5 Steps FTTH Fast Connector Installation, and Comparison With Fusion Splicing Method

2021-09-16

The FTTH (Fiber To The Home) has greatly improve our internet experience. But how the FTTH cable is terminated before entering households? To connect the two fiber optic cables together, a popular method nowadays is using an fiber fusion splicing machine. This is because the optical fiber is made of quartz, we can’t just tie it directly like a copper conductor wire.

But a professional equipment like fiber fusion splicer is normally expensive and not something we always have in our hands. Is there any other way to fix network quickly? Yes, we can use the FTTH fast connector installation, which is also known as the mechanical splicing method.

Mechanical Splicing Method

A normal FTTH cable is usually consist of 1-2 core of fibre and 2 or 3 steel wires beside them. The main function of steel wire on both sides is to protect the optical fiber in the middle. Because the optical fiber is very brittle and easy to break, it needs protection of steel wires.

aerial drop cable ftth indoor outdoor optical cable with 2 FRP strength member

ftth drop cable self supporting bow type fiber optic cable with steel wire

ftth cable bow type drop cable 2 core distribution cable

The so-called mechanical connection is to strip and cut the optical fiber, align it with the fast connector and fix it. The fiber optic fast connector is more convenient, and there is no need to bring a heavy fusion splice machine all day along.

FTTH Fast Connector Installation

The mechanical connection of optical fiber in FTTH network mainly includes five steps: stripping, cleaning, cutting, fast connector connection and testing.

1. Stripping

Unscrew the fast connector sub tail pipe, and then thread the optical fiber into the tail pipe. Peel off the PVC layer of FTTH cable with a stripper and cut off the stiffener at the same time. Then remove the coating with the smallest aperture of the optical fiber stripper

2. Cleaning

Clean the bare fiber with a non-woven cloth dipped in anhydrous alcohol

3. Cutting

Cut the optical fiber clamp together and the optical fiber with the fiber optic cutter

4. Fast connector

Thread the optical fiber into the fast connector body

5. Testing

Use the optical fiber test pen to test the conduction state

Considerations

This fast connector connection of optical fiber seems simple, but it is also a technical activity which many precautions in the installation process need to be taken into consideration.

All links shall be kept clean during the whole installation process of the fiber optic fast connector

Ensure the quality of optical fiber cutting end face on site

The close fitting between the two end faces of the field optical fiber and the embedded optical fiber is the key to a successful termination

The length of the optical fiber cut on site shall be accurate. If the length of the optical fiber on site is not enough and does not contact with the short optical fiber pre-ground from fiber cable factory, there will be a gap between the end faces and increase the termination optical loss.

The optical fiber shall be threaded in place and bent reasonably, providing adhesion force between the two ends to ensure the end face contact. And the excessive end face pressure caused by the long optical fiber shall be avoided, because it will damage the end face of the optical fiber.

Mechanical Splicing Vs. Fusion Splicing

Mechanical Splicing

There is no need for too many equipment, but each contact needs a fiber optic fast connector. The advantages are easy to operate and suitable for field operation. The disadvantages are large loss (about 0.2 to 0.5dB at each point). It is not a choice in business and technical services. Secondly, the matching liquid is used in the fast connector. Due to less use and short time, the problem of aging needs the test of time.

Fusion Splicing

Optical fiber fusion splicing machine and optical fiber cutter can be used to connect the two optical fibers without other auxiliary materials. The advantages of a fusion splice are stable quality and small connection optical loss (about 0.05 to 0.08dB). The disadvantages are high equipment cost, limited power storage capacity of equipment and limited field operation. In short, the welding quality is good and the attenuation is low, but the operation is troublesome and the welding machine is needed.

Summary

The cost of single fast connector is much higher than that of fusion splicing.

The fast connector connection tools are easy to carry, while the fiber optic fusion splicing machine needs to be carried with heavy load and inconvenient.

The optical loss after fusion splice is low, and the loss of fast connector connected optical fiber connector is relatively large.

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