We know that fiber optic cables can be accidentally damaged, cut or smashed. There are many reasons to be responsible for the optical fiber failure such as road maintenance or animal bite. And the most common reason that severs optical cable might be the employment of “backhoe”, during which the optical fiber cable is cut or damaged while digging. For this occasion, you can find the break easily by searching for the backhoe. However, if it is brought on by moles, it will likely be difficult for you to troubleshoot it. You will need some equipment to involve. Here are a few tools and steps suggested for you repair the fiber cable.
To ensure a high quality data transmission, some equipment is needed during the optical fiber repairing process. The equipment includes:
OTDR (optical time-domain reflectometer), fiber optic cutters/stripper, crimper, inline splice quick-connect fiber-optic connector, fusion splicer.
Fiber optic cables are repaired in the same way that they are spliced. Unlike conventional copper wire, cut fiber optic cables cannot simply be twisted or crimped back together. If the optical fiber isn’t cut but damaged, then the bad section is removed and the remaining fiber must be carefully spliced. Generally speaking, there are two methods to splice optical fiber cable: one is mechanical splicing and the other is fusion splicing. Both approaches will be mentioned in the following steps.
The first thing you need to do is to look for the break in your fiber optic cables. Commonly, the fiber-optic technicians utilize a device which is known as an OTDR. With the ability to work like radar which sends a light pulse right down to the optical fiber cable. It will be deflected to your device when it encounters break. It helps technician knows the position of the break.
After knowing the location of the break, you should dig up the fiber optic cables with the break. Then, strip the fiber around 9 feet of the optical cable using cable rip cord. Peel the jacket gently so the fiber-optic tubes exposed and get rid of the excess jacket. Then, clean that cable gel using cable gel remover and cut any sheath and yarn. Separate the tubes from the fiber. Avoid damaging the strength member as it is required to hold the fiber optic cable in fiber splice closure.
The next matter you need to do is to expose fiber cladding at 2 inches by using a fiber-coating stripper oral appliance clean the fiber within the tubes. Trim any damage on the optical fiber ends using high-precision fiber cleaver. If you want to perform a fusion splice, you have to convey a fusion splice protector to the fiber. Hereafter, you have to clean that striped fiber optic cables using lint-free wipes that is soaked in alcohol. In addition, if you want to produce a mechanical connection, you need to put quick-connect fiber-optic connectors to the fiber and clean the stripped fiber with alcohol and lint-free wipes. Ensure that the fiber doesn’t touch anything.
If you make a fusion splice, you have to place the fibers which is spliced within the fusion splicer. Then, fire the fusion splicer in line with the manual. After that, you have to move the fusion connector right into a heat shrink oven. Press a button to heat shrink. In some cases, the fusion splice is preferable to mechanical splice because the signal loss is under 0.1 decibels (dB). However, the mechanical splice has signal loss under 0.5 dB. The very last thing would be to see the connection of fiber-optic using the OTDR. Then put back those splices in to the splice enclosure. Close the enclosure after which rebury the fiber optic cables.
The failure of optical fiber cable will lead to a interruption for data transmission, so to fix the damaged optical cable in time is an important task. After going through the steps for repairing the fiber optic cable, you may wonder whether you should chose the mechanical splicing or fusion splicing. Here the suggestion is if the price is not a factor, you should go with fusion splicing since the signal loss is low. If you have a tight budget, you can consider mechanical splicing, which doesn’t requires an expensive tool.
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