Siemon, a leading global network infrastructure specialist, today announced the North American finalists for its LightBow Madness fibre termination contest. This contest challenged cabling contractors to test their skills against fellow cabling pros to see who could perform the fastest LC fibre connector field termination using Siemon’s new LightBow Fiber Termination System. The contest asked contractors to submit videos of their fastest LightBow termination, offering the chance to compete for over $10,000 in prizes – including a free trip to Las Vegas for the top competitors from each of Siemon’s 5 North American territories.
The fastest overall termination, submitted by Blake Graff, a Senior Technician from SMC Infrastructure Solutions in Tracy’s Landing, MD, set a new LightBow world record of just 15.92 seconds – an amazing effort that surpassed all Siemon expectations. Graff’s actual video entry may be viewed at
“Blake’s video left us speechless,” explained Andy Reynolds, Siemon’s Manager of Channel Development. “We knew that LightBow was the fastest mechanical splice fibre termination system on the market, but none of the Siemon judges, myself included, thought that anyone would break the 20-second mark, let alone beat it by nearly 5 seconds.”
Graff’s 15.92 second record time incorporated all termination steps, including fibre cable strip, clean, and cleave. This fact, added Reynolds, coupled with his relative lack of familiarity with the new LightBow fibre termination system, makes Graff’s feat even more impressive.
“He hadn’t even used LightBow in the field prior to the competition,” explained Reynolds. “He just did a few practice terminations before recording his entry. Clearly, Blake’s an excellent fibre tech, to begin with, but if he can set such an incredible benchmark with less than an hour of practice, I wonder how fast LightBow can be once pros like Blake have done a few hundred terminations on the job site.”
“Even more importantly, you have to wonder how much this kind of speed could improve an installer company’s efficiency and profitability if all of their techs were using LightBow for fibre terminations.”
Graff described how he was able to record such an impressive termination time with LightBow. “I am very familiar with fibre terminations in general and have used several different mechanical splice systems in the past,” Graff explained. “I was actually sceptical that a system I hadn’t used before could match up to products I’ve been using for years. But, the LightBow system just made it so easy and intuitive. After one practice termination, it felt like something I’d done thousands of times before.”
Graff credits LightBow’s intuitive feel to Siemon’s focus on installer-friendly innovations: ” They kept it simple and didn’t overcomplicate things. They made some common-sense tweaks to the fibre preparations steps without getting away from what installers are familiar and comfortable with. The big changes are in the actual termination tool. They simplified everything – no unnecessary steps, nothing you need a microscope to do right. That’s really why it is so fast. Installers can actually go fast without worrying that they’ll mess it up.”
While Graff holds the current world record, he will defend his title at the 2017 BICSI Fall Conference in Las Vegas. He will face the following regional LightBow Madness finalists in a head-to-head, live competition at the Final 5 Showdown on September 26, 2017:
Northeast Region: Blake Graff, SMC Infrastructure Solutions – 15.92 Seconds
West Region: Juan Hortado, Genesys Solutions – 17.82 seconds
Southeast Region: Juan Toscano, I2 Solutions – 18.84 seconds
Central Region: Doug Corson, Wired Communications – 25.52 seconds
Southwest Region: Brad Davis, IES Commercial – 27.03 seconds