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2017.02.23
A must have tool for Networking engineers: What you need to know before purchasing optical fiber connector swab?

The increasing popularity of virtualization in data centers means there will be more fiber connectors used in today’s network architectures. Any polluted or contaminated connector can significantly impact the performance of applications running over the link. With less tolerance for overall light loss, the attenuation through adapters must get lower and lower. Proper inspection, maintenance and cleaning are essential practice for a reliable network. Luckily, there is a simple and cost effective solution for this practice. We have come up with 7 questions to ask before purchasing optical fiber connector swab.

1. Why is fiber connector cleaning so important?
According to research for fiber optic connections from Cisco, fiber cleaning is one of the most important procedures during fiber optic installation and maintenance. On one recent research, it describes that in about 85 percent of fiber connection failure, the leading cause were from the contamination of fiber optic connector end-face. A single particle can cause a variety of problems for fiber optic connections or failure of the whole network system.

2. When do you use dry clean or wet clean for fiber optic connector?
Dry cleaning tools can be perfectly used in almost any application or environment. Technological advancements and better dry cleaning materials have introduced a new class of fiber cleaning tools that are cost effective and efficient in cleaning more than 50 percent of fiber contaminants.
However, some contaminants like greasy and sticky materials are difficult to remove without the use of a wet solvent. So for this case, wet clean will be necessary if the result after two trials of dry cleaning is still ineffective.

3. Can we use IPA to clean the fiber connectors?
Not recommended.
IPA is highly hygroscopic, which means it will actually draw moisture from the air and onto the end-face. This water mixture with IPA leaves a residue when drying on the end-face. There are now specially formulated solvents for fiber end-face cleaning that are far superior and more effective than IPA at dissolving virtually every contaminant.

4. What are the differences between optical connector cleaning swab and a regular cotton swab?
EASYCLEAN optical connector cleaning swab contains lint-free, non-scratching and anti-static fabric that formulates a perfect solution for fiber optic maintenance and troubleshooting. Cotton swabs might produce pits, scratches or dirt and would not be the ideal tool for any fiber types of equipment.

5. Why do we offer 1.25mm and 2.5mm fiber optical connector cleaning swab?
EASYCLEAN optical connector cleaning swab can clean all connector types with 1.25mm and 2.5 mm. The 2.5mm diameter is for SC, FC, and ST connectors and 1.25mm diameter for MU and LC connector.

6. Why the both sides of any connection must be inspected?
Both sides of any connection must be inspected as every mating involves 2 surfaces coming into contact. Luckily, inspecting and cleaning connections is straightforward and easy. It can avoid connector contamination to cause unexpected downtime of your fiber optic network system.

7. Can we use optical connector cleaning swab on fiber optic connector end-face?
Yes, EASYCLEAN optical connector cleaning swab is able to reach the end-face of any female connector without any difficulties. With the use of Hobbes CLEANSSETTE optical male connector cleaner, it becomes the perfect solution for fiber optic maintenance and troubleshooting.

About Hobbes

Hobbes is the global leader in manufacture of professional test, and measurement equipment for network and telecommunication industry since 1985. Our innovative products and services protect and optimize transmission networks in any environment-from the smallest mobile device, to the enterprise data center, to cloud-based systems give our customers confidence to connect the world. For more information, please visit our website: http://www.hobbes-group.com or our partners.