FOA Basic Skills

Lesson: Stripping Optical Fiber Cable

Objectives: From this lesson you should learn:
How to use these tools to strip cable to the bare fiber

Safety Glasses
Fiber Stripper
Kevlar Shears

Tools for stripping fiber optic cable

Fiber optic cable



Lennie works safely

Always wear safety glasses when doing any of these exercises and dispose of all fiber scraps properly.

Safety Rules - Read before beginning any exercises.


Use kevlar scissors to cut the cable at the middle.
We'll splice the two pieces back together in an exercise and put new connectors on the bare ends in another exercise.

2. Use the fiber stripper to cut off 2" (50mm) of the cable jacket and pull off the cut piece.


Use the first groove in the fiber stripper - the biggest one - and just gently cut the fiber jacket and pull it off.
Be gentle so you do not damage the fiber. Note that some strippers have only 2 grooves - one works for both 900 and 250micron buffer stripping.

3. Use the kevlar scissors to cut the aramid fibers at the end of the jacket, exposing the 900micron tight buffered fiber.
Wind the fibers into a bundle to make cutting them easier. Cut close to the jacket end, exposing the fiber.

4. Use the fiber strippers to strip ~1" (25mm) from the end of the fiber in 3 steps, about 1/4-3/8" (6-8mm) at a time.
Hold the stripper at a 45degree angle to the fiber to reduce stress on the fiber.
If your stripper has 3 grooves, use the second groove in the stripper to remove the 900 micron buffer in 3 steps then use the smallest groove to remove the 250 micron buffer.
If your stripper has 2 grooves, use the second groove in the stripper to remove the fiber buffer in 3 steps. This prevents putting excess stress on the fiber and prevents breakage.

Don't be discouraged if you break the fiber, this takes practice!
Make sure the stripper is held at the right angle. (It's a right handed tool - left-handed people have trouble getting the angle right and often use their right hand to strip fiber with this stripper.)
Take small cuts - don't try to take off too much buffer at once.

5. Clean the fiber with a lint-free wipe and alcohol.
Special fiber optic cleaners are used in the field, but for these exercises you can use regular alcohol and a tissue or paper wipe or microfiber cloth used for cleaning glasses.

Watch this to see how it's done:

Stripping Fiber

You have successfully completed this exercise when you have been able to strip the jacket and both buffer coating layers from the fiber without breaking the fiber.

Clean up all your fiber scraps and dispose of them in a container like a used take-out coffee cup marked "Fiber Scraps"!

After successfully stripping fiber several times, fill in your

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This information is provided by The Fiber Optic Association, Inc. as a benefit to those interested in teaching, designing, manufacturing, selling, installing or using fiber optic communications systems or networks. It is intended to be used as an overview and/or basic guidelines and in no way should be considered to be complete or comprehensive. These guidelines are strictly the opinion of the FOA and the reader is expected to use them as a basis for learning, as a reference and for creating their own documentation, project specifications, etc. Those working with fiber optics in the classroom, laboratory or field should follow all safety rules carefully. The FOA assumes no liability for the use of any of this material.


Table of Contents: The FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics

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