How to Keep Your Fibre Optic Patch Leads Working at Maximum Efficiency

Fibre patch leads are very commonly used to connect various pieces of equipment and components in fibre-optic communications systems. To keep these cables working efficiently, a small amount of care and maintenance is necessary. Here are some ways to keep the patch leads intact and fully functional.

1. Avoid wear

Firstly, you should be careful of how the cables are used and connected. If the cables or their connectors begin to wear out, the efficiency of the cable—and therefore the entire system—will deteriorate significantly. You should try not to plug and unplug the cables too frequently, as the ends of the cable will become worn and loose. You should also ensure that the leads are fastened in place securely. If they are allowed to hang down freely, there will be too much force on the connectors. Loose cables also risk being pulled out by accident, which can break them or damage the connectors. You should therefore not trail them over the floor but should try to keep them securely fixed out of the way.

2. Keep the leads clean 

You should also make sure that dust particles are not getting inside the cable and contaminating the fibre, which is a major cause of poor signal quality. This is best avoided by keeping the connectors clean. There are many ways of cleaning the connectors, from dry reel-type cleaners to cleaning wipes and foam swabs. These will all remove dust from the fibre connectors and will ensure the fibre itself remains free of contamination and fully efficient.

3. Don't bend the leads

Finally, find out the maximum bending radius of the cable, and make sure it isn't exceeded. Fibre is easily damaged, and it may not be obvious when this has happened as microscopic imperfections can drastically reduce efficiency. It is therefore vital that the cable is not bent or stretched. This is particularly important when the leads are being stored, but you should also be careful when they are in use. If the cables have to travel any particular distance the layout should be carefully planned to minimise bends, and cable protectors and managers should be used to ensure they are not moved. Try not to install them where unqualified and inexperienced staff might be tempted to move them.

With proper care and maintenance, fibre patch leads will keep your network running as smoothly and as quickly as possible. Contact patch leads suppliers to learn more.