Pulling Fiber Optic Cable – Tips and How To Advice

by http://www.fiber-mart.com

Pulling fiber optic cable takes a lot of preparation. Without the right tools and knowledge, you can have a big mess on your hands.We’ll go over some of the common steps to get you ready to make the pull.
1) Measure twice cut once:
First and foremost, get the correct measurement. An easy way to do this would be to fish some pull string through your conduit. Make sure to follow the exact path the fiber will take, end to end. Once your string is all the way through, attach a heavier rope to the end, pull it all the way back and measure your string. Leave the rope in place, you will be using this to pull your fiber through later. (Tip: Always add at least 15ft to the final number. It may cost a little more, but can save you a lot of time and headache if you come up a few feet short. It is also a lot easier to work with the cable if you have some slack, vs a cable that barely reaches).
2) Plan your Run:
Buildings- Although it is not necessary to run the fiber through innerduct, many people prefer this to keep it clean and professional looking. If you prefer not to use innerduct, try to keep your pulls as straight as possible. Pulling diagonal is OK, but it will make for a neater appearance if your fiber is running parallel. Get it done right the first time. If someone is unhappy with the appearance, it will take much longer to correct, or re-pull the fiber. (Tip: Never pull around corners, even if you have a helper. You should always pull out the excess fiber to the corner, laying it down in a figure 8 pattern as your doing it. Then flip the whole bundle over and continue to pull on the other side).
Conduits- It is important to plan ahead, especially if your planning on pulling the fiber through underground conduit. Just like measuring the fiber, it’s very important to get this done right the first time. A general rule of thumb is to use a 1.5″ to 2″ conduit for the fiber pull. If your running long distances, or using a thick armored fiber, you may want to increase the size to 4″. It may also be a good idea to plan ahead and install a second conduit if you plan on future expansion. (Tip: Minimize the number of bends in your run. The fewer bends there are, the easier the pull will go. If you can’t get around it, install junction boxes. Also make sure to protect the fiber by putting plastic bushings on the end of the conduit).
3) Which Jacket is Right?
Outdoor – Outdoor fiber is used for all outdoor applications (except direct burial). It is flooded with a water resistant gel, which means it can be run in buried conduit. But that also means there is a 50ft limit to being run indoors due to Fire and Safety codes. For direct burial applications, we suggest you use an armored fiber. If you need to suspend the fiber for arial applications, you can buy the fiber with a messenger attached, or buy it separately and and attach it yourself.
Indoor – For indoor applications, you need to use a Plenum rated fiber. Plenum fiber complies with all Fire and Safety codes.
Indoor/Outdoor – For applications you need to run the fiber indoors and outdoors, you should use an indoor/outdoor rated fiber. This fiber can be run in underground conduit, and doesn’t have the 50ft limitation for indoor use. A great all around fiber.
4) Pulling the Fiber:
Communication is Key
Pulling fiber almost always requires at least 2 people, so communication is very important. Most fiber runs are a few hundred feet or more, so yelling back and forth isn’t an option. What to do? Walkie Talkies can be a great way to keep in touch with the guy at the other end of the cable. Get some with wrist straps or a belt clip so you don’t have to constantly pick it up off the ground.
Lube it Up
Make sure you properly lube the fiber during the entire run. You will want to start off with a generous coat on the pulling eye and mesh. It would be a good idea to stop from time to time and apply more lube to the fiber as you pull. Always use lubricant that is designed for cable pulling, not just anything off the shelf. If you use the wrong type of lube, it may damage the jacket of your fiber, or other cables around it. It can also clog up the conduit once it dries. Cable pulling lube is designed to resist freezing and clogging.
Use the Right Rope
We recommend using a 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick pull rope, not pull string. You want to minimize the amount of stretching during your pull and string isn’t very good at doing that. Stretching can make pulling your fiber very unstable.
Pulling Eye Removal
Never use a knife or blade to remove the pulling eye. This can damage the jacket of the fiber, or worse, the fiber itself. Always use a pair of electrician scissors.
Stay up to Code
Honesty is the best policy. The NEC requires that cables used in premises, both commercial and residential, be “listed for the purpose” by a Nationally Recognized Test Laboratory (NRTL, pronounced “nurtle”).Always obey all fire and building codes. Never try to cheat the system just to save a buck, especially when peoples lives are at risk. If plenum rated fiber is required, use plenum rated fiber. It’s the right thing to do.
5) Pre-Terminated Fiber Optic Cable
The greatest thing to happen since sliced bread. Pre-terminated fiber optic cable assemblies save you time and headache. No need for expensive tools. No need for testing. Our pre-terminated fiber comes to you on a wooden spool, with the connectors already assembled on the fiber. We have the connectors staggered by 1/2″ to make it easier to pull through conduit or innerduct. The pulling eye is very strong and wont break on you. Test results are included. It doesn’t get any easier than this.
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Pulling Fiber Optic Cable – Tips and How To Advice

by http://www.fiber-mart.com

Pulling fiber optic cable takes a lot of preparation. Without the right tools and knowledge, you can have a big mess on your hands.We’ll go over some of the common steps to get you ready to make the pull.
1) Measure twice cut once:
First and foremost, get the correct measurement. An easy way to do this would be to fish some pull string through your conduit. Make sure to follow the exact path the fiber will take, end to end. Once your string is all the way through, attach a heavier rope to the end, pull it all the way back and measure your string. Leave the rope in place, you will be using this to pull your fiber through later. (Tip: Always add at least 15ft to the final number. It may cost a little more, but can save you a lot of time and headache if you come up a few feet short. It is also a lot easier to work with the cable if you have some slack, vs a cable that barely reaches).
2) Plan your Run:
Buildings- Although it is not necessary to run the fiber through innerduct, many people prefer this to keep it clean and professional looking. If you prefer not to use innerduct, try to keep your pulls as straight as possible. Pulling diagonal is OK, but it will make for a neater appearance if your fiber is running parallel. Get it done right the first time. If someone is unhappy with the appearance, it will take much longer to correct, or re-pull the fiber. (Tip: Never pull around corners, even if you have a helper. You should always pull out the excess fiber to the corner, laying it down in a figure 8 pattern as your doing it. Then flip the whole bundle over and continue to pull on the other side).
Conduits- It is important to plan ahead, especially if your planning on pulling the fiber through underground conduit. Just like measuring the fiber, it’s very important to get this done right the first time. A general rule of thumb is to use a 1.5″ to 2″ conduit for the fiber pull. If your running long distances, or using a thick armored fiber, you may want to increase the size to 4″. It may also be a good idea to plan ahead and install a second conduit if you plan on future expansion. (Tip: Minimize the number of bends in your run. The fewer bends there are, the easier the pull will go. If you can’t get around it, install junction boxes. Also make sure to protect the fiber by putting plastic bushings on the end of the conduit).
3) Which Jacket is Right?
Outdoor – Outdoor fiber is used for all outdoor applications (except direct burial). It is flooded with a water resistant gel, which means it can be run in buried conduit. But that also means there is a 50ft limit to being run indoors due to Fire and Safety codes. For direct burial applications, we suggest you use an armored fiber. If you need to suspend the fiber for arial applications, you can buy the fiber with a messenger attached, or buy it separately and and attach it yourself.
Indoor – For indoor applications, you need to use a Plenum rated fiber. Plenum fiber complies with all Fire and Safety codes.
Indoor/Outdoor – For applications you need to run the fiber indoors and outdoors, you should use an indoor/outdoor rated fiber. This fiber can be run in underground conduit, and doesn’t have the 50ft limitation for indoor use. A great all around fiber.
4) Pulling the Fiber:
Communication is Key
Pulling fiber almost always requires at least 2 people, so communication is very important. Most fiber runs are a few hundred feet or more, so yelling back and forth isn’t an option. What to do? Walkie Talkies can be a great way to keep in touch with the guy at the other end of the cable. Get some with wrist straps or a belt clip so you don’t have to constantly pick it up off the ground.
Lube it Up
Make sure you properly lube the fiber during the entire run. You will want to start off with a generous coat on the pulling eye and mesh. It would be a good idea to stop from time to time and apply more lube to the fiber as you pull. Always use lubricant that is designed for cable pulling, not just anything off the shelf. If you use the wrong type of lube, it may damage the jacket of your fiber, or other cables around it. It can also clog up the conduit once it dries. Cable pulling lube is designed to resist freezing and clogging.
 Use the Right Rope
We recommend using a 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick pull rope, not pull string. You want to minimize the amount of stretching during your pull and string isn’t very good at doing that. Stretching can make pulling your fiber very unstable.
Pulling Eye Removal
Never use a knife or blade to remove the pulling eye. This can damage the jacket of the fiber, or worse, the fiber itself. Always use a pair of electrician scissors.
Stay up to Code
Honesty is the best policy. The NEC requires that cables used in premises, both commercial and residential, be “listed for the purpose” by a Nationally Recognized Test Laboratory (NRTL, pronounced “nurtle”).Always obey all fire and building codes. Never try to cheat the system just to save a buck, especially when peoples lives are at risk. If plenum rated fiber is required, use plenum rated fiber. It’s the right thing to do.
5) Pre-Terminated Fiber Optic Cable
The greatest thing to happen since sliced bread. Pre-terminated fiber optic cable assemblies save you time and headache. No need for expensive tools. No need for testing. Our pre-terminated fiber comes to you on a wooden spool, with the connectors already assembled on the fiber. We have the connectors staggered by 1/2″ to make it easier to pull through conduit or innerduct. The pulling eye is very strong and wont break on you. Test results are included. It doesn’t get any easier than this.

A few fiber optic cable networking terms

by http://www.fiber-mart.com

Mystified by fiber optic cable terminology?
fiber optic cable We try our best to avoid industry jargon. There are certain concepts, though, where jargon is the only concise way to say a thing. “Fiber blowing,” for example, beats “shoot air down a tube to reduce friction such that a fiber optic cable can be pushed as opposed to pulled through the conduit, lessening the risk of damage.”
We’ll continue to avoid jargon. That said, if your interest in the building out of a fiber network goes beyond “when will it be in my neighborhood?” there are a few terms and concepts it would be beneficial to understand.
Central office
The central office or CO is where the fiber switching smarts live and where all network traffic is sent to and received from the larger Internet and routed. If you’ve ever seen a server room, it looks a lot like that; thousands of wires and fiber strands coming into the structure and getting connected to high tech equipment, mounted in tall metal racks.
If you’ve never seen a server room, think about your home’s main electrical panel. A centralized unit routing power behind the walls, all over your house so that you can flip a switch and have light without even thinking about it.
fiber optic cable conduit
Conduit
Conduit is the rigid tubing that we place underground to house and protect the individual fiber strands that make up the network. Many smaller conduit tubes (called “micro ducts”) can live within a larger orange conduit. The configuration is determined by capacity needs.
Directional boring
Directional boring uses a steerable horizontal drill that creates a small, conveniently conduit-sized tunnel under obstacles like roads and utilities. Once the tunnel is in place, conduit can be pulled back through.
Tracer line
To ensure conduit can be located underground again, either by Ting, by the city or by a utility, a copper tracer line is placed along with the conduit. This line easily be found by any locate crew.
fiber optic cable
Locate / locates
There’s a lot of infrastructure underground. Water lines, sewer lines, gas lines, all kinds of stuff. We need to get an accurate map of what’s already there before we do any underground work at all. Finding and marking these utilities is called (appropriately enough) locating. We need to get these utility locates completed before we can do anything at all underground. Locates need to be done by the utilities themselves, by the city or by specialist companies. They can be a bottleneck in the process.
Stitch boring
Where directional boring uses a horizontal drill over long distances, stitch boring uses an autonomous pneumatic missle. Stitch boring is an effective across short distances, which is how we use it. Where the directional bore can go under a wide road, a stitch bore is more suitable for going under a driveway.
Handhole
A handhole is basically a small pit that’s dug to give access below ground. Directional boring and stitch boring both require a handhole be dug. Wherever possible, we dig handholes where a flower pot will be placed to minimize disruption.
Flowerpot
Flower pot is an industry term for a buried access hatch. Many utilities use flower pots. They’re so common you may have ceased to notice them. A flower pot gives us access to the conduit that’s underground. A flower pot is where our network team makes the splices the individual fiber that runs up to a home or business to bring crazy fast fiber Internet.
Fiber is glass and so joining multiple strands together isn’t as simple as twisting them together like you would a copper wire. Instead, a specialized piece of equipment called a splicer is required. A splicer takes two pieces of fiber and fuses them together with a tiny and very nearly optically perfect laser weld.
fiber optic cable
Splice dome
The Splice Dome is where fiber technicians face off gladiator style to test their fiber splicing skills. Only one technician, the victor, emerges from the Splice Dome.
In network terms, a splice dome is where fiber branches out in multiple directions to allow for individual connections off the main trunk of fiber. Numerous splices are completed and the splice dome consolidates and protects these connections.
Fiber pulling
With conduit in the ground, the smaller fiber optic cables can be routed. Using a line fish and piece of highly specialized equipment called a “rope,” (in the industry parlance) these fiber cables are physically pulled into and through the existing underground conduit.
Fiber pulling is effective over short distances only. Attempting to pull fiber over long distances is difficult and can even put strain on the cables themselves.
Fiber blowing
Fiber blowing is a technique that allows fiber optic cable to be sent through the underground conduit while greatly reducing any risk of damage. Rather than being pulled, fiber is pushed. “Blowing” refers to air that is sent through the underground conduit to lessen friction. Wheels on the fiber blowing machine also help to push the fiber optic cable forward.

How to Store Fiber Optic Cable

by http://www.fiber-mart.com

Cutting and splicing fiber optic cable takes a lot of time, interrupts service to downstream customers and, therefore, needs to be avoided. One way to avoid splicing is to include extra fiber cable in places along the lines, in case the company needs to change out a pole or make a road crossing.
ETC Communications (ETC) in Ellijay, GA is a family owned company that has been in business for over 100 years. ETC uses fiber optic cable to provide telephone, cable TV, and high-speed Internet to about 17,000 customers in northern Georgia and southeastern Tennessee. They typically include 25 to 50 feet of spare cable approximately every fifth span. The question is…
HOW TO STORE THE EXTRA CABLE?
Option 1: Coiling
Extra cable can be coiled and attached to the pole. However, coiling can cause light loss. In a fiber optic cable, information is transmitted by light that travels through the glass fibers in the cable. Some light is lost when the cable is bent, especially when it is cold. “It does get cold here about four or five times a year,” says  Van Powell, Construction Manager for ETC,  “and when I say cold, I mean below 10°F. When it got below 18°F, we used to have excessive light loss in our long cable runs with lots of coils.” In addition to possible attenuation, coils stored on utility poles take up space and can be damaged by linemen climbing the pole.
Option 2: “Snowshoes”
ETC uses “snowshoe” storage systems to store extra fiber on the line. Snowshoes allow for the slack to be stored out in the span, reducing likelihood of damage while eliminating additional charges for using pole space. ETC’s storage systems have a turning diameter of about 20 inches. Two units are installed at an appropriate distance and the cable is stretched between them. This greatly reduces the number of turns–from hundreds to two and solves the problem of light loss.
The Opti-Loop® Storage System Advantage
ETC has been using products from a couple of different vendors, and last fall, they gave the Hubbell Power Systems, Inc. (HPS) Opti-Loop®  storage systems a try. Powell explains, “There are probably 15 or 20 different companies that make similar systems and we’ve used different kinds in the past. Last year, Phil Peppers, ProCom Sales, brought us five sets of the Opti-Loop storage systems to try them. We put them up, and we like them.” While fiber optic snowshoes, in general, solve the problem, the Opti-Loop storage systems have an advantage: they are very easy to install. “There is a twisted aluminum support wire on the poles. That is what holds up the fiber optic cable. We bring in a bucket truck and attach each snowshoe to that cable with a bolt and clamp. The fiber optic cable is attached to the snowshoes with zip ties and along the support wire with lashers (little coils). It only takes about 15 minutes to mount the pair of snowshoes. The prices for the Opti-Loop storage system is competitive and they are easy and fast to install,” concludes Powell.

When to Use Fiber Optic Cable?

by http://www.fiber-mart.com

As fiber optic cable has become more affordable and data rates are growing, many project managers and IT professionals are starting to ask, “When should I use fiber optic cable?”
What type of project is it?
While working on a project its important to decipher whether it’s a new or current renovation of a system already in place. If there is already copper in place, it may make the most sense to just update the copper components. But, depending on the length of the cable being run and the users, it could be more beneficial and cost effective to install fiber optic cable instead. Check out this blog post comparing the advantages of fiber optic cable over traditional copper.
Although it’s important to abide by building code regulations, like the National Electric Code (NEC), its also important to evaluate the space in the which the project is taking place and the people that will be using it. If they’ll be using it long-term and updating often, fiber optics might be the proper investment to use.
Who will the users be? What will they be doing?
Many large structures like university campuses, hotels and casinos are beginning to use fiber optic cables to support their number of employees and guests, number of devices and the amount of data that is being transferred across the facilities network.
With the growing rate of data, cloud services, videos, remote staff, videoconferencing, copper cable systems can only handle so much so quickly. Large facilities are now seeing the growing need for fiber optics to handle the data being transferred.
Have you conducted a building survey?
Important things to consider when looking to install fiber optic cable are:
What will the fiber be used for?
Will it all be inside or does it need to run between buildings?
Is there a lot of foot traffic and potential users?
Is wireless needed?
Do any areas need special attention?
How many connections are needed?
Because fiber can eliminate cross-talk and run greater distances than copper cable, answering these questions when working on a project can allow you to decide if copper or fiber will be needed.
What is Needed for the Future?
The fiber optic cable bandwidth will always be superior to copper cable systems. No matter how many new devices, data, etc, fiber will always be able to hold the proper connection. Understanding the space will be used in the future can show you what type of cable is needed.

Fiber Optic Cable Basics- Cable Construction

by http://www.fiber-mart.com

Fiber optic cable has the ability to provide any business with safe, fast installations with higher bandwidth frequencies. In order to understand what fiber optic cable can do for your business or home, it’s important to understand the basic construction.
Fiber optic cables are design is consisted of: core, cladding, coating and jacket.Core- this is the very center of the cable and the light is guided down through by light transmission. The core is a single strand of glass that is measured in microns (µm). The larger the core, the more light the cable can carry.
Sizes of the core:
8μm (8.3 or 9μm) Single Mode
50μm – Mulit-mode
62.5μm – Multi-mode
Cladding- this is a thin layer of glass that surrounds the core and serves to contain the light within the core. The cladding has a different index of refraction than the core so the light waves that are re-directed back into the core allow for continuous light transmission within the fiber.
Size of the cladding:
125 µm.
Coating- This surrounds the cladding and acts as a protector for the glass. The coating is normally clear, but for all Outdoor cables the coating is color coded to help identify the individual fibers. This needs to be removed to connect the fiber to the connector or splice.
Size of coating:
250µm
Jacket- the cable jacket works along with the fibers to provide strength, signal integrity and overall protection of the fiber. There a variety of jacket materials that are used in the fiber cable construction. Environmental parameters that need to be considered upon installation are: temperature, chemical reaction, sunlight, mechanical and abrasion resistance.
If you would like to learn more about the benefit to fiber optic cable compared to copper cables, click this link to be transferred to another blog post to view more.
Fiber optic cable can be used for many applications such as: telecommunications, high bandwidth data, video signaling, long distance CCTV, communication between fire alarm panels and much more!

Differences Between Wire and Cable

by http://www.fiber-mart.com

Although wire and cable are referred to as the same thing, they are different with separate characteristics. Both wire and cable are used in the communication and security world, and are designed to carry a message from one point to another. So what are the differences between the two?
Wire:
Wire is a single conductor with one or multiple strands of copper, they are low resistance and cost effective. A wire is the conductor that makes up a component of a cable. They are also measured by their diameter which is commonly referred to as gauge (AWG) size and insulated capacity. They are two types of wires: Solid and Stranded.
Solid wire: Single conductor that can be bare or insulated. This offers low resistance and are best used in higher frequency environments due to the design but are less flexible.
Stranded wire: Composed of numerous wires wrapped together to offer a larger conductor. This offers greater flexibility and higher resistance.
Cable:
A cable is a group of two or more insulated wires all wrapped into one jacket. Unlike wire, cable is designed with a “hot” wire carrying the current, neutral wire and a ground wire. They are classified by the number of wires it composed of and their gauge (AWG) sizes.
Twisted pair cable:
A twisted pair cable is designed with two cables that are twisted together. The twisting helps to eliminate noise which is why it is used to carry signals. Twisted pair cable comes both shielded and unshielded.
Coaxial cable:
A coaxial cable has a single conductor in the center and is surrounded by a braided metal shield. Inside the cable 2 conductors are separated by an insulating dielectric. These cables are harder to install but used for networking devices such as TVs or cameras.
Multi-Conductor cable:
A multi-conductor cable has two or more conductors inside of the jacket, they are insulated from each other, and can come in many variations. They are used to protect signal integrity by reducing noise and cross-talk.
Fiber Optic cable:
A fiber optic cable transmit signals through a bundle of glass threads. Fiber optic cable have a greater bandwidth than traditional copper cable so they are used for areas that receive high amounts of data. Click here to learn the different between copper vs fiber optic cable.