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Fiber Optic Solutions

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Fiber Patch Cords have a widely application. Where the need for the optical fiber connection, where you need fiber optic patch cords.

  • Testing Equipment


  • Optical Fiber CATV

  • Optical Communication System

  • Telecommunication

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Patch Cord Knowledge


OM3 patch cord and handheld variable attentuator


LC patch cord and patch panel

Best Practice for Fiber Cabling


The principles of good management for fiber cords are similar to those for copper. However, there are special considerations with optical fiber, and extra care is needed in some areas.


  1. Planning


Administration activities (MAC’s) are initiated with a change request. The change request must contain all necessary information to begin the planning process. (See General Management section below)


Searching the Records


Once a request form is received, search the records to be sure of the circuit path. The floor plans provided by the system designer should show backbone/riser cables, TRs/FDs and lOs. Any changes or additions made since your cabling infrastructure was installed should also have been documented. If the records are stored in a database, a different screen can be displayed for each user. This screen should supply you with the information you need, including the riser and horizontal fiber pairs serving the particular WAO and the locations of available fiber.


Check Design Guidelines and Match Cords


Make sure you know the specifications and design of your fiber cabling. Ensure you have patch cords matched to the installed cabling, since optical fiber cords of different types should not be mixed.


Efficient Routing 


The first step in choosing a cord of the correct length is to determine the best route between its points of connection.

This is usually the shortest route through horizontal and vertical cable pathways that does not obstruct or interfere with other cords and connectors on the panel. Avoid running cords through cable pathways that are already congested.


Vertical and Horizontal Sizing


Having established the best route for the cord, find the required length by adding the horizontal and vertical distances.


Minimizing Slack


When selecting a cord to make a cross connection, avoid excessive slack and provide a neat appearance.

Tight cords will pull on connectors and too much slack complicates cord management, making the panel more difficult to work on.


Efficient Management 


Ensure you have cords of the right length available and that panels are fitted with correct cable management accessories.

In general, a horizontal patch cord management guide is needed for every two rack units, depending on the type of optical patch panel or lightguide interconnect unit (LIU).

At the optical patch panel or LIU, route patch cords equally toward both sides of the vertical cable management channels to prevent overloading one side.


Maintaining Old with New


Take care not to mix up cords of different core diameters. Additionally, cords must be of the same or higher bandwidth as the behind-the-wall cabling. System performance regarding distances cannot be guaranteed if lower rated patch cords are used. Color-coding of connectors for different fiber standards make it easy to avoid confusion.


Core Diameter


Fiber patch cords must use the same core diameter as the trunk cable. A large attenuation penalty will occur when using a 62.5µm patch cord with a 50µm trunk cable fiber or vice versa. Single mode fiber patch cords should use fiber with the same Mode Field Diameter as the trunk cable fiber.


Factory-terminated vs. Field-polished


Factory-terminated cords guarantee fiber patches with optimum performance. Field polished cords are not covered by warranties and are likely to deliver lower performance and variable quality.


Fiber Safety Precautions and Responsibilities


The lasers that carry information through fiber cables may cause irreparable damage to the retina. Always avoid looking directly into an energized optical fiber, and never attach a microscope or other magnifying device to an energized optical fiber. Always wear appropriate eye protection and ensure that unused ports are covered.


  1. Preparation


To minimize disconnect time, do as much preparation as possible before performing administration activities.


Study Administrative Records


Locate the ports that must be connected or reconnected. Ensure technicians have clear information on what they need to do, including labeling information for the ports involved.


Cord Inspection


It is essential to ensure cords are of the right type and quality, and that they are clean and in good condition.

Fiber patch cords should be inspected for physical damage including:


•       stress marks from bending on the sheath

•       pullout of fibers from the connector

•       cracks or scratches on fiber end in connector using a fiber examination microscope


Cleanliness is vital in fiber optic connections so special care is needed with:

•       connector ends on patch cords

•       connector ends on panels

•       connector ends on network equipment


For detailed information on how to clean ST, SC, LC and MPO connectors see APPENDIX A. Materials that will be needed include:

•       cassettes for connector ends

•       lint-free wipes

•       cleaning stick for behind the wall (BTW) MPOs


  1. Patching


Once work on a panel is started, it should be completed without delay using best practice at each stage.


Cord Handling


Kinks, snags, pinches and poor contacts can dramatically reduce the performance of a fiber patch cord. The following factors are important in avoiding these problems.




Bend Radius


The minimum bend radius for optical fiber patch cords varies with cord diameter. For 1.6 mm and 3.0 mm cords the minimum un-loaded bend radius is 1.4 in (3.5 cm), and for InstaPATCH plus MPO patch cords, the minimum bend radius is ten times the cord diameter. Exceeding the bend radius can result in significant additional loss and adverse impact on channel performance.


Cord Pulling and Stress


Be careful not to use excessive force during the patching process. This can stress cords and connectors, reducing their performance. If you need to use force in pulling a cord, something is wrong. Find the problem and fix it before proceeding.




Bundling and tying cords gives the panel a neat appearance but tight bundling increases the risk of pinching. Do not tighten ties beyond the point where individual cords can rotate freely. Use only products manufactured for this purpose, and consider the use of products that can be re-used without the use of tools such as “hook and loop” strapping.


Routing Cords Through Cable Pathways

If the existing cord is the right length, it may be possible to re-use it. If this is the case, remove the cord completely and re-run it in through the cable pathways. This is the only sure way to ensure there are no tangles, kinks or strains in the cord.


Steps in Removing and Adding Cords


Removing a patch cord


1. Locate the existing circuit on both fields of the TR/FD or equipment room (ER)

2. Unplug the patch cord at one end and cover the connector end face(s) with a dust cap

3. Cover the open port with a dust cover - some adapter ports have spring-loaded covers that automatically cover the port

4. Gently lift the cord straight up, taking up slack until its movement is detected

5. Follow the cord routing, gently removing it along its length from the cable pathways

6. Find the other end and unplug it

7. Fully remove the cord


Adding a patch cord


1. Identify the location of the new circuit

2. Plug one end of the patch cord into the fiber coupling

3. Route the patch cord

4. At the field nearest to the switch and/or computer port field, locate the new connecting point

5. Plug the other end of the patch cord into the fiber coupling


  1. Validation


Final Visual Inspection and Panel Closure


Patching must be right first time since mistakes can cause costly disruption and re-work. The time taken to make a final visual check on connections is a good investment. When patch panels are mounted in enclosures, ensure these are securely closed and, where necessary, locked, making sure that cord slack is not snagged or pinched by the doors.


Update Documentation


The final step is to update the documentation to the as-built configuration and close the work order associated with the completed change request.


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