Prepare fiber-optic premises distribution cable for termination

Most cabling installers are familiar with how to prepare 4-pair copper cable for termination, but many are unfamiliar with termination procedures for fiber-optic premises distribution cable. As fiber-to-the-desk becomes more prevalent, it will be necessary for installers to learn to handle fiber cable as proficiently as they do copper.

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Scott Partington

Berk-Tek

Problem

Most cabling installers are familiar with how to prepare 4-pair copper cable for termination, but many are unfamiliar with termination procedures for fiber-optic premises distribution cable. As fiber-to-the-desk becomes more prevalent, it will be necessary for installers to learn to handle fiber cable as proficiently as they do copper.

Solution

Fiber-optic premises distribution cable can be prepared for termination using the following simple procedure.

Procedure

Remove several inches of the cable`s outer jacket by using a cable slitter or utility blade. Be careful not to damage the cable core.

1) With hands or pliers, grasp the aramid ripcord or ripcords one at a time and pull, splitting and peeling the jacket off as you would peel a banana.

2) Cables with higher fiber counts will contain subunits within the outer jacket. If there are subunits, cut completely around each subunit jacket with a small cable slitter or blade, again being careful not to damage the tight-buffered fibers inside.

3) Remove the cut piece of subunit jacket. Trim aramid with aramid scissors, if necessary.

4) For clean, fast, cost- effective buffer removal, mechanically strip off the fiber`s acrylate coating. The one-step stripping procedure, performed with tools from Sumitomo or Klein Tools, removes the buffer and coating in one motion.

5) Break-out kits are only required for premises distribution cables if the cables are kept unprotected in high-traffic areas or if many connection changes are anticipated. Standard connectors can be fitted directly onto a 900-micron tight-buffered fiber.

Click here to enlarge image

A cross section of a 6-fiber premises distribution riser cable shows details of the buffered fiber.

Cable Color Code*

Outer Jacket:

Orange--Multimode Fiber

Yellow--Singlemode Fiber

Subunit Jacket:

Orange--Multimode Fiber

Yellow--Singlemode Fiber

Composite Cables:

Outer Jacket--Orange

*Color-coding scheme is in accordance with TIA/EIA-598A, "Color Coding of Fiber Optic Cables."

Scott Partington is fiber-optic product manager at the Electro-Optics Division of Berk-Tek in Fuquay-Varina, NC.

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