Installation and splicing of fiber optic cables required special training and equipment. the wrong termination of fiber-optic media will result in diminished signaling distances or complete transmission failure.
Three common types of fiber-optic termination and splicing errors are:
- Misalignment: The fiber-optic media are not exactly aligned to one another when joined.
- End gap: The media does not completely touch at the splice or connection.
- End finish: The media ends are not well polished, or dirt is present at the termination.
Testing is used to evaluate the above mention error and performance of fiber optic components; cable plants and systems. As the components like fiber, connectors, splices; LED or laser sources, detectors and receivers are being developed; testing confirms their performance specifications and helps understand how they will work together.
A quick and easy field test can be performed by shining a bright flashlight into one end of the fiber while observing the other end. If the light is visible; the fiber is capable of passing light. Although this does not ensure performance; it is a quick and inexpensive way to find a broken fiber. For quick and easy testing you need the right tools and test equipment for the job. Following is the list of fiber optic testing tool.
- Optical inspection microscope, 100-200X video scope recommended
- Source and power meter, optical loss test set (OLTS) or test kit with proper equipment adapters for the cable plant you are testing.
- optical fiber splicing machine.
- Reference test cables that match the cables to be tested and mating adapters, including hybrids if needed
- Cleaning materials – dry cleaning kits or lint free cleaning wipes and pure alcohol
- Fiber Tracer or Visual Fault Locator
- OTDR with a launch and/or receive cables for outside plant jobs and troubleshooting.