Fiber optic termination and splicing

We terminate fiber optic cable two ways – with connectors that can mate two fibers to create a temporary joint and/or connect the fiber to a piece of network gear or with splices which create a permanent joint between the two fibers.

According to Which field-termination method best fits your fiber-optic LAN? article over the past couple decades, as technologies in fiber-optic termination have advanced, it has become easier to install a connector. Several proven technologies are used to terminate an optical fiber in the field. The most common termination methods are no-epoxy/no-polish, epoxy-and-polish, and pigtail splicing.

Fiber Optic Termination Tutorial tells that manufacturers have come up with over 80 styles of connectors and and about a dozen ways to install them. Different connectors and splice termination procedures are used for single-mode and multi-mode connectors.

Here are some videos on fiber optic termination and splicing:

How To Splice Fiber Optic Cable Manually without using Electronic Splicing Machine

How to Terminate Fiber Optic Network Cable

Terminating Fiber Optic Cable

How to Terminate Breakout and Distribution Fiber Optic Cables

DIY FiberOptics Kit we page shows how to design, make and share cheap kit for splicing fiberoptics (using reprap and commonly available items). Check also DIY: How to do a fiber optic mechanical splicing: steps and tips and DIY/Solved! How to Cut/Cleave Optical Fibers Without A Cleaving Tool


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How-To Install a Optical Fiber Splice-On Connector with ANY Fusion Splicer

    Wirewerks Optical Fiber Splice-On Connectors combine the performance and reliability advantages of fusion splicing with the flexibility and on-site termination benefits of field-installable connectors.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How To Splice Fiber Optic Cable Manually without using Electronic Splicing Machine

    Incomplete process! how you managed to cleaver the fiber! cleaving the fiber is THE most important step to ensure it is straight cut and it will make good contact with the other fiber similarly cleaved, to ensure minimal Db loss.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Fiber Optic Splicing Guide & Demo

    Part of UTEL’s Knowledge Base series of videos about fiber optics, this guide provides a thorough introduction to fusion and mechanical splicing as well as a demonstration of fusion splicing.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Can you fusion splice multimode fiber?
    Virtually all singlemode splices are fusion. Multimode fibers can be harder to fusion splice as the larger core with many layers of glass that produces the graded-index profile are sometimes harder to match up, especially with fibers of different types or manufacturers.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    DIY: How to do a fiber optic mechanical splicing: steps and tips

    Mechanical splicing is the process of precisely aligning two fiber optics together using an alignment device and index matching gel that has a similar refractive index and covers the possible air gaps, helping light travel from one fiber to another with minimal loss and little back reflection.

    However, they are still two separate optical fibers, which is why this method is considered temporary and is mostly use to rapidly restore short-haul single mode or multimode cables in FTTH installations.

    Buy an expensive cleaver: Cleaving is the most important step when splicing because a bad cleave can increase signal loss. Economic cleavers generally need more practice and skills to achieve the appropriate cleave angle, so if you regularly do mechanical splices buy a cleaver that is generally used in fusion splices.

    But what happens if you need to do an emergency restoration and don’t have a cleaver with you? Jim Hayes, president of the Fiber Optic Association (FOA) advises to use a scriber and an inexpensive cleave fixture that consists on a small piece of flexible plastic. Place the fiber on the plastic, scratch it with the scriber and it’s done.

    The FOA suggest using the ULTRA splice device since it is easy to install, inexpensive and high performance. Its biggest advantage is that it has visible glass on top with pre-loaded index matching gel that allows you to see the optical fibers during the installation. The 3M Fibrlok is one of the most popular mechanical splices too due to its elegant design and good throughput.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lighter serves as temporary replacement for fiber cleaver

    When testing unterminated fiber-optic cables, it is customary to use a temporary mechanical splice to connect the bare fiber to a test instrument, such as an optical time-domain reflectometer, light source, or power meter. But what happens if your fiber cleaver is unavailable or broken? You could rely on a hand scribe–a small tungsten or sapphire scribe that many fiber- optic technicians carry for backup. But what if you don`t have one?


    1) Run the flame from the lighter under the piece of fiber to be spliced, causing stress cracking at the surface (probably because of the uncontrolled heating and cooling). The purpose of scribes and cleavers is to induce a crack.

    2) Draw the heated fiber over a very gentle bend, such as your thumb. Keep the bend limited to about 20o. At this point, the fiber will break, usually leaving a break that is flat enough for temporary splicing and testing.

    This method is not recommended for permanent splicing because it will cause multiple cracks, and reliability of the fiber in the heated area is suspect (but it works in an emergency). Be more careful using this method because it is easy to break off small pieces of the fiber inside the splice.

    Editor`s note: Special care should be taken to ensure that fiber splinters do not pierce the skin, and that all fiber fragments are properly disposed of

    Strip back the jacket from the end of the fiber to be spliced, and heat the end with an ordinary butane lighter.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    “That’s one issue with using pre-terminated fibre, especially if the runs have not been measured correctly. Cheaper than paying for someone to terminate connectors on though, especially if you use a fusion splicer.”

    Are those people who terminate the optical fiber very rare and expensive compared to ready made cable?
    It Is not rocket science to terminate fiber optic cables especially when you don’t need the lowest possible attenuation and back reflection numbers.
    There are nowadays fiber connectors and mechanical splices where you basically just push in the fiber cut with a cleaver. Done that and is not very hard.
    Fusion splices have used to be expensive instruments (but there are now some cheap Chinese versions also). After short learning lessons you can make OK quality splices with a fusion splicer. Not many hours learning curve (done that also).

    Links to more information


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