Basic Skills Lab For Remote Training,
Do It Yourself
From this lesson you should learn:
- Where to
purchase basic fiber optic tools and components
- How optical
fiber transmits signals with light
- How to
perform basic fiber optic installation processes:
striping, cleaving, splicing, terminating fiber
Before taking this course, you must first take the Basic
Fiber Optics online course at Fiber U and get
your Fiber U Certificate of Completion.
This is a basic skills lab for fiber optic novices
covering how fiber works, cable preparation, splicing,
termination and testing. You will be directed to watch
some videos, perform some hands-on exercises and work with
The hands-on exercises are based on readily available
components and tools. You can purchase the tools and
components you need online inexpensively and do the
exercises yourself and/or as part of an online class. The
lesson will give detailed directions based on the tools
and components listed below.
tools from school or purchase online
- If part of
an online course, you will demo what you learned to
your instructor on videoconference
- You may be
asked to return the finished lessons and tools to
Tools And Components
This lesson uses the basic fiber optic tools and
components shown below. These tools and components are
readily available online at reasonable prices. The total
cost if purchased from Amazon or eBay should be under
$100. If you are purchasing for yourself, the search terms
for Amazon, eBay, etc. are given as well as approximate
you are part of a class with an FOA approved school, they
may send you tools or advise you to purchase them
(with online search terms if purchasing online)
stripper, 3 hole – 3mm/900micron/250micron (fiber
optic stripper 3 hole – ~ $12-15)
- Aramid fiber
scissors (fiber optic Kevlar Scissors – ~$5-10)
cleaver (fiber optic cleaver – approx. $20-25)
- Visual Fault
Locator – VFL (fiber optic visual fault locator -
in searching you may find kits of the 3 tools above
plus other items you can use for other exercises for
~$40-50 which is OK
- Black vinyl
work mat, ~2X3’, 0.5X0.8m (black vinyl upholstery
fabric, 1 yd, ~$5-10)
(with online search terms)
- SM cable,
2ea (fiber optic patch cord SC to SC singlemode –3-5m
splices (fiber optic mechanical splice, qty 5 or 10,
- Splice type
connectors (fiber optic quick connector singlemode,
qty 10, ~$9-10)
Additional Equipment Required
Glasses (hardware or drugstore, ~$5)
supplies (alcohol and wipes)
disposal bin (Paper cup with lid, marked "Fiber
Lessons and Exercises
The following lessons and exercises are included in
Safety - Read information below before beginning any
How fiber optics works and transmits information
Basic fiber optic cable handling
Fiber optic splicing and termination
fiber optic cables
fibers with a mechanical splice
fibers with a prepolished/splice connector
tracing and fault location
inspection of connectors
- Loss testing
For each exercise you complete, fill in a scorecard to
document your results. Download
When you complete all exercises, you can get a Fiber
U Certificate of Completion.
Note: This is not the usual online course
- it is intended to guide you as you learn
some of the basic skills used in fiber
optics. It involves using actual tools and
components in a realistic manner. Some of
the processes here can be hazardous, like
working with sharp scraps of optical fiber
wear safety glasses when doing any of
these exercises and dispose of all fiber
scraps immediately and properly.
not look directly into the light from the
visual fault locator - it's bright!
guidelines are strictly the opinion of the FOA
provided for educational purposes and the reader
is expected to use them as a basis for learning.
The FOA assumes no liability for the use of any
of this material.
with these safety procedures and follow them all the
time. Watch FOA
Lecture 2: Safety When Working With Fiber Optics
Fiber Optic Safety
Do not work with fiber without safety glasses
and a proper work area that is easy to clean up.
We recommend working on a black vinyl mat to make it
easier to see the fiber (and any scraps). It is
best to work on tile or concrete floors, not carpet.
If you drop fiber scraps into carpet they can be very
hard to find or pick up with a vacuum cleaner.
Place clean paper over your work area to keep from
harming the worktable surface.
Safety glasses must always be worn. Use them, keep
them clean, and protect them from damage like any other
tool. Always wear safety glasses because you will generate
fiber scraps that may fly through the air and land
anywhere. If scraps get into your eye, you will be making
a visit to the local hospital emergency room. Do
not allow others to watch you work unless they wear safety
glasses also. Fiber scraps can fly a long way!
X-ray of fiber shard in finger
The broken or cleaved ends of fibers are extremely
sharp and can easily penetrate your skin! Be
careful to not stick the broken ends into your fingers,
since they invariably break off and are very hard to find
and remove. Most times, you have to wait for them to
infect and painfully work themselves out.
Avoid these accidents by exercising a little caution.
Dispose of all scraps immediately and properly. Put
them in a properly marked paper cup or other container for
disposal. Do not drop them on the floor where they will
stick in carpets or shoes and be carried elsewhere. Do not
eat anywhere near the work area.
Clean up after your exercises carefully.
Lecture 2: Safety When Working With Fiber Optics
Fiber Optic Safety
Click on the links for each exercise. Download the Scorecards
to keep records of your completion of each exercise.
Safety Rules - Read before beginning
any exercises (above)
1. How Fiber Optics Works (hands-on,
2. Basic fiber optic cable handling and preparation (watch
3 FOA YouTube videos)
3. Fiber optic splicing and termination (hands-on, 4
exercises) These exercises need to be completed in this
order as each of them are dependent on the prior exercise.
When you complete all exercises, you can get a Fiber U
Certificate of Completion.
you have watched all the videos, used the loss simulator
and successfully completed all the hands-on exercises
required you may take this Fiber U Certificate of
If you are taking this course yourself, the Fiber
U Certificate of Completion exam cost $20. Go
here to pay and take the exam.
If you are taking
this course with an instructor from an FOA Approved
school, they will provide the link for you to take the
This information is
provided by The Fiber Optic Association, Inc. as a
benefit to those interested in teaching, designing,
manufacturing, selling, installing or using fiber optic
communications systems or networks. It is intended to be
used as an overview and/or basic guidelines and in no
way should be considered to be complete or
comprehensive. These guidelines are strictly the opinion
of the FOA and the reader is expected to use them as a
basis for learning, as a reference and for creating
their own documentation, project specifications, etc.
Those working with fiber optics in the classroom,
laboratory or field should follow all safety rules
carefully. The FOA assumes no liability for the use of
any of this material.