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Check Your Fiber Optic Connectors Like A Professional Installer

Mar 11, 2008
What are Fiber Optic Inspection Microscopes?

Fiber optic inspection microscopes are used to inspect the end face of a optical connector or cleaved fiber.

Two types of fiber optic microscopes are popular on the market: fiber optic connector termination inspection and fiber patch panel ferrule inspection.

Magnification levels of fiber scope are available at 200X or 400X for single mode fiber applications, 100X low cost type for multimode applications. The latter is often included in many fiber optic termination tool kits.

What types of flaws or contamination can the microscope see?

With at least 200X magnification you can clearly see scratches, dig, dirt deposit, debris and other contamination on a fiber optic connector.

Desktop video fiber microscope

The typical desktop fiber optic video inspection microscope has a 9" black and white monitor attached to the scope with a 4 feet video cable. So you can place the monitor where it is convenient. Because of its bulk volume, this type of fiber microscope is typically used in production environments and labs. Both 200X and 400X versions are available.

Portable optical fiber scope

This type of microscope with universal adapter is a versatile instrument to inspect fiber optic connectors. They can be used for both multimode and single mode applications. Connectors slide into scope adapter, providing ease of use with or without tripod. 8 degree angle adapter can be used for inspecting angled connectors such as FC/APC, SC/APC, etc. Both 200X and 400X versions are available.

Coaxial Illuminated handheld fiber inspection scope

These low cost microscopes are available in 200x or 400x magnification, and utilize white LED light to provide coaxial illumination to connector end-faces. This method of illumination produces high resolution detail of end face scratches, defects and contamination. It is provided with a universal 2.5mm adapter, with other common connector styles available. These are the natural choice for fiber installation contractors.

Ferrule inspection microscopes

All aforementioned four types of microscopes are for standalone fiber connector inspection. But what about the connectors already installed on patch panels and hardware devices? The ferrule inspection microscopes are the solution.

These video fiber optic microscopes include a handheld LCD display unit and a small, lightweight probe that contains a long-life LED light source and CCD video camera. The probe adapter tip mates with the connector and projects a crisp, clear image of microscopic debris and end-face damage on the LCD display.

Zoom levels of different optical fiber optic microscopes

* 100X
* 150X
* 200X
* 400X

Warnings

* Do not look into a fiber while the system laser is on

* Do not connect a fiberscope while the system laser is on

* Do not touch the end face of the fiber connector

* Lasers used in telecommunication systems are powerful enough to burn contaminants into the fiber end face. Always ensure the laser is turned off while performing the cleaning procedure.

Other special features of popular handheld fiber micrscopes

1. 100X magnification for viewing multimode connectors
2. Includes 2.5 mm connector "Universal Adapter" for FC, ST and SC style connectors
3. Oblique illumination provides good view of ferrule cleanliness and core condition
4. White LED illumination delivers long working life
About the Author
Want to see how they look like? Check out these fiber optic inspection microscope , video fiber microscope and fiber optic microscopes on Fiber Optics For Sale Co web site.
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