Don’t Get Left In The Dark: Why Fibre Optic End Face Inspection Matters

Fibre optic cables are the information super highways of the modern world, transmitting data at incredible speeds using light. But even the most advanced cable can be rendered useless if the connector on the end isn't in pristine condition. Here's why inspecting the end face, the very tip of the fibre connector, is crucial.

Posted by Gavin On 28 May 2024

Ensuring Clarity: The Impact of Poor Polishing

Imagine a highway with potholes and cracks. That's what a poorly polished fibre end face looks like for light. When dealing with a core size of 9 microns (0.009mm), the slightest spec of dirt will block the data flow. If not cleaned before connection, these particles can permanently damage the connector end-face of both mated connectors, thus doubling the problem. Here's how it affects your network:

  • Signal Loss: Light scatters off imperfections, reducing the amount that reaches the other end. This translates to weaker signals and potentially degraded network performance.
  • Reflection: Scratches and defects can act like tiny mirrors, reflecting light back towards the source. This back reflection can confuse transceivers and cause equipment errors.
  • Physical Damage: Contaminants like dust can exacerbate these issues and even permanently damage the fibre tip if not cleaned properly.

The Benefits of a Flawless End Face

By inspecting and ensuring a smooth, polished end face, you get:

  • Optimal Signal Transmission: Light travels efficiently, maximising data speeds and network reliability.
  • Reduced Errors: Minimised back reflection ensures clear communication and accurate data transfer.
  • Long-Term Performance: A clean and well-maintained connector protects the fibre from damage and extends its lifespan.

Making the Inspection Count

Investing in visual inspection tools like microscopes helps identify issues like scratches, cracks, and contamination. Addressing these problems through proper cleaning and polishing techniques ensures your fibre optic connection operates at peak performance.

Remember:

A flawless end face is the foundation of a reliable fibre optic network. By prioritising inspection and maintenance, you can avoid costly downtime and ensure your data travels smoothly and efficiently.

At Leader Optec our end faces are inspected to IEC 61300-3-35 standards using various pieces of inspection equipment at different stages. This equipment gives an automated PASS/FAIL result that meets the IEC standard.

Within our dedicated manufacturing facility, we use high specification inspection equipment from leading industry brands. As part of our polishing process, we use Data Pixel D-Scopes. For testing, we use Viavi Benchtop Microscopes and EXFO Fibre Inspection Probes. This equipment helps us to ensure that all of our products go through a reliable and repeatable inspection process, to deliver consistent results time and time again.

Why Fibre End Face Inspection Matters

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