Fibre Optic Cable
Testing and Repair Services
Fibre optic cabling is often the backbone of most high-performing networks, both large and small. With network speeds increasing, so too has the demand for fibre optic cabling. Unlike copper cabling, fibre optic cable faults require the attention of experienced Engineers with specialist equipment.
With fibre optic cables providing the backbone to most networks, Redbeard IT understands the urgency to provide fibre optic testing and repair services with emergency callouts around the clock.
Fibre Optic Testing Services and repair
We have three ways in which we can test your fibre cable. The combination of tests used is dependent on each unique situation. The first is a simple light test that uses a Visual Fault Finder. This test is done by shining a laser at one end of the fibre and then checking to see if the light appears bright at the other end. The second method is an OLTS (Optical Loss Test State) test which is simply an overall-loss test. This will test how much power (measured in dB) is lost from one end of the cable to the other. Although this test is accurate and in-depth, it will not give an explanation as to why there might be any major losses. The third method is the most technical and involves using an OTDR (Optical Time Domain Reflectometer) fibre tester to conduct an event-loss test. Unlike the overall-loss test, this will indicate what the fault is and where it is located. Causes could be end-face contamination, poor fibre splices, micro bends or even breaks.
At Redbeard IT we understand that sometimes fibre faults cannot wait. That’s why we provide a round the clock emergency fibre repair service. We can quickly identify and repair fibre faults using our testing equipment. Get in touch and find out more
85% of faults found in a new fibre cable installation are caused by end-face contamination. An end-face can be any breakout or connection in a fibre and it can also be a fibre patch lead connection to active equipment.
At Redbeard IT, we provide an end-face fibre optic testing service. A microscope is connected to the end of the fibre to capture images and assess the end-face. This test results in either a ‘pass’ or a ‘fail’, with the image provided as proof of any contamination. (A fail could be caused by of dust, fingerprints, oil and scratches.) In the instance that the test fails, we would clean the fibre and perform a retest but if the damage is too severe and fails once more, we would advise that the fibre requires repairing.
Test results are provided to you in a PDF format.
High loss Splices and connectors
Not all spicing is of equal quality! This is partly because fibre is spliced in many different environments; indoors or outside, in a clean-room or in a dusty loft, in a humid space or in extremely dry conditions, and so on.
The act of splicing involves the precise ‘fusing’ of two pieces of fibre cable. If the splice is not done correctly, this can create a high-loss event on a network. Redbeard IT provides an OTDR testing service to identify insertion-loss and return-loss events. The OTDR test provides a pass/fail result on all connectors and splices on a network. Test results are provided in a PDF format.
Fibre optic Breaks and Repairs
One of the most catastrophic events that can bring an entire network down is a broken fibre. Broken fibre can be caused by rodent damage, excavation works, building works and so on. A repair is always needed but without the right tester, it’s guesswork where the break is located.
We use an OTDR tester to accurately pinpoint breaks along a fibre and then we repair the fibre by fusion splicing each strand back together with care and precision. Once complete, we then retest the fibre cable to ensure that all faults are properly repaired and result in a ‘pass’.