How to Terminate and Install Corning Unicam Connectors
:: How do Corning Unicam connectors work?
This instruction uses the Corning Unicam Pretium Installation Tool Kit to terminate Unicam SC, LC and ST connectors. You can get the tool kit here. Or click on the following picture to get.
Unicam connector is a type of quick termination connectors which takes less two minutes to install. This is a big time saving compared to 5~10 minutes for traditional epoxy and polish connectors.
But how does it achieve this? The answer is simple: Unicam connector is pre-polished. Take a close look at the following picture.
Unicam connector end face is pre-polished in factory with a fiber stub embedded in the connector body. The end face can be polished to different finish, such as PC, UPC and APC. The other end of the fiber is cleaved and stays inside the connector body, fully protected.
All you have to do now is to cleaver your fiber and insert it into the connector body to physically contact with the fiber stub inside. The index matching gel inside makes a smooth light transmission between the fibers and minimizes the back reflection.
Next using the installation tool, you rotate the cam mechanism to actuate the Unicam connector, and lock the the fiber in place. Congratulations! You have just installed a Unicam Connector. Better yet, you don’t even need epoxy or polishing at all!
Well, this is a really simplified description. Now let’s see the detail steps.
:: 7 Steps to Install Corning Unicam Connector
Step 1. Prepare Installation Tool
First, look at the Unicam Pretium installation tool and its components.
|Visual Fault Locator Coupler|
|2.50mm Ferrule Adapter (ships in the tool)|
|Ferrule Adapter Port|
|1.25mm Ferrule Adapter (ships in the toolkit)|
A. Slide the Visual Fault Locator (VFL) coupler back to the cover hinge until locks.
B. Release the Load button
C. Put connector cradle to its travel stop
D. Press the Reset button to reset the Wrench to its start position
Here it shows the positions various components should be
Here it shows that the Wrench should be at its start position
E. Install the correct Ferrule adapter. 2.5mm ferrule adapter is for SC and ST connectors. 1.25mm ferrule adapter is for LC connectors.
F. Move the power switch to ON position to turn on the power. The Power Light will glow.
Step 2. Prepare Unicam Connector
A. Check connector CAM position. Make sure the connector CAM is in the OPEN position since it may rotate during shipping and handling. The following picture shows the correct CAM open position for each connector type.
B. Remove both the rear dust cap and the front clear dust cap.
C. Keep the black load adapter on LC and ST connectors until after termination.
Step 3. Load Connector Into Installation Tool
A. Press the LOAD button down in order to move the Connector Cradle away from the Wrench.
B. While keeping the connector the CAM at the correct position as mentioned above, insert the connector into the Pretium Installation tool. Insert the connector lead-in tube into the Wrench as shown below.
C. Guide the connector into the Connector Cradle and slowly release the LOAD button at the same time. You must make sure that the connector sits firmly in the Connector Cradle.
D. Move the VFL Coupler toward the Connector Cradle so the Ferrule Adapter is seated on the connector.
F. Close the tool cover and check for the Error Light. The Error light should remain off. Redo the above steps if the Error Light turns on.
Step 4. Prepare the Fiber
A. Slide the strain relief rubber root onto the fiber cable. For LC connectors, you also need to slide the trigger onto the fiber cable after sliding the rubber boot.
B. Using marker pen, mark 40mm from the end of the fiber cable.
C. Using marker pen, make another mark at 13mm from the 40mm mark on the fiber cable jacket.
D. Strip off the 40mm fiber outer jacket with fiber cable jacket stripper.
E. Using scissors, trim aramid yarn to be flush with the end of outer jacket
F. Strip off the 13mm outer jacket with fiber jacket stripper. This exposes the 13mm aramid yarn.
G. Fold the aramid yarn back over the fiber cable jacket, slide the connector crimp ring around 5mm down the yarn to hold it out of the way.
H. For SC and ST connectors, make a mark on the cable jacket at 11mm from the end of the yarn. For LC connectors, make a 2nd mark at 2mm from the end of the yarn.
I. Remove the 900um tight buffer and 250um coating from the fiber from the 11mm mark with fiber optic stripper
J. Clean the bare fiber with lint-free Kimwipes soaked with fiber cleaning fluid such as isopropyl alcohol or specialized fiber optic cleaning fluid. Do not touch the bare fiber after this cleaning.
Step 5. Cleave the Fiber Using Corning FBC-015 Cleaver
Familiar yourself with the FBC-015 fiber cleaver.
A. Check to make sure the FBC-015 cleaver is clean and free of fiber. Squeeze both button A and B at the same time to open the clamps.
B. Place the prepared fiber into the cleaver slot as shown below. Make sure the bare fiber is in the V-groove, the buffer or coating is aligned with the alignment mark and the fiber rests under the tab.
C. First release the B button, and then release the A button. Make sure that both bare fiber and coated fiber is secured by the clamps.
D. Rotate the knob 360 degrees slowly in order to cleave the fiber.
E. Depress A button and then remove the scrap fiber by placing it into the scrap fiber bin.
F. Keep holding the fiber, depress B button and remove the cleaved fiber. Make sure the cleaved fiber doesn’t touch anything to keep it clean.
Step 6. Terminate Unicam Connector
A. Make sure the Pretium installation tool’s cover is closed. The device won’t work if the cover is open. Now insert the cleaved fiber into the Unicam connector lead-in tube. When the cleaved fiber touches the fiber stub inside, you can feel it is firmly in place. The mark on the fiber should be within 2mm of the lead-in tube.
B. Press the fiber inward so that a slight bend is created in the fiber, in the mean time, squeeze the CAM button on the Pretium installation tool until the button locks.
C. Now you need to check the termination lights. If the green light is on, that means you have a successful termination. If the red light turns on, there is a problem with your termination. When red light is on, you need to press the Reset button and remove the fiber, recleave the fiber and try again.
D. Turn the Crimp Knob 180 degrees to either direction. This process crimps the lead-in tube onto the fiber, locking the connector to the fiber.
E. Open the tool cover and slide the Visual Fault Locator Coupler back to its starting position. Slightly press the LOAD button to release the connector, hold the connector and take it straight up out of the tool and install back its clear ferrule dust cap. (as step 1, 2 and 3 shown below)
F. Press the RESET button to reset the tool, this makes it ready for your next connector.
Step 7. Finish Unicam Connector Assembly
A. Make sure the clear ferrule dust cap is installed. Hold the cable and slide the crimp ring back along the cable jacket to free the aramid yarn.
B. Flare the aramid yarn around the connector. The end of the yarn should just touch the back of the square cam. Trim the yarn if it is too long.
C. Hold the connector and push the crimp ring over the aramid yarn and against the back of the connector’s cam.
D. Place the connector crimp ring into the opening of the crimp tool jaws. Make sure you only use the crimp tool supplied with the Unicam termination toolkit. Other similar crimp tools from Corning or other suppliers will over-crimp the connector causing large attenuation.
E. Squeeze the crimp tool handles until they automatically release. Once the crimp tool handles are automatically released, the crimping operation is finished successfully. Now remove the connector.
F. Final assembly step.
For SC connectors, slide the boot up the back of the connector until it reaches the cam. Install the outer shroud by lining up the date code with the key-side of the outer shroud. Push the Unicam assembly into the outer shroud until it snaps into place.
For LC connectors, remove the black load adapter, slide the trigger up to the back of the connector and latch its arms into the windows of the housing. Hold the connector front dust cap and slide the rubber boot up the back of the connector until it stops.
For ST connectors, remove the black load adapter. Install the clear ferrule dust cap and slide the strain relief rubber boot up the back of the connector until it reaches the cam.
Congratulations! You have finished terminating the Unicam connector in just 7 steps.