BAD ADVICE - Comments from Jim Hayes (FOA President)

I was checking my Linkedin account and I found a comment from @JimHayes, Founder and President of the FOA (Fiber Optics Association)

At first, I thought it was a joke, but I believe some integrators or technicians could be (Economically) motivated to do it, and let me tell you, its a really bad advice. I also wanted to copy one of the comments from Ed Forrest, professional of precision cleaning and inspection of fibre optics connections.

This is a copy of the comment, is live in the Fiber Optic Training group on Linkedin. And Mr. Hayes could not be more right...

"My inbox this morning had a message with this thought:

"It is time for spring cleaning, and we don't mean just at home. Contaminated fiber end faces remain the number one cause of fiber related problems and test failures. With more stringent loss budgets, higher data speeds and new multifiber connectors, proactively inspecting and cleaning will help you ensure network uptime, performance, and reliability. Despite "everyone" knowing this, fiber contamination and cleaning generates a lot of failed test results."

Well, experience tells us that "proactively inspecting and cleaning" can generate a lot of damage to operating fiber optic networks. 

Inspection and cleaning should be done whenever a fiber optic connection is opened or made, of course. But the act of opening the connection exposes it to airborne dirt and the possibility of damage if the tech is not experienced in proper cleaning. Fiber optic connections are well sealed and if they are clean when connected, they will not get dirty sitting there.

Fiber optic connections do not accumulate unseen dirt like under your bed or sofa, requiring periodic cleaning, as implied in this email.

Clean 'em, inspect 'em to ensure proper cleaning, connect 'em and LEAVE THEM ALONE!!!

And, duh, remember to put dust caps on connectors AND receptacles on patch panels when no connections are made."

The reality is this... Cleaning connectors should be a common practice, but as our friend Ed Forrest suggest:

"There may be no more important function than properly cleaning and inspecting. However, I strongly agree with Jim: "Cleaning and Inspecting" is a "Need To Do" function. Characterize on what's not working: don't create more work by unnecessarily opening a connection. Let science and common sense drive commercialism...and not commercialism drive science!" 

In conclusion, 

"If it's not broken, DON"T FIX IT"

April 02, 2018 by Luis Cardenas
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