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Fibre repairs are generally sort due to a mechanical damage to a fibre cable.
This can be attributed by a mechanical digger like an excavator, a Dingo trencher or by an Auger drill used in fencing. These machines dig up or strike a conduit that has a fibre optic cable in it, damaging the fibre cable resulting in a loss of signal or transmission. Sometimes the cable strike can be close to the people effected, sometimes it can be hundreds of kilometres away.
Locating a damaged fibre cable within a building or between multiple buildings is done by first investigating the cable ends where the termination and FOBOT’S (Fibre Optic Break Out Tray) are installed. Visual inspecting patch leads and internal connectors easy a quick first step as sometimes it may just be a broken or disconnected patch cord or even rodent damage. If nothing is found here a visual LED light can be connected to see if any light escapes within the FOBOT. If nothing is found then an OTDR is connected to each end of the problem fibre and the results will provide where the break is located.
Fixing high loss joints can be done by resplicing the fibre cable and by removing the cause of the high pressure point. Sometimes it can be a rock pressing against a cable or a cable tie that it done up too tight, a tight bending radius, incorrect joint enclosure assembly or a splice protector pinching the fibre. Only after retesting will you be able to determine if the remedy has fixed the problem.
A high percentage of fibre optic faults are found in or near the FOBOT. This is where all the fibres are terminated, and the exposed end faces of the connectors are. Sometimes it can be as simple as dust on unprotected connectors which can be fixed by cleaning the connector or broken splicers which need to be re terminated. We have even seen rodents chew through the fibres inside FOBOTS.
When assembling FOBOTS its important to retain the Fibre Cable correctly. If not done so the cable can twist inside and sever the fibres. Additional care must be taken when using sliding tray FOBOTS as there is addition movement and stress to the cables.