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UniCam® Fiber Optic Connectors Frequently Asked Questions


» Adapters

Can I use a different colored adapter with my keyed UniCam® Connector?

No, the colored connector key is unique to its same colored adapter.

Can I use a 50 micron adapter with a 62.5 connector?

Yes, but this is not recommended by Corning. This could lead to ordering and/or installing the wrong products, due to the industry color code for fiber types.

Can I use a 62.5 micron adapter with a 50 connector?
Yes, but this is not recommended by Corning. This could lead to ordering and/or installing the wrong products, due to the industry color code for fiber types.
Can I use a multimode adapter with a single-mode connector?
No. Single-mode adapters have tighter tolerances than multimode adapters. This could also lead to ordering and/or installing the wrong products, due to the industry color code for fiber types as well.
Can I use a single-mode adapter with a multimode connector?
Yes, but this is not recommended by Corning. This could lead to ordering and/or installing the wrong products, due to the industry color code for fiber types.
Can I use a standard 50 micron adapter with a 50 connector laser optimized?
Yes, but this is not recommended by Corning. This could lead to ordering and/or installing the wrong products, due to the industry color code for fiber types.

» Application

Are UniCam® Connectors a temporary fix connector only?

Not at all. UniCam Connectors have been installed in local area networks for more than 18 years. Over 50 million UniCam Connectors have been installed to date with no issues of failing performance due to degradation of the connector. UniCam Connectors have been deployed worldwide in high-speed networks for use by the government, financial firms, high-technology firms and everything in between. End users, consultants and contractors have been choosing the UniCam Connector again and again because it is fast and easy to terminate, but mostly because it works.

Can I use UniCam Connectors in outdoor cabinets?

UniCam High-Performance Connectors meet or exceed the requirements of TIA/EIA 568.B, which includes operation from -40° to 75°C. UniCam Standard-Performance Connectors are specified to work from 0° to 60°C.

Can UniCam Connectors be used for jumpers and patch cords? What are the differences?
UniCam LC, SC, and ST® Compatible Connectors may be used to make patch cords in the field. The required boots and crimp rings are included in each single pack of connectors, and the crimp tool is included in each complete UniCam Connector Tool Kit. The instructions for creating such patch cords can be found in SRP-006-150, SRP-006-369, and SRP-006-394. Or it can be found in UniCam High-Performance Tool Kit Installation Video or the UniCam Standard Tool Kit Installation Video. These UniCam Connectors have met the industry standards for mechanical, optical and environmental performance as specified by EIA/TIA 568.B for this application. UniCam Z-PAKS (25 connectors) do not include the crimp rings and boots, but they are available for sale separately.
What does the color of the boot mean?
The boot color corresponds to the TIA standard color for the fiber mode of the cable. Beige represents 62.5 micron multimode (OM1), black represents 50 micron multimode (OM2), aqua represents laser-optimized 50 micron multimode (OM3 & OM4), royal blue represents single-mode (OS2), and green represents an angled end face contact single-mode (APC OS2). For more information, read the application engineering note.
What is the temperature range of the UniCam Connector? Will they work in extreme cold?
The UniCam High-Performance Connector spec is -40°C to 75°C, exceeding EIA/TIA 568-B.3 (-40°F to 167°F exceeding EIA/TIA 568-B.3). View the UniCam High-Performance specifications.
Has the UniCam Connector been UL flame tested (Plenum, Riser, General)?​
No, UL testing has not been conducted.
Is a UniCam Connector appropriate for 1 GigE, 10 GigE, Video and OC-192?
UniCam Connectors meet or exceed the optical performance standards for 1 Gig E, 10 Gig E and Fibre Channel when installed following the Installation instructions (SRP).
What is advantage/comparison of a UniCam® Connector compared to a field-polished connector?
The UniCam Connector offers three distinct advantages over any field-polished solution. The first is lower installed cost, which factors in purchase price of the connectors and consumables, the installation time, expected first time successful termination percentage, and the labor rate. The second advantage is reliability, which is evident in the increased yield from the Continuity Test Set and the knowledge that each UniCam Connector is factory tested for insertion loss and the factory-controlled and -measured polishing process. The third advantage is ease of installation, as the installer does not have to worry with epoxies or using the right polishing films, or electrical power. UniCam Connectors can be installed as easy as strip, clean, cleave, cam and crimp. UniCam Connectors offer equivalent insertion loss performance, but due to the factory-controlled polishing process, UniCam Connectors will outperform any hand-polished connector in reflectance. UniCam Connectors meet or exceed the mechanical and optical performance specified by EIA/TIA 568.B. Refer to Corning Optical Communications "Generic Specification for Simplex Optical Fiber (Multimode) No-Epoxy/No-Polish Connectors" and "Generic Specification for Simplex Optical Fiber (Single-Mode) No-Epoxy/No-Polish Connectors".

» Cleaning

Do you make any cleaning tools for field installed connectors?

Corning recommends cleaning the UniCam® Connector end face after termination, but before installation into the adapter, using either an alcohol wipe or an IBC port cleaner, part number CLEANER-PORT-2.5 for SC and ST® Compatible Adapters and CLEANER-PORT-LC for LC adapters.

Corning recommends cleaning adapters as well, using part numbers CLEAN-STICKS-250 for SC and ST Compatible connectors and CLEAN-STICKS-125 for LC connectors.

Do I need to clean my UniCam Connector end face?

Corning Optical Communications recommends cleaning all connectors prior to testing or insertion into an adapter. The UniCam Connector is manufactured in a clean room environment with the strictest care taken to keep the connector end face clean. However, once the connector leaves the factory, Corning has no control over connector cleanliness and therefore, recommends that it be cleaned prior to testing.​

» Cleavers

Do you still offer the FBC-001 cleaver?
In 2011, Corning replaced the FBC-001 with an upgraded version called the FBC-002. The benefits of the FBC-002 that initiated this change are: extended blade life from 1,000 cleaves to 5,000 cleaves; the FBC-002 prevents excessive bending that can result in permanent damage to the tool's tab; and better control of the bend radius when cleaving, which localizes the bend point and minimizes twist, resulting in a higher quality cleave. The FBC-001 is now obsolete as a result.

You can view a video on how to use the FBC-002 Cleaver here.
What is the difference between the FBC-002 and the FBC-001 Cleaver?
In 2011, Corning replaced the FBC-001 with an upgraded version called the FBC-002. The benefits of the FBC-002 that initiated this change are: extended blade life from 1,000 cleaves to 5,000 cleaves; the FBC-002 prevents excessive bending that can result in permanent damage to the tool's tab; and better control of the bend radius when cleaving, which localizes the bend point and minimizes twist, resulting in a higher quality cleave. The FBC-001 is now obsolete as a result.

You can view a video on how to use the FBC-002 Cleaver here.
What is the difference between the FBC-007 and FBC-015 cleavers?
In August, 2011 Corning released the FBC-007 cleaver, which replaced the FBC-015 cleaver as the standard offering in the UniCam® High-Performance Installation Tool Kit. The benefits of the FBC-007 that led to this change are reduced maintenance requirements and a more intuitive, user-friendly design that maintains a high-quality cleave of less than one degree. The FBC-015 is now obsolete as a result.

You can view a video on how to use the FBC-007 Cleaver here.
What is the difference between the FBC-007 and FBC-009 cleavers?
The FBC-007 is optimized for use with the UniCam Connector product line, while the FBC-009 is optimized for use with the OptiSnap Connector product set.

You can view a video on how to use the FBC-009 Cleaver with OptiSnap® Connectors here.  
Does Corning Optical Communications still offer the FBC-001 cleaver?
In 2011, Corning replaced the FBC-001 with an upgraded version called the FBC-002. The benefits of the FBC-002 that initiated this change are: extended blade life from 1,000 cleaves to 5,000 cleaves; the FBC-002 prevents excessive bending that can result in permanent damage to the tool's tab; and better control of the bend radius when cleaving, which localizes the bend point and minimizes twist, resulting in a higher quality cleave. The FBC-001 is now obsolete as a result.

You can view a video on how to use the FBC-002 Cleaver here.
What is the part number for the replacement blade on the FBC-002 Cleaver?
We do not sell a replacement blade for the FBC-002 cleaver because the replacement blade costs nearly as much as a new product. The FBC-002 Cleaver's useful life is 5,000 cleaves. After the cleaver has reached its lifetime cleave amount, you will need to purchase another FBC-002 Cleaver.

Replacement blades are available for the FBC-007 cleaver and this part number is FBC-14-15-16-Blade.
What is the cleave length on FBC-007 cleaver? How will I know when the fiber is fully inserted?
All UniCam Connectors utilize cleave lengths between 8.0 and 10.0 millimeters. The FBC-007 cleaver provides a 10 millimeter cleave on 900 micron, tight-buffered applications. The various handlers ensure the cleave length is correct. For 900 micron tight-buffered fiber, the handler has a positive stop.

For more information, view the Standard Recommended Procedure for the UniCam High-Performance Tool Kit with the FBC-007 Cleaver or the Standard Recommended Procedure for the UniCam High-Performance Tool Kit with the FBC-015 Cleaver.
What fiber types can I cleave with the FBC-007 cleaver?
The FBC-007 cleaver is compatible with all single-mode and multimode fiber types; and with 900 um, buffer tube fan-out kits and jacketed cable. As always, installers should not try to cleave through 250 micron fiber. Rather, they should strip the fiber down to the 125 micron level.
Is the FBC-007 cleaver sold as a stand-alone product?
The cleaver is sold individually under the part number FBC-007.
Will the FBC-007 cleaver be available in any tool kits?
Yes, the cleaver is included in the UniCam High-Performance Tool Kit (TKT-UNICAM-PFC).

» Connector

Do standard-performance UniCam® Connectors have a composite ferrule?
No. All single-fiber UniCam Connectors utilize a zirconia ceramic ferrule.
What is the difference between a ceramic ferrule and a polymer ferrule?
Zirconia ceramic ferrules offer several distinct advantages over polymers, which is why Corning uses zirconia ceramic ferrules exclusively in single-fiber UniCam Connectors: Ceramic ferrules are chip and crack resistant; smaller grain sizes achieve smoother finishes; their thermal expansion coefficients are closer to that of the fiber; and they have a higher modulus of elasticity and greater impact resistance.
Will our connectors work with our competitors adapters?
No, keys are proprietary to each manufacturer. Corning offers keyed LC UniCam Connectors and Adapters, as well as other keyed products, in 8 different keyed colors; blue, orange, green, red, yellow, slate, black and violet.
Can I use the TKT-UNICAM-PFC to install APC connectors?​
Customers can install APC connectors using the installation tools provided in the TKT-UNICAM-PFC kit; however, the cleaver in this kit provides flat cleaves, so a different cleaver will needed to generate an angled cleave before terminating the APC connector in the installation tool, assuming an angled cleave is desired. At room temperatures, using a flat cleave is acceptable. An angled cleave is needed when the connector is installed in environments with temperature swings (outdoor environments).​

Corning Optical Communications offers an angled cleaver, the FBC-014 that can be used with APC UniCam Connectors.
What is Corning Optical Communications' recommended field-installed APC connector?
SC APC part number 95-200-44 and LC APC part number 95-200-94

» Index-Matching Gel

Will the matching gel dry out, freeze, leak out? How does the properties affect the performance of the UniCam® over time?​
No, the gel is a very high-performance product that has performance consistency for 200 years at room temperature, and less time at other temperatures. Corning warranties the UniCam Connector for 25 years when installed by an NPI. Additions details can be found in the article Index-Matching Gel Stands the Test of Time and Application Engineering Note AEN049.​

» Installation

Are UniCam Connectors reusable?
UniCam connectors are reusable before the crimp tube has been crimped. If you get a red light from the UniCam High-Performance Installation Tool (TKT-UNICAM-PFC), you can un-cam the connector, remove the field fiber and re-try with the same or a new fiber. Once the metal lead-in tube has been crimped, the connector is no longer reusable.
Can I become a certified UniCam Connector installer?
Currently, Corning Optical Communications does not offer a national UniCam Connector installer certification. We do offer training on UniCam Connector installation via Corning Optical Communications Training Services or our See the Light program, or you may contact your Corning Optical Communications Sales Engineer to schedule a UniCam Connector training session.
After terminating a LC or ST® Compatible UniCam Connector, I am unable to install it into the patch panel or adapter.
LC and ST Compatible UniCam Connectors utilize a black adapter around the body of the connector to facilitate installation in the UniCam High-Performance Installation Tool. When using the High-Performance Installation Tool, this adapter, known as a "Load Adapter," needs to be removed before installing the UniCam Connector into the adapter panel. When using the legacy installation tool, it needs to be removed before terminating the fiber with the UniCam Connector.

For more information, view page 32 of the Standard Recommended Procedure for the UniCam High-Performance Tool Kit with the FBC-007 Cleaver or page 28 of the Standard Recommended Procedure for the UniCam High-Performance Tool Kit with the FBC-015 Cleaver.
How can I get the boots and crimp rings?
Boots and crimp rings are provided as part of the product when buying UniCam Connectors in single packs, but are not part of the organizer (Z-PAK) offering. Customers who prefer organizer packs but need boots or crimp rings must buy these separately. Part numbers are listed on the website.
Why do I need to leave the 4 mm of the 250 micron fiber out when using a fan-out kit?
250 micron fiber that has been unjacketed with fan-out tubing moves within the tubing during connector installation and temperature cycling. The movement of the 250 micron fiber within the tubing is called "pistoning." Adding the extra 4 mm of length when working with fan-out tubing ensures a proper connection between the field fiber and the fiber stub even if pistoning occurs.

The 4 mm of protruding 250 um fiber also aids in the field cleaving process. Because fan-outs are not "bonded" to the field fiber, the cleaver needs to clamp on the 250 um coating in order to make a consistent cleave (the mechanism needed is tension in the fiber span to be cleaved). Without the exposed 250 um coating, the cleaver's fiber clamps would have to "smash" the fan-out tubing enough to develop the tension required to cleave properly, which is both very difficult to do and not desirable. Without the ability to clamp directly on the field fiber, a consistent cleave is nearly impossible. ​
I have not installed a UniCam Connector before or in a while. What should I do?
If you would like to ensure that your UniCam Connector is installed properly, be sure to follow SRP-006-150, and review SRP-006-083. If you would like a visual reference, see the UniCam Connector Installation Video. Install a few connectors in your shop before going to the installation site to make sure you are using the proper technique. Test your trial connectors to quantify their quality, before installing all of the system connectors.

Corning also offers free fiber optic training, including UniCam training, with our See the Light Seminars throughout the United States and Canada.
What are the most common first-time installer errors?
The three most important aspects of installing a UniCam Connector are cleave quality, cleave length and insertion technique. The cleave quality and length will depend on the installer's cleaving technique and precision. There are two different cleavers specified for UniCam Connector installation: the FBC-002 and the FBC-007 cleaver. The FBC-002 delivers consistent cleaves, depending on the installer's technique. The FBC-007 is a much higher-precision cleaver relying on the technique of the installer much less. The third biggest factor is the insertion of the fiber into the back of the connector. If the fiber end face is damaged upon insertion, the quality of the termination will suffer greatly. SRP-006-368 outlines the critical steps for successful UniCam Connector termination. ​
What can I do to improve insertion loss?
Cleave quality and proper fiber insertion are keys to success. The TKT-UNICAM-PFC is the best kit to improve insertion loss. This tool kit includes the integrated CTS System, and the FBC-007 high-precision cleaver. ​
What's the pull-out force of the UniCam Connector (jacketed, tight-buffered and fan-out)?
The UniCam Connector is designed to withstand two types of withdrawal force depending upon the termination style. When installed upon 900 µm tight-buffered fiber or 900 µm tubing, the UniCam Connector is designed to withstand no more than 0.5 lbs of pull-out force. When the UniCam Connector is installed on jacketed cable containing aramid yarn, which acts as strength member, the pull-out force shall not exceed 10 lbs. ​

» Installation Tools

Can I use the TKT-UNICAM-PFC to install APC connectors?
Customers can install APC connectors using the installation tools provided in the TKT-UNICAM-PFC kit. However, the cleaver in this kit provides flat cleaves, so a different cleaver is needed to generate an angled cleave before terminating the APC connector in the installation tool, assuming an angled cleave is desired. At room temperatures, using a flat cleave is acceptable. An angled cleave is needed when the connector is installed in environments with temperature swings (outdoor environments).

The FBC-014 Angled Cleaver provides angled cleaves and is available as an additional cleaver for purchase to complement your UniCam Tool Kit.
Can I rent a UniCam Tool Kit?
Yes, Corning Optical Communications has a full line of rental equipment for use in assisting your termination needs, as well as any post-installation testing. See the Corning Optical Communications Fiber Optic Splice and Test Equipment Rental Program section of our website for more information.
Can I install another type of connector with the TKT-UNICAM-PFC?
No, the TKT-UNICAM-PFC kit is designed specifically for Corning's UniCam Connectors.
Can I upgrade the TKT-UNICAM to the TKT-UNICAM-CTS?
The TKT-UNICAM (legacy installation kit) comes with everything needed except the visual fault locator (VFL), part number VFL-350. Purchasing this product enables you to to add CTS capability to your existing TKT-UNICAM kit. The UniCam High-Performance Installation Tool comes with a visual fault locator already integrated into the tool.
Can I terminate the current LC connector with a legacy Unicam Tool?
For more information about the installation tool's history and its capabilities, review the application engineering note.
When using the Continuity Test Set (CTS) with my TKT-UNICAM, I can't get my light to go out; what does "significantly dim" mean? ​
CTS is a guide to help an installer determine when the field fiber has contacted the factory fiber. "Significantly dim" is an apparent change in the CTS brightness when the connector is cammed. A "dark" or "dim" termination is not an indication of the performance loss. Refer to section 2.2 in SRP-006-150 for further instructions.
Will my black UniCam Connector (TKT-UNICAM, Generation 1) Installation Tool be compatible with the Continuity Test Set (CTS)? ​
The black UniCam Connector Installation Tool is not compatible with CTS. Currently the blue (Generation 2) and the grey (Generation 3) are the installation tools that are compatible with CTS. Refer to the UniCam Connector Tool Kit specification sheet for ordering information.

» Quality

What steps does Corning Optical Communications take to ensure that every UniCam® Connector shipped should work right out of the package? ​
Each UniCam Connector type meets or exceeds the requirements of EIA/TIA 568.B. Each UniCam Connector polish is evaluated with an automated 200x visual inspection system and for the premium connectors an automated interferometer test, as well as inspections of the internal fiber stub. Finally, each connector is tested for insertion loss and proper cam operation and mateability to an adapter. Each end face is cleaned, capped with a protective dust cap, and the connector is packaged. A random sampling of connectors from each lot is then installed on fiber to simulate a field installation. No connector is shipped until it meets all of our exacting requirements

» Testing

I have a high-loss link; how do I determine which end is bad?
Troubleshooting UniCam® Connector links can be done with an OTDR or with a VFL and a patch cord. Using the VFL and patch cord, remove the UniCam Connector from the adapter and slide the boot down the cable to expose the cam. Now attach the VFL and patch cord to the UniCam Connector observing the brightness of the cam. Replace the brightest UniCam Connector in the link and then retest. If using an OTDR, refer to the operation instructions of the device.
If I want to test as I go, how should I? ​
Corning Optical Communications recommends when installing more than a few UniCam Connectors that the installer install only one or two on each end of the link to be terminated. After installing this select few, one can then test to ensure that the termination method being used is correct. If problems are encountered with the initial termination technique, then one can alter their technique in order to achieve better performance. As always, for the best performance from the UniCam Connector be sure to follow the appropriate sections of SRP-006-150, 006-369, and 006-394.
Is the Continuity Test Set (CTS) necessary? What is required?
The Continuity Test Set (CTS) is not required, but it is recommended to achieve optimal installation results. The pieces required to use the CTS are the Visual Fault Locator (VFL), a patch cord from the VFL to the CTS adapter, and a CTS adapter that matches the connector style being installed. ​
When do I use a mandrel wrap?
Mandrel wraps should always be used when power through testing multimode fiber. For more information on mandrel wrapping, refer to AEN 68, "Improving Multimode Fiber Testing Accuracy with Mandrel Wrapping."