Fiber Optic Cable, Pigtails, Testing, and Cleaning

Overview

On this page you will find the materials and tools you need to install bulk fiber optic cabling. Our Fiber by the Foot section contains a wide variety of fiber optic cabling that you can get cut to your exact size needed for your installation. We then offer a variety of fusion splicers and fiber optic pigtails to fusion splice on your connectors. It is very important to keep your the  glass clean during this process, so you can find all of our fiber optic cleaning products on this page as well. 


Next you will need the ability to test your new fiber connection, so check in our Fiber Optic Test Instruments for high quality fiber optic testers. You may also need a fiber optic reference kit to test various connector types, which you can find on this page as well. We also offer splice trays, and fiber optic tools and supplies to complete this installation. 

Picture sending signals zipping along from one location to another in the form of light guided through thin fibers of glass or plastic. These signals can be analog or digital - voice, data or video information and fiber can transport more information longer distances in less time than any copper wire.

It's powerful and fast, fast, fast!

First get to know the language - the "jargon" - here's a list of terms you should get to know:

Metric System: Fiber Optics, as a universal technology, utilizes the metric system as the standard form of measurement.
Several of the more common terms:

Meter: 3.28 Feet (3.28084 ft. to be precise).
Kilometer: 1000 meters / 3,281 feet / 0.62 miles.
Micron: 1/1,000,000th of a meter. 25 microns equal 0.001 inch. This is the common term of measurement for fibers.
Nanometer: One billionth of one meter. This term is commonly used in the fiber optics industry to express wavelength or frequency of transmitted light.

Connector: A non-permanent device for connecting two fibers or fibers to equipment where they are expected to be disconnected occasionally for testing or rerouting. It also provides protection to both fibers. (Parts for an ST connector are shown.)

Ferrule: A tube which holds a fiber for alignment, usually part of a connector

Splice: a permanent joint between two fibers

Mechanical Splice: A splice where the fibers are aligned created by mechanical means

Fusion Splice: A splice created by welding or fusing two fibers together

Fusion Splicer: An instrument that splices fibers by fusing or welding them, typically by electrical arc.

Hardware: Terminations and Splices require hardware for protection and management: patch panels, splice closures, etc.

Here's more on terminations.

Jacket Slitter or Stripper: A cutter for removing the heavy outside jacket of cables

Fiber Stripper: A precise stripper used to remove the buffer coating of the fiber itself for termination. There at three types in common use, called by their trade names: "Miller Stripper", "No-Nik" and "Micro Strip."

Cleaver: A tool that precisely "breaks" the fiber to produce a flat end for polishing or splicing.

Scribe: A hard, sharp tool that scratches the fiber to allow cleaving.

Polishing Puck: for connectors that require polishing, the puck holds the connector in proper alignment to the polishing film.

Polishing Film: Fine grit film used to polish the end of the connector ferrule.

Crimper: A tool that crimps the connector to the aramid fibers in the cable to add mechanical strength.

Here is more information on termination.

Optical Power Meter: An instrument that measures optical power from the end of a fiber

Test Source: an instrument that uses a laser or LED to send an optical signal into fiber for testing loss of the fiber

Optical Loss Test Set (OLTS): A measurement instrument for optical loss that includes both a meter and source

Reference Test Cables: short, single fiber cables with connectors on both ends, used to test unknown cables.

Mating Adapter: also called splice bushing or couplers, allow two cables with connectors to mate.

Fiber Tracer: An instrument that allows visual checking of continuity and tracing for correct connections

Visual Fault Locator: A device that allows visual tracing and testing of continuity.

Microscope: used to inspect the end surface of a connector for flaws or dirt

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videos

LANShack Pre-Terminated Fiber Optic Assemblies
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How to Fusion Splice Fiber Optic Cable