Thursday, April 11, 2013

Beware the fibre contamination!

These are two pictures taken down my hand-held fibre microscope - you can see the core and buffer of two examples of fibres that were spliced maybe three months ago in a new building. I suspect builder/decorator dust contamination and even though they have had their cover-pieces on they aren't air-tight and so we're now looking at an extra 0.2dBs of loss on those circuits.

Not a whole hill of beans, but worth noting.  It is jolly hard to position and focus an iPhone over the eyepiece, but here is an image of what a new, uncontaminated fibre pigtail looks like (these are all multi-mod OM3 BTW). Aside from the JDSU microscope I also carry a Cletop cleaner when I'm on fibre mission. It's a small cleaner with a replaceable cartridge that allows you to swipe the end of the patch cord or pigtail with a fresh piece of dry-clean, lint-free material and it removes even stubborn stains.


Andrew Porter said...

Hi Phil - just read your post and I wondered if this might interest you -

Its a hand-held microscope and camera combined - we sometimes used one in the lab when I was doing my PhD - might make it easier to take the pictures you took above (plus its pretty cool!)

All the best,
Andrew P (@retropz)

Phil Crawley said...

That does look very cool - but the JDSU has a machined piece in front of the object lens that holds the LC connector correctly - you can remove it for SC or ST fibre ends as well.