K.Little Control systems have fully trained staff in the installation, terminating and testing of fibre optic cables from single mode fibres to multimode fibres. Using a method known as Fusion Splicing, this is where two optical fibres have a section of coating stripped at the end of the fibre, then by cleaving the fibre to produce a flat end they can be joined together by using a heat process called fusion splicing. Once the fibres have been welded or spliced together it is then protected by a heat shrink protection sleeve. This process is very complicated and can only be carried out by a skilled fibre optic engineer as it must be ensured that both fibres are joined together in a way that light can still pass through them. If this is not done properly then it can cause the light to be reflected or scattered.
Once all fibres have been terminated K Little Controls ensure that all cores are in working order by testing each one. This test is known as ILM (Insertion Loss Measurement). This is the measurement of the loss or attenutation of the cable. The measurement is made by using a light source and optical power meter and finding the difference between the input and output levels at the two measurement points.
Once all tests have been carried out K.Little Controls issue their own certificates showing results for each cable and individual core including a simple pass or fail so the customer can be clear on the results.
K.Little also offer OTDR testing. The Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) is useful for testing the integrity of fiber optic cables. It can verify splice loss, measure length and find faults. The OTDR is also commonly used to create a “picture” of fiber optic cable when it is newly installed. Later, comparisons can be made between the original trace and a second trace taken if problems arise. Analyzing the OTDR trace is always made easier by having documentation from the original trace that was created when the cable was installed.
OTDRs are most effective when testing long cables (more than aproximatley 250 meters or 800 feet) or cable plants with splices. The data that the OTDR produces are typically used to create a picture called a “trace” or “signature” that has valuable information for the trained user and can be stored for later reference or to check against a blueprint when network trouble arises. OTDRs should not be used for measuring insertion loss in the fiber optic cable – that task is better left to a fiber optic test source and power meter. OTDRs simply show you where the cables are terminated and confirm the quality of the fibers, connections and splices. Of course, OTDR traces are also used for troubleshooting, since they can show where breaks are in fiber when traces are compared to installation documentation.
K.Little Controls pride their selves on great customer service and are focused on making sure they keep a tidy work space for the health and safety of their selves and the customer. By doing this K.Little’s majority of fibre optic work is through repeat business and recommendation.