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A Full Introduction of MTP/MPO Connector Cleaning Solutions

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Posted on November 15, 2016
August 11, 2020
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MTP/MPO cables are now in great demand, since large enterprises and data centers are scrambling to migrate to 100G/200G/400G. As MTP/MPO connectors are more widely used for high density applications, the cleaning and maintenance of them also becomes a task that cannot be ignored. Dirt, dust and other contaminants on MTP/MPO connectors will greatly affect the transmission quality in a fiber link or even lead to network failure for the whole optical system. To maintain efficient connections among a wide range of devices, the following MTP/MPO connector cleaning solutions are highly recommended.

MTP/MPO Connector Cleaning Solutions

Generally speaking, there are two types of MTP/MPO connector cleaning methods, namely dry cleaning and wet cleaning. Thereinto, dry cleaning is more recomended, as wet cleaning may do harm to the equipment even though it can remove stubborn stains. Read How Much Do You Know About Fiber Connector Cleaning to learn more about these connector cleaning methods and the general cleaning procedures. Correspondingly, here a set of MTP/MPO connector dry cleaning and wet cleaning tools are introduced.

MTP/MPO Connector Dry Cleaning Tools

Despite of traditional dry wipes, some dry cleaning tools are developed for more effective and convenient uses.

Cassette Cleaner

It is also called reel-type fiber optic cleaner, designed with micro-fiber cloth that removes contaminants from ferrule end faces for single and multi-fiber male connectors.

1. CLE-BOX Cassette Cleaner

CLE-BOX cassette cleaner is a non-alcohol antistatic tool designed for almost all fiber optic connectors, including LC/SC/FC/ST/MU/MTP/MPO/D4/DIN etc. It is suitable for removing dust, oil, and other debris on exposed male MTP/MPO connectors. Equipped with a superfine textile fiber cleaning tape, it can easily and efficiently clean the ferrule end faces without nicking or scratching the surface or leaving alcohol bloom. Moreover, the tape is available for replacement after 500+ cleaning operations, making it more cost-effective for long-term applications such as engineering lab, assembly lines and field use. Watch the video to learn How to Change Replacement Tape for CLE-BOX.

CLE-BOX Cassette Cleaner Structure

Figure 1: CLE-BOX Cassette Cleaner Structure.

Cleaning Procedures for CLE-BOX Cassette Cleaner

Step 1: Pull the sliding cover to expose the cleaning cloth.

Step 2: Slide the ferrule end face along the cloth surface in the direction shown on the cassette.

Step 3: Press the lever to release fresh cleaning cloth for another cleaning.

Step 4: Press the lever to close the sliding cover.

Watch the video to learn how to use CLE-BOX fiber optic cassette cleaner.

Note:

When used for MTP/MPO connectors, this cassette cleaner is only fit for male MTP/MPO connectors. As for female MTP/MPO connectors, wet cleaning tools are more suitable.

Don't move the connector back and forth on the cleaning cloth. Only move in one direction so as to avoid unnecessary contaminants.

2. NEOCLEAN-R2 Cassette Cleaner

This advanced NEOCLEAN-R2 cassette cleaner is produced by NTT-AT, which is well fitted for SC/FC/ST/LC/MU/MTP/MPO connectors. It is similar to CLE-BOX cassette cleaner but has its own advantages. The cleaning cloth is robust enough to provide exceptional cleaning strength without fraying or leaving any fibrous material. Using a simplified tape advance mechanism, it allows smoother operation and cost reductions. In addition, it is made of anti-static material, offering excellent anti-static performance. And the operation is very easy. Just turn the winding reel to expose the new cleaning cloth and slide the connector on it. While, this cassette cleaner can be used for more than 400 cleanings and the tape is not replaceable.

Figure 2: NEOCLEAN-R2 Cassette Cleaner.

Pen Cleaner

The MTP/MPO pen cleaner is designed for cleaning the ferrule end-faces of MTP/MPO connectors without the use of alcohol. With just an easy one-push operation, it can clean a variety of contaminants such as Arizona road dust, 70% IPA residue, distilled H2O residue, skin oil and so on. US Conec IBC™ Brand Cleaner MPO II and NEOCLEAN-M one-push pen cleaners are capable of cleaning MTP/MPO-8/12/24 connectors effectively at once, while US Conec IBC™ Brand Cleaner MTP®-16™ and NEOCLEAN-M2 one-push pen cleaners can clean MTP/MPO-16 connectors at a time. These MTP/MPO connector cleaners are suitable for cleaning ferrules with or without guide pins and cleaning both exposed connectors and connectors in adapters. Read How to Use a One-Push Cleaner to learn more about it.

MTP/MPO Pen Cleaner

Figure 3: MTP/MPO Pen Cleaner.

Watch the video or read the instructions below to learn how to use MTP/MPO-8/12/24 one-push cleaner for exposed connectors and connectors in adapters.

Cleaning Procedures for Exposed Connectors

Step 1: Open the protective cap of the attachment at the tip of the cleaner.

Step 2: Insert the connector into the cleaner.

Step 3: Press the cleaner until hearing a click sound.

Step 4: Inspect the connector using a fiberscope if permitted.

Cleaning Procedures for Connectors in Adapters

Step 1: Take off the attachment.

Step 2: Insert the cleaner tip into the MTP/MPO adapter.

Step 3: Press the cleaner until hearing a click sound.

Step 4: Inspect the connector using a fiberscope if permitted.

MTP/MPO Connector Wet Cleaning Tools

Traditional wet cleaning tools are for exposed single and multi-fiber connectors such as LC/SC/FC/ST/MU/MTP/MPO etc. Commonly used ones are cleaning wipes and foam swabs.

Kimtech Science Kimwipes

This cleaning wipe is made of pure virgin wood fiber with a dispenser box that allows drawing out wipes one-at-a-time and preventing electrostatic shock. Used with isopropyl alcohol, this lint-free and non-abrasive wipe is ideal for MTP/MPO connector end face cleaning without the risk of scratching or lint residue.

Figure 4: Kimtech Science Kimwipes.

Foam Swabs

These lint-free foam swabs are ideally suitable for cleaning contaminants from almost all fiber connectors due to its low price, easy operation and excellent cleaning performance. The basic cleaning procedures are as follows: dip a cleaning swab in isopropyl alcohol; insert the swab into the MTP/MPO connector; lightly press and turn the swab to clean the ferrule end face; follow up with a dry swab to ensure a thorough cleaning.

Figure 5: Lint-Free Foam Swabs.

Conclusion

No matter dry cleaning or wet cleaning methods, the ultimate purpose is to keep the high quality transmission in fiber optic links. As for MTP/MPO connectors, dry cleaning tools such as cassette cleaner and one-push cleaner are quite effective and convenient. Wet cleaning using cleaning wipes or foam swabs with isopropyl alcohol is also useful but more aggressive. Choosing the suitable tool is important, but don't forget the golden rule of fiber cleaning either. Remember that the act of cleaning itself is a potential source of contamination, so the golden rule is to always inspect, clean and inspect again.