I'm looking at the AMP LightCrimp Plus No Polish system. Anyone care to share the Pro's and Con's? I like my AMP modular plug crimper. That is why I am looking at AMP. But any other suggestions are welcome. I have been using the Leviton ThreadLock system. My problem is I only have about 1 fiber job a year. And even then it is usually only 12 to 24 terminations. I have a slow start with my polishing technique which smoothes out by the end of the job. Then the next fiber job comes along and I'm back to square one. :-))
I have used the Siecor (now Corning Cable Systems) UNICAM system for several years. It is another of the no polish systems. This one uses a pre-polished stub in the ferrule with an index matching gel to mate the raw fiber. The termination tool kits can often be rented from the distributor which saves on buying a kit for only a few terminations a year.
I have seen people put on connectors on a breakout fiber in as little as 30 seconds, but the average is usually less than a minute after the first one or two. The connectors can be pricey compared to other systems, but the reduction in labor can go a long ways toward evening the cost. You should be able to do one end of a 24 strand fiber in about 45 minutes including setup time and have all the fibers test out to less than a half dB insertion loss.
I've used the LightCrimp extensively in the past. I always liked them and was very successful. Very few fails and very good test numbers. Been doing hot-melts lately, so its been awhile. I've recently looked at the UNICAM for the first time. I was impressed with the way it works. Can't say anything about the performance. I'm looking for an opportunity to try them out so I can see how they perform.
While the potential is there, I'm going to have to disagree with the reality. Of the couple thousand LightCrimps I've installed, not one that was properly inserted (yes there were a few that didn't get right the first time) not one has pulled out with "light pull". In fact, one of my tests was to hold the fiber about 6 inches back and let the connector dangle. Then I'd give the connector a little tug. Never a problem. In the dense shelf situation, I think that you are more likely to break the glass behind the boot than pull it out of a crimp connector. And that happens with any type of termination. As for single mode, I'd fusion splice pigtails if I didn't want to puck-n-polish.
I would also say that yield is probably equal between the different styles especially if you are doing less than 100 terminations a year. Practice is critical.
I agree completely with being ready to do both. I've been thinking about fiber to the desk situations, (which we have here) that it's got to be much easier to do installs with pre-polished connectors than lugging a hot melt kit all over a building!
Crimp-style connectors like AMP's LightCrimp and UniCam by Corning, as well as the clones (these guys OEM manufacture for everyone and their brother) are best suited for repair work, not the new installs. I know that this may not go too well with every installer you are talking to because on our side of the fence installation time is (almost always) all the matters. But the reality of the thing is: you are inserting two additional mechanical splices on every fiber, and that may be especially bad on singlemode cables. And also reliability and couple other issues below.
Reliability of the crimp-style connectors also leaves to desire more. They are notorious for not allowing ANY touching after the install is done. With polished connectors (hot melts or regular epoxy or any other type of glue, does not matter) your fiber is glued into the ferrule to the point that, when pulling on the fiber, you will cut your fingers easier than separating the fiber from the ferrule. In crimp style connector it's a, well, crimped (or just rotated) plastic part that holds the whole thing together. Any light pull on the fiber may potentially separate the fiber from the connector, which destroys the link. Sometimes accidental pulls on fiber are unavoidable, especially if you are working in a densely populated shelf, and dressing your fibers in.
Yield: it is possible on a nice day to produce 100% yield with epoxy polished connectors. It is impossible on a sizable crimp-style job NOT to waste quite a few connectors because the cleaving stage is so important, and you have no control over it, and by the time you realize something went wrong, it's to late to redo the connector. There have been some improvements made by Corning with introducing a base station with light injector that makes it possible to judge be the amount of light that escapes whether or not the cleave was done right, but you really have to train your eye before you can tell.
Environment should also be considered when picking a particular type of connector: if you are forced to work during construction phase (should be avoided at all costs, but not always possible), the dust in the air may not allow you to do good polishing. In this case the crimp style connectors will do much better. If you have to work in a relatively clean environment, and the number of connectors if considerable, you better of doing polished style.
Choose the style that suits the particular situation best and be prepared to work with both technologies.
This is quite timely for me.. May well have to do a fibre job for the first time since I went 'on my own'. Many years ago I did some fusion splicing, and have done epoxy/polish.
I now have a chance to do a little fibre work again, but will be supplying all my own kit. Can't guarantee the level of fibre work I will get, and this first job will only be one run (probably 6 core multimode).
Have seriously thought of doing the donkey work of running the fibre, and then subbing the termination.
I have done lightcrimp in the classroom, but never in the field.
What's the perceived wisdom of the group?
TIA, Phil Partridge snipped-for-privacy@pebbleGRIT.demon.co.uk Remove the grit to reply
Depending on the number of labels you will be installing, something as inexpensive as a DYMO label maker can work. Most installers use one of the Brother P-Touch units for smaller jobs and move up to the Brady, Panduit or other special purpose labelers for the larger jobs. In any event, one thought about your labeling:
16) Each WAO plate is identified on the face with a machine generated label identifying the serving TC. Each plate is identified on the reverse side with the same information handwritten in permanent marker.
2A-23 identifies the WAO plate where cables A23V, A23D and A23S are terminated at the work area. . Rodgers Platt
I agree. If you do a lot of Fiber got get a hotmelt kit, but, if you only have a few jobs every year Id stick with the AMP Lightcrimp system. I own it and I love it.
PS. AMP and other manufacturers have already stated the future in premise fiber is the mechanical connector. Also, even though there are extra splices within the connector, youd have to be commander data to notice a fe dbs of extra loss.
We use only the Corning Unicam system and have terminated hundreds of strands of single-mode fiber. The terminations are about $25 Canadian because we get end-user price as a university. We recently improved our results by getting the adapter that allows us to have a "ruby red" visual fault locator on the connector while crimping. The connector has a plastic collar that shows light if the fiber is not butted up properly to the stub.
Don't have enough experience with LightCrimps to comment on the above, but I would never do it to UniCam. In my experience it is hard to quantify a "light tug", and it can easily become too much for the little part that holds the fiber in place. I think the spec says the connector can withstand 10N (approx 1kg or 2 pounds) of force, but it would be a steady force in my opinion. Your impulse momentum can easily exceed couple times that with a simple clumsy move of one finger.
Well, you'd have to over-bend the fiber pretty badly for that to happen. In my experience accidental pulls on the fiber are MUCH more common. Example: you are re-connecting a connector that did not pass on the first round of tests, and you had to clean it. You're removing your hand from the shelf and a fiber gets under your wrist watch or something as silly as that. So, whereas both type are prone to breakage from over-bending, only crimp-style is prone to damage by pulling, which reduces the number of fatalities.
You don't always get a luxury of having enough space for the splice trays, so there will be plenty of situations where you need to terminate directly on fiber. One of such situations: if you don't have a fusion splicer.
You don't really have to have an oven, just carry anaerobic glue with you if you are not stationary.