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Harvey's Tech Talk

 

Harvey's Tech Tip
for June.

Signal losses can bring even the biggest, fastest, newest fiber optic network to it's knees. One of the most common sources of signal loss is "insertion loss."

"Insertion Loss" refers to a condition found that is exclusively caused by connectors. Too many connectors, or too dirty connectors, can cause unexpectedly troublesome problems.

When contamination on a connector blocks, either completely or partially, the optical packet from passing from one connector through the end-face into the next connector this is called "insertion loss."  Use your OTDR to find the dirty connectors and clean them, and the problems will magically go away.

For example, if a network has a budget of 4dB and every connector or splice has an insertion loss of, say, 0.7 dB, after 5 or 6 connectors the signal budget may be exceeded and the packet of light it may be too feeble to be detected.

So every connector must be cleaned and inspected every time it is installed, tested and/or reconfigured. Even brand-new connectors, straight out of the bag, must be cleaned.

The Sticklers™ family of cleaners and tools make it easy and fast to take proper care of your connectors. So do the right thing -- and avoid the customer complaints -- and properly clean when you install, troubleshoot or upgrade any fiber optic system.

What Is "Insertion Loss"?


On a fiber optic network, the single most common type of signal loss is "Insertion Loss." This refers to a condition found when contamination blocks or partially blocks the optical packet from passing from one connector through the end-face into the next connector. For example, if a network has a budget of 4dB and every connector or splice has an insertion loss of, say, 0.7 dB, after 5-6 connectors the signal budget may be exceeded and the packet of light it may be too feeble to be detected. So every connector must be cleaned and inspected every time it is installed, tested and/or reconfigured. Even brand-new connectors, straight out of the bag, must be cleaned.Particulate on a fiber end-face can degrade the optical signal

The Sticklers™ family of cleaners and tools make it easy and fast to take proper care of your connectors. So do the right thing -- and avoid the customer complaints -- and properly clean when you install, troubleshoot or upgrade any fiber optic system.

 

 

 

What Is "Back Reflection"?


On a fiber optic network, another problematic condition is "back reflection" or "return loss." This phenomenon occurs when the two connectors are separated by a slight gap, say, a gap caused by a particle of dust.  At the air-glass interface -- which should not exist because the two fiber cores should be in direct contact with each other -- the end-face reflects back some portion of the signal towards the originating laser. This problem can be easily detected with an OTDR or a simple visual inspection.

The Sticklers™ family of cleaners make it easy and fast to get the dust and particles out of your connectors. So do the right thing -- and avoid the customer complaints