OPM and OLS: General Questions

Q: If I change the battery, do I need to reset the reference?
A: No.
Q: If I change the battery, will I lose my stored test results?
A: No.
Q: What is difference between the -1, -2, -3 and -4 detectors?

  • ‘-1’ type detector is made from Silicon (Si).
  • ‘-2’ type detector is a Germanium (Ge) device.
  • ‘-3’ detector is an Indium Gallium Arsenide (InGaAs)
  • ‘-4’ is an InGaAs detector with a precision filter limiting the power passed to the active photodiode.
Q: What is the difference between the detector types?
A: Each style of detector has a specific spectral response.

  • AFL detector type ‘-1’ Silicon (Si) performs well at the lower wavelengths which cover the visible spectrum including red.
  • AFL detector type ‘-2’ Germanium (Ge) performs well for both Multimode and Single-mode applications.
  • AFL detector type ‘-3’ (InGaAs) is also used for MM and SM applications, but has a flatter spectral curve which gives more accurate power readings. Also, the InGaAs type detector is more stable across changes in temperature. The detector type determines the wavelength and power level that can be measured.
Q: How often should power meters be calibrated?
A: AFL recommends all test equipment be calibrated every thirty-six (36) months or three (3) years.

Q: Can I connect an APC connector to an AFL  power meter?
A: Yes, use a standard non-angled connector adapters. Angled connector adapters are only for use with inspection products to align the connector end-face surface with the scope viewing plane.

Q: What type of adapter cap do I use to connect an angled connector (APC) to a Noyes power meter?
 Use AFL standard (non-angled) connector adapters. AFL angled connector adapters are only for use with inspection products to align the connector end-face surface with the scope optical viewing plane. Examples:

  • Use SC adapter cap to measure power from SC and ASC connectors
  • Use LC adapter cap to measure power from LS and ALC connectors
Q: If I change the connector adapter or test jumper on the light source, do I need to reset my reference?
A: Yes, the connection at the light source is the critical connection which determines the light level launched into the test network. Any movement or realignment of the connectors could change this level, which will shift the reference level.

Q: How do I measure power from MPX or MPO/MTP cables with Optical Power Meter (OPM)?
 AFL OPMs are designed to measure power from an individual fiber. To connect multiple fiber cables, use a fanout cable. Example: A cable with an MPO connector at one end and 12 SC connectors at the other end. The MPO connector will connect to the network cable and the individual SC connectors will provide a means of connecting the OPM to measure the signal level out of each fiber without interference from adjacent fibers.

Q: Can I use the backplane 1.25 mm and 2.5 mm connector adapters with an OPM?
A: Backplane 1.25 mm and 2.5 mm connector adapters are machined by removing material from the top of the adapter cap, providing a way to view duplex connectors with an OFS300 or VS300 microscope without contact between the opposite connector and the top of the connector adapter. The Backplane connector is not intended for use with OPM’s as ambient light enters through the top of the cap and hits the detector on the power meter, giving an inaccurate power measurement.
Q: Is it safe to look into the transmit port on a light source?
A: NO. The practice of looking into any test port is not considered a safe practice. The output power level of all non-visible AFL light sources is Class 1. However, caution must always be used to avoid accidental viewing of a live fiber. The wavelengths used in the fiber optic industry operate in the infrared region, which are invisible to the human eye. Always use caution when handling light sources.
Q: Can I test single-mode fibers with an LED source?
A: Yes, however, because the starting power level is only -40 dBm, the maximum test distance will be limited to about 20 km or 12 miles.

Q: Can I plug an APC connector into a Noyes light source?
A: The mating connector on the inside of our light sources is non-angled UPC. We recommend using a hybrid patch cable (UPC to APC). While an APC connector can be physically connected to the output adapter, the launch power will suffer a loss of approximately 3 dB.