DCIM: Data center infrastructure management
All-in-one multifiber connector inspection
The FiberChek Sidewinder from Viavi Solutions is an innovative “all-in-one” handheld inspection and analysis solution for multifiber connectors. A completely automated solution to inspect and analyze every fiber of an MPO or other multifiber connector with superior reliability and speed, the FiberChek Sidewinder automates the MPO inspection process by delivering a fast, fully autonomous and automated MPO inspection workflow that dramatically reduces time to inspect and certify fiber endfaces for up to 92% faster network buildouts, without sacrificing accuracy or ease-of-use, according to the company.
This portable MPO inspection microscope’s integrated touchscreen display gives users full control to view live images and analyze results, pan and scroll across endfaces to view each fiber, and easily navigate screens. Test results can be stored, named, and recalled directly on the device.
Viavi Solutions, viavisolutions.com
Inspection tool conducts additional tests
EXFO Inc.’s ConnectorMax MPO Link Test Solution pairs a light source at one end of the cable with a fiber inspection probe for analysis at the other end. It provides a pass/fail diagnosis of MPO-12 and MPO-24 links in a single report.
The tool also enables users to check fiber polarity and continuity in approximately the same amount of time as conducting an inspection alone. “When not properly tested, multifiber links can put the entire health of a network at risk,” EXFO explains. “Traditional solutions often fall short on design or price, can’t perform all three critical tests, or don’t offer analysis and reporting capabilities.”
Endface cleaning fluid
US Conec recently introduced its IBC brand Eliminator cleaning fluid, designed specifically for fiber-optic connector endface cleaning. The fluid is a complement to the company’s existing line of IBC brand cleaners, which are mechanical cleaning tools. The Eliminator cleaning fluid dissolves the most-stubborn solidified debris, asserts US Conec.
The fluid also assists with reducing static-born debris common in dry environments, and maximizes the efficiency of other IBC brand cleaners. The company says its Eliminator cleaning fluid is easy to apply and quick to dry, leaving no residue like alcohol and other similar cleaners will leave. Available in a 3-ounce can, the cleaning fluid can be used for more than 650 individual applications. The product is non-flammable and can be shipped via ground or air with no restrictions.
Fiber microscope for MPO inspection
Manta-W+ from Sumix is a portable microscope for visual inspection of MPO connector endfaces for scratches, defects and contamination, as well as for automatic pass/fail testing per IEC standards. The probe supports MPO-12 and MPO-16 connectors with up to 6 rows of fibers, all captured and analyzed simultaneously in just one scan.
It takes only 4 seconds to check the MT12, claims Sumix. Live viewing of the entire ferrule from guide-hole to guide-hole helps to ensure there is no dust or debris that can later migrate to individual fiber-ends and cause network errors. Applicable for field use, labs and manufacturing, the Manta-W+ is billed as an essential tool to verify quality of the produced fiber-optic connectors, perform receiving inspection, and prevent and troubleshoot network failures. The Manta-W+ also supports other connector types including LC, SC, SMA, E2000, CS, AVIM, Mini-AVIM, QSFP, ARINC, MIL-38999, ODC, Q-ODC, and others.
LC cleaning kit
Optimark Fiberoptics’ LC Cleaning Kit includes a mini-IBC Zi125 cleaner with key ring/belt hook, MicroCare Sticklers 1.25mm cleaning sticks (quantity: 50), solvent, wipes, and the Optimark OPT SF-1 Skinny Fingers LC insertion/extraction tool.
The mini IBC has a capacity of 525 or more cleans, and can be used to clean both the in-adapter and the connector end of the cable. The sticks and solvent can be used for connectors in hard-to-reach locations. The Skinny Fingers tool makes it easy to remove connectors for cleaning and insert back into the adapter, where cables are tightly spaced. The kit is lightweight and especially useful in data centers and other facilities with densely packed LC jumper cables, Optimark says.
Optimark Fiberoptics, optimark-fiber.com
Fiber-optic field inspection and cleaning kit
For when you need perfectly clean splices and connectors, Sticklers says its fiber-optic field inspection and cleaning kit gets the job done. The kit’s high-quality, installer-grade scope lets technicians visually inspect each connector endface before and after cleaning to guarantee it meets the rigorous industry cleaning standards.
Each kit contains the right combination of cleaning tools to remove dust, oils and other contamination, and includes hermetically sealed cleaning fluid for purity. Optical-grade, lint-free cleaning wipes, cleaning sticks and the company’s CleanClicker connector cleaners quickly remove pollutants while minimizing cross-contamination. All come packaged in a rugged air-tight, water-tight case to protect the kit’s contents—perfect for storage on service vehicles, Sticklers emphasizes.
Ultra-fast MPO/MTP connector inspection system
AFL’s FOCIS Lightning Ultrafast MPO/MTP fiber-optic connector inspection system uses twin 5M pixel CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) sensors to image the entire MPO endface simultaneously and perform multifiber inspections 10 to 100 times faster than legacy systems, the company says.
The full-view connector endface image is displayed in less than two seconds from power-on—a capability unique in the industry, claims AFL. Additional key features include: key-up/key-down polarity capture with clear fiber one identification; support for all MPO fiber configurations, including Base-8 and Base-10; auto-focus and auto-analysis compliant to IEC MPO standards; ability to scroll through all individual fiber images, analysis overlays, and zone tables; Bluetooth connectivity to AFL’s free FOCIS Flex mobile app (iOS and Android).
Fiber-optic cleaning process advancements
If cleaning the fiber-optic surface is so important, why doesn’t everyone clean? Because it takes time, and it’s not easy. The XpertClean process from Softing changes that. “Dab some CleanWash on the CleanMachine, push-and-click, view with microscope, and done—that’s how easy it is to clean 90% of your fiber-optic connectors,” asserts the company.
“For the other 10%, the kit includes CleanSwabs and the CleanStrip for hard-to-reach connectors, and the process is still the same: Dab some CleanWash, clean with CleanSwab or CleanStrip, view with microscope, and done.”
Easy, efficient MPO and single-fiber inspection
Fluke Networks’ FI-3000 FiberInspector Pro makes inspecting MPO and single fibers easy and efficient. The tool’s multiple camera Live View provides an instant, real-time image via simple touchscreen gestures to view the full connector down to individual endfaces. Automated pass/fail results are generated in seconds.
Store results on a smartphone and share them through text or email, or use the LinkWare cloud utility to store complete project reports including copper, fiber loss, OTDR and endface images. The unit’s compact, ergonomic design with autofocus makes it comfortable and fast to use even when testing hundreds of cables or ports. Supports one or two rows of 8, 12, or 16 UPC or APC connectors, as well as single fibers.
Fluke Networks, flukenetworks.com
Kit supports wet or dry cleaning of connectors
The Jonard Tools TK-182 Fiber Cleaning Kit offers cleaning products for use on 1.25mm and 2.5mm connector endfaces and bulkhead adapters. Containing products for either wet or dry cleaning of connectors, the kit is enclosed in Jonard’s newest H-20 rugged nylon carrying case.
The TK-182 Fiber Cleaning Kit includes fiber cleaning fluid and wipes. Specifically, the kit includes Jonard’s FCC-125 for LC connectors; FCC-250 for use on FC, SC, ST connectors; DW-90 dry fiber wipes; and FCF-3 fiber cleaning fluid.
Jonard Tools, jonard.com
Senko’s Smart Cleaners prevent damage and signal loss caused by contamination, which is the most common source of failure with optical connectors. The Smart Cleaners are designed to be intuitive so an operator can use them quickly, with consistent results, Senko says.
The Smart Cleaner product portfolio includes cassettes for single-fiber connectors, as well as male and female MT ferrules. The product line also includes a Mini Series, with compact housings for accessing connectors in confined spaces. The MPO cleaner is available in two versions—one for 12-fiber arrays and one for networks supporting up to 400G. Senko's Mini and MPO cleaners are disposable; other Smart Cleaner tools are reusable.