How Can I Repair a Fiber Optic Launch Cable Connector?

How Can I Repair a Fiber Optic Launch Cable Connector?

If your connector has stopped working, there are several things you can do to help it get back into working order. High-loss splices are a common cause of failure and should be replaced as soon as possible. There are various tools to repair them, including Optical Fault Finders and Optical Time Domain Reflectometers. For more information, see this article. To repair a fiber optic cable connector yourself, read these steps:

Fibre Launch Cable
Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR)

A fiber optic launch cable connector may be broken, or simply have no connection at all. Using an optical time domain reflectometer, you can check the condition of the connector to determine if repair is necessary. This device can also be used for other types of cable fault location, such as fusion splices. These tools are easy to use and can be used to determine the length and location of fiber cables, as well as to diagnose the faults.

OTDR Testers

Using an OTDR is essential for determining the integrity of fiber cables, and can be used in building and maintaining systems. This instrument provides a virtual image of the cable path, as well as information about its connection points and passive optical components. OTDR measurements are also very useful for troubleshooting. Here are a few steps to repair a fiber optic launch cable connector using an OTDR.


Many fiber optic launches fail due to poor field termination. Poor field termination can cause air gaps, excessive insertion loss, and defects on the connector’s end face. If the connector’s end face has a high degree of contamination, it can lead to premature failure. In addition, contaminants can also damage the connector end faces, which may lead to excessive loss. Repairing this component will prevent further failure.

OTDR Launch Lead

To repair a fiber optic launch cable connector with an OTDR, first check the length of the fiber to ensure that it is long enough to reach the launch site. Then, use the OTDR to measure the return power. An  measures the distance and amplitude of a reflective event, and then converts the data into a display or trace. The residual offset should be less than 0.05dB.


Optical Fault Finders

Optical fault finders are a great tool to use to diagnose breaks and bad connections in fiber optic cables. They are able to measure the length of the cable and reflect light based on the distance to the reflective incident. They are more expensive than VFLs and require some expertise to use. However, they fill a critical gap between VFL and OTDR. If you have a break in your fiber optic cable, it is important that you immediately fix it as soon as possible.

Fiber VFL

To diagnose fiber optic cable connector problems, you need to know what kind of fault it is. If the fiber has a break, it will be shorter than the other end. An unpinned MPO connector can cause the connection to fail completely. This is often a difficult connection to find in a patch panel. If the connector has a break, you can use a fiber tester to determine if the cable is still usable.
High loss splices

Patch Panel Box

If you are running a test network for fiber optic launch cables, you’ve probably noticed some high loss splices. These connectors are typically caused by bad processes or damage after termination. For example, adhesive/polish connectors may have cracked fibers, or end finishes are not clean. High loss splices on prepolished/splice connectors are caused by poor mechanical splicing processes. If you notice any signs of damage, you should get an OTDR (optical time domain reflectometry) test performed.

Fiber Launch Box

When evaluating high loss splices, you must remember that these connections should be tested individually, one at a time. Single-ended loss uses a launch cable, while double-ended loss uses a receive cable attached to the meter. When you perform single-ended tests, you should be aware of all loss components in your fiber optic launch cable. High loss splices are a serious defect. Make sure you do this before your mission.