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Choosing a Fiber Mechanical Splice

  Here is a summary of what to look for in a mechanical splice:

     it must produce a loss of -0.3dB or better
     it must be easy to use
     it must be re-usable
     it must be easy to clean and re-use
     it must be capable of mounting in enclosures
     it must be capable of fitting both buffer styles, 250um or 900um buffers
     it must be priced well, around $20/splice
     once locked and fitted the fibers must not move or drift out of alignment.

 Some simple and inexpensive splices like the GTE rely on locking the buffers down by jamming the buffer in a V groove. This style of splice is fast to use and simple to use for testing purposes.

 For longer term applications a buffer locking mechanism is preferable. The Dorran uses compression to lock the bare  fiber and jamming plugs to lock the fiber buffers.

 The Ultrasplice uses a tiny glass tube to align the fibers and a small plastic chuck to lock onto the buffers.

 The Siccor splice is similar to the ultrasplice but uses a rotational locking action to grab the buffers.

 Other splices use a sleeve that slides toward the center of the splice to lock the buffers in place.

 All splices use tiny alignment tubes or alignment slots to align the two bare fiber ends.
 

 All splices use elastomeric gel, also called index correcting gel to reduce refractive index losses or NA losses  when the two bare fiber faces come together. This gel has a similar density to the core glass density thus less  refractive losses occur as light passes across the joint.

 This gel must be replaced if you strip a splice down to clean out dust or broken fibers.

  What else should I consider?

    The buffer size effects the locking mechanism.
    Buy the right color coded ends for your job.
    Locking down the splice should not require special tools.

Ultra-splice

Leave the Blue tube in for 250um buffer fiber
Remove the Blue tube for 900um buffer fiber
this leaves the white tube only

Ultrasplice
Body colors represent fiber styles
yellow is single mode
orange is multimode

The Siecor splice also cater for both buffer styles by removing an inner tube

 

Siemens Splice features an aluminum case
stainless steel ends slide to lock the fiber buffer
red inserts represent 250um buffer
black inserts represent 900um buffer

red or black

3M Fiber Lock
The central section is pressed down with a special tool to lock all components in place

AMP Corelink
key is used to release a spring steel clamp
key is released and the spring steel locks
 

Lab Splice

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