Quality fiber cables and connectors are vital for a first-class fiber optic network. However, we can’t stress enough the importance of investing in the right network equipment to limit strain on your fiber and network signal.
This is the 19th in an Amphenol Telect blog series, entitled The ABCs of Cable Management. Product Manager Peter Adams describes how putting strain on your fiber cables can cause damage and hurt your network performance.
When your network techs need to perform routine maintenance, they must have streamlined access to each fiber. If not, they run the risk of grabbing the wrong fiber or putting too much strain on your cables and damaging the glass.
That’s when you start to lose confidence in the reliability of your network components.
Fiber optic cable manufacturers install strength members and protective boots for a reason.
To protect your fiber.
The strength members are designed to prevent unwanted elongation when installing or routing your IFC or OSP cable, while the boots on the individual connectors provide a little extra support to keep the fibers from developing micro bends from shock or sag.
In best practice, you should never pull your fiber by the jacket. Pulling on the jacket of the cable will put unnecessary stress on the fibers and, over time, will cause micro and macrobends in the glass.
Your hardware design can also be a culprit for damaging fiber. Your fiber distribution panels and other network equipment may not be designed to properly limit stress on your fiber cables.
Some common fiber issues in the field include:
Even if you’re physically handling your fiber cables with care, you need to assess the design of the equipment being used to ensure your network stays running smoothly.
Proper cable management is essential for keeping your fiber network operating at peak performance. Network maintenance becomes more efficient when your cable is clearly routed and when your network techs have easy access to individual fibers.
Limiting strain on fiber is a pillar of the design of any product from Amphenol Telect. With the C2LINX optical distribution platform, we went the extra mile to ensure your fiber is protected against excessive tension, snags or bend radius violations.
When you open and close the C2LINX trays, your fiber cable is safely guided by our patented HD Links. Each tray of the panel has articulating links that rotate independently of each other.
The HD Links, on the side of each C2LINX chassis, allow your fiber to be safely guided from the vertical cable managers into the modules within the chassis, preventing your cables from being overly strained.
Each time you pull the trays in or out, the links swivel as the fiber slides under the microtabs, keeping your fiber from tangling up and getting snagged on doors or trays. In the C2LINX chassis, the fiber is routed out of the tray and toward the side of the panel to ensure your cable doesn’t get pinched or broken by the sliding movement.
When cable management isn’t a priority, micro and macrobends are more likely to happen, resulting in the damage of your fiber and, ultimately, network performance issues and necessary replacement.
Protect your investment by protecting your cable.
Our engineering team at Amphenol Telect designs each product to safely manage your fiber and simplify maintenance, making it easier to future-proof your network for the hyperscale environment.
Peter Adams is a Product Manager at Amphenol Telect. He joined the company in Summer 2017 and is eager to learn all he can about the fiber optic network industry.
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