Introduction to SFP+ Converter Module

In the previous articles, a variety of transceiver module knowledge have been introduced here. But a special type of transceiver module which called SFP+ converter module has never been covered in this blog. What is it? Today, we are going to unveil its mysterious veil.
Actually, the SFP+ converter module is not a new product in the market. As early as 2009, Cisco has launched the similar product and announced that it is an ideal option for those users who want to use the 10G XENPAK / X2 interface port of a switch with EXNPAK / X2 modules or SFP+ modules. In general, the SFP+ converter module includes 10G XENPAK to SFP+ converter module and 10G X2 to SFP+ converter module. In the previous posts, we have introduced the XENPAK and X2 modules, as well as the SFP+ modules. As we know, the XENPAK and X2 modules are the earlier 10G transceiver products, and the SFP+ is the most popular 10G transceiver now. From this point of view, it is not difficult to find that the application purpose of the SFP+ converter module is for easier and cost-saving upgrade.
In terms of the appearance, the 10G XENPAK to SFP+ converter module and 10G X2 to SFP+ converter module are with the same sizes as the XENPAK and X2 module, respectively. However, if you take a close look, you will find that the optical interfaces of them are not the same. In XENPAK and X2 module, the optical interfaces are generally designed with SC type. While in the SFP+ converter module, you may find that is a port which can plug in a SFP+ module. And this design enables the EXNPAK / X2 convert to SFP+ become available. The picture below shows us the comparisons.
Module comparison
The SFP+ converter module can convert a 10G XENPAK or X2 port into a 10G SFP+ port. This function makes customers have the flexibility to use the switch ports with the favoured module without having to upgrade the switches or modules. This flexibility is critical when the specific type of interface is not available in one or the other form factor or when customers want to use the same form factor for interfaces across multiple platforms deployed in their network.
Though today is the era of 40/100 GbE, 10GbE still accounts for a large proportion of the market. In many places, switches with XENPAK and X2 port are still used. The SFP+ converter module brings an efficient way for users to upgrade the port without changing the device. Meanwhile, the design concept of this product can be used as a reference for today’s market.
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How To Decide What Goes Into A Fiber Prep Kit

Kit configuration starts with our marketing department, our staff of engineers and our sales team. Usually it’s the sales team up first explaining the need for a kit for a specific customer or they had an inspiration or a germ of an idea from a tech in the field saying he wished he had a selection of tools in an all-in-one kit. Ideas can originate just about anywhere. All suggestions are evaluated, and one of the first questions posed is there a market for this kit and will anyone care (translation, will anyone buy it)?
Kevin Costner starred in the movie, Field of Dreams. And a voice over kept saying, “if you build it they will come.” We ask, if you build it will the customers come. In the case of fiber prep tools and the need for a kit our marketing department conducted extensive research and found such a need, and with the breadth of line, fiber-mart Tools was positioned to fill it.
Because fiber is ubiquitous and more and more is being installed every day, the need for the proper tools for installation and maintenance continues to grow; therefore, the need for fiber prep tools continues to grow. So, the question then becomes, what goes into a fiber prep kit?
fiber-mart Tools has a number of Fiber Prep Kits in the line including the TK-120 Fiber Prep Kit and the TK-150 Fiber Prep Kit with Connector Cleaner, Fiber Cleaver & Visual Fault Locator. The TK-150 features all of the same tools as the TK-120 plus the VFL-150 Visual Fault Locator, FCC-250 Fiber Connector Cleaner and the FC-220 Fiber Cleaver. These kits have been on the market for a little over a year and can already be found in use around the world. But who decided what to put in the kits and how was that decision made?
Cable StrippersLooking at the tools contained in the TK-120 and the function of each explains how and why they were chosen. To start there are three cable stripping tools, the CST-1900 Round Cable Stripper, CSR-1575 Cable Strip & Ring Tool, and the FOD-2000 Fiber Optic Drop Cable Slitter. These tools allow you to open cable jackets and buffer tubes to gain access to the fiber.
MS-6 Blog 02Along the same line is the MS-6 Mid Span Slitter. This patent pending tool allows the tech to gain access to a fiber mid span for either a repair or connectorizing a fiber.
Every kit needs a fiber stripper and fiber-mart Tools manufactures the JIC-375 Fiber Optic Stripper Three Hole…THE tool for stripping fiber optic cable. And if you are exposing the inner workings of the cable you are bound to encounter Kevlar – a very tough material. A standard scissor would last a week before breaking so you need the JIC-186 Ergonomic Fiber Optic Kevlar Cutter…a tough resilient scissor specifically designed to deal with materials as tough as Kevlar.
Rounding out the kit you need a flashlight like the FL-2000, a screwdriver like the SD-61 Multi Bit Screwdriver for opening panel boxes, FW-5 fiber wipes for cleaning the fiber and a couple of pliers. We included the JIC-2288 Diagonal Cutter Pliers for use as the name implies – for cutting cables, and the JIC-842 Telecom Long Nose Pliers for grabbing or pulling cables. Now add the rugged H-90 21 Pocket Tool Case and you have the perfect kit…and that is the genesis of the fiber Prep kit.

CWDM System Testing Process

With the explosion of CWDM, it is very necessary to formulate a basic testing procedure to certifying and troubleshooting CWDM networks during installation and maintenance. Today, one of the most commonly available test methods is the use of an OTDR or power source and meter, which is capable of testing the most commonly wavelengths, 1310, 1490, 1550 and 1625nm.
This article here is based on the pre-connectorized plug and play CWDM systems that allow for connecting to test equipment in the field:
In the multiplexing module of a pre-connectorized CWDM system, wavelengths are added to the network through the filters and transmitted through the common port. The transmitted wavelengths enter the COM port in the de-multiplexing module and are dropped. All other wavelengths present at the MUX/DeMux module are went through the express port.
Most of today’s OTDRs have expanded capability for testing wavelengths in addition to 1310 and 1550 nm. The OTDR allows partial testing of such system offered in test equipment source. The OTDR allows partial testing of these systems by using the flexibility of pre-connectorized solutions. This is done by switching connections within the CWDM field terminal to allow for testing portions of the non-1310/1550 nm optical paths.
To test the 1310nm, the first step is to test the downstream portion of a system at 1310 nm by connecting the OTDR to the 1310 nm input on the CWDM MUX located at the headend. Then switch the test leads over the the upstream side and repeat. Test method is the same for both the downstream and upstream paths.
1550 nm testing is performed similarly by switching the test leads to the 1550nm ports. If additional wavelengths are present, you need to follow the procedures below:
Using the 1550 nm test wavelength, switch the OTDR connection to the 1550 nm input port on the headend MUX. Have a technician stationed at the field terminal connect the drop cable leg connectors for the 1570 nm customer to the 1550 nm port on the Mux/demux device. What should be noted is that in a play and plug solution this should not require repositioning where the drop cable passes through the OSP terminal. Test the downstream 1570 nm passive link at 1550 nm, and then repeat for the 1570 nm upstream side. When testing is complete, have the technician switch the connections for the 1570 nm drop back to the 1570 nm ports on the field MUX/DeMUX device as shown in Figure 6. Repeat this process for the 1590 nm, 1610 nm drop cables and other wavelengths present. Finally, test the 1550 nm path normally with the 1550 nm drop cable connected to the 1550nm MUX/DeMUX ports.
Since the OTDRs is able to test at 1490 or 1625 nm, the drop cables under test could be connected to the EXP port of the module and tested at 1490 or 1625 nm respective wavelength, without having to connect each to the 1550 nm port. Otherwise the procedure is the same.
As CWDM network become more and more common the data they carrying has also become critical. The procedure introduced here allows for testing modular pre-connectorized CWDM systems with standard optical test equipments. Relative channel power can be measured with a wide-band fiber optic power meter at the filter outputs or at other points in the network with the aid of a wavelength selective test device or with an optical spectrum analyzer.

Do you know Fiber Optical Transponders?

As we know, transponder is important in optical fiber communications, it is the element that sends and receives the optical signal from a fiber. A transponder is typically characterized by its data and the maximum distance the signal can travel.
Functions of a Fiber Optical Transponder includes:
Electrical and optical signals conversion
Serialzation and deserialization
Control and monitoring
Applications of Fiber Optical Transponder
Multi-rate, bidirectional fiber transponders convert short-reach 10gb/s and 40 gb/s optical signals to long-reach, single-mode dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) optical interfaces.
The modules can be used to enable DWDM applications such as fiber relief, wavelength services, and Metro optical DWDM access overtay on existing optical infrastructure.
Supporting dense wavelength multiplexing schemes, fiber optic transponders can expand the useable bandwidth of a single optical fiber to over 300 Gb/s.
Transponders also provide a standard line interface for multiple protocols through replaceable 10G small form-factor pluggable (XFP) client-side optics.
The data rate and typical protocols transported include synchronous optical network/synchronous digital hierarchy (SONET/SDH) (OC-192 SR1), Gigabit Ethernet (10GBaseS and 10GBaseL), 10G Fibre Channel (10 GFC) and SONET G.709 forward error correction (FEC)(10.709 Gb/s).
Fiber optic transponder modules can also support 3R operation (reshape, retime, regenerate) at supported rates.
Often, fiber optic transponders are used to for testing interoperability and compatibility. Typical tests and measurements include litter performance, receiver sensitivity as a function of bit error rate (BER), and transmission performance based on path penalty.Some fiber optic transponders are also used to perform transmitter eye measurements.
fiber-mart.com Provides Optical Transponders Solution
Let’s image that the architecture that can not support automated reconfigureability. Connectivity is provided via a manual Fibre Optic Patch Panel, a patch panel where equipment within an office is connected via fiber cables to one side (typically in the back), and where short patch cables are used on the other side (typically in the front) to manually interconnect the equipment as desired.  There is a point that Fibre Optic Patch Panel, people usually different ports patch panel , for example, 6, 8, 12, 24 port fiber patch panel and they according to different connectors to choose different patch panel, such as LC patch panel,  LC patch panel,  MTP patch panel…
optical network
The traffic that is being added to or dropped from the optical layer at this node is termed add/drop traffic, the traffic that is transmitting the mode is called through traffic. Regardless of the traffic type, note that all of the traffic entering and exiting the node is processed by a WDM transponder. In the course of converting between a WDM-compatible optical signal and a client optical signal, the transponder processes the signal in the electrical domain. Thus, all traffic enters the node in the optical domain, is converted to the electrical domain, and is returned to the optical domain. This architecture, where all traffic undergoes optical electrical (OEO) conversion, is referred to as the OEO architecture.

What is a fiber optic coupler and how to properly choose it?

The relevance of fiber optic couplers, also called adapters, is constantly eclipsed by connectors.
but the truth is that they are a critical element in fiber optic links and systems and play a serious role in the connection performance.
Why?
Because fiber optic couplers role is to join or mate connectors together and make it possible to connect cables between each other and into active equipment.
Look:
Connectors’ role is to precisely hold, secure and align the fibers into their ferrules. Couplers purpose is to accurately hold, secure and align the ferrules into their mating sleeves, bringing the ferrules together at the midpoint.
What does this mean?
That the alignment precision characteristics between connectors’ ferrule and couplers’ mating sleeves define the interconnection assembly performance.
Usually, fiber optic couplers are used to connect the same style of connectors
SC to SC
ST to ST
LC to LC
But there are some of them, called hybrid adapters, able to mate different styles of connectors, such as
SC to ST
SC to LC and so on
Commonly, most adapters are female and allow the connection between two cables in order to communicate from the distance through a direct connection.
But:
there also are male-female couplers, which are usually plug into a connector port of equipment.
SC coupler
SC couplers are available in simplex and duplex styles. Single mode UPC couplers are blue, multimode UPC are beige and single mode SC/APC couplers are green.
SC/APC couplers are one of the most reliable connection styles, which is why they are broadly used in
FTTH deployments
CATV
LAN
WAN applications.
LC coupler
LC connectors are one of the most popular small form factor connectors which is why, along with LC couplers, are widely used in high density applications.
LC couplers are also manufactured in blue for UPC single mode, beige for UPC multimode and green for APC single mode and in simplex and duplex style.
ST coupler
ST adaptors are manufactured in metal and plastic and, also, in simplex and duplex style for single mode, multimode and APC versions. They are used to link ST connectors and components.
Beyondtech manufactures and supplies a wide range of fiber optic couplers for several applications that comply with all international standards.

How To Clean The Fiber Optic Connector

Fiber optic cleaning is one of the most important thing in the process of fiber optic system maintenance, which is required to keep quality connections between fiber optic equipment. As we know, the fiber optic connector consists of fiber optic plug and the adapter. The ends of the fiber optic cables are held in the core of ferrule in the plug. Keeping the fiber end face and ferrule absolutely clean is very essential, since any particles such as dust, oil or lint on the end face of the fiber, it will disrupt the light transmission trough the fiber and lead to the completeness of optical signals for the component or the entire system.
For proper performance of the SC fiber optic cable, you must keep the SC connector clean and free of dust. Small micro-deposit of oil and dust in the canal of the connector could cause loss of light, reducing signal power and possible causing intermittent problems with the optical connections. Below picture show the part of the end face of an unclean and clean ferrule of SC connectors.
What should be followed before the fiber optic cleaning
1.Before cleaning the fiber optic connectors, make sure to disconnect the fiber optic cables from both ends and then turn off any laser source.
2. Do not allow the end of the fiber optic cable to make contact with any surface including your fingers.
3.Never to bend the fiber cable, which will in turn cause internal breaks along the fiber and cause poor performance or instability.
4.Use the finger cots or powder free surgical gloves to handle the fiber optic cables.
5.Use fresh spectroscopic grade Methanol or Isopropyl Alcohol as the only cleaning solvent.
6. In the daily connection work, a connector housing should be used when plugging or unplugging a fiber. A protective cap should be used to cover the unplugged fiber connectors.
7. In the process of the fiber optic cleaning, the end face of the connector should never be touched and also the clean area of a tissue of swab should not be touched or reused.
Cleaning Procedure
At the beginning of cleaning job, a fiber microscope should be used to inspect the fiber end, if it is contaminated as either images shows below, it should be cleaned with the dry cleaning method.
1.Blow the fiber surface with a stream of Clean Dry Air (the so called CDA), which will dislodge larger, loose particles. Keep in mind, don’t tip the can of the CDA while blowing. Because the liquid may be released contaminant on the surface of the fiber.
2.Place 1-3 drops of spectroscopic grade methanol or isopropyl alcohol in the center of a lens tissue. Do not use Acetone as a cleaning solvent on the fiber optical surfaces. Besides, to ensure the purity of the methanol or alcohol, you should never insert the lens tissue or swabs into the liguid.
3.Hold the fiber by the connector. Place the wet portion of the lens tissue on the optical surface and slowly drag it across. At this step, don’t use lens paper to dry it because the dry lens paper is extremely abrasive.
4.Examine the surface of the fiber under high density light using a magnifier, an optical loop, or a video inspection tool. If streaks or contaminants still remain, repeat the process using a fresh lens tissue.
5.Immediately install a protective cover over the end of the cable to avoid re-contamination or insert the fiber for immediate use.

Fiber Optic Visual Light Testers

Visual fault locators can be part of OTDR, which is able to locate the breakpoint, bending or cracking of the fiber glass. It can also locate the fault of OTDR dead zone and make fiber identification from one end to the other end. Fiber optic visual fault locators include the pen type, the handheld type and portable visual fault locator. fiber-mart.com also supply a new kind of fiber optic laser tester that can locates fault up to 30km in fiber optic cable.
The new visual fault locator fiber optic laser tester 30km is especially designed for field personnel who need an efficient and economical tool for fiber tracking, fiber routing and continuity checking in an optical network during and after installation. It can send fiber testing red light through fiber optic cables, then the breaks or faults in the fiber will refract the light, creating a bright glow around the faulty area. Its pen shape made it very easy to carry, and its Cu-alloy material shell made it sturdy and durable, 2.5nm universal interface make it more attractive. The inspection distance various according to different mode.
Features
Easy to check fiber faults with visual red laser light
FC, SC, ST General interface
Sturdy and durable shell
Constant output power
Long inspection distance
Operates in either CW (Continuous wave) or pulse (Both modes are available)
Pen pattern design, convenient for use and carry
Dust-proof design keeps fiber connectors clean
Compact in size, light in weight, red laser output, both SM and MM available
fiber-mart.com provides enough stock of fiber optic visual light testers which usually be shipped out in a short time, and can be shipped out in 2-4 business days. We offer 1 years warranty for the quality of these products, so customers can place the order with 100% confidence!