How to use an Optical Transceiver


Optical transceivers are available in various form-factors and different physical characteristics. It is important to have complete knowledge of the appropriate method of using an optical transceiver. This results in not only a long life and better durability of the optical transceiver but also ensures physical safety of the user. In this article, we will discuss the installation and removal of various types of optical transceivers. This article will cover the below optical transceivers:
SFP Transceivers
CWDM/DWDM Transceivers
SFP+ Transceivers
QSFP Transceivers
To understand the process of installing and removing an optical transceiver, one should have the basic understanding of the locking system the transceiver uses. Generally, there are four types of lock and latch systems that are commonly used in optical transceivers:
Bale Clasp
Mylar Tab
Actuator Button
Slide Tab
The above mentioned locking and latching systems are the basis of correctly installing and removing an optical transceiver without causing any physical damage to the transceiver. It must be mentioned here that the optical transceivers are hot-swappable modules, one doesn’t need to power off the device to install or remove it. Removing and inserting an SFP transceiver can shorten its useful life, so you should not remove and insert SFP transceivers any more often than is absolutely necessary.
The following steps are required to be followed to install a Bale Clasp optical transceiver:
Step 1: Attach an ESD-preventive wrist or ankle strap with any grounded equipment such as switch, rack or cabinet.
Step 2: Close the bale clasp before inserting the SFP transceiver
Step 3: Line up the SFP transceiver with the port and slide it into the port
Step 4: Verify that the SFP transceiver is completely seated and secured in its assigned port on the communication equipment by firmly pushing on it. You should hear a clicking sound as the SFP is correctly installed.
Removing an Optical Transceiver
The below mentioned steps are to be followed to correctly remove a Bale Clasp optical transceiver:
Step 1: Attach an ESD-preventive wrist or ankle strap with any grounded equipment such as switch, rack or cabinet.
Step 2: Disconnect and remove all interface cables and patch cords from the port
Step 3: Open the bale clasp on the SFP transceiver with your index finger in a downward direction
Step 4: Hold the SFP transceiver between your thumb and index finger and carefully remove it from the port
Step 5: Place the removed SFP transceiver on an antistatic mat or a static shielding bag
Other than the Bale Clasp transceivers, the Mylar Tab transceivers have a tab that you pull to remove the optical transceiver from a port. Similar steps are followed for installation and removal of a Mylar Tab transceiver apart from opening the bale clasp, the Mylar Tab is pulled to remove the transceiver.
Similarly, in the case of Actuator Button or Slide Tab transceivers, the removal is based on the correct usage of the lock and latch mechanism. It is usually recommended to have a thorough look at the accompanying product literature to understand the installation of any optical transceiver properly.
Laser Safety
Apart from the installation and removal instructions, one should also consider the safety requirements which will help to avoid any physical hazards. It should be considered as a rule to remove all the cables from the transceiver while installing or removing the optical transceiver from its port. In addition to this, the dust plug should always be in place as soon as the cables are removed from the transceiver. Similarly, while installing the optical transceiver, the dust plug should stay on until you are ready to plug in the cables.
Cleaning the terminals of the patch cords is a necessary practice as dust obstructs the light path and this results in a downgraded performance and higher error rates. Furthermore, the dust particles can cause permanent damage to the transceiver causing significant monetary loss and network downtime.
Electro-Static Discharge
Safety from electro-static discharge is also necessary while installing and removing any transceiver. The metallic body of the transceivers accumulate static charges over time which can sometimes cause physical injury to the person performing the task or the communication equipment itself as it is sensitive to excessive currents. Wrist or ankle straps are available at a very economical price and are absolutely necessary to avoid this hazard.
Patch Cords and Connectors
Using the appropriate patch cord and connector is also of great importance in achieving the connectivity through a fiber optic network. Some of the transceivers are meant to be used with multi-mode fiber and some are designed for single-mode fiber optic cable. Similarly, some transceivers use the SC type connector and some support the LC type connector. Usually, the type of patch cord and the type of connector is mentioned in the product description. It is highly recommended to correctly identify the patch cord that will be appropriate for the network keeping in mind the distance between the end points to be connected.

Author: Fiber-MART.COM

eShop of Fiber Optic Network, Fiber Cables & Tools

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