Early fiber splicing machines used brass gears and ceramic v-groove. Quality that lasts to this day. With proper cleaning and regular oiling, these machines remain dependable and reliable.
As prices began to drop, brass gears were replaced with nylon. Not as robust as brass; but with a good scrub and silicone grease coating, these machines remain dependable and reliable.
As competition heated up and clones hit the market, plastic gearing and plastic v-grooves have become the norm. 18 months is about the lifespan of this gearing, shorter if stored in high temperature. Exercise these machines regularly to avoid “flat spots” or sprocket seize. Be aware gearing is not available outside the OEM and there are no oils or greases for plastic.
Find a vintage machine or direct drive design for use on those Southern summer jobs.
You would never use canned air on your camera – why would you use it on your Splicer? The cold rush condenses the moisture in the air and fogs everything. If the internal lens tunnel fogs, only dismantling (or time) will clear it. $$
99% alcohol cleans lenses, v-grooves and mirrors, drug store 70% leaves evaporation streaks as that other 30% (water) is left behind as residue.
Same thing. Need to “dust” debris? Use a bulb, the air is the same moisture level and temperature as that already at the camera lenses. Don’t forget eye protection.
No matter the make or model of your splicer, environment is the enemy. Keep the “automatic” in your automatic fusion splicer with these key tips:
Keep the hood closed between splices.
When placing fiber in the v-groove always center the prepped end between the electrodes and draw back the fiber half way (rather than push forward) before clamping, this action keeps the grooves free of debris rather than lodging it deeper. Remember, “Draw Back, don’t push.”
Persistent out of focus errors? Remove fibers, power off and power back on. Use the manual splicing mode to align your fibers – your machine always remembers the last settings which is terrific until you inadvertently mislay a fiber and hit set.
Before turning off an automatic fusion splicer, close the hood and hit reset.
Strippers are designed to be used at the same angle as its blade – scrape at a 45 degree angle instead of a “natural” 90 degree angle for a clean strip every time: