Testing Insertion Loss and Return Loss of a Simplex Cable in OPL-MAX

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In this video we will go through the process of testing insertion loss and return loss of a simplex cable in OPL-Max. This standard setup allows us to explore the features and functions of OPL-Max that operators are likely to encounter day to day.

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How to set up the OP-SPHR Integrating Sphere

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When a new OP-SPHR is shipped from OptoTest, it will require a few quick steps to make it ready to use. Following the instructions in this video will allow you to begin using the sphere in you production lines.

Remove the port plug from the back of the sphere using the provided hex wrench to loosen the two set-screws. Once both screws are loosened about 0.1”, the port plug should be easy to remove.

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Standards Cheat Sheet

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OptoTest Standards Cheat Sheet

Insertion Loss Measurement Procedures

FOTP-171

FOTP-171 was rewritten to include EF for all methods.  It still includes overfilled launch conditions, and the mode filter launch conditions as alternatives.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

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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.