ITW Chemtronics - Cleaning 1.25mm and 2.5mm Fiber Optic Backplane Connections using Precision Swabs

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The Need For Cleaning

The need to clean fiber optic connectors is well documented. The more difficult operation is cleaning the backplane end-face. This end-face, located on the backside of the alignment sleeve, is subject to contamination from the patch cord connection. The simple action of removing this connection can create a vacuum that enables airborne dust to enter this connection, causing soils to accumulate around the ferrules in the alignment sleeve. This contamination will then be transferred within the alignment sleeve to the patch cord ferrule. Clean both sides of these connections each time they are disconnected in field installations, central office and OEM installation, or service applications. Contamination can cause signal attenuation or, in worst-case reports, complete interruption of the signal.

The Better Way

When cleaning the backplane connection if the jumper on the internal side is accessible, it is preferred to clean both internal backplane and external "jumper-side" connection as described in Application Sheet # FOAPC4/ QBE, "Cleaning Angled Physical Connector (APC) End Faces with the QbE ® Cleaning System". This outlines the use of the QbE ® Cleaning System and Electro-Wash ® PX Fiber Optic Cleaner with the Combination Cleaning process (CCp™).

When the internal backplane connection is not accessible, highly effective cleaning is accomplished with the Coventry 1.25 mm Fiber Optic Swab (Part number 25123X), or the Coventry 2.5 mm Precision Fiber Optic Swab (Part number 25183) in combination with a small amount of Electro-Wash ® PX Fiber Optic Cleaner. Alternatively, use of the Coventry 2.5 mm Fiber Optic Foam Swab in combination with a small amount of Electro-Wash ® PX Fiber Optic Cleaner will remove all contamination. It is important not to oversaturate the backplane by spraying or dipping any solvent on a precision swab. Excess solvent can accumulate and become exceptionally difficult to dry in the hidden areas of backplane connections...

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