Testing Cabling With MPO Connectors – What’s New?

March 8, 2017 / General, Standard and Certification, Installation and testing, Industrial Networks

With the wide variety of standards relating to fiber optic cabling, the absence of published standards for testing fiber optic cabling terminated with MPO connectors might come as a surprise. Finally, a technical report (TR), written by this author, is scheduled for a June 2017 publication that provides such testing guidance - it is TR/IEC 61282-15. A technical report provides guidance on a subject but does not have requirements (e.g. no “shalls”) as an international standard or an ANSI/TIA standard would.

Here is a sneak preview of the introduction from TR/IEC 61282-15 MPO testing technical report, paraphrased:

Cabling standards such as IEC 61280-4-1 and IEC 61280-4-2 for multimode and single-mode attenuation measurements, respectively, describe testing simplex or duplex cabling terminated with single-fiber ferrule connectors. TR/IEC 61282-15 has been written to describe testing in the absence of any MPO (multi-fiber) testing standard.

TR/IEC 61282-15 addresses the testing of cabling terminated with multi-fiber connectors (e.g. 12 fibers) of the IEC 61754-7 family related to multi-fiber push on (MPO) and describes the challenges when testing array connectivity. It goes on to describe what is important to measure and why IEC 61280-4-2 and IEC 61280-4-1 cannot be used. TR/IEC 61282-15 also compares the various methods of testing using light sources and power meters, OTDRs, fan-out cords, optical switches, and so on.

Versiv Kit Configurator

How will you be using your Versiv?

Better yet, here is an excerpt from the table of contents listing the variations in test methods:

  1. Optical light source
    1. Source with MPO interface
    2. Source with non-MPO interface and fan-out cable
    3. Source with non-MPO interface and optical switch
  2. Optical power meter
    1. Meter with MPO interface having multiple detectors
    2. Meter with MPO interface having large area detector
    3. Meter with non-MPO interface and fan-out cable
    4. Meter with non-MPO interface and optical switch
  3. OTDR
    1. OTDR with MPO interface
    2. OTDR with non-MPO interface and fan-out cable
    3. OTDR with non-MPO interface and optical switch

TR/IEC 61282-15 was developed in subcommittee 86C, working group 1 and other standards bodies are very interested in adopting this technical report including TIA/TR42 and SC25C.

Once the Technical Report is published, we’ll get into a little more detail on the contents. Stay tuned.