fiber FREE cabling and networking Helpdesk
 Question by Ryan DeFrieze posted 13 Jul 2004
What is a good instrument to purchase if I want to ensure that fiber optic signaling is working?
 Answer by Dmitri Abaimov posted 14 Jul 2004
Dear Ryan,

If you do not actually install fiber optic cables on a daily basis, the only good tool (in terms of justifying the expense) I can think of is what they call a "Visual Fault Locator". It is essentially a laser pointer with a more precisely made ferrule that mates the output of the red laser diode (in 635 nm wavelength range) with the end of the fiber. In this case you can verify that you have a link by just looking at the other end of the fiber. If the bright red dot is there, there is a link. If not, then the link isn't there - that simple. When you gather some experience, you will even be able to tell if there is an excessive attenuation in the link (multimode only).

Any other fiber test tool will set you back at least couple thousand dollars (with almost no upper limit), so you'd have to use them every day to justify the purchase.

Dmitri Abaimov, RCDD

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