Fibre Optic Cable Maintenance Tips
Fibre optic cables are lightweight network cables that are designed for long-distance data transmission, but just like every other thing, they eventually wear out or get damaged. It is important to know how to make your cables last.
Fibre optic cables that have been properly installed need to be properly protected from any form of damage to ensure that it lasts and is able to serve you for a long time. Below, we’ve gathered a few tips for you to help maintain your cables, so you won’t need frequent visits to the optic fiber repairs service in Blacktown or Blue mountains.
Don’t Over Bend
It’s important to know just how to handle your cables. You wouldn’t want to find them suddenly dysfunctional because of how you have handled them.
Pulling your fibre optics cables around corners and turns, through conduit bends, or tightly bending it can cause light loss. Bending can also cause internal breaks on the fibre that can lead to bad performance.
The most susceptible part of the cable is the connectors on the end of the cables. They can easily get damaged when the cable is twisted or pulled. Losses can be reduced by using Bend Insensitive Fiber (BIF).
You might be installing your fibre optic cables where there are many other cables. In such a case, you can install your cable inside an inner duct. Inner ducts are strong and are designed to protect the fibre and make pulling cables a lot easier. The inside is made of a low-friction surface that allows for easy pulling of cables.
Plug in Less Frequently
Consistent plugging and unplugging of your cables can cause them to wear out quickly. In order to avoid damaging your cables, endeavour to minimize periodic plugging and unplugging as much as possible. You can also protect your optical instruments. It is advisable to attach to your instrument a short fibre extension. Any damage will be taken by the fibre extension instead of your optical instruments.
Clean Surfaces Properly
It isn’t recommended that you clean the cables after installation, so before they are installed, make sure to clean the surfaces properly. Cables can get contaminated by dust or food particles. Always remember to clean surfaces properly to avoid any form of contamination. This can cause your cables to malfunction. Dust and other particles build up on the cables over time, so it is essential that you clean newly bought cables before use. Use dust caps on connectors to avoid future contamination and damage.
It is advisable to use enclosed patch panels that have door locks. This ensures that your connectors are adequately secured and protected from accidents that can cause damage to the fibre which is directly behind the connectors.
Invest in Quality
Want to purchase a new cable? Perhaps you want to pay a visit to a fibre optic repair service in Blacktown or Blue Mountains. Consider investing in high-quality fibre cable materials. A flawed cable will have a shorter lifespan. The manufacturer is the one responsible for ensuring that a cable is of good quality and can last long. So if you want your cables to be durable, try investing in a quality fibre optic cable.
Limit Environmental Effects
There are some factors in the environment that pose a potential threat to your cable and can cause a reduction in its lifespan. They may be resistant, but exposure to excess heat and water can cause considerable damage. Limiting the environmental factors will help increase the lifespan of your cable.
There you have it! With the tips above, you should be able to make you fibre optic cable last you a very long time.
How to Fix a Broken Fiber Optic Cable
Knowing how to maintain your cable is one thing, but what if it gets broken or torn? Do you need a visit to the fibre optic repair service in Blacktown or Blue Mountain? Well, that would depend on the degree to which the cable is damaged.
For a simple break, there are two methods that can be used. The first method is the mechanical splice which joins two parts together with an optical gel, while the second method involves the use of heat to fuse the parts. The steps below show how to fix your cable.
- Peel off the jacket using a cable stripper. Once peeled off, you will see bundles of fibre beneath the layers of protection. Once you remove the internal jacket, get a pad soaked in alcohol to wipe off the protective gel.
- Wipe the stripper with alcohol and then remove the buffer tube. Then clean the fibre until you can hear it squeak. Ensure that you have removed the buffer tube. You can use a magnifying glass to check if its properly removed. Place the fibre into a cleaving device, once locked in place, cut to preferred length.
- Place your fibre inside a mechanical splice alignment tray. They have gels that can minimize losses.
- If you are using the fusion process, install a new heat-shrinking tube to prevent contamination. Open the device for fusing, then align fibres. Once that is done, activate the electric arc to fuse your broken ends back together. Put on the newly made joint the heat-shrinking tube, and you’re all done.
That’s it! You can ensure your cables last longer if you follow the above steps. If you can’t fix a broken cable by yourself, you can visit any optic fiber repair service in Blacktown or Blue Mountain for assistance.
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