Testing Insertion Loss and Return Loss of an MTP/MPO 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 an MTP cable in OPL-MAX. We will review both the cable and software setup for the standard test configuration, as well as the test process.

Before we begin, take note of the materials needed for this test, including cables, adapters and cleaning tools.

In this particular setup we’ll be using a remote head detector and integrating sphere.

To attach the integrating sphere to the detector, use the wrench included with the sphere to loosen the two screws and release the twist on portion. The twist on portion is attached to the detector and the sphere is secured into place. The full video showing this process and others are available on the OptoTest youtube channel or can be sent directly by contacting OptoTest.

Once the sphere is secured to the detector, the detector should be secured to the front panel of the insertion loss and return loss meter.

Next up is connecting the 12 channel fanout reference cable to the source ports on the front panel,
being sure to inspect the connectors and clean as needed.

Before booting up the software, make sure the unit is on and has completed at the startup sequence.

The unit is ready! So it’s time to open OPL-MAX and select a configuration.

There are a number of configurations that come standard with OPL-Max. These can be used as is or modified to meet the needs of a particular set.

Once the appropriate configuration is chosen, OPL-Max continues loading and we are presented
with the sequence tab of OPL-MAX.

Each row specifies a channel, the source and power meter being used, the wavelengths being tested, the type of tests being performed, and the pass/fail criteria being applied.

The data file that the test results are saved to is created in the data file tab. The user can set a fixed data file or establish a file structure.

The test reports setup tab allows the user to select a template for the test results to fill in to. The user can also modify the template on this screen.

The measurement setup tab and instrument tab contain test settings that can be set once and applied to all future tests using this configuration, such as dwell times, real-time measurement windows and DUT range.

Once everything is set in the software, let’s quickly return to our cable setup.

Before we begin the return loss reference, for this particular setup we’ll need to use a short reflector cable to ensure that we are referencing with a flat polished connector open to air.

Now we proceed with the return loss reference.

For this setup we copied the reference for the first channel to the other 11. The tests can also be configured to reference each channel individually.

Before beginning the insertion loss reference, be sure to remove the reflector cable and connect the MTP side of the reference cable to the integrating sphere.

The software steps through and performs the insertion loss reference on each channel with the
results updating in the sequence tab.

Once the referencing is done, it’s time to introduce the device under test. The DUT should be connected to the reference cable on one end and the sphere on the other, being mindful to make the connector genders appropriately.

Clicking test on the lower bar will begin the test process.

Results for insertion loss and return loss at both wavelengths update in the sequence tab and in the measure screen with passing values displaying green and failing values in red.

Clicking preview will open the test report.

That concludes this overview of OPL-Max.



If you have any questions or comments, we want to hear from you. Don’t hesitate to contact the OptoTest team!

OptoTest engineers and manufactures highly reliable fiber optic test equipment, including custom systems. We are a worldwide leader producing the fastest and most accurate Return Loss and Insertion Loss equipment for cable assembly production, R&D, Mil/Aero and Harsh Environments testing.
We proudly manufacture our equipment in our US-based ISO-9001:2015 facility in California.

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