Sticklers® Cleaners Out-Perform All Others
At its heart, the science behind fiber optic communications is pretty simple. There are only two physical problems that can affect a fiber network: (1) excessive bending or breaking of the fiber, and/or (2) excessive dirt on the connector end-face.
We can't help you with the bending problem, but MicroCare is an expert at cleaning. The Sticklers® products have been engineered by MicroCare specifically to get the dirt off of fiber optic connections and splices at the lowest possible cost.
Dirt is the enemy of your network. Dirt blocks light. Dirt causes back reflection. Get rid of the dirt, and your network will run better.
The Sticklers® developers have developed a new family of modern cleaning tools that, when used together, will make your network run better, with less signal loss and fewer "re-sends." Here's how...
Why Not Use Alcohol? What's Wrong with IPA?
We understand why everybody wants to use IPA. It's been around for decades. It was the industry standard. It's cheap. It's safe. Those are pretty good characteristics.
But the world changes.
The requirement was for reagent-grade alcohol, but for most people, reagent-grade IPA simply is not available. So people buy cheap alcohol from local pharmacies. This alcohol deposits contamination on to the end-faces. It's packaged in inexpensive plastic bottles which are themselves dirty. The bottles are prone to spilling and encourage cross-contamination. It's simple: drug store IPA is NOT 99% pure, reagent-grade IPA. (Other problems can be found here.)
What was a perfectly good choice thirty years ago is no longer keeping up with the evolving demands of the market. Your network needs a better cleaner.
"Wet-Dry" Cleaning Is the Industry's "Best Practice"
The Sticklers cleaning system is built around the process of "wet-dry" cleaning. If you're not using wet-dry cleaning, you're not getting the results your network needs.
In an NFOEC paper from 2007 entitled "Accumulation of Particles Near the Core During Repetitive Fiber Connector Matings and De-matings" noted that static, generated by rubbing an end-face with a dry wipe, acted like a magnet and attracted particulate and other contamination.
The report also noted "...the effect could be reduced by the application of ionized air or by a cleaning fluid, instead of a dry cleaning process, [with] both methods neutralizing the electrostatic charge at the connector end face." These tests were performed by iNEMI and the solvents tested were the MicroCare Fiber Connector Cleaner (#FCC03M) and MicroCare Fiber Preparation Fluid (#FPF03M). Both of these solvents are static-dissipative.
(Note: Since that report was written, those two products have been supplanted with the latest innovation from MicroCare, the Sticklers™ Fiber Optic Splice and Connector Cleaner (#MCC-POC03M). It cleaner also dissipates static and makes "wet-dry" cleaning fast and easy.)
In short, research proves wet-dry cleaning is a simple and reliable method to eliminate the static on connector end-faces. That's what the Sticklers™ system does. Wether you're using the Outdoor CleanWipes™, the Benchtop CleanWipes™ or the CleanStixx™ , when combined with the Sticklers™ Fiber Optic Splice and Connector Cleaner, these products will deliver the simplest and least-expensive "wet-dry" cleaning. Your network will thank you for it!
What the IPC Says
In the IPC-8497-1 standard, the authors noted that "Contamination on the end-face of optical fiber connectors can be caused by electrostatic charge generated during the cleaning process." The statement was made in reference to tests made cleaning with cartridge-style cleaning devices.
These tests showed that cleaning with a dry fabric builds a static charge on the connector end-face which, in turn, attracts airborne particulates like a magnet, which re-contaminates the end-face.
The obvious answer? Dampen the swab or the cleaning wipe with a drop of fast-drying, static-dissipative cleaning liquid. Problem solved.
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