How to Choose the Right Power Meter Light Source

Top 4 Questions to Ask a PMLS Vendor

By Fluke Networks
Published 2009, Posted May 2009



A power meter light source (PMLS) test set tends to be viewed as a basic device for testing power and loss over fiber links. Such a simple verification device is likely to be considered a must-have tool for any network technician or installer responsible for first-line datacom cabling verification and troubleshooting - and rightly so. However, this basic functionality should not translate into low value or quality indifference, especially considering the majority of optical fiber deployments that require testing support the backbone and high-speed data center links. These communication links make up the most mission-critical portion of the network. Furthermore, these links likely must be able to support the higher-speed network technologies like 1-Gb per second, 10-Gb per second Ethernet, or the high-speed fiber channel. Such high-speed applications demand a relatively small loss limit for the end-to-end link. A measurement error as small as 0.25 dB represents 10% of the channel loss limit, underlying the importance of quality and precision, even in basic functionality PMLS test sets.


With such a wide variety of PMLS manufacturers to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which instrument is right for you. To assist in navigating the research process, here are four questions you should ask yourself and the vendor when deciding which PMLS you should purchase.



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