When installing video surveillance systems, the quality of the transmitted signal and the bandwidth of the communication line are very important. Therefore, experts choose the installation of fiber optic cable among other cable systems. It has a significantly longer length without additional amplification, high reliability and immunity to electromagnetic interference.
All these characteristics made optical lines much more popular in the installation of cable communication systems.
Installation of an optical cable is a laborious process, therefore, the choice of contractors significantly affects the quality of work. If we are talking about a video surveillance system, the cable transmission capacity (the amount of information transmitted per unit time), which affects the image quality, is of primary importance. The fact is that the soldering of fiber optic cable, and the installation, and even the design of fiber-optic communication lines, require high qualification and experience from a specialist. All this determines the cost of welding fiber optic and other works on broaching fiber optic cable.
In order for all the work to be performed at the highest level, it is desirable to have basic concepts in the installation of optical fiber. So it will be easier for you to evaluate the expertise of potential contractors and to be sure of the quality of the work done.
Why is fiber-optic cable prioritized?
The first thing to know is that fiber is more expensive than other materials. It is more difficult to lay it, because such work requires both qualifications and expensive equipment. But in terms of quality, fiber optic cable is much better than copper and especially copper-plated (aluminum with copper coating). Indeed, fiber-optic communication lines have a large number of advantages compared to other methods of transmitting information. The most important include the following characteristics:
- High protection against interference, because the light as a signal carrier remains completely inside the fiber optic cable and does not provoke external electromagnetic radiation;
- Security and secrecy of the transmitted information, which is especially important for video surveillance (you can connect to such a cable only if its integrity is violated);
- The potential bandwidth reaches 100 Gbps, which means it is much more than electrical networks;
- High fire safety if the chemical and physical parameters of the environment change.
Of course, fiber is not perfect and has its drawbacks. Problem # 1 is a complicated installation. The micron accuracy is required from the master, the ability to work with expensive equipment (for example, to create a chip, the attenuation in the connector depends on the accuracy of which). A number of disadvantages are less flexibility and strength than that of an electric cable, as well as sensitivity to ionizing radiation, temperature extremes, and mechanical stresses. Therefore, now manufacturers began to offer customers optical fiber with a sheath of resistant glass.
Step-by-step installation of fiber optic cable
Laying a fiber optic cable is a difficult and time-consuming job, which is possible in the ground, cable ducts, overhead power lines, inside and outside the premises along the walls. So, the installation of optical cables includes the following steps:
1. Design of fiber optic communication lines
The specialist must personally visit the facility, clarify all the important data, agree on the method of pulling the fiber optic cable with the client. Do not do without the development and maintenance of project documentation.
2. Laying the fiber optic cable
This is the longest and most responsible process that begins with preparation. For work, you will need special tools:
- cleaver - a device that is designed to obtain a flat and perpendicular to the fiber surface of the chip. To do this, they wipe it with alcohol, fix it in the device, and the knife in the equipment makes a microscopic incision on the cable, and due to small efforts, it splits in the right place.
- welding machine - a device whose task is to splice fiber. It is performed especially often with a long communication line or if the cable consists of several sections. To do this, the chipped fibers are fixed, then the welding machine delivers a short discharge to the ends of the fiber to get rid of dust. After that, the device brings the fibers for welding the optical cable in three coordinates with increasing accuracy. The last task of the welding machine is to evaluate the quality of work for strength, attenuation. Next, the master takes out the optical fiber and the sleeve to close the welding spot, and then puts everything in the oven for sitting, and after the right time elapses, he waits until it cools completely.
- optical coupling or cross, designed to connect or terminate the optical cable and connect the necessary equipment to it;
- alcohol and cleaning wipes;
- stripper, if you need to strip the fiber.
Preliminary control after installation of a fiber-optic cable helps to prevent defects and correct them in time, which means that it guarantees the correct operation of the equipment. For testing, special control and measuring devices are needed:
- visual flaw detector (its task is to identify external damage in the optical fiber and communication software, to determine the quality of the soldering of the optical cable);
- optical reflectometer (able to determine the cause of the malfunction and give all the information about the communication line).
- a part for fiber optic tracing (determines the presence of a signal);
- optical power meters (necessary to adjust the level of laser radiation of the equipment, check the power in individual sections of the network);
- optical spectrum analyzers (help in tuning and optimizing data transmission systems);
- fiber break detectors, radiation detectors, and other devices.
Thus, testing is necessary if the specialist is aimed at conscientious work.
If you are involved in pulling a fiber optic cable yourself, then be aware of safety precautions. It is important to observe the established rules during the welding of the fiber optic cable and its installation: work with clean hands in a room with a low dust content, do not touch the cleaned optical fiber with your fingers. Even small chipped parts of the optical fiber can be dangerous: if they get under the skin, they will be a splinter, and when you try to get it, they will begin to crumble; if they get into food or water, there is a risk of damaging the walls of the esophagus or intestines. Be sure to prepare a container for the remains of fiber and collect them there.