Possible Causes For Optical Device Failure

Agiltron 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 which prevents physical contact between the two fibers. The loss will continue to increase after each use once the surface is scratched.

             2. Test Instruments – The devices should be tested using standard test instruments to obtain the same results. We use mainly Agilent optical testing equipment, using dB as a relative optical intensity and dBm as absolute optical intensity metrics. 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, and high-speed measurement. A good practice is to use a bare fiber cable to make sure the instrument works properly and zero the instrument in dB. It is not encouraged to learn basic optics using our products. Please do not contact us if a customer uses different measurement instruments with different metrics.

            3. PCBS – Many of our products have naked PCB for lower-cost OEM applications. This requires trained personnel to handle it. 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 damaged by new graduates without working experience. Please treat our OEM products as if they were your cell phone without the cover. For lab applications, please order with a metal protecting box as an instrument-grade product.

            4. Optical Fiber – Optical fiber is made of glass that is easy to be damaged by pulling, twisting, bending, or squeezing, although it looks like an electrical wire. The device is especially vulnerable to twists at the end since it has no protection for such motion.

            5. Retest – We offer to retest the product. If it is found defective within one year, we will repair or replace it. 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 for released products (some products are in the optimization phase), the products meet the specification in the retesting, except for shipping damages. This procedure is costly since many products are mass-produced in automated assembly lines.

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