Ideal Networks issues clarion call for encircled flux-compliant fiber testing

Sept. 2, 2016
The test-equipment provider stresses compliance with ISO/IEC and TIA standards requiring the encircled flux launch condition for multimode fiber testing.

According to Tim Widdershoven, global marketing manager for Ideal Networks, new ISO/IEC and TIA standards specifying the encircled flux launch condition will notably impact the test equipment that cabling installers need.

“The new encircled flux testing standards will slowly start to make their way into contracts and customer requirements,” Widdershoven said. “Installers will need to obtain accurate, compliant measures so to ensure a problem-free testing experience they must be equipped with the correct testing tools and equipment.”

Ideal pointed out that the ISO/IEC 14763-3:2014 standard “specifies systems and methods for the inspection and testing of installed optical fiber cabling designed in accordance with premises cabling standards, while the ANSI/TIA-526-14 standard is applicable to the measurement of attenuation of installed fiber-optic cabling using multimode fiber. The purpose of these standards, which are both due to be updated this year, is to ensure that regardless of which manufacturer’s test system is being used, all the different test systems report the same loss for the cable being tested.”

Widdershoven continued, “To stay ahead of the new testing requirements, installers should not delay in ensuring that the test cords that accompany their power meters and light sources are made with reference-grade connectors. They must also understand which tools and methods will deliver compliant results in varied scenarios, for example the differences that exist when using LED or VCSEL light sources.”

The most significant change incorporated into these standards, Ideal Networks emphasized, is the addition of encircled flux testing, “which ensures that all fiber-optic testers provide the same results when testing the same cable.” Ideal then explained that installers will need to add encircled flux launch cables to their existing fiber testers to accomplish compliance. Notably as well, Ideal pointed out that encircled compliant encircled flux testing does not allow VCSEL light sources.

“When combined, reference-grade connectors and cords, encircled flux-compliant launches, and clean connectors will provide the best possible testing experience, resulting in fewer failed tests and less time spent troubleshooting,” added Widdershoven. “However, technicians should also remember to clean the ports of test equipment and test cords every time they are used. If the endfaces on connectors, launch cables and testers are not clean, these important test results will not be accurate.”

Ideal noted that its FiberTEK III adapters can be used with the LanTEK III cable certifier (pictured). The FiberTEK III adapters “offer quick and easy Tier 1 certification, which is also compliant with the new 2016 encircled flux fiber standards when equipped with encircled flux launch cords,” the company said.

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