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TEST REPORT

Fiber Optic Meter

DEVISER AE 120 Optical Power Meter


so simple to use gives very accurate readings comes with adapters for all popular connector types shows levels in very small steps if needed, it can be calibrated

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TEST REPORT

Fiber Optic Meter

Small Size But Excellent Performance


Fiber optic cables are finding their way into digital TV installations more and more often. They are superior to coax cables due to very low attenuation and immunity to electromagnetic interference. Their advantages are especially striking in larger networks - dedicated for a multistory building or even larger. However, like with the classical coaxial cable networks, the installer must have a suitable tool to measure signal power, even when dealing with modern optical networks. And because here we are dealing with light rather than electric voltage and current, another type of meter is needed. The AE 120 Optical Power Meter made by Deviser is a tiny and lightweight meter that you can use not only to confirm that the optical signal is reaching a given node of a network but also to accurately measure its power level. Using the AE120, you can find bad fiber optic cable junctions, i.e. the ones introducing excessive light attenuation, or locate faulty components - like optical splitters. The AE120 is enclosed in a gray plastic case which is surrounded with a protective holder made of blue rubber. Below a classical LCD display, 6 buttons are located. The input connector can be found on the top side of the case. Thanks to the two additional adapters included in the set, you can connect the AE120 to any type of optical connector you are likely to find in an optical networks: FC, SC or ST. After taking the meter out of the blue rubber holder you get access to its rear panel. There is a slide door there securing the battery compartment. Two AA batteries (or AA accumulators) can be used. In the set we got for testing, there was also an AC/DC charger included. The user manual that came along with the AE120 was in the form of a small booklet. And because operating the meter is so simple and intuitive, we are sure that except for maybe the first time, you will hardly need it. But anyway, the manual is well written and provides all the information you might need. The display of the meter shows two values: optical level expressed either in dBm or in Watts, and the wavelength in nanometers the meter is

TELE-satellite Test Editor Jacek

Pawlowski checking the AES120 Optical Meter by Deviser. A DVB-T signal is converted into an optical signal and the results measured with the AES120

1 1-12/2012
DEVISER AE 120 Optical Power Meter Extremely simle to use but at same time very accurate

www.TELE-satellite.com/12/1 1/deviser

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tuned to. It could not be simpler! The AE120 has selectable wavelengths. As you could expect, there are the common 1310 nm, 1490 nm and 1550 nm bands. But not only. One can order additional, user defined wavelengths.

Our test unit had four additional bands: 850 nm, 980 nm, 1300 nm and 1610 nm so seven in total. The button is used to cycle through different wavelengths. On power up, the smallest one is selected (850 nm in our case). You should switch to

the correct wavelength in order to get the correct result. You can easily guess the function of the other buttons. The dBm/W button is used to cycle the units of the measured power. The REF button is used to store the current measurement

result as the reference level to which you will be able to compare the next measurement most likely - in the other nodes of the network. To store the reference level you press and hold a button for a longer while. Another short press - and you are back in the normal mode when you measure the present value. Having stored a result as the reference, you can press the dB button to express the current measurement with respect to the stored value in decibels. For example, if you had measured in one node a value of +3.66 dBm and stored it as a reference and then moved to another node of the network and measured -3.38 dBm, pressing the REF button would show you -7.04 dB. The meaning of this would be that at the second node the signal was 7.04 dB weaker than in our reference point. In this way, we can conveniently check if the optical splitters located between the two nodes do not introduce too much attenuation. The function of the two remaining button is self-explanatory: one turns on and off the back-light of the display and the other is just the power on/off switch. As you can see, once you get familiar with this meter, you will never forget how to use it it is so straightforward and logical. In order to test the AE120 meter, we used an optical transmitter converting a DVB-T signal into an optical one. We compared the meter to another similar tool dedicated for the installers. (graph 1.) As you can see in the attached graph, the results of both meters were quite similar. However, when we attenuated the signal, AE120 was still able to measure it (-19.97 dBm) while its com-

78 TELE-satellite International The Worlds Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine 1 1-12/2012 www.TELE-satellite.com

petitor displayed just LOW message. Thats because the AE120 has an impressive dynamic range of 68 dB. It can measure optical power from -43 dBm through to +25 dBm. Moreover, the Deviser AE120 was able to measure power with 0.01 dBm resolution while its competitor was not able to discriminate changes smaller than 0.5 dBm. The AE120 measurement uncertainty is merely 0.17 dB (3%) which is an impressive figure. Deviser made it possible to re-calibrate the meter if the user has access to laboratory grade equipment. It is possible to switch the meter to the calibration mode and enter the correction if needed. The range of the possible correction is from -1 dB to + 1dB. It is described in the manual how to do that. Also this operation is quite simple to perform. To sum it up: the AE120 is extremely simple to use but at the same time very accurate and stable. It is a perfect companion for every installer who deals with todays modern fiber optic networks.

Very handy: small and lightweight Extremely simple to operate Switchable wavelengths Available reference level measurement mode Wide dynamic range and high accuracy All popular fiber cable connectors supported The display back-light is rather weak

Expert Opinion
Manufacturer Fax E-mail Web page
Jacek Pawlowski TELE-satellite Test Center Poland

TECHNICAL
DATA
Tianjin Deviser Electronics Instrument Co., Ltd. +86-22-27645002 overseasbiz@deviser.com.cn www.devisertek.com AE120 Optical Power Meter 0.17 dB (3%) -43 dBm ~ +25 dBm 0.01 dBm, mW 1310 nm, 1490 nm, 1550 nm plus user defined FC/SC/ST -10 ~ +60 C / < 80% 50 hours with two AA bateries 119 x 70 x 29 mm 200 g without bateries

Model Function Basic Accuracy Input Range Resolution Calibrated Wavelengths Connectors

Measurements with the DEVISER AE 120 Optical Power Meter


1 7

Ambient Temperature/Humidity Operation Time (backlight off) Dimensions Weight

MORE ABOuT THIS COMPANy


www.TELE-satellite.com/TELE-satellite-1107/eng/deviser.pdf

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1-6. Do you know the wavelength of your fibre optic system? No problem, measure the same signal for different lambda and the highest reading indicates the wavelength; in our case this is evidently 1490 nm because the maximum reading is just for this setting 7. After pressing the REF button for 2 seconds, the current level (-0.57 dBm) becomes the reference level 8. Now we have switched to reference measurement mode by pressing the dB button 9. Measurement results are reffered now to -0.57 dBm 10. If you prefer, you may use mW rather than dBm units

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