Tag Archives: fiber optic splicing

Considerations for Fiber Optic Termination

Fiber optic cables and connectors are necessary components of current telecommunication systems which are transmitting greater information at faster speeds. As we all know, when appropriate optical cables have been selected for a system, connectors and termination method also should be taken into account to meet the system requirements. This article mainly explores several considerations for fiber optic termination and how different optical termination methods impact the performance of telecommunication systems.

fiber optic termination

Important Factors to Be Considered
Insertion Loss of Fiber Optic System

Fiber optic cabling systems support various communications technologies like Gigabit Ethernet, local area networking (LAN) and CATV (community access television). No matter what types of networks it supports, the communication devices have a limitation for maximum channel insertion loss measured in units of decibels (dB). Optical fiber channel insertion loss usually occurs when an active transmitter is linked to an active receiver via terminated fiber optic cables, splicing points and fiber optic connectors. The quality of fiber optical links’ terminations has an impact on the channel insertion loss. Poor quality terminations often cause more loss than high-performance terminations. An optical system will fail due to excessive insertion loss.

Return Loss of Optical System

Return loss is the power of the optical signal that returns towards the optical source against the direction of signal propagation, which is mainly caused by Fresnel reflections and Rayleigh back scattering. Communication systems can be impaired by an excessive amount of reflected optical power, which could alter the transmitted signal to an extent that is not the power level received by the receiver. Generally, components like connectors and mechanical splices are specified as reflectance, and system sensitivity is specified as return loss.

Fiber Optic Termination Methods

Nowadays various fiber optic connectors are available such as LC, SC and MTP connector, so are termination methods existing for different connector types. Common termination methods include no-epoxy-no-polish (NENP) connector, epoxy-and-polish (EP) and splicing.

No-epoxy/no-polish Connector

NENP connector is a type of connector that does not require the use of epoxy or polishing in the field, because those processes have been finished when the connector is made. This type of field termination is the fastest and simplest for a new installer to master. Compared with those connectors terminated in the field, the termination process (polishing the fiber end-face) of NENP connector is accomplished in advance in a manufacturing environment, which provides insurance for the fiber optic termination quality.


Epoxy-and-polish Connector

Another common termination method is to use epoxy and polish connectors. EP fiber termination includes the following steps: injecting the connector ferrule with epoxy, curing, scribing the protruding fiber from the ferrule, and polishing the ferrule end-face. During this termination process, two situations may affect the termination quality. One is the bubbles that occur in the epoxy. Another is the debris that may appear in the ferrule. Besides, the quality of the polished end-face also can directly impact both the insertion loss and reflectance.

Pigtail Splicing

Pigtail splicing is another method used to terminate an optical fiber. This method is achieved by fusing the field fiber to a factory-made pigtail in a splicing tray. The person who has some experience of pigtail splicing must know pigtails should be cleaned and cleaved before they are spliced, and the cleave precision significantly impacts splice quality.



Different fiber optic termination methods vary amounts of insertion loss and reflectance. The epoxy injection and subsequent polishing process are the most critical steps during optical terminations that determines the magnitude of air gap at a connector interface. Factory-controlled manufacturing processes ensure consistent optical performance. Field epoxy and polish procedures produce connector end-face conditions that vary among installation techniques. However, no epoxy-no-polish connectors and pigtails are not only manufactured with precise and repeatable polishing process, but insertion loss and reflectance are measured for every connector.

To ensure that epoxy and polish connectors meet specified optical performance established by industry standards, both insertion loss and reflectance must be measured after fiber is terminated. In a word, the proper optical fiber termination method should be chosen to ensure easy system installation as well as meet required insertion loss and reflectance values prescribed by either industry standards or link loss budget, or both.

Related article: Brief Introduction to Fiber Optic Termination

Brief Introduction to Fiber Optic Termination

When it comes to install a fiber optic network, undoubtedly, fiber optic termination is one of the extremely important procedures. Since an unreliable network will cause many problems and may not perform correctly. Therefore, much attention is paid to this area today, and numerous related products are appearing on the market to make fiber optic termination easier and more accurate than before.

What Is Fiber Optic Termination?

Fiber optic termination is the connection of fiber or wire to a device such as a wall outlet or equipment, which allows for connecting the cable to other cables or devices. It is an essential step for installing a fiber optic network. Since any mistakes can lead to the system functioning unreliably, this step must be operated correctly.


Methods of Fiber Optic Termination

Generally, there are two methods of fiber optic termination. One is to use connectors to create a temporary joint or to connect the fiber to a piece of network gear. Another is to create a permanent joint between two fibers with splicing. Here is a brief overview of this two methods.


Fiber optic connectors are unique. They transmit pulses of light rather than electric signals, so the terminations must be more precise. Instead of merely making metal to metal contact, fiber optic connectors must align precisely so that signals can run through successfully. Although there are various types of connectors on the market, they share the same structures. And there are three major components of a fiber optic connector: the ferrule, the connector body and the coupling mechanism.

  • Ferrule—This is a thin structure (often cylindrical) that holds the glass fiber. It has a hollowed-out center that forms a tight grip on the fiber. Ferrules are usually made from ceramic, metal, or high-quality plastic, and typically will hold one strand of fiber.
  • Connector body—this is a plastic or metal structure that holds the ferrule and attaches to the jacket and strengthens members of the fiber cable itself.
  • Coupling mechanism—this is a part of the connector body that holds the connector in place when it gets attached to another device (a switch, NIC, bulkhead coupler, etc.). It may be a latch clip, a bayonet-style nut, or similar device.

There are various types of connectors available on the market such as SC, LC, FC, MPO, MTRJ, etc. When install a network, problems about the connector type should be considered. For example, whether the connector is compatible with this systems planned to utilize the fiber optic cable plant and whether the connector is accepted by the customers.



Fiber optic splicing is needed when the cable runs are too long or a numbers of different types of cables are needed to be mixed. As mentioned above, splicing is to connect two fibers permanently. Splicing also has two types. One is mechanical splicing and another is fusion splicing. Fusion splicing is most widely used as it provides the lowest loss and least reflectance as well as the most reliable joint. While mechanical splicing is like connectors which only combine fibers temporarily.

How to choose splicing types depends on the installation locations or cost. Most splicing is on long haul outside plant single-mode cables, not multimode LANs (Local Area Networks). So if you do outside plant single-mode jobs, you will want to learn how to do fusion splice.


Fiber Optic Termination Loss Mechanisms

We have known the methods of fiber optic termination, and what we should make sense is that, no matter which methods we adopt, the loss is unavoidable. And now I’d like to talk about the loss mechanisms caused by connectors and splicing.

Connector and splice loss is caused by a number of factors. As we all known, when the two fiber cores are identical and perfectly aligned, the loss is minimized. And only the light that is coupled into the receiving fiber’s core will be transmitted. The rest of the light becomes the loss. Here are some common causes that appear in fiber optic termination, which can result in loss.

End Gaps

End gaps can result in two problems—insertion loss and reflectance. When light runs in the end gaps, it will become cone shape and spill over the core of the receiving fiber and be lost. Besides, the air gap in the joint also causes a reflection. Because when the light runs from the glass fiber to the air in the gap, the different refractive index can lead to loss.


Core Diameters

Different core diameters connected together also can cause light loss. And the loss amount is determined by the transmission direction. When light transmits from a fiber with a larger core diameter to a small one, the loss will be higher than the reverse. So when terminating two fibers, it’s important to make the core diameter of them identical.


Improper Fiber Ends

Improper fiber ends can cause loss, too. Therefore, the end finish of the fiber must be properly polished to cut loss. A round surface will scatter light, and dirt also can scatter light. Since the fiber is so small that a little dirt can be a major source of loss. Whenever connectors are not used, they should be covered to keep the ferrule from dirt.


In summary, this article introduces some basic information about fiber optic terminations. And the fiber optic termination process has become much simpler today with readily available termination products. Fiberstore provides all kinds of fiber optic connectors and splicing equipment for you to make your fiber optic terminations easier and more convenient.

How to Maintain Your Fiber Optic Fusion Splicer?

Fiber optical splicing is the act to joint two fibers together by using heat. Generally, there are two types of optical splicing: mechanical splicing and fusion splicing. Fusion splicing cannot be completed without a piece of equipment called fusion splicer. However, you can’t just use it without any maintenance. Do you know how to maintain it in your daily work? Today, this article is to give you some advice for your fusion splicer maintenance.

What Is Fiber Optic Fusion Splicer?

Fiber optic fusion splicer uses an electric arc to melt two optical fibers at the level of their faces to end and form a long fiber. It connects two fibers permanently so that the optical signals can be transmitted in the fiber with a very low loss.


How Does a Fusion Splicer Work?

Before we know how to maintain our fusion splicers, we need to make sense how it works. Only when you know clearly its work process can you get how to avoid some unnecessary mistakes which may cause great damage to your fusion splicer.

Usually, before starting a fusion splicing, the preparations need to be finished: removing all the protective coating, completely clean and then precisely cleaving to form a smooth and perpendicular end faces. When all of these have been done, the fiber optic fusion splicer takes over the rest of the process which includes three steps.

Alignment. With the help of a small but precise motor, the fusion splicer makes tiny adjustments to the fibers’ positions until they are aligned properly. During this process, the fiber optic workers can view the fiber alignment by optical power meter video camera or viewing scope.

Impurity Burn-Off. Since the slightest trace of dust or other impurities can affect the transmission of optical signals, cleaning is always the first important thing needed to be done. Before fusing, fusion splicer can generate a small spark between the fiber ends to burn off the remaining dust or moisture.

Fusion. After fibers have been aligned and thoroughly cleaned, it’s time to fuse the fiber ends together. The splicer emits a second, large spark that melts the optical fiber end faces Then the melted fibers are jointed together.

Daily Care and Maintenance

Now we have know how the fusion splicer works, it’s time to learn something on how to maintain fusion splicer to make sure the fusion procedures go on wheels. Here are some tips on how you can maintain your fusion splicers. These tips are mainly about the cleaning in the fusion process.

Cleaning Before Splicing
  • Clean the V-groove. If there are contaminants in the V -groove, it cannot clamp fiber properly and will cause unnecessary optical loss. Therefore, the V -groove should be checked and cleaned regularly. Generally, a thin cotton swab dipped with alcohol can be used to clean V-groove. If it doesn’t work, first you can use a fiber that has been cleaved to remove the contaminants, and then clean the V -groove with thin cotton swab.


  • Clean the Fiber Clamp. If there are dusts on the fiber clamp, it may lead to poor fiber connections. So the cleaning of fiber clamp cannot be ignored in your daily work. Firstly, cleaning the surface of fiber clamp with a thin cotton swab dipped with alcohol. Then dry the clamp with a dry cotton swab.


  • Clean the cleaver. Always keep in mind that the cleaver blade should be kept clean, or it will bring dust to the fiber end face, resulting big splice loss. The method to clean the cleaver blade is to clean it with cotton swab.


Regular Inspection and Cleaning

In order to ensure the quality of fusion splicing, it’s recommended to do regular inspection and cleaning for the fusion splicer. The check items include objective lens, windshield and electrodes.


In summary, it’s vital to maintain fusion splicer to ensure a precise fusion splicing. Of course, good maintenance is necessary, but obviously a good fusion splicer is more important. Fiberstore provides various types of fiber optic splicer and some other accessories which can make splicing much easier and more stable. If you want to know more, please visit FS.com.

Introduction to Fiber Optic Splicing

During the actual operation of fiber cables, fiber optic splicing is often needed to achieve the connection between optic fibers. To be specific, fiber optic splicing is a process to combine the ends of optic fibers together. And only one end of each individual fiber is required. There are mainly two types splicing methods: the mechanical splicing and the fusion splicing. The article will introduce these two splicing methods and their particular steps of splicing.

What Is Mechanical Splicing?

Mechanical splicing is using the alignment devices to hold two fiber ends in a precisely aligned position. This enables the light to pass freely through one fiber to another fiber. In this method, the joint is not permanent. Two fibers can still be split after the signal transmission. Mechanical splicing has a low initial investment but costs more for each splice.


What Is Fusion Splicing?

Fusion splicing is using the professional machine to joint two optical fibers ends together. The splicing machine will hold the fibers to align them in a precised position, then using heat or electric arc to fuse or weld glass ends together. This enables the permanent connection between two optic fibers for a continuous light transmission. Fusion splicing needs a much higher initial investment but costs less for each splice than mechanical splicing. In addition, this method is more precised than mechanical splicing, which produces lower loss and less back reflection due to the seamless fusion splice points.


Four Steps of Mechanical Splicing:

1. You need to prepare the fiber by peeling off the outer coatings, jackets, tubes, etc. to just expose the bare fiber. And you much keep the cleanliness of fiber in case of failing the later transmission.

2. You need to cleave the fiber.

3. You need to joint the fibers mechanically with no heat. Just connecting the ends of fiber together inside the mechanical splice unit and the device will help couple the light between two fibers.

4. You need to protect the fiber during the light transmission. Typically, the completed mechanical has its own protection for the splice.

Four Steps of Fusion Splicing:

1. The same as mechanical splicing, you need to strip the outer materials to show the bare fiber. And cleanliness is also required as an important preparation.

2. You need to cleave the fiber. A much more precised cleave is essential to the fusion splice. The cleaved end must be smooth and perpendicular to the fiber axis for a proper splice.

3. You need to splice the fiber with heat. Manual or automatic alignment can be chosen according to the device you are using. A more accurate splice can be achieved if you use a more expensive equipment. Once properly align the fusion splicer unit then you can use an electrical arc to melt the fibers, and permanently weld the two fiber ends together.

4. You need to protect the fiber from bending and tensile forces. By adopting the heat shrink tubing, silicone gel and mechanical crimp protectors can prevent the fiber from breakage.


Fiber optic splicing is important for fiber connections. Two different methods of mechanical splicing and fusion splicing are usually used for splicing. In order to complete the splicing process, many professional tools are required. For example, fiber optic cleavers is deployed for the cleaving step. Fusion splicers is deployed for the fusion splicing method to connect the fibers and optical fiber aligners is deployed for the alignment to enable the light transmission. Fiberstore provides all the above equipment. For more information, please visit the official website at FS.COM.