Measuring Insertion Loss and Return Loss using the front panel of the OP940

This video shows the basic functionalities of the OP940 Insertion and Return Loss Test Set. In this demonstration we measure an LC to LC cable assembly using the front panel of the OP940.

This video is intended to show the basic functionality of the OP940 Insertion and Return Loss Test Set. In this demonstration we will be measuring an LC to LC cable assembly.

First attach the reference cable to the source, making sure to inspect, clean if needed, inspect again, and connect.

Then, we will reference Insertion Loss and Return Loss. To reference Return Loss, select RL reference. With the reference cable open to air or connected directly to the detector, press “Start RL Ref”. The unit will display the reference value and distance from the front panel to the reference point. To set the RL offset, press the right button and select “Calc Zero”.

Once the Return Loss is referenced, press the “Home” button to return to the dual ILRL screen and select the IL Ref Option. Configure the reference cables for your insertion loos reference and, when ready, press “Start IL Ref”. When that is finished, press the “Home” button to return to the Dual ILRL screen and the test results will update in real-time.

Connect your device under test, between your reference cable and detector. Always make sure to inspect and clean if needed. Return Loss and Insertion Loss results are displayed. Select the “Pass/Fail” option to display the results color-coded based on the user-defined IL and RL pass-threshold settings.

Standards Cheat Sheet

OptoTest Standards Cheat Sheet

Insertion Loss Measurement Procedures

FOTP-171

Being rewritten to define encircled flux as a launch condition requirement on certain measurements
Method A:  Single cable reference
Method B: Two cable method, with a recommendation to measure multimode cabling in two directions by swapping the ends
Method C: Replacement method (golden cable) for hybrid cable styles

IEC 61300-3-4

Insertion Method A:  Splice between loss.  DUT is spliced between a length of fiber for the measurement
Insertion Method B: Single reference cable method.  DUT connected at end of reference cable for measurement
Insertion Method C: Two reference cable method.  Two reference cables referenced together and DUT connected between them for measurement

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Achieving Low Return Loss on LC-PC Cables

Achieving Low Return Loss on LC-PC Cables

PC (physical contact) and UPC (ultra-physical contact) Connectors are required to have Return Loss values at 55dB or better, and these optimal Return Loss results are achieved through a refined recipe in the polishing process.  For most single mode connectors, including SC and FC, reaching 55dBRL or better is relatively easy and consistent. However, with LC-PC connectors in particular, it can be more challenging due to the lower contact force when mating LC connectors.

One way to prevent this problem is through the Reference Cable.  OptoTest’s LC-PC High Performance Reference Cables are manufactured with a fiber height between +10nm and +50nm, which counteracts the low contact force by ensuring that the fibers make good contact.  With this fiber height, one may find a measurement jump from the high 40s dBRL to the mid-to-upper 50s dBRL.

For more information or to order OptoTest’s High Performance Reference Cables, click here.