Fibre optic technology has played a major role in the progress of several industries especially telecommunication. Its cables have gradually dominated the traditional copper wire system making it the top and foremost options for everyone who aims for a fast and reliable source for data transmission. With longer lifespan, the ability to transmit terabytes of information in seconds, and enormous bandwidth, it surely wins the battle.
Fibre optic cable has also been a trending topic since 5G has been introduced. It is the latest and fastest medium of cellular communication that is capable of delivering data of GB’s within seconds. However, to support such a cellular network, a high-end type of cable was required and that’s how fibre optic cables evolved with an increased demand all over the world.
Now it’s just a matter of a few years and the entire data communication industry now relies on Fibre Cabling. It is indeed much stronger but the fact that it has got a glass strand inside its core makes it sensitive and fragile. However, serval factors can lead to the damage of these cables like bending, pulling, and twisting.
If there is an issue in the transmission then you should first verify the breakpoint then proceed to fix it. The process involved in repairing the damage doesn’t contain any complexity. All you need is the perfect set of tools and it will be effortless to repair the damaged cable. Below are some of the basic equipment that you will need to deal with a broken cable:
Fibre Optic Splice Closure
Once you have successfully discovered the cut then you have to slice it and splice it back to the other end. That point remains brittle but there is a device named FOSC (Fibre Optic Splice Closure) that works as the perfect solution. It simply connects around the joint and provides safety from the environment as it is made with strong material which is dustproof and waterproof. You will find two categories of these products namely horizontal type fibre optic closure and vertical type fibre optic closure. So, once you are done splicing the cable together, don’t forget to attach fibre optic splice closure to secure that point from causing issues.
Visual Fault Locator
Visual Fault Locator or simply known as VFL is used to locate the faulty point in the cable. It delivers a red laser light through which damaged area can be spotted. The process is quite simple as all you have to do is inject it to the connector and release the light. In case of a cut, that exact point will leak the red light. If the light can be seen on the other end of the cable, that means it faultless.
Optical Time Domain Reflectometer
OTDR is used to test long-run cables. It can easily detect attenuation and breakpoints. Connecting it with the cables will simply show the damaged point on the screen. It is mostly used by big fibre cabling companies as its expensive prices make it out of the league for small-sized companies.
Fibre Optic Cutter & Stripper
It is the most essential tool for technicians. Once the faulty point is detected, these two tools are used for cutting and trimming of the cable so that splicing can be done successfully. That’s where you can use FOSC (Fibre Optic Splice Closure) after joining both cables together. But before using these two products, make sure that they are sharp as the blunt tool can result in additional damage to the cable’s core.
Fusion splicer can make the work easier than one’s expectation. It simply welds the Fibre cabling together with the help of heat. It is the best technique for splicing as it left no chance of attenuation. So, this device should be also considered as a must-have by fibre cabling experts.
Step by Step Guide to Repair Fibre Optic Cable
Whether you prefer fusion splicing or mechanical splicing, these equipment are the major requirement to carry the task efficiently and they will also make your work easier. Since you have gained comprehensive information about the essential tools, now all you need to comprehend is the procedure of repairing the damaged point. The process is straightforward so it will be done within a few moments by following the below-mentioned steps:
1st Step: Use VFL Or OTDR To Find the Damaged Point
You can repair the cable unless you are familiar with the perfect spot that’s where you have to make use of Visual Fault Locator (VFL) or Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) to inspect the cable. So, grab the wire and connect one the device that you own and send the light down the entire wire. If you are using VFL, then the broken point will be highlighted. Else, OTDR will show the damaged area on its screen.
2nd Step: Cut the Damaged Point Through Fibre Optic Cutter
Once successfully done finding the location of the damaged area, grab that part of the wire and cut it with fibre optic cutter. Since the core of cable is of glass it can be extremely sharp and cause serious damage to the skin. So, always wear gloves to avoid injury.
3rd Step: Stripping the Cable Through Fibre Optic Stripper
Now strip both ends of the wire and peel it with the help of fibre optic stripper to get its inside core. The wire should be peeled long enough to fit it into a terminal and that should be done on both sides of the wire.
4th Step: Inserting the Metal Terminal
This step is easy and crucial too. You have to simply take the terminal and put the peeled wire inside it. Always check if any fibre is strung out as it can also cause data loss.
5th Step: Crimping the Cable
Take the fibre optic crimper and place the metal terminal inside it then crimp it. Follow the same procedure on the other terminal so they can be spliced together.
6th Step: Splice the Fibre Optic Cable
Now there are 2 methods to splice the cables. Both are as follow:
Mechanical Splicing: Grab both ends of the crimped cable and push them inside the connector. The connector will keep both ends attached.
Fusion Splicing: This method requires a fusion splicer. You have to align both wires which will be welded by heat or wire. This method is mostly preferred as it causes very low loss of light.
7th Step: Using Fibre Optic Splice Closure
The last thing you should consider following is to use Fibre Optic Splice Closure. Regardless of splicing, that specific point can remain fragile but if you use it then it will be safe and secure.
Damage or cut in Fibre Cabling can cause serious interruption. One should be familiar with the procedure so that it can be done at the right time. So, whether it is for internet connectivity of 5G, by following these steps you will be able to efficiently deal with the situation.