Fusion Splicer Electrode Replacement

When should you replace the electrodes on your splicer?  Manufactures provide guidelines in their manuals when the electrodes should be replaced.  Some  splicers also give a warning message when the splicer is turned on. Sometimes the arc counts get reset by accident and the user may not remember the arc count value.  Looking into the memory for the splice data may not be of any values since the memory may not store all of the splices due to memory storage limitations.

Electrodes of Major Brands

After having serviced numerous splicers I have found that the best way is to see how the previous splices have been performing.  If consecutive splices have resulted in higher estimated splice loss, when the fibers have been properly prepared for splicing, listening to the arc during the splice operation may give some indication of an arc problem.  There should be no sputtering sounds heard from under the wind protector cover. Some splicers have an electrode conditioning process built into the maintenance program that can clean and condition the electrodes.  Electrodes can be coated with fused deposits from the splicing process that cannot be removed by the electrode cleaning procedures. They can still be reconditioned by careful cleaning.  As long as the tip is still at a point and not bent, the electrode may still be able to provide many good splices.  If the electrode is bent at the tip, or the tip is rounded, they will need to be replaced.  The electrode length is very important for good low loss splicing.  Decreasing electrode length will cause the arc voltage to go higher causing strain on the power supply and creating an unstable arc.  This can cause  errors such as bubble or thin to appear after the splice.  If you need to replace the electrodes,  we have a good supply of electrodes and very good pricing.  Contact sales@efibertools.com.

Before and After Cleaning ... (click to enlarge)

  The figures to the right are pictures taken through a microscope of an electrode from a FSM-60S splicer.  The top picture is a view of the electrode before cleaning. See the buildup of deposits on the tip of the electrode.  The tip is still pointed and not bent.  Take a piece of emery paper and fold it into a “V” pocket in one hand. With the other hand, insert the electrode into it and begin rotating the electrode several times.   See the bottom figure for an after view of the cleaned electrode. After cleaning the electrode and before re-installing, perform an arc stabilization/calibration then begin splicing the fibers again.

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