Generic consumables can save you money

The consumable items used in fiber-optic cable termination can be expensive, especially when they are part of consumable kits offered by manufacturers. And what do you do if you run out of a consumable included in a manufacturer`s kit?

May 1st, 1997

Generic consumables can save you money

Jamie Bytheway

NETTECH Communications Cabling Specialists

Problem

The consumable items used in fiber-optic cable termination can be expensive, especially when they are part of consumable kits offered by manufacturers. And what do you do if you run out of a consumable included in a manufacturer`s kit?

Solution

Many of the consumables used in cable termination are available in generic formulas at the local hardware store or pharmacy. As is the case with generic versus name-brand drugs, sometimes these items are orders of magnitude less expensive than when purchased from a fiber-optic or copper-wire cable or connector supplier.

Money-saving tips

1) The alcohol wipes that are expensive when bought from a specialty supplier are available at your local pharmacy for a fraction of that cost. Just make sure the wipes you purchase contain isopropyl alcohol of 70% concentration or greater.

2) Standard pharmacy-grade, non-perfumed talcum powder can be used as a lubricant for buffer tubes when the rosin powder supplied with some kits runs out.

3) The B sealant that is recommended for use with the fingered type of break-out kits can be replaced with virtually any clear silicon tub and tile sealer at a fraction of the cost.

Jamie Bytheway is the owner of nettech Communications Cabling Specialists (Fort Smith, AR).

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