Calculator_smallIn a 2013 blog post, I mentioned that tools are an important part of any job. If you are a painter, then you need good brushes and paint. If you are a professional driver, then you need a reliable vehicle. If you are an engineer, then you need good calculation tools. I still remember how excited I was when I received my first scientific calculator at the telecommunications college. It was so convenient for me that it could plot.

These days, we have gotten used to the Excel spreadsheet program and its versatile capabilities. For those installing fiber optic systems, it is critical to have a reference of the optical losses they should expect. For the cabling to comply with customers’ expectation and standard requirements, the installer must check and see if the measured performance -insertion loss specifically- is below the theoretical losses. To accomplish that, you need a thorough understanding of how the losses of different components (i.e., cable, jumpers and connectors) intertwine to manually calculate the total link losses.

That’s why our fiber guru, Paul Kolesar, created an Excel program for the installers to enter the number of connectors and fiber lengths to quickly get the insertion losses for a specific link. Actually, our registered partners needed to use this tool to ensure losses were acceptable before requesting the solution Warranty Certificate for an installed fiber cabling. They also submit the results to a CommScope technical manager.

One constant in our lives is change. Everything needs to evolve and CommScope continues to evolve in search of excellence. We are always looking for improvements in all assets we provide to our partners.

We recently launched the next generation of the Link Loss Calculator. Because it does more than just calculate the link loss, we renamed it the “Fiber Performance Calculator.” It is still in Excel; however, it is greatly evolved and provides a more user-friendly interface. It allows users to:

  • Calculate losses in both transmission windows
  • Store as many configurations and results as they need
  • Support TAP modules
  • Translate from English to Spanish (more languages are on the way)
  • Provide three different interfaces
  • Show the support and allowed distance for a set of common fiber applications (Ethernet and Fiber Channel)
  • Set default values to speed up the configuration definition
  • Send results easily to a technical manager (or to any other expert)

I don’t want to get into further details, so I recommend you go to our Calculators and Tools section on the CommScope website and try the new Fiber Performance Calculator. I welcome your feedback and questions in the comment section below.

About the Author

Ricardo Diaz

Ricardo Diaz is the manager of digital tools and technology for CommScope, a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks. He is responsible for defining the direction of CommScope’s digital tools, applications and interactive capabilities. Located in the Madrid Area in Spain, Mr. Diaz leads this effort through the development of comprehensive digital technology strategies. He develops tools that position CommScope as a leader in solutions marketing, leverages applications and systems to increase efficiency of the internal teams and customers, integrates electronic tools across CommScope with the support of IT, and creates roadmaps and architectures that will be flexible in incorporating new technologies into the marketing mix. Before joining CommScope, Mr. Diaz worked as a tech manager for both Lucent Technologies and Avaya. Upon CommScope’s acquisition of Avaya, Mr. Diaz became an engineer program manager, and was subsequently promoted to technical manager before gaining his current role. Mr. Diaz graduated from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid with a telecommunications engineering degree.

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