Test & Measurement

Inspection scope averts connector issues

10th December 2020
Mick Elliott

An inspection scope designed to vastly improve multi-fibre connector testing in data centres and other telecom networks has been released by EXFO.

The ability to quickly and easily inspect connectors has never been more important as operators transition to 5G mobility and 400/800 Gbps networking.

Research shows that the number one cause of network failures is contaminated connectors, and 80% of network operators reported having connector issues.

With multi-fibre connectors, a single connector failure can cause major outages.

Multi-fibre links typically used to carry high-speed traffic are particularly sensitive to bad connectors.

“Our goal in designing the FIP-500 was to solve pain points in increasingly high-speed networks. Connectors are the weakest point, especially in dense and high-speed traffic scenarios, where a dirty connector can lead to serious network problems. Yet, fast multi-fibre push on (MPO) connector testing has never been effective,” said Stephane Chabot, EXFO’s Vice President of Test and Measurement. “Without the right tools, it can be understandably tempting to skip the inspection step, and then ‘plug and pray.’ Technicians need fast, accurate and convenient fibre endface testing for the many hundreds of thousands of multi-fibre connectors embedded in networks worldwide.”

The FIP-500 is claimed to be the fastest solution on the market, with a high level of automation and optical design delivering reliable and repeatable results every time.

While built with MPO testing in mind, the FIP-500 supports both single and multi-fibre connector testing.

Key benefits of the FIP-500 MPO probe include:

  • accurate and repeatable testing every time
  • fastest MPO inspection process on the market – less than 10 seconds for full inspection and saved results of an MPO-12 connector
  • zero-button operation and automation for ease-of-use and time saving
  • easiest tip replacement when switching between connector types or from single to multi-fibre (e.g. from LC single-fibre to MPO) with the quick connect mechanism
  • low cost of ownership thanks to default long reach tips, tip switching mechanism and level of automation that doesn’t require training
  • cost-effective compared to current options.

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