Outside plant contractors often need to install aerial cables, requiring specialized components, knowledge and skills. How familiar are you with aerial fiber installations? Correct answers and explanations are in red.

1. The biggest concern for all fiber optic cables that are installed aerially is __________.
A. Wind loads
B. Ice loads
C. Long-term tension loads
D. Birds perching on the cable

All aerial cables require ensuring that the cable will withstand long term tension from the aerial suspension.

2. Most outside plant cables can be installed aerially by __________.
A. Lashing them to a messenger support wire or other cable
B. Using special self-supporting cable brackets
C. Attaching them to poles with kellums grips
D. Exposing cable strength members to hand the cable on each pole

Lashing the cable to a messenger wire or other cable allows most outside plant cables to be used as aerial cables.

3. A cable type that has an integral steel messenger wire is called a(n) _________.
A. ADSS cable
B. Self-supporting cable
C. High-tension cable
D. Figure-8 cable

A cable with integral messenger wire is called a figure-8 cable because the cross section looks like an “8.”

4. ADSS cable, which means “all dielectric, self-supporting” cable, has a(n) __________ to allow installation without lashing it to a messenger wire or another cable.
A. Integral messenger wire
B. Thick jacket and extra strength members
C. Extremely light weight
D. Special grips molded into the jacket

ADSS cables have more strength members to support the cable and a thick jacket to allow clamping at poles to support the suspended weight

5. You can get special cable that transmits both high-voltage electrical power and has fibers in the middle for communications.

Fibers are in the middle of optical power ground wire carrying high voltage since fiber is not sensitive to electromagnetic interference.

6. Aerial fiber optic cables are generally spliced __________.
A. Using a bucket truck to reach the cable
B. On the ground before installing cables on poles
C. On the ground in a splicing trailer
D. None of the above; aerial cable cannot be spliced

Aerial cables are generally spliced on the ground in a splicing trailer and the closures are then placed on the pole or hung from the cable.

7. The best source of information on what support hardware to use on a particular cable type is the __________.
A. Salesman
B. Distributor
C. Manufacturer’s technical support
D. Internet

Always contact the cable manufacturer to get their recommendations on proper hardware to install their cable to prevent long term harm to the cable.

8. Aerial fiber optic splice closures should never be __________.
A. Placed to close to the ground where they can be damaged
B. Hung from the cable
C. Attached to the pole
D. Placed in pedestals on the ground with other equipment

Splice closures should always be placed where damage is least likely, usually suspended from the cable or on the pole unless the splices are at a location where electronics are sited.

9. When installing aerial fiber optic cable on utility poles, contractors should __________.
A. Ensure they have the proper permits and permission from all parties
B. Have the route scouted and obstacles noted
C. Have any electrical power turned off, if at all possible
D. All of the above

All these are important – the last one for safety as working near power lines, even with all dielectric fiber optic cables, is dangerous.

10. The biggest cause of damage to underground or buried fiber optic cable is “backhoe fade.” What is the most likely to cause damage to aerial cable in remote areas?
A. Wind
B. Rain
C. Ice
D. Target practice

Reports from users in remote areas says that target practice is the most common cause of damage, since the other factors can be considered when designing a cable plant.

HAYES is a VDV writer and educator and the president of The Fiber Optic Association. Find him at www.jimhayes.com.