Possible Causes For Fiber Optical Product Failure

Photonwares brand fiber optical products are designed for longevity with up to 20 years in field operation.  Each product is tested, meeting the performance specifications listed on the datasheet prior to shipping.   If a customer has difficulty achieving the same result as the test report, please check the following possibilities:

               1.  Connectors – Al our optical loss test results are without connectors.  Higher optical losses may result from connector issues.  In general,  0.3dB extra loss for each connector should be expected due to center miss-matching.  The connector must be thoroughly cleaned after each mating, otherwise, the loss will increase due to surface scratching by dust in the air that prevents physical contact between the two fibers. The loss will continue to increase after each use once the surface is scratched.

               2. PCBS – Many of our products have naked PCB for lower-cost OEM applications.  This requires trained personals to handle.  If you cannot make it work, most likely, the PCB is damaged.  Hand touching can damage the PCB due to static, especially in dry winter.  Water and metal surfaces can short the circuits.  They are easily be damaged by new graduates without working experience.   Please treat our OEM products as they were your cellphone without the cover.  For lab applications, please order with a metal protecting box as an instrument grade product.  

               3. Optical Fiber – Optical fiber is made of glass that is easy to be damaged by pulling, bending, or squeezing, although it looks like an electrical wire. 

               4. Test Instruments – The devices should be tested using standard test instruments to obtain the same results.  This needs several years of practical experience in handling fiber optics, in addition to a good understanding of optics, especially involving polarization, single-mode fiber, or multimode transmission.   It is not encouraged to learn basic optics by using our products.

               5. Retest – We offer to retest the product.  If it is found defective, we will replace it and cover the shipping cost.  However, if they meet the specification on the datasheet, customers are required to pay the USA labor cost and re-connector cost (we cut the connectors off).   In almost all the cases,  the products meet the specification in the retesting, except shipping damages.

2 thoughts on “Possible Causes For Fiber Optical Product Failure

  1. Hello there,

    My research group recently purchased a few PM Etalon-based optical filters one of the fiber connectors had a deep groove in one of the fibers. While characterizing the filter loss we discovered the loss at 1557 nm to be about 7.34 dB.


    1. Hi Joshua,

      Please take a look at our new support page that explains how to test tunable filters: https://agiltron.com/support/how-to-test-the-insertion-loss-of-a-tunable-optical-filter/

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