As I was reading the very interesting article, "Power meters and light sources--necessary testing tools," published in the October 1997 issue (page 22), I could not help but notice that the author omitted mentioning exfo. As you may well know, exfo is a worldwide leader in the field of fiber-optic power meters and light sources and should receive the same visibility as Noyes, Siecor, and GN Nettest.
It would have been appropriate to spotlight exfo on almost every topic in the article. For example, as for light source advances, our fot-920 MaxTesTer comes with a dual-wavelength source and can also include an optional visual laser source. Concerning data storage essentials, the fot-920 MaxTesTer can store up to 512 fibers, with each fiber containing a dual-wavelength, bidirectional loss test result. With regard to consolidating testing features, the fot-920 MaxTesTer consolidates a power meter, light source, visual fault locator, and talk set into the same unit. As for maintaining simplicity and ease of use, the fot-920 MaxTesTer will operate its FasTesT--a dual-wavelength, bidirectional loss test--by simply pressing one button. For these reasons, exfo should have been included in the article.
osp Product Manager
exfo Electro-Optical Engineering
Vanier, QC, Canada
The editor replies:
We appreciate receiving, and being able to publish, this information on exfo`s line of optical-loss test sets. It is indeed an impressive product line, and there was no intention of omitting it in the Technology Update published in the October issue.
The reason that the exfo product line was not included is that the Technology Update, unlike the Product Update, is not meant to be a comprehensive round-up of all the products in a given class. Rather, the Technology Update picks a few vendors and focuses on the technological innovations and product improvements they have brought to a class of products.
Clearly, it would be impossible in a magazine the size of ours to cover the innovative approaches introduced by all manufacturers of a particular class of product. (In our 1997 Buyer`s Guide Issue, for instance, 17 manufacturers of optical-loss test sets, including exfo, are listed.) In addition, it is not possible to contact all manufacturers, find out what they are doing, and then select only those with the best or most innovative approaches. As a result, we contact manufacturers more or less at random, interviewing them about changes to their product technology until we have enough information to write a representative article.
Our Product Updates, on the other hand, are meant to cover all products of a particular type. This is why we include a product table with the Product Update, but not with the Technology Update. We apologize if this difference between the two story types has led to some confusion among vendors and readers.