One of the best things about the fiber optics is ease of installation. Unlike the other cables which are heavy and complex to establish connection, fiber optic cables are light and flexible to install. The process of installing is similar to any wire cable installation, but the method, tools and instruments require to complete the task is different.
Fiber optics cable may be installed for outdoor underground application or for indoor underwater application using several different installation methods available. Since there are varieties of types of cables and number of applications of it so there is not any thumb rule for installation. However some general guidelines that must be following prior to any type of cable installation are:
Surveying the site
This is the foremost step that must be conducted to recognize the location and its special need. It helps to determine the physical and environmental hazards, and also helpful in cable route and machinery placement planning, especially for fiber optic lightening installation in pools and spa.
Cable stretching plan
The requirement of cable pulling equipment, location of junctions and access points, and splice setting must be planned prior to the installation. For lightning, a complete system along with fiber type I.e. end glow or side glow should be planned carefully.
Don’t twist and exceed bend radius of cable
Twisting the fiber can limit its efficiency by stress on fibers and it should not be practiced during lightning application. Fiber optics cable can be broken if bend radius is exceeded. Bend radius must be twenty times smaller than cable diameter and final installation bend must be ten times smaller than its diameter.
Special attention for pool lightning
Fiber optics is waterproof and can be arranged in different patterns for pools and other underwater application. However, safety must be considered before installation. Be cautious about electric current and always dry the pool for installing fiber lightning.
Test the light box before installation and place them carefully inside the light fixture. Use of proper tools, accessories and splicing method will help you to achieve desired and hassle free installation.
Testing the complete system:
Different type of testing must be performed in order to achieve desired installation. Test the continuity of the cable with the help of flashlight test. Microscope and magnifying lenses are used to detect scratches and defects in optical fiber. fiber construction
Optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR) must be use to determine the length and attenuation of the fiber optics cable. It is used to identify points where losses are occurring and also the broken points.
Following the above guidelines will ensure the proper framing of your site with fiber optics. While lying out the cable there always is a requirement to terminate or elongate the cable. For such cases the technique used in fiber optics is completely different, than for the other conventional cable. This method is known as splicing which is practiced to achieve lower insertion loss and it is of two types:
Fusion splicing – In this type a special equipment known as fusion splicer is used to join the fiber cable. In this technique cables are aligned and weld together by generating an electric arc. This results in lower insertion loss.
Mechanical splicing- This type of splicing doesn’t require any special instruments. It simply makes use of mechanical splice that permanently connect optical fiber. Adhesive or snap type cover is use to fasten it completely. It is a quick, easy and handy technique to follow.
Perfect installation can’t be achieved without adequate tools and accessories. During fiber optics installation there are some special and modern equipment that perform this role easily. The installer must have the complete set of fiber optics tools and test equipment. Typically the tool set contains: