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Repairing Tips for a Cut Underground Fiber-Optic Cable

by:TBT     2020-08-23
Underground fiber-optic cable can be accidentally cut. The most common factor which can cause this accident is the use of backhoe while digging. If it happens to you, you can simply look for backhoe and get the cut cable. However, if it is caused by moles, it will be difficult for you to troubleshoot it. You will need some equipment to involve.
The first thing you have to do is to look for the break in your cable. Commonly, the fiber-optic technicians utilize a device which is known as an optical time-domain reflectometer or OTDR. It is able to work like radar which sends a light pulse down to the cable. It will be reflected back to your device when it encounters break. It helps technician knows the location of the break.
After knowing the location of the break, you should dig up the cable with the break. Then, strip the fiber around 9 feet of the cable using cable rip cord. Peel the jacket gently so that the fiber-optic tubes exposed and eliminate the excess jacket. Then, clean that cable gel using cable gel remover and cut any sheath and yarn. Separate the tubes of the fiber. Avoid damaging the strength member since it is required to hold the cable in splice enclosure.
The next thing you have to do is to expose fiber cladding at 2 inches by using a fiber-coating stripper tool and clean the fiber in the tubes. Trim any damage on the fiber ends using high-precision fiber cleaver. If you want to perform a fusion splice, you need to place a fusion splice protector to the fiber. Hereafter, you have to clean that striped fiber using lint-free wipes which is soaked in alcohol. In addition, if you want to create a mechanical connection, you have to put quick-connect fiber-optic connectors onto the fiber and clean the stripped fiber with alcohol and lint-free wipes. Make sure that the fiber does not touch anything.
Then, if you make a fusion splice, you need to put the fibers which will be spliced in the fusion splicer. Then, fire the fusion splicer based on the manual. After that, you need to move the fusion connector into a heat shrink oven. Press a button to heat shrink. In some cases, the fusion splice is better than mechanical splice since the signal loss is under 0.1 decibels (dB). On the other hand, the mechanical splice has signal loss under 0.5 dB. The last thing is to see the connection of fiber-optic with the OTDR. Then put back those splices into the splice enclosure. Close the enclosure and then rebury the cable.
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