MARCH 6, 2008 -- Scitec Instruments has introduced a new visual fault locator (search for VFL) for visually identifying breaks or microbends in optical fibers. The instrument can also be used for fiber identification in an optical fiber bundle.
Usable range depends on the fiber; intended use, such as fault finding or fiber identification; fiber type; jacketing of the cable; and the loss incurred at the fault. Several hundred meters up to 1 or 2 km is typical for singlemode fiber fault location, say Scitec representatives. Fiber identification can be made at greater distances.
The VLF-280 is a handheld, battery powered, stabilized fiber-optic laser source that emits visible (red) light at 650 nm. Its intended function is to allow an operator to identify the exact location of a break, microbend, or other discontinuity in a fiber-optic cable. As the radiation is visible, light emanating from a break or microbend enables the user to locate the exact position of a fault. This can be done even at very short distances that would not be detectable by conventional means, such as an OTDR. It is also useful for identifying a particular fiber in a cable by exciting the fiber to be located with visible radiation.
The fiber to be tested is connected to the source by a standard 2.5-mm fiber-optic connector, confirm Scitec representatives. The source may be used in one of two modes: modulated or continuous. In the modulated mode, the laser is turned on and off at 6 Hz. This mode is helpful in enabling the user to identify the source radiation in the presence of high levels of ambient light. It also aids in conserving battery life.
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