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Visual Locator Highlights Fibre Faults

Jul 2008
Scitec Instruments Ltd.Request Info
•  650-nm visible red light
•  operates inside OTDR dead zone
•  >100-h battery life

Scitec_Inst.jpgThe VFL-280 visual fault locator from Terahertz Technologies Inc. is newly available through Scitec Instruments Ltd. The instrument helps operators detect breaks and microbends in optical fibres, trace particular fibres within bundles and find leaky splices and connectors. It is suitable for both single- and multimode fibres.

The rugged hand-held instrument produces visible red light at 650 ±5 nm, which transmits along the fibre and highlights any fault. The advantage over optical time-domain reflectometry (OTDR) is that this technique works even when the fault is only a short distance from the source. For use with an optical fibre bundle, the instrument is connected by the operator to the particular fibre with a standard 2.5-mm fibre optic connector and can then trace the fibre along the length of the bundle by visible means. The stabilized fibre optic laser source has a modulated mode in which it pulses at 6 Hz with a 50% duty cycle, conserving battery power as well as making the signal more visible in ambient light conditions. Alternatively, the laser source operates in continuous mode.

The device uses two standard AA batteries and draws a maximum of 1 mW, providing more than 100 h of battery life. It automatically switches off after 30 min of inactivity. The instrument measures 80 × 64 × 28 mm and weighs 120 g. It operates at temperatures from –10 to 50 °C and is supplied with a universal 2.5-mm ferrule.


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