Optic Fibre Cables – Easy Steps to DIY Repair
Truthfully, if you were to think of Fibre optic cables as the lifeline of all leisures home-related, you wouldn’t be wrong. After all, everything from your cable TV to your internet and even your analog phones all depend on optic Fibre cables and their functionality. Seriously, life just wouldn’t be the same without these invisible wires lying in the ground somewhere around your house.
Sadly, as with all things, these ‘invisible’ lifesavers can not last forever. Either accidentally or through vandalism, they are bound to get damaged sooner than later. When this happens, they need to get fixed. Fast.
Of course, the best way to get this done is to contact optic fibre repair experts near you. With these experts, no matter the damage, no matter the kind of optic cable, you can rest assured they’d have it all sorted out in no time.
If for some reason you can not get in touch with an expert, however, this blog would be providing you with a few easy steps to help you carry out some DIY fibre optic cable repairs.
Before diving into them, however, let’s look at the tools you need before embarking on any DIY optic cable repair anywhere in the world.
Tools You Would Need
Before touching your cable, ensure you have these tools with you:
- OTDR (Optical Time Domain Reflectometer). This electronic tool is used to measure fibre length, transmission attenuation (reduction in a transmission signal), and fault location. DO NOT go in without having this.
- Optic fibre stripper and cutter. They’re useful for cutting and stripping the protective coating of your cable.
- Fibre optic cleavers. This tool is useful for cutting fibreglass for fusion splicing. Professionals use it together with the fusion splicer to meet the end needs.
- A fusion splicer. You use this to join two optical fibres end-to-end using heat generated from the splicer.
With that out of the way, let’s bring you up to speed on how to fix your fibre cable with this out of the way. The number one thing to do is:
Identify the Break
The OTDR is what technicians use for detecting cuts in your cable. All you need to do is power it on, trace it down your optic line and wait till it reaches the break. The OTDR works by sending a light pulse to the optic fibre cable. As soon as it encounters the break, the pulse deflects to your device. Making it easier to detect.
Cut Out the Damaged Cable
Upon detecting the break’s location, dig up the affected one, and cut the damaged parts using your fibre optic cutter.
Strip the Cable
Using your fibre optic stripper, gently strip the fibre cable on both ends and peel the jacket to expose the fibre optic tube inside. Make sure you cut out any remaining sheath using your fibre optic cutter.
Trim the Remnants Using the High Precision Cleavers
This is where your high precision fibre cleaver comes in. Don’t worry about operating. Just follow these steps below to get a clean cleave:
- Open the body cover, usually on top of the cleaver.
- Put in the striped fibre on the v-groove.
- Close the holder cover.
- Then close the cover (this is after closing the holder cover).
- Move the slider forward so you can cut the fibre properly.
- Once cleaved, open the cover to check out the finished optic cable.
- If you’re satisfied, open the holder cover and take out the cleaved fibre.
- Before storing the cleaver, remove the chip of cleaved fibre using a pair of tweezers.
Clean the stripped Cable
Take care not to get dirt on your wire. You don’t need foreign substances tampering with your optic cable. To clean your fibre cable, get 99% isopropyl alcohol and lint-free wipes. Gently caress the cable with the soaked wipes.
Ensure your optic cables don’t touch anything during this process.
Splice the Optic Fibre Cable
Splicing your optic cable is paramount to a successful DIY fix. As such, you can’t afford to make mistakes. There are two ways to do this. You could choose to do this either mechanically or by using a fusion splicer.
- Mechanical splicing
To produce a mechanical connection between two cables, you’d need an inline splice quick-connect fibre-optic connector. If you have one, hold the fibre ends in a precisely aligned position. This allows light to pass through one fibre to the other.
- Fusion splicing
Here, a fusion splicer is used to align two fibre cables together. This is a better option compared to the mechanical one. Below are the steps to follow for a successful fusion splice:
- Get the splice protection sleeve and put it on.
- Ensure you strip off all the fibre coatings and clean them up (steps 3,4, and 5).
- Put the prepared fibre holders in the fusion splicer.
- Hit the start button and wait for the machine to do its thing.
- Heat shrink the protection shrink once done with the splicing. This helps protect the splicing joint.
If you have to choose between the two, go for fusion splicing. Its high accuracy over the mechanical splicer gives it a deficient loss light transmission. Making it the best option for optic fibre repairs in Blacktown.
Conduct a Connection Test of the Fibre Optic Cable
Once done with the splicing, all that’s left is to see the connection of the fibre optic cable. To do this, take your OTDR and repeat step 1. Only this time, you won’t see any breaks.
Put back the splices into the enclosure after a successful test. Close the enclosure and rebury the fibre cables.
So there you have it. By following the steps provided above and using the tools stated, you should be able to safely and successfully carry out DIY fibre optic cable repairs.
Remember though, experts are always your best bet. If at any moment during your repairs, you encounter any difficulty, it’s best you contact optic fibre repair experts near you right away. You really don’t want any accident occurring while dealing with these cables.
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