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The XMT fiber cleaning swabs from Sticklers™ are the industry’s best and least expensive MPO connector cleaner. These large, flat, clean swabs are ideal for connectors with large, flat connector configurations, such as MTP, MPO, OptiTap drops and multiports, MT38999, MTRJ, QSFP+, and other MT-based transceivers. They also are suitable for most MT-based backplane connector systems. Sticklers™’ fiber swabs will get fiber networks running faster and more reliably than any other technology on the market today.

  • Note, the hardness of the lens coating differs between transceiver types and manufacturers:
  • Inspect and determine flat or ball lenses. You CANNOT clean a ball lens.
  • If Flat, select the appropriate cleaning tool for the connector type. XMT = QSFP+ LC SFP + = SFP+
  • Insert the cleaning tool into the transceiver port flat lens and clean with confidence. (see video if needed)
  • RE-INSPECT and determine whether clean or dirty.
  • If clean, the transceiver can be put into service.
  • If dirty, repeat the cleaning process or replace the transceiver.

There are four form factors that are substantially more popular than the rest in the world of fiber connectivity. The original is SFP, and variations and improvements to the concept have been integrated over the years. The four incarnations that still see the most use are compared below.

SFP The acronym stands for “small form-factor pluggable.” As such, SFP connections are small and hot-pluggable. The connectors were originally designed to take up less space in crowded networks to allow for higher traffic density. They run on an LC interface and are half the size of the preceding GBIC form factor. SFP transceiver modules support SONET, Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and other common interfaces. They can manage traffic from 1 to 10 Gbps across copper and fiber cables. This makes SFP one of the most versatile connectors on the market.

SFP+ The SFP+ takes the benefits of the SFP design and improves its data capacity. SFP+ still functions with copper and optical cabling, but it can achieve much higher speeds. Data rates start at 10 Gbps, and on the newer Fibre Channel design, SFP connections can hit speeds up to 32 Gbps.

QSFP Another expansion on the original SFP concept, QSFP uses double fiber pairs. The Q stands for “quad,” and the additional pair allows for substantially more powerful data transmission. QSFP connectors are still small and hot-pluggable, and they still support Ethernet and fiber optics. Added to the supported list is InfiniBand. QSFP data rates get up to 1 Gbps per channel, allowing for 4X1 G cables and stackable networking designs that achieve better throughput.

QSFP+ is the manifestation of QSFP. In most data centers, it has completely replaced its predecessor. QSFP+ can reach speeds of 10 Gbps per line. This makes it a 40G connection type that still maintains the small form factor that is essential to so many network designs.

Stickler’s Cleaning Products are available at your favorite West Coast DISTY; EBAY; Google; or Factory Direct @ FiberRep

Trending and a HOT choice with Data Centers are the QSFP-DD and QSFP112. Both support up to 400 Gb/s in aggregate 4 respectively over 8 lanes of 50 Gb/s and over 4 lanes of 100 Gb/s electrical interfaces. The QSFP-DD800 5 supports up to 800 Gb/s in aggregate over 8 lanes of 100 Gb/s electrical interface. The QSFP-DD/QSFP6 DD800 cage and connector designs with 8 lanes are compatible with the 4 lanes QSFP28/QSFP112. The 7 QSFP-DD800 cage and connector is an incremental design with enhanced signal integrity and thermal which is 8 backward compatible to 8 lanes QSFP-DD and 4 lanes QSFP28. The QSFP112 cage and connector is a 9 incremental design with enhanced signal integrity and thermal which is backward compatible to 4 lanes 10 QSFP28/QSFP+. The QSFP-DD800/QSFP112 supports up to 112 Gb/s (56 GBd) per lane electrical operation 11 based on PAM4 signaling and is expected to be compliant to IEEE 802.3ck [17] and OIF 112G-VSR [22] when 12 published.

… more info see “how to” videos or

*Note the Cleaning tools in the video are NOT Cleanstixx Swabs

This video demonstrates what happens when an operator presses too hard on the handle of the Sticklers Cleanstixx Swab. The cleaning tip retracts protecting the cleaning surface. A 2.5mm Cleanstixx is used in this example because it is easier to see the cleaning tip. The same effect happens with the other versions of the Sticklers Cleanstixx Swabs.

Remember, if you are cleaning a flat glass lens select the appropriate cleaning tool for the transceiver type.


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