This is a very comprehensive article, and worth handing out to techs. I have 
one comment on Balder’s OTDR suggestion, and one on the article’s microscope 

Although it certainly can’t hurt to run an OTDR test (except for extended 
downtime), I fear hauling out the extra gear will prompt many techs to put off 
fiber cleaning. In my experience, just doing the cleaning solves 99.9% of the 
problem. Anything that an OTDR would pick up would likely severely impact 
performance, while dirty connector will just increase the error rate.

Also, the article didn’t mention eye safety when using a fiber microscope. The 
example showed a USB digital video microscope, but many maintainer kits in the 
field have much cheaper direct-view optical microscopes. Viewing an energized 
fiber with a direct-view microscope can cause major eye damage. I recommend all 
fiber kits throw out their optical scopes and substitute a USB or WiFI scope 
(some of these can be used with a cell phone or tablet). 


> On Sep 21, 2016, at 1:58 AM, Baldur Norddahl <> 
> wrote:
> It is a good article. It is missing a few points:
> If you are going to do the full efford of cleaning and then microscope each 
> connector, you would also want to finish off by doing a OTDR scan of the 
> link. This is your documentation for a clean link.
> Always use optics that can monitor the signal level. The reality is that best 
> practice, as described in the article, will not always be followed. In most 
> case you will be good anyway as long your optics report back a signal 
> strength with a good margin. Have your automated monitoring system watch over 
> those signal levels.
> Slightly dirty connectors will often give a sufficient link quality anyway if 
> you have plenty of power budget to spare. We use many 1G single mode BIDI 
> optics which cost about 10 USD each for 20 km modules and most of the links 
> are only 1-5 km. The customer end of those links are probably all half dirty, 
> but nobody cares as long we get a strong signal back with power budget to 
> spare.
> Regards,
> Baldur
> On 09/21/2016 07:56 AM, Mikael Abrahamsson wrote:
>> This is an excellent article regarding fiber cleaning and its importance. 
>> Please do share with other people in our business. I'm sure lack of proper 
>> fiber cleaning causes a lot of unneccessary outages and operational problems 
>> worldwide, partly because people aren't aware of its importance.

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