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Idea

Cheap Arc Fusion Splicers

Pole attachments turned out to be problematic with the Public Utilities Comission who wanted us to become a CLEC to be able to even ask.  Nice folks though.

 

I have now planted over a mile of 48 core Corning SMF28 Ultra in SDR9 conduit in our hillside and connected it via fiber to a local business where I negotiated a dedicated fiber port with the ILEC at $1300/250Mbps symmetrical SLA'd with 62 IPv4 addresses and a /48 IPv6 block.  The uplink is funded mostly by a Ubiquiti hotspot with 10 access points, which since October 2018 is averaging about $1100/month.

 

All connections and connectors are fusion spliced using an EasySplicer MKII which I bought from the company owner Lars, directly from Sweden.  It's V-Groove but the core is so precisely placed on modern Fiber that loss in negligible- on a 2km run with intermediate splices and connectors less than 3dB loss.  It's all SMF, LC/UPC, BiDi SFP in 1310/1550nm, Mikrotik routing & CPE.

 

The ILEC had quoted $35000 to bring in fiber to the business (they refused to service residences directly) but they were late on their construction contract and amazingly all that that ended up being free with a 3 year contract.  

 

On our end 8000ft of 48SMF was under $5k and 5000ft SDR9 HDPE conduit was under $4k.  We handled the spools with a backhoe.  30"  deep trenches about half through rocky hell, all dielectric (no conductive elements & no grounding required) with flat marking tape overlays. We provide free connections to properties we needed to cross;   Since the next best option is 6Mbps Terrestrial Wireless at $110/month, it wasn't a hard sell.

 

Arc fusion splicing is really really easy with a modern splicer, most of your time is just fiber prep and then organizing all the hair back into a splice box (we used Coyote brand also very easy).

 

I would recommend this approach to anyone who is not afraid of sweat.  It works really really well.  In a year or two we'll upgrade to 500Mbps (around $1800/month) and eventually Gbps (around $2200/month).   We wouldn't be a very profitable ISP but we are a bunch of happy neighbors.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I'm interested in building a small rural fiber network where the local telcoms aren't interested in doing it.  I noticed that there's now arc fusion splicers below $1k.  Has anyone on here ever used a super cheap core alignment splicer like this?

 

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/signalfire-AI-8-FTTH-Fiber-Optic-Welding-Splicing-Machine-Optical-Fiber-Fusion-Splicer/32847551932.html

 

Would Linus be interested in testing a "cheap" kit like this and maybe comparing it to more traditional splicer like a Fujikura that's 6 to 20 times more expensive?

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8 minutes ago, Idea said:

arc fusion splicers below $1k.  Has anyone on here ever used a super cheap core alignment splicer like this?

I havent done arc fusion but I have spliced a few in my day. The splicers are quite expensive, along with the fiber and all its components. Is it really worth it?

 

 

8 minutes ago, Idea said:

Would Linus be interested in testing a "cheap" kit like this and maybe comparing it to more traditional splicer like a Fujikura that's 6 to 20 times more expensive?

no

 

As for a g-note on aliexpress, it is quite the risk to spend that kind of coin on aliexpress. Plus it opened Dec 5, 2017. What a gamble! Their warehouse picture looks faked.

 

So I gotta ask, how many homes and what distances are they?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

There's 12-20 homes that could benefit, all within 4km.  There's no other wireline internet available (also no cell service) although there is a business fiber termination near the center of all the rural tree filled, hilly properties with the ability to get another 200Mbps for about $250/month.

 

Splicers are expensive but considering that most people are spending $60/month for mobile service and more for home internet it start to sound reasonable to build our own, especially since no cable or phone company is interested.

 

Plus its interesting.

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9 minutes ago, Idea said:

There's 12-20 homes that could benefit, all within 4km.  There's no other wireline internet available (also no cell service) although there is a business fiber termination near the center of all the rural tree filled, hilly properties with the ability to get another 200Mbps for about $250/month.

 

Splicers are expensive but considering that most people are spending $60/month for mobile service and more for home internet it start to sound reasonable to build our own, especially since no cable or phone company is interested.

 

Plus its interesting.

You should definitely think about traditional wiring or wireless antennas. Not woth messing with fiber and arc splicers.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, IgorM said:

You should definitely think about traditional wiring or wireless antennas. Not woth messing with fiber and arc splicers.

Why would anyone use copper when fiber is an option?  Copper is more expensive and less versatile.  For example single fiber gigabit SFP modules are like $25/for a pair.

 

I've used Fujikura splicers and there's nothing difficult about it, just that a good core alignment Fujikura kit may cost $20k.

 

I have lots of deployed Ubiquiti terrestrial wireless gear but this time there's no good lines of sight and not good relay points with property rights or power.

 

Can a cheap arc fusion splicer work as well as a Fujikura?

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On 29.5.2018 at 7:42 AM, Idea said:

Why would anyone use copper when fiber is an option?  Copper is more expensive and less versatile.  For example single fiber gigabit SFP modules are like $25/for a pair.

the thing is it sounds like none of this is an option.

 

even if you install a network it will just be a closed network with no internet access, no provider is going to spend time and money to integrate into your network.

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I'd look at a used fujikura.  We still use one at work from 95 and just get it refurbd once in a while.

 

And invest in a good cleaver.


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honestly, id go with fixed wireless for that many homes past..  you can pick up a cambium pmp450 sector for about 4k.  if you got good LOS you could max out that business fiber 250 connection with two sectors and probably be  able to offer 40-50 meg top tier speeds reliably. CPE's cost about 400 bucks.  

other option is something like mikrotik, you could setup a couple 2x2 sectors for a LOT cheaper.  under a grand probably. CPE's are like a hundred bucks.

 

you can get good speeds on a mikrotik platform if you keep your subs per sector down to 10-15 each. higher density is where the more expensive products from cambium really shine.

 

 

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17 hours ago, Idea said:

I'm interested in building a small rural fiber network where the local telcoms aren't interested in doing it.  I noticed that there's now arc fusion splicers below $1k.  Has anyone on here ever used a super cheap core alignment splicer like this?

 

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/signalfire-AI-8-FTTH-Fiber-Optic-Welding-Splicing-Machine-Optical-Fiber-Fusion-Splicer/32847551932.html

 

Would Linus be interested in testing a "cheap" kit like this and maybe comparing it to more traditional splicer like a Fujikura that's 6 to 20 times more expensive?

My question is more about regulations. Because you cant just throw Fiber on the pole or put it in a trench. Who owns the Utility poles? How much rent are they going to charge? What other regulations do you need to follow? For example here in the US you will be required to pay regulatory fees to the FCC, and some states do charge sales tax on internet service. Plus you might have to get in to a contract with the local government or a higher government. In some states its the state government that does the franchise agreements. While here in Michigan its the local governments, which again my ISP charges a fee to give you the local government. Also, who are you going to buy bandwidth from? I mean you gotta connect in to the internet some place. 

 

So in all its not just the equipment Id be looking at. Check what legal requirements you have to do as well and its cost. With all that said, if you do get to doing this project, please provide pictures, Id be interested in seeing a setup. 


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7 hours ago, Donut417 said:

if you do get to doing this project, please provide pictures, Id be interested in seeing a setup. 

you will not see any pictures here because if the one central tool required to do this is already to expensive there is zero chance op has the money to buy the land he would need for trenches or the equipment to dig said trenches or the permits for all of this,.

 

and even if he does its still just a closed network without internet access.

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Posted · Original PosterOP · Best Answer

Pole attachments turned out to be problematic with the Public Utilities Comission who wanted us to become a CLEC to be able to even ask.  Nice folks though.

 

I have now planted over a mile of 48 core Corning SMF28 Ultra in SDR9 conduit in our hillside and connected it via fiber to a local business where I negotiated a dedicated fiber port with the ILEC at $1300/250Mbps symmetrical SLA'd with 62 IPv4 addresses and a /48 IPv6 block.  The uplink is funded mostly by a Ubiquiti hotspot with 10 access points, which since October 2018 is averaging about $1100/month.

 

All connections and connectors are fusion spliced using an EasySplicer MKII which I bought from the company owner Lars, directly from Sweden.  It's V-Groove but the core is so precisely placed on modern Fiber that loss in negligible- on a 2km run with intermediate splices and connectors less than 3dB loss.  It's all SMF, LC/UPC, BiDi SFP in 1310/1550nm, Mikrotik routing & CPE.

 

The ILEC had quoted $35000 to bring in fiber to the business (they refused to service residences directly) but they were late on their construction contract and amazingly all that that ended up being free with a 3 year contract.  

 

On our end 8000ft of 48SMF was under $5k and 5000ft SDR9 HDPE conduit was under $4k.  We handled the spools with a backhoe.  30"  deep trenches about half through rocky hell, all dielectric (no conductive elements & no grounding required) with flat marking tape overlays. We provide free connections to properties we needed to cross;   Since the next best option is 6Mbps Terrestrial Wireless at $110/month, it wasn't a hard sell.

 

Arc fusion splicing is really really easy with a modern splicer, most of your time is just fiber prep and then organizing all the hair back into a splice box (we used Coyote brand also very easy).

 

I would recommend this approach to anyone who is not afraid of sweat.  It works really really well.  In a year or two we'll upgrade to 500Mbps (around $1800/month) and eventually Gbps (around $2200/month).   We wouldn't be a very profitable ISP but we are a bunch of happy neighbors.

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