terminate fiber optic cable

How to Terminate Fiber Optic Cable

Fiber optic cable termination is a physical connection of fiber to a device, and you can use a connector or splicing method to terminate fiber optic cable. It is a necessary step for installing a fiber optic network. It provides easy ways for fiber cross-connection and light wave signal distribution. When terminating fiber, termination errors may reduce signal loss and reduce reflections. Therefore, terminations must be in the correct style to align and connect the fibers as accurately as possible.

terminate fiber optic cable

There are two methods to terminate fiber optic cable: connectors and splicing. Connectors are temporary, while splicing is permanent. Connectors are normally used to make a temporary joint between two fibers or connect the fiber to network equipment. On the other hand, Splicing is necessary when the cable is too long or different types of cable are needed.

Terminate Fiber Optic Cable by Connector

One fiber optic cable termination type uses a connector to join two fibers to form a temporary joint or permanent splice between the two fibers. This is a temporary way of termination. You can disconnect both fibers at any time. A fiber connector is composed of three main components: ferrule, connector body, and coupling device. The ferrule is used to align and polish optical fibers. The connector body supports the ferrule and sheaths the fibers. The coupling device provides a connection between the connector and the optical device.

connector terminate fiber optic cable

There are many styles of fiber optic cable connectors, such as SC, ST, FC, LC, MU, etc. They offer easier termination at a rather lower cost. Therefore, this enables individuals to terminate their fiber optic cables. In addition, there are two methods of connector termination: field termination and factory termination.

Field Termination

Field termination is the addition of connectors in the field with specialized tools. This connector has two types. One is traditional epoxy and polish fiber connectors. Another is a fiber optic fast connector. Epoxy or polish fiber connectors are very conventional and widely used connectors. You simply glued the fiber into the connector with epoxy and polished the ends with a special polishing film. On the other hand, a fiber optic fast connector is one end of fiber bonded into a ferrule, where the end face of the ferrule is polished to a PC/UPC/APC finish. The other end of the fiber is cut and located inside the connector body.

Factory Termination

factory termination

Factory termination is when the fiber optic cable has been terminated at the factory before shipment. This termination method increases installation efficiency and reduces installation costs. All are tested before being shipped to the installation site. This fiber cable is also called Pre Terminated Fiber Optic Cable. It gives installers more of a “plug-and-play” option.

Terminate Fiber Optic Cable by Splicing

Another type of fiber optic termination is the use of splicing. Splicing is the direct connection of two bare fibers without any connectors. It is a permanent method of termination. Fiber splicing is often used when a fiber optic cable breaks unexpectedly or is extended. This new cable is also called splicing fiber optic cable. Splicing is faster and more efficient than connectors. In addition, it has lower light loss (attenuation) and back reflection.

Splicing Fiber Optic Cable

The two most common methods of fiber splicing are mechanical and fusion. There are many factors to consider when choosing which type of fiber splicing to perform.

Mechanical Splicing

Mechanical splicing uses a small mechanical splice that precisely aligns two fiber optic cables and then secures them mechanically. After the two ends are secured, a snap-type or adhesive cover is used to fasten the splice permanently. The fibers are not permanently joined, just precisely held together so that light can pass from one to another.

Fusion Splicing

Fusion splicing is the most used method of fiber optic splicing. It first uses a fusion splicer machine to align the two fiber ends. Then, an electric arc is used to “fuse” the glass ends together. Fusion splicing produces a reliable joint with low insertion loss and nearly zero back reflection, and thus, is more widely used than mechanical splicing.

Conclusion

Fiber optic cable termination is a necessary step for installing a fiber optic network. Whether you terminate the fibers with connectors or splicing, make a precise connection. In conclusion, you can choose the correct termination method according to the actual situation.

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