Cleaning OptiTap FTTH Connectors — Best Practices
The CleanClicker™ 2.5 tool is highly effective on OptiTap connectors. The tool allows field techs to clean quickly and with a single activation of the cleaning tool. Many other devices require 3-4 activations to produce a clean end-face (8-10 per Optitap connection because of the need to clean both sides). This means a 500-click cleaning tool really only can clean 50 OptiTap installs before the tool is exhausted. Sticklers™ CleanClicker™ tools clean 300-400 installs or more, dramatically reducing the cost-per-cleaning. (Note: For heavily contaminated devices a better choice will be the Sticklers™ CleanStixx™ swabs and the Sticklers™ cleaning fluid.)
A brief explanation: The OptiTap® OSP terminals are a very popular termination choice for FTTH installations. The factory-terminated, sturdy single-fiber OptiTap connectors are the gold-standard for pre-connectorized network connectivity with more than 4 million installed globally. This versatile configuration was designed for the network access and drop-cable portions of a pre-connectorized OSP network. In most regions of the world, the OptiTap connector is the predomination choice for fiber-the-the-home (FTTH) deployment, making installations faster, easier, more reliable and less costly.
OptiTaps now are available from a variety of vendors using SC, LC, FC, and ST connectors with either APC (angled) or UPC (ultra) polish performance, with one to 12 fibers in the connector. All can be cleaned with Sticklers™ tools. Hardened versions and dielectric version are available (dielectric version eliminates the need for bonding or grounding) and toneable versions speed underground cable locating. But despite all the clever engineering, companies need to budget for the cost of cleaning OptiTap devices or their networks will never achieve their engineered potential.
The attached report on cleaning offers a base line for companies to compare Sticklers™ cleaners to other products. This test enables a true scientific comparison instead of Subjective “how does this look?” testing. The report also emphasizes and important point: the best method to use the CleanClickers™ correctly is to click (engage) the device just once. In most cases, once is enough, which saves companies time, money and avoids hundreds of needless cleanings.