How to Choose and Install Fiber Optic Cables For Your Application


Different fiber optic applications often require different fiber optic cable. Cable environment is the major factor in the type of cables chosen and it determines the fiber cable construction.

Many types of environments exist for fiber cable's applications.

1. Fiber optic cables linking devices such as computers, telephone systems, distribution panels and fiber splice organizers. Generally speaking, these fiber cables are the least expensive and cable construction is very simple, because the devices can protect the fiber cables from outside forces and mechanical dangers.

2. Fiber cables installed across a room, under a floor, between walls or above suspended ceilings. These areas are usually plenum areas which means they are used for air exchange by HVAC systems. The fiber cables used here must meet fire and smoke codes set by National Fire Protection Association and National Electrical Code.

3. Intrabuilding cables are often constructed as breakout cables. This design eliminates the need for patch panels in terminal closets. The fiber cables can be divided into individual fibers for distribution.

4. Direct-burial cables. These cables are laid into deep trenches or plowed into the ground. Extra protection again moisture and temperatures are demanded for this kind of environment. The outer jacket of these direct-burial cables provides these protections.

5. Aerial installation fiber cables can be aerial installed on poles or lashed onto messenger wires between poles. These cables are usually all-dielectric which means they contain no metal components inside. This makes the cable lightning immune. The cable must be strong enough to prevent sagging that would put excess stress on the fibers.

For your fiber optic cables to work effectively you need to install them properly. To guide you, here are tips on how to install the units:

Use the right components

The components that you use depend on the application. While this is the case, there are some components that are universal regardless of the application. These components include:

Patch panel: They make it easy for you to manage the patch cables and link the cabling distribution areas. When buying the unit you should go for one that allows you to use different cable connectors in the same patch panel. Experts also recommend that you go for units with colored jacks or bezels. This is to make it easy for you to identify the different ports.

Cable manager: The cable manager protects the units from damage. It also provides a routing for the patch cables. The cable managers are of two main types: horizontal and vertical. When buying the units always ensure that no parts obstruct the effective transfer of data.

Cable ties: They hold a group of cables together. They also fasten the units to other components. As rule of thumb, ensure that the ties that you buy are of high quality.

Have a plan

You can't do a good job if you don't have a plan on how to install the optic cables. To have an easy time you should have a plan on how you will go about it. You should know where you will begin the installation and where you will end. To easily identify the units you should come up with a coloring code. You can use the code on patch panels, fiber cables, color sleeves and connectors.

Experts recommend that you use thin and high-density cables when possible. This to make it possible for the cables to run in tight spaces without getting damaged. If you are installing the units in areas that already had cables, you should remove the abandoned units that might restrict air flow. Abandoned cables are also more likely to cause a fire. You should avoid routing cables through holes and pipes as it might limit running the units in future.

The contractor that you hire has a great impact on the performance of the cables. For peace of mind, work with a certified and experienced professionals. After installing the cables it's always recommended that you keep records detailing where the different components were installed. This makes it easy for you to troubleshoot the problems.