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How to Choose a Fusion Splicer - TMG
How to Choose a Fusion Splicer | TMG
Are you looking for a new fusion splicer? Here are five important questions to ask yourself before making your purchase.

How to Choose a Fusion Splicer

If you work with fibre networks, a high-quality, reliable fibre optic fusion splicer will be one of the most important tools in your arsenal. But deciding which splicer is right for your needs, both now and in the future, can be confusing. Factors like the size, age, and complexity of your network and length of your cable locator will determine your needs and therefore the most suitable kind of splicer. Even once you have determined the kind of splicer you need, you will need to choose from a variety of machines at different price ranges. To make your task a little easier, here are five important questions you should ask yourself before making your purchase.

1) Is it a reputable brand and model of market-leading quality?

The market is riddled with different brands and models, many of which lack the consistency, durability, and precision required for regular network maintenance. These can be categorised into High-End, Mid-Range and Low-End, and only a few stand out from the crowd.

  • High-End splicers are more durable and can perform many more splices consistently and reliably. The splice estimates provided by high-end machines are much more accurate than those given by budget models.
  • Mid-Range splicers are often used by technicians who only need to do a few splices every so often. Some of these units might need their parameters re-adjusted after a while to maintain consistently good splices.
  • Low-End splicers are very much a hit-or-miss proposition. Most of the time they are purchased by technicians who have a small project to complete. They are often inconsistent, have poor warranty coverage, will quickly go out of spec sooner and require constant re-adjustments.

2) How is the performance of the cleaver?

Cleavers are just as important as the fusion splicer itself; its consistency will determine the end quality and overall performance of the fiber splicing. You will find that the blades that come with low-end cleavers go blunt sooner than high-end ones, and their bearings will need replacing much sooner than their more expensive counterparts. A good high-end cleaver will maintain its cutting angle, mechanism, and bearings in good working order for longer.

3) What are the service and maintenance needs?

It is recommended that you service your own splicer after each use. This includes general cleaning, removing debris and dust, and cleaning the electrodes every thousand arcs or so. From time to time, you will need to send it to a specialist for repairs. The questions to ask here are: How much does it cost to assess the unit? Are parts available in Australia? What is the turnaround time? How long is the warranty? Does the supplier offer a loan splicer while yours is being assessed?

4) Is it easy to use?

Some low-end splicers donít have a touch screen, which will make them more difficult to operate. On top of that, the language used in the operation manual and other materials may not be concise, and you might have to do some reverse engineering to understand how the device actually works. Most high-end splicers are touchscreen operated with icons that clearly indicate their functions. High-end splicers also have more customisation options and require less tinkering with the parameters to get high-quality results.

5) Is it a ribbon or single core splicer?

The two main options here are ribbon or single core. Single core splicers are usually core alignment, whereas ribbon splicers are usually cladding alignment and have a fixed v-groove.

Single core splicers, whether low- or high-end, are pretty straightforward to use. Ribbon splicers, on the other hand, require skilled technicians with strong fibre hygiene habits, excellent patience, and the experience and knowledge to troubleshoot challenges when they arise. A ribbon splicer can be used as a single core splicer by changing the fibre holder and program setting, but it is more difficult to use in this way than a single core splicer. For this reason, we suggest if you are primarily doing single core splices, you stick to a single-core splicer.

TMGís Solutions: Sumitomo & Tumtec Splicers

TMG is a key supplier of splicers to the telecommunications and data industry. We provide both high-end and mid-range options to suit our clients workload and budgetary requirements. We also provide rental solutions for short term requirements.

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Contact TMG Today

TMG has been providing Australiaís data and telecommunications industries with cutting edge network test equipment for over 30 years. To speak to one of our friendly, experienced team members today, head to the contact section of our website.

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