Fiber Cable Pre-installation Procedures

Pre-installation key considerations

  Short notes for fiber project staff series (continued). The following items are key considerations, during the fiber cable pre-installation procedures:

Pre-test with an Optical Time-Domain Reflectometer (OTDR)

FOT OTDR-X000 series

FOT OTDR-X000 series

  1. All optical fiber cables must be tested while on the drum, prior to deployment. A Bullet or Divot Bare Fibre Adapter is to be used to connect fibers to the OTDR.
  2. Testing shall be done on all fiber’s in one direction at 1550nm, using a pulse width of 30ns. Traces must be stored and an electronic copy submitted to the project manager.
    fiber cable installation process

    fiber cable installation process

  3. Should a cable be installed without an OTDR pre-test, the smart money is on the supplier not accepting a return on a faulty cable. This is because a supplier can claim that the installer assumed liability upon installation (i.e. responsible for the damage).

Pre-installation Cable Inspection

  1. Always wear protective gloves and safety boots (with steel toe caps) when handling drums.
  2. Check that the cable specified has been procured.
  3. Inspect the cable drum for signs of excessive weathering and/or damage.
  4. Drums must be transported or stored with their battens intact.
  5. Do not accept delivery of an optical fiber cable should the drum is damaged.
  6. The plastic foil wrap must remain in place until cable placement.
  7. When removing the plastic foil wrap on the cable, do not use sharp tools that could potentially damage the cable jacket.
  8. Ensure that the cable drum bolts are all tightened.
    FOT Fiber Cleaver clear photos

    FOT Fiber Cleaver clear photos

  9. Verify that nails, bolts or screws on the inside surface of drum flanges are counter-sunk to avoid damage to the cable during placement.
  10. Place the cable drum in line with the intended direction of deployment, in order to prevent the cable from rubbing against the reel flange.
  11. Cable ends must always be sealed – using pre-formed or heat shrinkable end caps. Using tape for sealing cable ends is considered unsuitable.
  12. Should the drum be rolled for some reason, always do so following the direction of the arrow.
  13. Drums on site, must be chocked to prevent them from moving or rolling.

Cable pay-off – over the top or from the bottom?

Cable pay-off, top or bottom?

Cable pay-off, top or bottom?

  “Oh, oh, I know”.

  • − Jetting / blowing cable
  • − Hauling cable
  • − Lighting cable
  • − Erecting cable

  As for personal opinions, over the top makes much more sense. However, advocates of from the bottom, when jetting / blowing cable do exist. This simply reinforces our conviction that ultimately, faced with this choice, a Contractor must determine which option is favored by the Client.

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