What Makes Sticklers™ CleanStixx™ Different from the Competition?
The patented Sticklers™ CleanStixx™ fiber optic connector cleaning sticks are unique, ultra-clean "swabs" engineered for cleaning down inside fiber optic alignment sleeves. Because of their unusual construction and packaging, they will work better than any other connector cleaning tool, and when used with the Sticklers™ Fiber Optic Splice and Connector Cleaner (#MCC-POC03M) these sticks will out-perform anything in the industry.
First, the sticks are made of a fiberous polymer tip. During use, the tip's fibers spread open to trap and hold particulate (see drawing). The tip flexes to fit connector end-faces, including angled polished connectors, so no extra tools or processes are required to clean those configurations. This lift-and-grab action is enhanced by the capillary action of the fibers in the tip, so the fibers wick up oils and solvents quickly.
Many Sticklers™ competitors use a woven cloth for the tip of their nibs. Cloth has a propensity to deposit fiber on the end-faces (see photo, lower right). Cloth nibs also have pointed tips, so they don't clean the entire surface of the end-face. Importantly, they often are too large for some connectors, some barely able to squeeze into the alignment sleeve.
Some competitors use foam on the tip of their nibs. In the world of cleaning, foam is a dirty material that often deposits particulate on the end-faces (see second photo, lower right). Foam has very little internal strength, so the nibs have to be big just to hold together. This means they end up cleaning the sides of the alignment sleeves rather than the end-face. In addition, when a foam tip is molded, the machinery puts seams or ridges down the sides of the swab. Those ridges can be shaved off by the metal edges of the expansion grooves in the alignment sleeve, depositing chunks of foam on the end-face. The tips also are pointed or round tips, so they generally can't clean the entire surface of the end-face. And lastly, no manufacturer makes a foam swab small enough to clean the tiniest fiber optic connectors; foam is so weak structurally that it simply cannot be made that small.
In contrast, Sticklers™ CleanStixx™ are molded, not hand-wound. Molding provides a consistency impossible with other manufacturing processes, and ensures an optimal, loose fit within the alignment sleeve. This enables the tip to "wobble" and spin off-center, providing a lateral motion that "scrubs" the end-face and improves the cleaning quality even on the smallest end-faces. For all these reasons, CleanStixx™ easily out-perform competing products.
But there's even more. Unlike any other competitor, CleanStixx come in five sizes, so there is a CleanStixx™ for every size and configuration of fiber optic connector. The tip of the cleaning stick is flat, not pointed or rounded, so each CleanStixx™ can easily clean the connector end-face, even domed and APC connectors. Only Sticklers™ has swabs in all the sizes needed to match all the different types of connectors.
These sticks are the only products in the industry designed as a system to work with a nonflammable solvent such as Sticklers™ Fiber Optic Splice and Connector Cleaner (#MCC-POC03M). The interaction of the solvent and the stick significantly improves cleaning results. The "Drop-n-Stop™" crimps on the sticks keep them from rolling off uneven surfaces. Packaged in convenient, color-coded travel kits, there is a stick for every popular connector, both military and commercial connectors.
MicroCare introduced the Triton™ three-way dispensing system in 2007 as an innovative new packaging system for the fiber optic cleaning products. The Triton™ dispenser has been engineered for the convenience of the technicians working out in the field. It's a key element in the TravelSAFE™ packaging of the Sticklers™ cleaning fluid. More details about other Sticklers™ innovations are available here.
This packaging feature enhances the usefulness and efficiency of the cleaning products. With a single Triton-equipped can, users can dispense the liquid in three different ways. Users may (a) use the "spray mode" to squirt the liquid into alignment sleeves or to spray on a contaminated surface, (b) use the "dip mode" to dampen a CleanStixx™ swab, and/or (c) flip open the cap and use the "one-hand mode" to dampen a lint-free wipe with solvent. Changing from one mode to another is instant, easy and can be done with one hand.
This means that installers, working out in the field, now have a modern tool for cleaning their fiber optic connectors, especially in FTTx projects. The pocket-sized products make cleaning fast, convenient, consistent and cheap, while advancing network performance far ahead of any other cleaning option.
Developed by MicroCare Corp. and awarded patent by the U.S. government, each pocket-sized, leak-proof canister contains enough solvent for more than 400 cleaning events. This reduces cleaning costs to pennies per event, as well as reduces worker exposures to chemicals and fumes. The Sticklers™ are TravelSAFE™ so they can be shipped without hazmat hassles and even carrier on board commercial aircraft.