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How to Replace Electrodes for Fusion Splicing Machine
Electrodes are perhaps the most important consumable of fiber optic fusion splicers. Electrodes eventually need to be replaced. This is the basic maintenance of fusion splicing machine. Technicians must have the ability to judge when to replace electrodes and master the maintenance knowledge of replacing electrodes in whatever brand and model fusion splicer they use. This post will attempt to guide you on how to determine when to replace the electrodes and explain how it is done in a basic step-by-step procedure. It would be a huge effort to try and detail electrode replacement on the myriad of fusion splicers on the market today.
When To Replace Electrodes in Your Fusion Splicing Machine
When should you know to replace the electrodes? Technicians and companies have different methods depending on their working experiences, brand and model of the fusion splicer. Therefore, the most basic method to judge when to replace electrodes will be introduced here. There are generally two basic ways to determine whether the fusion splicing machine needs replacement electrodes.
Each manufacturer has a recommended arc count indicated in their splicer documentation of when electrodes need to be replaced. But don’t confuse arc count with the total arc count of the fusion splicer. Most fusion splicing machines have some sort of alert or reminder to notify the technician that it’s time to replace the splicers electrodes. The recommendation for most splicer models is 2000 arcs, with newer models of two 4000 arcs.
It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Splicer electrodes are not as expensive as they once were. The electrodes of most fusion splicer models cost around $49. This is considerably less than over $100-$200 most manufacturers used to charge, back when they had essentially a monopoly on fusion splicer electrode distribution.
Another indication of when to replace the electrodes is if you are experiencing high splice loss, or some abnormal conditions. Environmental conditions and even the type of fiber being spliced can have adverse effects which necessitate early replacement of the electrodes even if the manufacturers recommended arc count has not been reached.
How to Replace Electrodes of Fusion Splicing Machine
Steps in replacing electrodes
The following pictures show the basic steps for replacing electrodes in a FSM-80S/FSM-80R fusion splicing machine. This is very similar to FSM-70S/FSM-70R and older Fujikura models electrode replacement, and other fusion splicer manufacturers.
Tips for Replacing Electrodes
- Ensure to use the appropriate sized screwdriver to remove the fixing screws of the electrodes fixture. Because long-term use of an unsuitable screwdriver to remove the screw may cause the screw to be stripped which may affect the later disassembly.
- Avoid excessive pressure when locking the screw, otherwise screw also will be stripped so that the later disassembly is inconvenience.
- When installing the electrodes, tighten screws no more than finger tight while pushing the electrode collars against the electrode fixtures, Incorrect installation of the electrodes may result in greater splice loss or damage to the circuit.
- Be careful not to damage the electrodes shaft or tips. Any damaged electrodes should be discarded
- Always replace fusion splicer electrodes as a pair.
After replacing the electrodes, it’s necessary to stabilize the electrode and conduct discharge correction in order to make sure that the new electrodes perform well. These can usually be done through instructions of the fusion splicing machine. In addition, we should use the discharge correction feature to get the best discharge power of the machine in daily use.
eFiberTools Fiber Optic Splicing Solutions
Fiber optic splicing is an important part of fiber optic cabling. eFiberTools offers a comprehensive fiber optic splicing solution, from devices to tools, and even the management products (e.g. fiber optic splice closure and other fiber optic panels). Except the FSM-80S fusion splicing machine mentioned above, eFiberTools offers splicer electrodes for several popular splicing machine brands, including Ericson, INNO, Sumitomo, Fujikura, Fitel, Corning, DVP, Komshine, Jilong and so on. We also offer many other related tools, test equipment, consumables, and fiber optic cable and connectivity products.
eFiberTools is an Authorized Distributor and Recognized Service Center for INNO Instrument fusion splicers and other fiber products. Our factory trained technicians and engineers can help with pre-sales questions, service and repair while under INNO’s Exclusive 3-Year Parts & Labor Warranty. Contact us if you would like to get a demo INNO splicer shipped to your address, or rent/lease any INNO fusion splicers anywhere in the USA, Canada and the Pacific.