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Talking about the Management Methods and Skills of Fiber Optic

(Last Updated On: April 25, 2023)

Installing more fiber optic cables is the first step to increasing bandwidth, and strengthening the management of cables is an essential requirement for optical fiber network infrastructure. Fiber optics are the weakest link. Therefore, cable management is critical to maximize and ensure the fiber optic network’s performance.

Four Factors Affecting Fiber Patch Cord Management

First, we need to understand some factors that affect the performance of fiber optic patch cords. Here are 4 main factors that affect the management of fiber optic cables.

1. Bending radius:

The raw material of fiber optics is glass, so it is more fragile than copper cable. The optical signal transmitted inside the fiber is easily refracted if excessively bent. It overflows from the fiber cladding, reducing the optical signal’s intensity.

Generally speaking, there are two types of fiber bending: micro bending and macro bending, and the bending radius of macro bending is more significant than that of micro bending.

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At the beginning of the installation, the bend radius could be more apparent because of the small number of patch cords initially routed to the fiber distribution frame. However, as more and more new cables are installed on top of the previous fiber patch cords, problems due to bend radius may follow.

For example, you may find that a fiber cable that has been working fine for a long time has a problem with a sudden increase in attenuation rate or a significantly reduced service life.

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2. The path of the fiber optic

The path of the fiber optic is closely related to the bending radius, which profoundly impacts the jumper’s performance and maintenance. Therefore, the path of each fiber optic should be clearly defined. Improperly routed patch cords can lead to overcrowded termination panels, increasing the risk of excessive bend radii. On the contrary, if the fiber optic patch cord is well managed, the problem of extreme bend radius will not appear everywhere, and you can find a specific fiber optic patch cord more quickly and accurately.

3. Accessibility of fiber optic

The third factor is the availability of installed patch cords. Fiber patch cord maintenance is much quicker if you can easily find installed patch cords and provides the proper bend radius protection. In the network reconfiguration process, accessibility plays a crucial role, directly affecting the reliability of the network and the cost of network reconfiguration.

4. Protection

The patch cords routed between various devices can significantly affect the network’s reliability. If not adequately protected, skilled workers and equipment can easily cause damage to the patch cord. Therefore, physically protecting the installed fiber optic patch cords is very important.

Fiber optic management method

According to the above factors affecting the performance and maintenance of fiber optic, we can draw the following 6 methods to improve the flexibility and reliability of fiber optic management:

1. Pay attention to the bending radius of the patch cord. Generally speaking, the bending radius of the fiber patch cord with a diameter of 1.6mm and 3.0mm cannot be less than 3.5cm, while the bending radius of the MPO patch cable can‘t be less than 10 times its diameter.

  1. Do not pull or squeeze the fiber optic. When installing a fiber optic, excessive force may put pressure on the fiber optic jumper and the connectors at both ends, thereby affecting its performance. If you need to use a lot of force to pull a patch cord, there may be some problems in the middle.
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  1. Arrange the fiber optic according to the path of the fiber jumper. This patch cord can be reused if the existing fiber optic length is suitable for the current application. However, you still need to remove this patch cord from the fiber distribution frame and reinstall the jumper according to the new path. This is the only way to guarantee that the patch cord will not kink, bend or stretch.

To efficiently route the patch cords, it is necessary to find a suitable path for the patch cords between the two ports while avoiding the cables being tangled and crowded.

  1. Managing patch cords in bundles or ties can make the panel look neat, but if the patch cords are bundled or tied too tightly, it will increase the risk of over-extrusion. To avoid this problem, it can be adequately “untied” to make the fiber jumper move freely.
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  1. Labeling is a very necessary job and one of the most critical jobs of network system administrators. Proper labeling is essential at any point of management of the network cabling infrastructure, including patch panels, so network technicians can pinpoint precisely where fiber optic cables start and end.
  2. Check the fiber optic for physical damage, including indentation and connector damage caused by sudden bending of the sheath.
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Strengthening the management of fiber optics can increase the reliability and flexibility of the fiber optic network system and reduce the operation and maintenance costs of the fiber optic network. The bending radius of the fiber optic, the path of the fiber jumper, availability, and physical protection are the main factors affecting the management of the fiber jumper. It will be fine if these four points can be met in the fiber jumper management. That’s half the battle.

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