Here are the detailed epoxy LC connector assembly and termination instructions for both single mode and multimode LC connectors.
The steps are pretty generic and are applicable to most major brands’ LC connectors on the market, such as those from 3M, Seiko, Corning, Molex, AMP, etc.
Here are the LC connector components before assembly.
Here is the LC connector after assembly.
Step 1: Set Up the Heat Curing Oven
a) Place oven on a level surface and away from combustibles.
b) Connect the oven’s power cord to a power source, and turn the oven on.
c) Warning: After the oven reaches its operating temperature, the oven ports will be
extremely HOT [266°F (130°C)].
Step 2: Prepare the Fiber
a) Remove cable sheath and outer jacket. Be careful not to cut into fibers while removing cable sheath and outer jacket.
b) Be certain to expose enough buffered fiber to allow access to the curing oven and other connector preparation functions. Typical working length for buffered fibers is 24 to 36 inches (0.6 to 0.9 meters).
c) Install buffer support boot by slipping the small end of boot onto the buffered fiber.
d) Measure and mark the buffered fiber 7/16 to 1/2 inch (11 to 13 mm) from the end by using the scale or template provided in the tool kit.
e) Locate 1026A Heat-Strip Tool (105 514 764) provided in the Tool Kit.
f) Strip 7/16 to 1/2 inch (11 to 13 mm) of the buffered fiber.
g) Clean stripped fiber by saturating a wipe with isopropyl alcohol (>91% 2-propanol + water) and wiping the fiber from the edge of the buffer toward the end of the fiber.
h) Place prepared buffer into the grooves of the 971A-2 holder block to avoid breaking or contamination of the fiber (holder blocks are provided in the D-182959 Upgrade Kit).
Step 3: Prepare the Epoxy
The supplied epoxy comes in a two-part package. A divider separates the resin from the hardener. The divider must be removed to allow the epoxy to be mixed. The epoxy is then loaded into a syringe.
a) Remove the divider between the resin and the hardener.
b) Mix the epoxy using the divider. The epoxy must be thoroughly mixed until both parts are blended into a smooth uniform color.
c) Place the syringe tip on the syringe and twist to lock in place. Remove the plunger from the syringe.
d) Fold the epoxy package in half and cut off one of the package corners. Squeeze the mixed epoxy into the syringe. A ¾-inch (19 mm) length of epoxy will be enough for about 50 connectors.
e) Replace the plunger into the syringe.
Remove air pockets from the syringe by holding the syringe tip upward and ejecting epoxy until the air pockets are removed.
Step 4: Install LC Connector
a) Prepare the connector.
Hold the connector towards the light and check to make sure the hole and the tip are clear. If necessary, clear the hole using the music wire (furnished).
Locate a connector holder with extension (107 852 493) from the upgrade kit. Snap connector into the holder.
b) Apply the epoxy
Epoxy is injected into two areas of the connector: (1) inside of the ferrule and (2) at the back of the ferrule.
The syringe is first used to inject epoxy into the ferrule. This epoxy bonds the stripped fiber to the ferrule.
Before removing the syringe from the connector, epoxy must next be deposited at the back of the ferrule. This epoxy bonds the buffer at the back of the ferrule.
DO NOT apply an excessive amount of epoxy to either the ferrule or at the back of the ferrule.
1. Locate the small tube inside the back of the connector.
2. Carefully insert the tip of the syringe into the small tube until it bottoms. Caution: In the following step, do not apply excess epoxy to the tip of the ferrule.
3. Inject epoxy into the ferrule by slowly pressing the syringe plunger until the epoxy just appears at the connector tip (face of the ferrule).
4. Deposit epoxy at the back of the ferrule by pulling the tip of the syringe back slightly and momentarily injecting a small amount of epoxy at the back of the ferrule.
5. Release pressure on plunger, wait a moment, and then remove the syringe from the connector.
c) Insert Fiber
1. Remove prepared fiber from holder block.
2. Insert the exposed fiber into the small tube inside the connector and carefully feel for the
opening in the ferrule.
3. When the fiber is seated, pull it back slightly and watch for fiber movement at the tip of
the connector to make sure the fiber is not broken.
4. Reposition the fiber back into the connector and lock buffer in the slot at the end of the
5. Ensure that the buffer support boot is pushed back on cable.
6. Place buffer in slot on holder extension.
7. Store up to 12 BTW connectors in the 971A-2 holder blocks.
d) Cure Connector Assemblies
1. When the desired number of connectors has been prepared, place the holder block next to the preheated oven.
2. Place prepared connector assemblies into the oven ports.
3. Ensure that the connector assemblies are sitting at the bottom of the oven ports.
4. Remove the assemblies from the oven after they have cured for 10 minutes.
e) Cool Connector Assemblies and Attach Buffer Support Boot
1. Place cured assemblies back into the holder block to cool.
2. Select a connector assembly and remove the fiber buffer from the holder slot.
3. Push the cable support boot onto the connector.
4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for each connector assembly.
f) Score the Fiber
1. Remove the connector from the connector holder.
2. Obtain the 975A cleaving tool from the 1032B5 Tool Kit or from the 1032B6 Tool Kit.In the following step, score the fiber as close to the ferrule as possible while at the same time being careful not to break the fiber.
3. Place the cleaving tool against the ferrule and exposed fiber.
4. Using one stroke of the cleaving tool, gently score the exposed fiber.
5. Remove the exposed fiber by gently pulling straight away from the cable.If fiber did not readily pull off, score fiber again on opposite side and gently pull fiber.
6. Dispose of the fiber scraps in a safe manner.
g) Polish Fiber End for both Multimode and Single Mode LC Connectors
1. Remove the fiber stub
In one hand, hold one of the cut pieces of type J polishing paper (dull side down)
In the other hand, hold the connector with the tip pointing upward. Note: When performing the following step, be careful not to break the fiber stub.
Air polish using light circular motions about 1 inch in diameter; carefully polish off fiber stub.
2. Remove excess epoxy
Use canned air to clean the back and front of a full piece of type J polishing paper (purple).
Saturate a wipe with isopropyl alcohol (>91% 2-propanol + water).
Obtain a glass plate and a polishing tool (T2000A or T2001A) from D-182959 Upgrade Kit.
Clean the glass plate and polishing tool with the saturated wipe.
Use canned air to blow dry the glass plate and the polishing tool.
Insert the LC connector into the T2000A or T2001A polishing tool.
Place one clear spacer sheet on the glass plate, then place a sheet of type J polishing paper (purple) on the glass plate with the dull side up.
Gently place the polishing tool and connector onto the polishing paper.Note: In the following step, you should not feel any drag between the fiber and the paper.
Start with light pressure and use figure-8 strokes that are approximately 2 inches high and 1 inch wide. The figure-8 strokes must be well rounded to ensure complete removal of the epoxy from the end of the ferrule.
Using light pressure, polish the connector for 20 figure-8 strokes. Danger: Optical fibers may emit radiation if the far end is connected with a working laser or light-emitting diode (LED). Never view the fiber end of a cable or plug with the naked eye or any optical instrument until absolute verification is established that the fiber is disconnected from any laser or LED source.
Using a 7X eye loupe or LC microscope supplied in the D-182905 or D-182959 Upgrade Kit, check the tip of the ferrule. No excess epoxy should surround the fiber. Note: If excess epoxy is found, continue to use type J polishing paper (purple) to remove the excess epoxy.
3. Dome ferrule end
Place the following consumables on the glass plate: one white foam pad, five clear spacers, and on top place a sheet of type F polishing paper (yellow). Note: Type F polishing paper can be reused by cleaning with alcohol and wipes.
Using light pressure, polish the connector for 20 figure-8 strokes. Note: Step 3 concludes the polishing procedure for multimode fibers. Steps 4 and 5 are to be performed for singlemode fibers only.
4. Single mode LC connector only – improve dome surface finish
Replace the sheet of type F (yellow) polishing paper with a sheet of type K (gray) dull side up. Leave the five clear spacers and foam pad on glass plate.
Polish the connector for 20 additional figure-8 strokes.
5. Single mode LC connector only – Final Polish
Remove all polishing material from glass plate and replace with type L felt polishing pad (purple). Note: Step 5b is critical for excellent return loss. Perform carefully by guiding the polishing tool and plug slowly and gently, never increasing pressure.
Dampen one-fourth of sheet with distilled water (do not flood). Buff polish 20 light figure-8 strokes, approximately 3 inches high and 1 ½ inches wide.
Clean fiber end with wipe dampened with water, then with a second wipe dampened with alcohol.
The felt can be stored damp in a clean plastic bag and reused. The glass plate should be immediately cleaned with water and dried completely before storage to prevent polishing residue from permanently drying on glass plate.
Note: Step 5 provides the necessary steps for high performance return loss. Type L felt polishing pad (purple) is imbedded with ultrafine polishing material.
h) Repair Polishing Only
1. Place a sheet of type F paper and one clear spacer over the glass plate.
2. Using little or no pressure, polish the connector until the flaw has been removed.
3. Repeat Step 3 in Section 3.4.7. Polishing Note: Do not over polish. Approximately one-third of the chamfer length can be polished away. This concludes the repair procedure for multimode fibers.
4. For singlemode fibers only, repeat Steps 4 and 5 in Section 3.4.7.
i) Final Assembly
Once the polishing is finished and the end finish is acceptable, cover the end of the connector with a white dust cap.
Step 5: Inspect Fiber and Ferrule Endface Geometry
a) Fiber Inspection
1. Dampen a wipe with isopropyl alcohol (>91% 2-propanol + water).
2. Clean the end of the ferrule with the dampened wipe, followed by a dry wipe.
3. Blow the ferrule dry with canned air.
4. Locate the LC microscope supplied in the D-182905 or D-182959 Upgrade Kit.
5. Insert the ferrule end of the connector into the microscope adapter (center hole). Danger: A high-intensity light may be used at the other end of the fiber to illuminate fiber core.
6. Open the microscope barrels to illuminate the connector tip and use the side wheel to focus.
b) Ferrule Endface Geometry
The dimensions in the following table are for reference only and apply after all polishing procedures have been completed.
Step 6: LC Connector and Adapter Cleaning Instructions
a) LC Connector Cleaning
1. Dampen a wipe with isopropyl alcohol (>91% 2-propanol + water).
2. Clean the end of the ferrule with the dampened wipe.
3. Blow the ferrule dry with canned air. Caution: Signal performance will be affected if the connector tip is not thoroughly cleaned.
b) LC Adapter Cleaning
1. If access to the adapter is only available from one side, use canned air to blow inside of adapter.
2. If access is available from both sides of the adapter, clean the adapter with an LC adapter brush moistened with alcohol followed by canned air. The brush can be cleaned with alcohol and canned air.
Caution 1: Do not try to clean the inner adapter sleeve with a standard pipe cleaner. The inner diameter of the sleeve is too small.
Caution 2: Do not try to clean the adapter with an LC adapter brush if a connector is mounted in the adapter.