Sunday, February 3, 2008

1/20s - f5.0 - iso400

f5.0 because I am zoomed in, iso400 because I had no tripod and couldn't afford a slower shutter!

Well, a fair bit of time since my last post... This blog has become wildly popular in the meantime, garnering its first comment! At last I understand what Friday meant to Crusoe! I am in touch with humanity!

Ok, enough of that.

Above you see the inside of a fiber optic splice case. Thats what I've been at in the recent past. That and some miscellaneous comm work. The fiber was fun, being new to me. I enjoy new things that are somewhat challenging. I imagine splicing fiber optics could easily become old hat to a seasoned pro. However, I am not one and the romance of new technology still hangs around the splicer. I'm still amazed at the tiny size of those fibers - considering that what carries the light and must be aligned correctly is a tiny core at the center. How about this for an interesting fact: The fiber is made from a glass rod about an inch thick that has been carefully doped with the right chemicals to make the core a higher refractive index (keeps the light waves inside). Its a perfect model except it is unbelievably short and squat compared to what it will be after a visit to the drawing tower - where it is heated and drawn out to be this incredibly tiny fiber, still containing a perfectly round core... Thats a very un-technical summary of course. You can look it up if you are fascinated.

I'm trying right now to upload a (another first) video to youtube of a splice that I took with my faithful camera - I took my headlamp off its band and mounted the camera to the band (nice elastic) using a couple of cable ties. I could reach up and start the video rolling by feel. It took a bit to get a feel for how low the camera needed to point to capture things I was doing. Also you will see (if this works) that I really needed to have a macro mode for the video for things to be clear. Nice clear video for low light however - I actually messed up the image more by trying to light things more clearly with my headlamp.

The resulting file was 800MB so I used the ever-faithful VirtualDub to reduce it using Divx Low-Mo. Its a little blocky but just scrapes under the 100MB barrier. I'll add-on the link if it works.

Ok, here it is. I had to cut it a little more because it was over 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Fusion splice video

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