Here's a Quick Way to Build Your Fiber Optic Network
What is the most time consuming work in building a fiber network? Two works are
usually the largest line items in an fiber optic network installation budget: pulling
the fiber optic cables and terminating or splicing the cables.
When pulling the fiber cables, you must observe the minimum bending radius of the
cable, prepare the cable ends with a pulling eye kit, and filling the conduit with
lubricant to minimize the damage risk to the cables.
That is not all, terminating the fiber optic cables can be a daunting task if you are
installing a large fiber network. The time required to terminate different fiber cables
can vary widely. Hence, the choice of fiber cables is a critical decision in reducing your cost.
Loose tube gel-filled versus tight buffered fiber optic cable
The choice of the cable type is one of the biggest cost drivers in cable termination.
There are two basic cable types used in system installations:
1. Loose tube gel-filled cable
2. Tight buffered fiber optic breakout cables
Loose tube fiber cables
Traditionally, loose tube fiber optic cable has been used for outdoor long-haul links.
Due to the fragile bare fibers and gel filling, which must be cleaned prior to
termination, loose tube gel-filled cable is the most difficult to splice and terminate and
also has the highest termination material costs.
Loose tube fiber cable type must normally be terminated or spliced close to the cable
entryway of a building to switch to indoor-style cable, as it is generally incompatible
with indoor fire (flammability) codes.
Tight buffered fiber optic breakout cables
Tight buffered cables require less care to avoid damaging fibers when stripping back
the cable. Each fiber is protected with its own 900 Ám diameter buffer structure, which is
nearly four times the diameter and six times the thickness of the 250 Ám coating.
This construction feature contributes to the excellent moisture and temperature
performance of the tight-buffered indoor/outdoor cables and also permits their direct
termination with connectors.
Tight buffered breakout fiber optic cable, has individual subcables within a primary
outer cable sheath. This cable is the cable of choice for direct connectorization, as each
fiber has its own aramid strength member for connector tie-off.
The connectorized subcables may be directly connected to equipment without fear of
fiber damage or connector/fiber interface damage in most situations. Fiber optic breakout
cable is by far the least expensive and easiest cable type to terminate and requires the
least experience on the part of the installer.
Price comparison between two type of fiber cables
Cable prices are typically lower for breakout cables than for loose tube cables when
fiber counts are fairly low. Loose tube gel-filled cables are lower in price for higher
fiber counts. However, higher splicing and termination costs of loose-tube gel-filled cables
over moderate-to-short lengths can far exceed the additional cost of tight-buffered cables.
Advantages of fiber optic breakout cables
A typical case in which termination costs dominate is an interbuilding (outdoor) cable
entering a building where the required termination point of the cable is some distance
from the building entryway, and it is necessary to switch from outdoor to indoor cable.
Outdoor loose tube gel-filled cable is typically required to be transitioned to indoor
cable within 50 feet of the cable entry point to comply with fire codes. However, a
tight-buffered indoor/outdoor cable can be used throughout the link, requiring no
transitions at the building entryway.
This is only the tip of a iceberg. Find out more about
fiber breakout cable and
fiber optic breakout
on Fiber Optics For Sale Co. web site.
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• Beginners Guide to Fiber Optic Bit Error Ratio (BER) Measurement
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• Data Center Management Best Practices
• Understanding Wireless LAN Networking
• A Guide to Broadband Internet Connections
• Troubleshooting Your Optical Fiber Networks - Introduction to OTDR
• Understanding the Basics of All-Optical Switching
• Understanding Basic Terms in Indoor Fiber Optic Cable Installation