Ask Bruno

Ask John Bruno

John shares his knowledge of fiber optics by answering your specific questions



Question

Good day Bruno, there are three splicers, I'm looking at which would be the better one and why?
1. Core-Alignment Fusion Splicer.
2. Active ARC Fusion Splicer.
3. Active V-Groove Clad Alignment Splicing

Bruno's Answer

Core-Alignment Fusion Splicer

This was the original fusion splicer on the market, still manufactured today, the core alignment splicer yields the lowest attenuation splices of any fusion splicer. However this splicer will be you most expensive option. Typical attenuation ranges from a core alignment splicer will yield between .01dB - .04dB. Average price range for a new core alignment splicer is between $6,000 - $15,000. The splicer uses motors to align the cores of the fiber by moving the fibers in the x and y axis for optimum attenuation. These splicers were originally the only choice when fusion splicing in the past because the fiber's construction was not perfected and when manufactured the core of a fiber could be slightly offset from the cladding making a core alignment splicer a necessity. Today we have more options such as:

V-Groove Fusion Splicer

With the advent of better fiber manufacturing came the V groove fusion splicer. Now that fibers can be made with better core centering the need for core only alignment splicing is not a necessity. The V groove splicer does not move or orientate the fiber, it only aligns the fibers through a V shaped channel, making this splicer a lower cost alternative to the core alignment splicer. Higher typical attenuation ranges from a V groove splicer are between .04dB - .06dB but the price ranges are decreased to between $3,000 - $7,000. The V groove fusion splicer has become a popular choice by installers in recent years. But even this has improvements:

Active V-Groove Fusion Splicer

The active V groove splicer combines the advantages of both the core alignment and V groove alignment splicers. The active V groove splicer will also use x and y axis motors for fiber movement and optimization of attenuation but will align the claddings of the fibers not the cores giving this splicer a lower cost than the core alignment splicer. This splicer gives us the best of both worlds with lower attenuation splices (not as low as a core alignment splicer) and also a lower cost splicer (not as inexpensive as the V groove splicer).

You did mention an Active ARC Fusion Splicer, I am not familiar with this term when referring to fusion splicing. I did Google that term and found that Inno (a manufacturer of fusion splicers) came up in most of the top spots. I am thinking that they have a product they offer with a similar description of "Active ARC Fusion Splicer" and this is why I think they come up in the search. I am wondering if you meant V Groove Splicer in its place? It is also important that you purchase a 2 camera splicer, without 2 cameras the splicer cannot do a splice profile to report on splice loss estimation.

So the long and short of your decision I believe is "Do I need the lower attenuation (loss) splices that a core alignment splice will provide me"? I would look at who you are doing the splicing for and what they require. I have seen in the past where installers are super strict about their splice losses but fail to clear their connections, they are saving hundredths or dBs but losing large attenuation from their dirty and damaged connectors. Point being what little bit they are saving at the splice they are 100x losing at the connector.

Hope this was a help and did not create more questions than it answered.


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