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Tip for viewing Ball Lens: Focus Inspection to maximum closeup field view.

Ball Lens (ball image appears behind the glass)

Regular optical connector cleaning tools, based on physically contacting the end face surface, are not capable of cleaning non-contact optical interfaces.  
Upon optical inspection, if non-contact optical interfaces, such as a ball lens, are identified during an inspection, do not continue to inspect, or attempt to clean.  It is generally not a good use of time to inspect non-contact surfaces. The best way to determine if the transceiver is usable is to perform a loss test. Because there is no physical contact, there is no risk to test equipment or launch cables if the lens surface is dirty. If the port does not perform to the expected transmit level or receive sensitivity characteristics (dBm) according to relevant optical commissioning parameters, the associated device should be removed from service and handled according to relevant non-conformance procedure.

inspect = clean = reinspect
steve Lytle @ westover scientific

If the transceiver’s loss reading is within acceptable limits, the device can be put into service.

Flat Lens Cleanable

If the port has a physical contact lens and the front of the lens is dirty, attempt to clean using the process below. If the contamination is on the back side of the lens, or on the ball lens at the bottom of the port, it is not possible to clean.

  • 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+ SPF = LC SPF
  • 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.

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

Cleanstixx XMT Swabs

Cleanstixx | Great for Cleaning | Application Specific

2.5mm Cleanstixx Swabs
1.6mm Sticklers Cleanstixx Swab
1.6mm Sticklers Cleanstixx Swab
CleanStixx Expanded Beam Connector (EB) Swabs
LC Swab
My World

… more info see “how to” videos or

Visit XMT Cleanstixx product and ordering info or more about Cleaning a QSFP (+) or SFP (+)

or more of “My World” for more application notes

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