Softing unveils NetXpert XG Plus

Aug. 18, 2020
The NetXpert XG Plus extends copper Ethernet cable testing to now include fiber-optic cable testing, fiber microscope end face inspection, fiber loss and length calculation, and the proprietary LiveLight feature.

Softing Inc. today introduced its NetXpert XG Plus Ethernet cable tester and active network manager, as the latest advancement in the company's network communications cable testing portfolio, now extending cable qualification to fiber-optic cable.

The NetXpert XG Plus cable qualifier is part of a complete IT Network solutions portfolio from Softing for certifying, qualifying, and verifying cabling installations and active IT networks.

Per a company statemement: "IT departments, systems integrators, and communications cable installers are called upon to perform network qualification, network management, and cable troubleshooting. While cable certification with testers like the [Softing] WireXpert is about testing cable specs, qualification testing with NetXpert XG is about proving cable performance and troubleshooting applications. With the NetXpert XG Plus (copper plus fiber), the qualification platform extends to fiber-optic cable."

According to Softing, the full NetXpert XG Plus platform now provides the ability to test copper and fiber cables; test copper, fiber, and WiFi (active) Ethernet networks; test Power over Ethernet networks, and create reports, all in a single. qualification tester.

Notably, the platform extension to fiber includes the ability to connect the Softing USB fiber microscope for viewing contamination on fiber-optic cable end faces. Connector end face contamination is the number one issue reported when troubleshooting fiber-optic cables. Using the fiber microscope is unique in that userscan capture an image of the contamination on the end face, contamination is automatically compared to global standards, and includes the image in a report.

As with its copper cable testing, the NetXpert XG is now able to provide a cable length result for fiber. Reporting fiber length is normally reserved for high end OTDR fiber testers and certifiers, but Softing has developed a proprietary method in the NetXpert XG to calculate the fiber length using transmitted and received values at each end of the fiber-optic cable.

The launch of the tester's fiber capabilities also includes a brand new feature called LiveLight. "Measuring the loss of light in a fiber-optic cable is an extremely powerful troubleshooting tool," observes the company. "Rather than just displaying a value for the light loss, Softing took advantage of the [NetXpert XG's] color screen and created LiveLight, a real-time, continuous trend plot for the light loss."

Since many field problems are attributed to connectors, Softing notes that its LiveLight feature gives users the ability to move the connector or cable and watch the LiveLight trend, like a strip chart recorder, in real-time, which is a powerful tool when troubleshooting an intermittent fault. Measuring light loss has been included in NetXpert XG, eliminating the need to have a separate light loss test tool.

“Another huge milestone has been achieved for the extendable NetXpert XG platform – adding fiber-optic cable to qualification testing, USB fiber microscope inspection, length and loss measurements, and LiveLight," concludes Deane Horn, director of product management for Softing Inc. "If you are an IT manager or systems integrator, you run into everything – troubleshooting copper and fiber cables, troubleshooting active networks, even troubleshooting PoE devices. NetXpert XG continues to deliver on the vision of being the all-in-one cable and network test tool and application qualifier."

For more information on NetXpert XG, visit

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