11 Steps To Terminate Fiber Optic Cables

Fiber optic cables are being used in an increasing number of applications currently, especially in comupter networks and cable/Internet. And one of the biggest steps in preparing a fiber optic cable is cable termination. Know how to terminate fiber optic cable can allow a person to modify his own network or devices within the technical or telecommunications industries.

Step 1 – Electricity

Before you begin this project, make sure you turn off the electric supply. For maximum safety and to prevent shocks, turn off the main supply.

Step 2 – Stripping

In this step, you commence work on the fiber optic cables. Take the end of the cable and proceed to remove the outer layer. Use a cable stripper to strip off the fiber optic cables end. Then the cable is seated inside of the connector wall and the bare fiber core sticks out about a half an inch from the front of the ferrule. At this point, if your cable is jacketed, you will want to use a crimping tool to secure the connector to the jacket and strength members of the cable. Two crimps may be required to accomplish this properly.

Step 3 – The Connector

You need to next get an optical fiber connector. While working with fiber optic cables, you can go in for a Ferrule connector. This connector helps in aligning the fiber.

Step 4 – Epoxy

After you get the Ferrule connector the next step is to introduce a bonding agent into it. In this case, apply a layer of epoxy. When the fibers are inserted the epoxy will hold them in place.

Step 5 – Inserting the Fiber Optic Cable

Now insert the fiber optic cables into the connector. Make sure that the stripped end protrudes out of the ferrule connector’s front. Around half inch would suffice.

Step 6 – Crimping the Cable

You need to ascertain that the hold between the jacket and the connector is firm. For this, use a cable crimper and work on the fiber optic cables.

Step 7 – The Curing Holder

Proceed to insert the cable into the available curing holder.It is important that the connector faces downwards. Place the connected end into a curing holder to ensure that the end of the fiber is not damaged while curing.

Step 8 – Curing the Cable

The next step in terminating the fiber optic cables is to cure the cable. Cure the cable with the help of a curing oven. Now place the cable and curing holder into a curing oven. To avoid “wicking” while curing with a conventional oven, situate the connector so that the end is facing down. This positioning will ensure that the epoxy does not come out of the back side of the connector and compromise the strength member of the cable. Refer to the documentation of your specific epoxy for accurate curing times and temperatures.

Step 9 – Cleaving the Fiber

After the fiber optic cables have been cured the next step is to cleave the fiber. For best results, use a sharp cleaver. As close to the ferrule tip as possible while avoiding any sort of twisting motion.The closer you get to the tip of the ferrule, the better your outcome.

Step 10 – Sanding

After you cleave off the fiber from the tip of the ferrule you will have to sand it off. The following steps will exhibit the order in which you use the different films to achieve the desired outcome. Sanding will polish off the tip.

Step 11 – Finishing Up

With the excess fiber cleaved and properly sand of, you may begin the task of polishing the fiber end to a smooth finish. To sand the tip of the ferrule you need to first sand it with micro film between 5 and 15, and then follow up with a film of 5 micron aluminum oxide. Use a film of 3 to 6 micron diamond and then a film of 1 micron diamond. Finally use a HX film to complete the termination of the fiber optic cables. Without a smooth fiber surface any light passing through is subject to loss. The idea is to start with a coarse grit and work your way to a very fine grit film.

Now your connectorized cable is complete. To ensure good standards, it is wise to inspect the tip with a fiber microscope. What’s more, test your cable with an optical fiber testing tool for insertion loss and return loss.

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