The cost of installation for most fiber optic cable exceeds the cost of the cable itself, so ensuring the cable is good before installation is important. The first test the installer must do with a spool of cable is visually inspect it.
Most contractors assume it is necessary to field-terminate fiber optic cabling systems as part of every installation, but they are all looking for alternatives. The first alternative most people consider is to use prepolished/splice connectors, which use a mechanical splice to terminate the fiber.
Proper tools and test equipment are essential for the fiber optic installer. In my recent series on fiber optic installation, I discussed which tools and test equipment you need, so let’s see what you learned. Correct answers and explanations are in red.
Premises cabling to support phones and PC networks hasn’t really changed much since it was first standardized by TIA-568 around 1990; It has just become faster, and Ethernet local-area networks (LANs) are now a thousand times faster.
Each year, before I write about events of the previous year and possibilities for the year just begun, I review my old columns to see what has changed. As I read last year’s column, I found myself nodding, yep, that’s about the same this year and that and that, too.
Much of the fiber used in premises applications for computer networks and closed-circuit security cameras is multimode fiber. Multimode fiber has special application and installation quirks you need to know to install and use it separately. How familiar are you with multimode?
Installed cables often need to be joined together to complete a cable plant route; the route may be too long to pull or to place a continuous length of cable, since cable can only be manufactured in lengths of around 5 kilometers (km).
The problem when dealing with technology is that it is always changing. Planned obsolescence sometimes means change for change’s sake (such as bigger tailfins on cars in the 1950s). In our businesses, however, it often means the new technology offers new application opportunities.
Industrial automation systems have become big users of fiber optics and copper cabling. Industrial applications of premises cabling usually have more stringent needs than commercial applications. How well do you understand industrial cabling? Answers and explanations are in red.
Testing installed optical fiber cables is the final step of any installation. But testing fiber can be done in five different ways, depending on what the standards require or what you need to know. How well do you know the options? Answers and explanations are in red.
Last month, I discussed equipping installers with the tools needed for installations. Installers also need test equipment. There are many options in the sophistication and cost of fiber optic test equipment. Proper selection can reduce both equipment costs and testing labor costs.
For many users of cabling, the first time they think of restoration is when the network goes down. It has been said that 90 percent of all network problems are cabling related, but many users are woefully ignorant of where to start restoring network operation. Let’s test your restoration savvy.
As you near the actual installation, it’s time to determine how to outfit the crews who will do the work. Choosing the proper installation and test equipment is important, as it will affect the installation time and quality and may even deter-mine the job’s profitability.