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Fiber Optic Cable and Connector Selection - page 4 / 5

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When using a multichannel connector on a multichannel cable, a backshell must be specified to seal the back of the connector and to secure the strength member of the cable. Backshells also help guide the cable in a particular direction. They are typically straight or angled at 45° or 90°.

9. Select Cable Clamping Method

Improper installation and clamping of fiber optic cables can put microbends into the fiber and add stress to the connectors, which increases the loss throughout the cable. P-clamps are the preferred method of securing cables; however, clips and straps may be used. Cushioning material should always be placed between clips or straps and the fiber to reduce microbending.

Cushioning is sometimes required with P-clamps to provide proper fit between the clamp and the cable. Clamp spacing should prevent cable sag and define the proper routing path.

Other factors that must be considered when routing cables are: minimum bend radius, conduit size, bundle configuration and installation guidelines. Electrical and fiber optic cables should be run separately to minimize stress on the fiber, if possible. Installation guidelines should be created so that accepted installation processes are utilized.

Personnel must be familiar with the proper installation tools and techniques to assure a properly performing system.

10. Select Tools for Inspection, Cleaning and Testing

To properly inspect fiber optic connectors, a 200X microscope should be used. Fiber optic connectors require cleaning before each and every mating to prevent dust from interfering with the connection. Connector cleaning tools are preferred for cleaning connectors; however, alcohol and a non-scratching tissue also work. Visual fault finders send visible light down fibers and are helpful in determining if fibers and connectors are intact.

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