There are also different types of single fiber splicers that are used. Core alignment simply means they look at the core and use it’s diameter to align the fiber up. Fixed V-groove splicers use “V” shaped fiber holders and rely on the outside parameters to align the fiber. Generally, core alignment splicers are more expensive but fiber is becoming so precise and consistent when manufactured that using v-groove splicers is becoming more economical while providing similar splice loss. Also, there are polarization maintaining a.k.a. “P.M.” splicers. They use rotating motors on the fiber holders to align the end-faces up by looking at their cleaved ends. These machines are not as common in outside telecom uses. Ribbon splicers can splice 1 to 12 fibers all at once. The fiber holders determine the number of fibers you can splice at once. Usually most mass fusion splicers have twelve spots for fiber on the v-grooves, some may only have four such as the Fitel S121M. These machines are not nearly as popular as the single fiber machines, but if used on cable where more than one fiber needs to be spliced they are extremely efficient. When fiber counts of over 96 are needed, there can be up to a 65% savings on per splice costs. Let’s say on average a single fiber splice costs $25 and a ribbon splice is $110 each. At a location that needs 144 splices, the single fiber machine would run a cost of $3600. A ribbon machine would only perform 12 splices at a total of $1320. The savings would be $2,280 respectively; please keep in mind a slight difference may be due to cost of ribbon cable versus loose tube. When it comes to choosing a splicer, many different factors such as budget, brand loyalty, and specific job requirements are all deciding factors in making an informed decision. There are more and more companies becoming splicer resellers with no experience or history. Buyer should be wary of small new companies that do not offer repairs and/or long term support for their products. Many people are purchasing directly from small distributors and are left abandoned when they need repairs or service. When doing your research, always shop around, weighing out price, warranties and how confident you feel in purchasing from that company. One company that can help you decide which machine is the best fit for you is eFiberTools.com, Inc. The supportive staff will help narrow down the choices of equipment to fit your particular needs based on application and budget. Visit their site www.efibertools.com for live chat or to download brochures, manuals and pdf files pertaining to equipment you want, need or currently own. Also, contact them directly via phone, 623-582-5560 or toll free 877-773-3423 to talk to a friendly and knowledgeable staff member that can assist you without the high pressure sales pitches used by many of eFiberTools.com’s competition. Contact eFiberTools.com [email protected] www.efibertools.com 329 W. Melinda Lane Phoenix, AZ 85027 877-773-3423
The IFS-15 Series splicers have now been released. After much anticipation, INNO Instrument has published pictures, information and videos about their newest splicers. Many users of the IFS-10 and IFS-9 fusion splicers have been requesting different options such as Splice-On-Connectors a.k.a. (SOC). INNO Instrument has delivered with three new models with various differences. IFS-15S Standard ARC Fusion Splicer Want to splice 250µm fiber cable, 900µm fiber cable, flat cable and fiber jumper/patch cables? Now you can with the new IFS-15S Standard ARC Fusion Splicer. The IFS-15S core-alignment fusion splicer with the new Digital Analysis Core Alignment System (DACAS) is one of the most dependable splicers on the market. The IFS-15S has a friendly, intuitive GUI (Graphical User Interface) with a 4.3 inch high-resolution color LCD screen that is easy to use and see. With the compact size of the fusion splicer (155mm*130mm*137mm), the IFS-15S STANDARD Fiber Master brings much more convenience for customers who work in the telecommunication field. Besides the compact size, the most significant innovation is the compatibility. The IFS-15S is compatible with widely used fibers and cables. It combines the function of both splicing and heating for those cables which are popular in FTTx: 250μm fiber, 900μm fiber, flat cable, and fiber jumper. http://vimeo.com/50269730 IFS-15H FTTx ARC Fusion Splicer Splice-on-connectors are becoming more popular due to their savings in time, money and overall labor. INNO Instrument has a solution for many customers that want a splicer capable of splice-on-connectors but without the hefty price-tag. Uses a similar basis to the IFS-15S but has the ability to perform splicing and heating of splice on connectors. This unit is also waterproof, dustproof and has anti-shock properties for drops or falls. Don’t let it’s size fool you, this is one tough workhorse. http://vimeo.com/50269726 IFS-15F Factory ARC Fusion Splicer Need a simplified version for use in component manufacturing? Here is the IFS-15F customizable factory fusion splicer. It includes exclusive software for manufactures that do not need every option that a field installer may use. It uses the IFS-15 base but adds to its factory appeal with the grayish silver color and simplified user programming. This unit is also waterproof, dustproof and has anti-shock properties for drops or falls. http://vimeo.com/50269729 INNO Instrument proves again why it has become one of the most popular fusion splicer manufacturers.
Check out one of the hottest selling splicers in action. It prevails through dirt, brick walls, water and accidental falls. Not just your average splicer! With INNOCARE24, you are now covered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for support and service. http://vimeo.com/50269388
Cleavers do not have “cleave counters” like a fusion splicer has arc counts. There is no visual way to know when the blade must be turned by looking at the cleaver unless a microscope or magnifier is used to observe the edge of the blade. The numbers on the side of the blade indicates to the technician the current position of the blade, but not how many times the blade has been rotated though all of the positions. The manufacturer may suggest rotating the blade to the next position each time electrodes are replaced in the fusion splicer. If this is your equipment and you are the only one who uses it than this technique may work fine for you. Often however the technician is not the only one using the equipment. Perhaps he or she must wait until multiple fibers need to be re-cleaved, or bad splices must be reworked before determining the wheel must be turned or replaced. Although replacing the wheel can be done in the field successfully and without too much trouble, I prefer doing this preventative maintenance at my shop, not in the field. Cleaver blades are not that expensive when you are not purchasing from the manufacturers. Each of the big three manufacturers, Fujikura, Fitel and Sumitomo charges 2 to 3 times the cost of these equivalent quality blades. These cleaver blades are as good as what the manufacturers sell. Considering the price, they are a better bargain. FiberTool® sells the best quality replacement cleaver blades. They are the only aftermarket cleaver blades we know of manufactured in the USA. You can get these quality replacement fusion electrodes for the following manufacturers: • Alcoa Fujikura® • Sumitomo® • Fitel® • Corning® FiberTool® replacement cleaver blades last as long as the original equipment manufactured parts they replace but for 1/2 the price! Each cleaver blade meets and/or exceeds the specifications set for the fiber optic industry. Each blade is inspected individually to ensure 100% adherence to our stringent tolerances.
Only at eFiberTools.com – INNO Instrument is seeking to expand its reseller and dealer network in North America for fiber optic fusion splicer through eFiberTools, its North American distributor.“The INNO IFS-10 Fusion Splicer is new on the U.S. market and has proven wildly popular!” eFiberTools, distributor for INNO Instrument IFS-10 fusion splicer, is looking for established resellers and dealers wanted to market their products to end-users. Suitable resellers would already have a presence in the fiber optic broadband and telecommunication sectors. INNO Instrument, located in South Korea, now holds a 70% market share and supplanted Fujikura as the best-selling fusion splicer brand. Since then, INNO has become very popular in numerous other countries. Similar results are expected in the United States where again Fujikura is the market leader presently. eFiberTools’ territory includes the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The IFS-10 is considered a direct replacement for the Fujikura FSM-60S distributed by AFL Telecommunications, but priced 40% less. Of the buyers surveyed, most say the INNO IFS-10 is at least as reliable as the Fujikura FSM-60S, yet it’s superior in quality and value. With ultrahigh design and manufacturing standards of INNO’s products, and considerably lower retail price of the IFS-10 kit, many cabling contractors, fiber manufacturers and others who use fusion splice equipment are very interested in learning more about the INNO’s products. eFiberTools needs resellers who are able to introduce the products to their existing customer base. Interested dealers in North America are encouraged to contact eFiberTools for details. Factory trained technicians are standing by to assist with service and support. Drop-shipping is available for recognized resellers. If you are an end-user and wish to demo, rent or purchase the INNO IFS-10 fusion splicer contact eFiberTools.com at toll-free: (877) 773-3423 , direct: (623) 582-5560, or e-mail [email protected] Or visit their website at eFiberTools.com. ABOUT EFIBERTOOLS.COM eFiberTools has a growing product line of fusion splicers and fiber splicing equipment, OTDR and optical test equipment, cabling and connectivity products, and other quality fibre-optic products which can be purchased online at eFiberTools.com. New products are being added daily. eFiberTools is dedicated to customer satisfaction and finding products that offer the best-value from around the world. Products selected are from manufacturers with great customer service, great warranties, and the lowest and best prices possible those savings can be passed along to their customers. The company stocks brand-name and quality tested no-brand products from a variety of global manufacturers, such as fusion splicers, OTDR’s and fiber optic testing and certification equipment, full range of optical fiber cabling and connectivity products, tools, networking equipment, and much more. Customers include broadband and telecom providers, FTTh, LAN/WAN, OSP, premises, Telco, CATV contractors, manufacturers and anyone who works with fiber-optic communication networks. Services available through eFiberTools include fast over-night shipping, worldwide shipping, product sourcing of items not displayed on their website, equipment rental and financing, as well as service and support for INNO fusion splicers and others. Not all products are currently listed on their website so be sure to ask if you don’t see what you need. Trade-ins wanted of working, and some non-working, fusion splicers and optical test equipment. They will trade or purchase outright your unneeded, excess or otherwise surplus assets and fiber-related excess inventory. Visit their Phoenix location at 329 W. Melinda Ln., Phoenix AZ 85027, email us at [email protected], or phone toll-free (877) 773-3423, direct (623) 582-5560. Find more information on fusion splicers, splicing techniques, news and information on our specialty blog add FusionSplicers.org. Dealers Wanted – Fiber Optic Products eFiberTools.com (877) 773-3423
eFiberTools.com carries a wide range of splicing, testing, and connectivity products for broadband and telecom industry. Find MicroCare chemical products used in cleaning, coating and lubrication. MicroCare produces some of the best and most effective chemical products used in the optical, electronic, telecommunication, aerospace, military and life sciences fields. MicroCare develops clever tools and production aids that enhance the performance of their chemical products. The result of these innovations is improved efficiencies, lower costs, higher quality, reduced worker exposures to chemicals, and the minimization of any environmental impacts.ABOUT EFIBERTOOLS.COM eFiberTools.com offers a wide selection of fiber splicing and testing equipment, optical fiber cable and connectivity products for contractors, manufacturers, telco and broadband communication. Fusion splicers and fiber splicing equipment, OTDR and optical test equipment, cabling and connectivity, and other quality fiber-optic products are found on eFiberTools.com. The company is dedicated customer satisfaction. They select their products from manufacturers with great customer service, great warranties, and low prices so they can pass that along to their customers. Fast shipping worldwide. eFiberTools stocks brand-name and the best no-brand fiber optic products from a variety of quality manufacturers. Products include fusion splicers, OTDR’s, and fiber optic testing and certification equipment, and a full range of optical fiber cabling, connectors and other connectivity products to support broadband and telecom providers, FTTh, LAN/WAN, OSP, premises, Telco, CATV contractors, manufacturers and anyone who works with fiber-optic communication networks. eFiberTools is an authorized distributor for Inno Instrument fusion splicers. Inno manufactures the highly popular IFS-10 core alignment fusion splicer, just recently introduced to the market. The Inno IFS-10 kit includes the VF-78 high-precision cleaver, as well as battery, case and more. Ask about renting an Inno, or request to receive one of their demo units for a one-week evaluation prior to purchasing. Trade-ins are welcome and encouraged. Not all products are listed on their website so be sure to ask if you don’t see what you need. eFiberTools accepts trade-ins of working and some nonworking models, and is always interested in purchasing your surplus fiber optic equipment and excess inventory. Visit their Phoenix location at 329 W. Melinda Ln., Phoenix AZ 85027, email us at [email protected], or phone toll-free (877) 773-3423, direct (623) 582-5560. Find more information on fusion splicers, splicing techniques, news and information on our specialty blog add FusionSplicers.org.
Largest inventory of fully warranted OTDRs; overstock forces lowest prices ever offered by SurplusEQ.com. SurplusEQ.com, a leading provider of new and used OTDR and other fiber optic testing equipment. The largest inventory of fully refurbished, newly calibrated OTDRs in the company’s history is now available. Each OTDR will be calibrated prior to shipping to the customer. This is the largest number of OTDRs made available at one time in the company’s history.An optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR) is an electronic tester that is used to measure time and intensity of the light signals traveling down optical fiber cable used in fiber optic communication networks. OTDRs are essential tools in detecting and testing the slight optical loss experienced due to reflection from fusion splice, connector, or fiber break. SurplusEQ has a large stock of GN-NetTest CMA-4000, CMA-4000i, CMA-4500 and CMA-5000 OTDRs and batteries and batteries. NetTest was acquired by Anritsu Corp. Each OTDR is refurbished, and will then be calibrated by the factory-trained technicians at Legacy Fiberoptics (legacyfiberoptics.com) before being shipped to the customer, assuring the quality of each unit. The NetTest CMA-series OTDRs are well-known in the industry to be among the most reliable and even years later are highly prized by fiber optic technicians worldwide. Legacy acquired the rights to service the discontinued CMA-series NetTest OTDR, and is fully qualified to perform factory-equivalent repairs and calibrations for many of the Corning, Siecor and Siemens Multi-Testers manufactured during the 1990’s and early 2000’s. SurplusEQ.com offers a great assortment of quality brand-name and no-name new and used OTDR test equipment from manufacturers such as Agilent, Anritsu, CETC , Corning, EXFO, FIS, GN-NetTest, HP, Laser Precision, Photon Kinetics (PK), Tektronix, Wavetek, and others. ABOUT SURPLUSEQ.COM SurplusEQ is a leading provider, and specializes in new, used and surplus OTDRs and other fiber optic testing and splicing equipment. Other products include electronic test equipment, semiconductor manufacturing equipment, telecom, laboratory and other equipment used in the high-tech industries. Equipment wanted! SurplusEQ buys, sells and trades a wide range of high-tech equipment and excess inventory. Liquidate excess or unused capital equipment for cash, or trade for anything we sell. Whether you have one item or an entire facility, SurplusEQ helps customers recover fair value from their surplus high-tech assets through trade-ins, consignment and purchasing. Visit SurplusEQ.com for new and used high-tech equipment. The specialty blog, FusionSplicers.org, offers news and information on fusion splicers in fiber splicing tools and techniques, including new and used OTDRs and other optical testing equipment.