How to Test Fiber Optic Cables for Optical Loss

BY: Christina Hansen

In order to know how effectively your fiber optic cables are transmitting, you'll need to test each one for Optical Loss. The term “Optical Loss” describes the difference between the amount of light sent into the transmitting end of a fiber optic cable, and the amount of light that successfully makes it to the cable's receiving end. This tutorial covers the basic steps involved in Optical Loss Testing.

PROJECT CHECKLIST

Experience Level: Advanced

Time Required: Test equipment works in seconds per cable; set up time varies with experience

Steps: 5

Supplies: Reference cable, test source and power meter

Budget Estimate: $1300-$4000 for test equipment

STEP 1

Connect the test cable to the reference cable

STEP 2

Connect the test source to the transmitting end of the test cable

STEP 3

Connect the power meter to the receiving end of the reference cable

STEP 4

Using the test source, send a light signal into the test cable

STEP 5

At the receiving end of the reference cable, take a reading of the light signal with the power meter

 

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