FOA Basic Skills


Lesson 3: Fiber Optic Cable And Fiber Preparation

Objectives: From this lesson you should learn:
How to identify typical fiber optic cables
How to prepare cables for pulling
How to prepare cables for splicing or termination
How to strip optical fiber for splicing and termination

Tools And Components Needed
Cable jacket stripping tools
"Kevlar" scissors to cut strength members
Samples of cable, simplex or zipcord, distribution, loose tube, armored preferred


Introduction

It is impossible to work in fiber optics without having a good working knowledge about cables and skills in pulling, placing and preparing cables for termination and splicing. In this lesson, we will identify and examine cables, then prepare them for splicing or termintion by stripping the cable to expose the coated fibers. Finally we will strip fibers, the final step before
splicing or termintion.

4 cables
Four popular cable types: zipcord, distribution, loose tube, breakout
 
Each type of fiber optic cable requires a special technique to remove the jacket, strength members and expose the fibers for splicing or termination. Many of the types of cable need special tools to remove the jacket and other cable parts without damaging the fibers. After exposing fibers, the fibers must be stripped of buffer coatings for splicing or termination.
  
Allow plenty of time to complete the exercises without interruption, although this lesson can be broken into segments for each cable type.

Safety
Lennie works safe Please Note: This is not the usual online course - it is intended to guide you as you learn new skills - the "hands-on" skills needed to install optical fiber cable plants. It involves using tools and components in a realistic manner. Some of the processes here can be hazardous, like working with sharp scraps of optical fiber and chemicals.

In Lesson 1 you should have familiarized yourself with the safety procedures - follow them all the time. Do not work with fiber without eye protection and a proper work area that is easy to clean up.  Always wear safety glasses when doing any of these exercises and dispose of all scraps properly.


As part of Lesson 1, you should have watched the FOA YouTube Video: FOA Lecture 2: Safety When Working With Fiber Optics      

Download a FOA safety poster for your work area.



Background Review
This "skills" course assumes you have knowledge of fiber optic cables. If you are new to fiber optics, you should first complete the "Fiber U Basic Fiber Optics" course before attempting the hands-on exercises here or review the FOA Guide section on cables or the self-study course Fiber U Basic Fiber Optics: Cables. 



Hands-On Lab Instructions

Download the Workbook section on Cables and the VHO tutorial on Cable Preparation. Watch the videos and/or read the references on the cable types you have available for practice. The
VHO  "Virtual Hands On" Tutorials take a "step-by-step" approach to the hands-on processes covered in this self-study program and the videos will show the processes in motion. They are both a good way to teach yourself the processes here - watch the video for the overview then follow the steps in the VHO web pages.


Lesson
Workbook Section (PDF)
VHO Tutorial (PDF)
Videos (YouTube)
Lesson 3: Fiber Optic Cables Cable And Fiber Preparation Cable Preparation Introduction
Zipcord
Distribution
Breakout
Loose Tube
Armored



Hands-On Assignments:
After reading the workbook section and VHO tutorial
Cable Preparation and watching the videos, complete these exercises using all the cable types available to you.

As you finish each section, fill in the worksheet in the back of the Workbook on Cables. Your completed worksheets are the records of your having successfully completed the exercises.



1. Zipcord or Simplex Cable


Video:. Fiber Optic Cable, Part 2, Zipcord


Using zipcord or simplex cable, strip the jacket, cut the fiber off and attach a pulling eye to the cable. Swivel eyes like those used in the video are available at a hardware store.

pulling eye


2. Distribution Cable

Video:. Fiber Optic Cable, Part 3 Distribution Cable

Using samples of distribution cable, strip the jacket and prepare the cable for termination with an adhesive/polish connector. Remember the distribution cable will allow the 900 micron tight buffer fiber to be terminated directly but the connectors must be protected in a patch panel or box.

stripping distribution cable


3. Loose Tube Cable

Video:. Fiber Optic Cable, Part 5 Loose Tube Cable

Using a sample of loose tube OSP cable, remove the outside jacket and separate the buffer tubes and strength members. Cut one of the tubes and expose the fibers. If the cable is gel-filled, use cleaner to remove the gel.


strip loose tube fiber optic cable


4. Armored Loose Tube Cable

Video:. Fiber Optic Cable, Part 6, Armored Cable

Using a sample of armored loose tube OSP cable, remove the outside jacket with armor, inner jacket and separate the buffer tubes and strength members.


removing armor from fiber optic cable


5.
Stripping Fiber

Video: Fiber Optic Stripping Tools

After watching the video Fiber Optic Stripping Tools, use a fiber stripper to strip off the buffer coating from tight buffer fiber (900micron) and buffered fiber (250micron). Keep doing it until you can strip fiber properly every time. Watch when stripping the fiber that you get the final coating off - some strippers leave the final coating on the fiber if you don't fully close the stripper before stripping the coatings.


6. Stripping Fiber

After watching the video Fiber Optic Stripping Tools, or follow the directions here, use a fiber stripper to strip off the buffer coating from tight buffer fiber.

Using samples of simplex, zipcord and/or breakout cable, strip the jacket, cut the strength members to length with the Kevlar scissors and prepare the cable for termination with an adhesive/polish connector. Follow the diagram. Refer to exercise 2 below for instructions on stripping the fiber buffer coating to expose the bare fiber.

strip cable  jacket

fiber stripping guide

strip fiber




Test Your Comprehension - Online Quiz On Cable  


Have you completed the Workbook worksheets that are the records of your having successfully completed the exercises?


Next:  Lesson 4: Fiber Optic Splicing           

Return to Lesson Plan



 

Table of Contents: The FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics

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