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A Comprehensive Tutorial to Fiber Optic Cable Installation

AuthorPatrick

Date06/02/2022

Fiber cable Internet demonstrates a strong vitality and competitiveness with the rapid development of information technology. This paper focuses on fiber optic cable installation, including installation requirements, how to set up a fiber optic home network, and home fiber optic cable installation. Hope this article could be of some help to you.

Fiber Optic Cable Explained

Fiber optic cable is a kind of transmission medium to transmit optical signals,  which is generally composed of a cable core, reinforcing component, filler, and sheathing layer. In addition, the optical cable also includes a waterproof layer, buffer layer, and insulated metal conductor in some specific applications.

 

Cable core: Consists of single or multiple optical fibers.

Reinforcing component: Used to enhance the tensile resistance of optical cables. The material is generally steel wire or non-metallic fiber. It is usually located in the center of the cable core and sometimes in the sheath.

Sheathing layer: Usually consists of three layers(inner sheath - armor layer - outer sheath). It is used for waterproof and moisture-proof, tensile, compressive, bending, etc. The materials are polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride (PE or PVC), polyurethane polyamide, and aluminum steel. The armor layer is generally made of steel wire, which is located in the outer sheath to prevent external force from damaging the optical cable.

 


 

Structure of fiber optic cable

 

Types of Optical Cable

According to different classification methods, there are many kinds of optical cables, such as listed below:

Different core diameters: multimode optical cable (50μm~100μm) and single-mode optical cable (8~10 μm).

Different number of cores: Single-core optical cable, dual-core optical cable

Different laying methods: direct burial fiber cable, pipe fiber optic cable, overhead optical cable, underwater optical fiber cable

Different structures:  layer stranded fiber optic cable,  slotted core optical fiber cable, ribbon optical fiber cable, tube fiber optic cable 

 

Benefits of Fiber Optic Cable

High Bandwidth.

Long-distance relay.

High confidentiality.

High reliability.

Small volume and lightweight.

Abundant raw materials and low cost.

Fiber Optic Cable Installation Requirements

The following lists 10 tips for fiber optic laying and fiber optic cabling and fiber cable installation.

 

1. Be careful during fiber optic cable handling, storage, and placement. Optical cables are not as strong as copper cables, so when transporting and storing optical cables, it is necessary to avoid severe bending, kinking, and crushing of optical cables; Otherwise, the glass fibers of optical cables will be damaged, and even the optical cables need to be replaced in serious cases.

 

2. Before laying fiber optic cables, check whether the cables have been damaged during transportation.

 

3. Do not store optical cables in direct sunlight. Long-time exposure to solar radiation will reduce the transmission performance of the optical fiber. It is best to be stored in the dry room.

 

4. Protective glasses must be worn when trimming optical cables to prevent eye injury. When trimming, clamp the end of the reinforcing component of the optical cable with pliers to prevent it from flying.

 

5. Do not use an optical instrument to view the fiber end of the optical cable until confirming that the fiber is disconnected from the laser. If the end of the fiber is coupled to the laser or LED, the non terminated fiber will have radiation. 

 

6. Do not bend the optical fiber or optical cable to a radius less than 20 times the outer diameter of the optical cable, otherwise the optical fiber may be damaged and the link attenuation may increase.

 

7. When laying optical cables, the traction force shall not exceed 80% of the allowable tension. The main traction force shall be added to the reinforcing component of the optical cable, and the fiber cannot bear the tension directly.

 

8. An appropriate length shall be reserved according to the design requirements when laying optical cables. Generally, 5m-10m shall be reserved at the equipment end. If there are special requirements, the reserved length shall be extended appropriately.

 

9. Roll the spool instead of making the spool stand on the ground and rotating the optical cable off the spool: rotating the optical cable will twist the optical fiber and may cause the optical fiber to break.

 

10. If the fiber optic cabling needs to pass through the wall or floor, the optical fiber must be added with a protective plastic pipe, and the pipe shall be filled with flame-retardant filler. A certain amount of plastic pipes can also be laid in the building in advance.

 

Set Up an All-Optical Network in Your Home 

With the emergence and popularity of FTTH (fiber to the home) and FTTB (fiber to the building) fiber access technology over the past decades, optical fiber replaced copper cable to enter each household, breaking the bottleneck of ADSL broadband rate and significantly increasing the speed of the home internet. Nowadays, FTTH has become the absolutely mainstream broadband access mode.

 

However, with the vigorous development of smart home applications, such as intelligent IoT, 8K video, cloud VR, etc., users have higher bandwidth and stability requirements for the home network environment. Therefore, the all-optical home network has become a new exploring direction under this background, and FTTR (fiber to the room) is one of the mainstream ways.

 

Under FTTH access mode, the optical fiber is deployed to the home, but the internal home network is still wired with twisted-pair copper cables. How to set up a complete fiber optic home network? Here comes the FTTR solution. 

 

Different from FTTH, in the FTTR solution, the optical fiber completely replaces twisted-pair copper cables such as Cat5e and extends to each room. It is then converted into Wi-Fi signals by the edge ONT device or connected to the set-top box, desktop computer, and other home devices through the optical cables. The FTTR solution and equipment needed for home fiber optic internet are shown below.

 

FTTR Solution Home Equipment Diagram 

Home Fiber Optic Cable Installation

Gigabit broadband is extended to each room through optical fiber, which can break through the bandwidth limit of twisted-pair copper cable. In the FTTR solution, the most improvement is to greatly increase internet broadband speeds. In addition, compared with twisted-pair copper cable, the optical cable has many advantages, such as lower costs, smaller cable diameter, more convenient fiber optic cabling, and stronger anti-interference ability. 

 

Properly installing fiber optic cable in home is vitally impotent. Home network wiring is the foundation of smart home applications. At present, many users tend to focus on the performance of Wi-Fi devices. However, no matter how high-performance the Wi-Fi router is, it can't break through the limits of the distance and wall. QSFPTEK suggests that during home decoration, users should plan the home wiring scheme in advance on the drawings. It is necessary to pay attention to the laying of concealed pipes to ensure that the concealed pipes are reliable and unobstructed, and the cables at both ends of the concealed pipes can be pulled so that it will be much more convenient for the future network upgrading. If you have a decoration plan, it is recommended to lay optical fiber lines while laying twisted-pair copper cables. The fiber optic cable cost per foot is very low, and the occupied space is not large. They can be worn at the same time with twisted-pair copper cable during decoration.

 

How to wire home fiber optic cables in the concealed pipe during home optical fiber deployment? The following is the installation process:

Step 1: Observe the position and pipe status.

Step 2: Observe the house structure and reserve cables.

Step 3: Deploy the threading device in the concealed pipe.

Step 4: Bind the optical fiber and the threading device with adhesive tape.

Step 5: Pull out the threading device and deploy the optical fiber.

Step 6: Check whether the optical fiber is damaged.

Step 7: Install the optical fiber panel and complete the deployment.

 

Conclusion

 

The paper states what should be noticed during fiber optic cable installation, how to set up an all-optical home network, and the processes of home fiber optic cable installation. If you still have confusion about fiber optic cable installation, contact QSFPTEK tech support, our tech engineers are happy to help your home/office/enterprise fiber optic installation. We also provide various cost-effective fiber optic cables. For bulk orders, please contact us via sales@qsfptek.com. 

 

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