Max Power for Fiber Connectors?

  • Thread starter n0_3sc
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Max Power for Fiber Connectors??

Does anyone know the maximum peak or average power for FC/APC fiber optic connectors?

My system is constantly burning the cores of these connectors.
I have a maximum of 600mW (average) and 1KW (peak) passing through these connectors.
 

Answers and Replies

dlgoff
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I did a google search and found this article (cached):
http://209.85.207.104/search?q=cache:9IlSSbtea10J:www.fiber-optics.info/articles/connector-care.htm+"fiber+optic+connectors"power&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=firefox-a"

A number of events can damage fiber optic connectors. Unprotected connector ends can experience damage by impact, airborne dust particles, or excess humidity or moisture. The increased optical output power of modern lasers also have the potential to damage a connector, an often overlooked factor in discussions about handling and caring for optical fibers and connectors. Most designers tend to think of the power levels in optical fibers as relatively insignificant. However, a few milliwatts at 850 nm will do permanent damage to a retina. Today, optical amplifiers can generate optical powers of 1 Watt of more into a single-mode fiber. This becomes quite significant when one considers that the optical power is confined in the optical core only a few microns in diameter. Power densities in a single-mode fiber carrying an optical power of 1 Watt (+30 dBm) can reach 3 megawatts/cm2 or 30 gigawatts/m2! To put it in everyday terms, sunlight at the surface of the Earth has a power density of about 1,000 Watts/m2. Most organic materials will combust when exposed to radiant energies of 100 kilowatts/m2. Clearly, power densities of 30 gigawatts/m2 deserve attention.
Effects on Fiber Optic Connectors

One should never clean an optical connector attached to a fiber that is carrying light. Optical power levels as low as +15 dBm, or 32 milliwatts, may cause an explosive ignition of the cleaning material when it contacts the end of the optical connector, destroying the connector. Typical cleaning materials, such as tissues saturated with alcohol, will combust almost instantaneously when exposed to optical power levels of +15 dBm or higher. The micro-explosions at the tip of the connector can leave pits in the end of the connector and crack the connector’s surface, destroying its ability to carry light with low loss. Figure 5 shows an optical connector that has been heavily damaged by high optical power levels. Usually the damage is limited to less severe pitting.
Hope this helps.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
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Thanks a lot - I don't know why I couldn't manage to find that page.

I have obeyed all those cleaning procedures, and I disbelieve that the high power I am using is burning these connectors. The reason is, the burnt pair of connectors are not directly from the amplifier. Their is another pair before it that DOES NOT burn.

Something weird is going on...
 
243
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ok problem solved...
Turns out NOT ALL FC/APC connectors have the same connector tip dimensions hence a slight misalignment in the fiber cores thus bigger loss = bigger burns.

Let this be a lesson to all.
 
dlgoff
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Thanks n0_3sc for letting us know the reason for you problem. So do you change the connectors type or is there a way to align?
 
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Thanks n0_3sc for letting us know the reason for you problem. So do you change the connectors type or is there a way to align?
Sorry I don't know if your being sarcastic but taking your question seriously:
There are only one type of fiber joiners. So I snipped of the one connector and spliced a new one on, with similar tip dimensions.

Yes you may align them through free space mechanisms but this is far too lossy.
 
dlgoff
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I wasn't trying to be sarcastic. Not being an expert in this area (had a little experience years ago), I didn't know if there were ways I wasn't aware of.

Glad you've solved the problem.
 

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