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LC Adapter for
Fiber Inspection Scope
10X Eye Loupe
SMA Height Gauge
Fiber Inspection Scope
The tools on this page are primarily used for inspecting fiber optic ends and other optics. A fiber inspection scope is used to examine the polished end of a terminated fiber. The scope illuminates and magnifies the fiber tip so scratches and other defects can be seen. An SMA connector height gauge provides a way to accurately measure the length of an SMA905 connector, which is important in SMA to SMA coupling. Our premium eye loupes with 6X or 10X magnification are ideal for use in quality control departments. We also offer a head-worn magnifier, an inspection mirror, and certified scratch-dig panels for optic surface inspection.
The FS201 Fiber Inspection Scope produces a high-quality, low-distortion image of both the fiber end and surrounding ferrule. With a high-intensity illumination system and 200X magnification, this microscope is powerful enough to offer a clear image of the fiber core as well as the surrounding cladding. The FS201 offers both coaxial and oblique illumination settings. The coaxial setting provides symmetric lighting for high-detail inspection, and the oblique setting provides light at an off-center angle to the fiber end face for higher contrast. The FS201 should not be used to inspect a fiber connected to an active light source; light sources must be disconnected or turned off prior to inspection.
The FS201 includes the FS200-FC adapter for FC-/ST-/SC-terminated fibers (Ø2.5 mm ferrules) and the FS201-SMA adapter for SMA905- and SMA906-terminated fibers (Ø3 mm ferrules). The FS200-LC adapter for LC-terminated fibers (Ø1.25 mm ferrules) and the FS201-PM for polarization-maintaining fibers are available separately below.
The FS201 features two illumination modes, as well as adjustable adapters for fiber alignment.
Fiber Scope Operation
To inspect the full surface area of fibers with larger cores or fibers with angled faces, it may be necessary to rotate the fiber connector. This is also useful for differentiating between contaminants on the face of the fiber connector and those on the scope optic itself. In order to see the entire field of view, the rubber eyepiece should be as close as possible to the operator's eye. Operators who normally wear eyeglasses should remove them to fully inspect the fiber. Please note that under normal operation, the focus adjustment knob should not be rotated to its limits. Doing so repeatedly may cause the unit to fail over time.
The FS201 should not be used to view an active emitting fiber. An attenuating laser safety filter in the FS201 reduces the risk of accidental viewing of active fiber emissions. However, due to the IR wavelengths commonly used in fiber optics, the natural aversion reflex to viewing bright light is suppressed and can result in a longer accidental exposure time. Therefore, Thorlabs recommends that light sources must be disconnected from the patch cable or turned off prior to inspection.
These connector adapters are used with the FS201 Fiber Inspection Scope sold above to enable compatibility with different ferrule and connector types (see table to the right for options). The FS201-PM adapter is like the FS200-FC adapter, except it features a V-groove that is aligned with the wide key slot on the FC/PC bulkhead. This provides a rough guide for determining the relative alignment of the connector key to the fiber stress members when used with polarization-maintaining patch cables.
Although each adapter comes pre-aligned for use with the FS201, it may be necessary to align the adapter to center the fiber in the field of view for fibers with poor centration. First, follow the basic steps above to inspect a test fiber. Using a 1.5 mm hex key or balldriver, loosen the three setscrews around the edge of the connector adapter at the end of the scope. Look through the illuminated scope, focus on the fiber ferrule, and align the connector until the ferrule face is centered within the field of view. Progressively adjust the three setscrews until the end face is in the center of the scope view.
The 10125HG SMA height gauge is ideal for accurately measuring the height of a polished fiber optic SMA905 connector. SMA-to-SMA couplers are designed to have a non-contact interface, and since the insertion loss (IL) of an SMA-SMA junction is dependent on the distance between the two SMA connector end faces, the height of the polished SMA connector is important. We recommend frequent calibration using the attached calibration pin. For detailed calibration instructions, please see the manual. Please note that this gauge is not compatible with SMA906 connectors.
To use, thread an SMA905-terminated fiber into the port at the bottom of the gauge and hand tighten. The connector height measurement on the gauge face is with respect to 0.3860". The photo above shows a ferrule with a height of 0.3863" which reads as +3 ticks on the gauge face. Be sure the gauge is properly calibrated prior to use.
Please note the IEC standard for SMA ferrule height is 0.3850" to 0.3863" (IEC61754-22).
The graph to the right shows the theoretical insertion loss as a function of the separation of two SMA connectors using our M38L01 patch cable. The fiber in this cable has a core diameter of 200 µm, a numerical aperture of 0.39, and an index of 1.4571 at 633 nm. This graph was generated using the following equation:
where z is the separation distance, a is the radius of the core size in µm, NA is the numerical aperture of the fiber, and n0 is the index of the core. Click here to download an interactive Excel file which can be used to calculate and graph the theoretical insertion loss for any fiber.
The height gauge should not be used for testing high-power fiber patch cables as the contact between the gauge and connector end can damage the exposed fiber tip.
Thorlabs' Premium Eye Loupes provide clear magnification that is ideal for inspecting optics and small parts. The eye loupes were designed by Thorlabs to maximize working distance when used with the knurled edge oriented towards the eye. They use a pair of glass achromatic doublets to minimize chromatic and other aberrations. The AR coating on each optical surface is optimized to reduce internal reflections at wavelengths visible to the human eye. These high-quality magnifiers are suitable for quality control applications in industry or inspecting optics in the lab. They are available in 6X and 10X magnifications.
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This ray tracing demonstrates the virtual image seen through the EYL06X eye loupe.
Eye Loupe Magnification
The maximum magnification that can be achieved on the human retina is given by the loupe magnification definition, which is a thin-lens formula:
This Bausch + Lomb® loupe is an ideal, economical tool for inspecting optics and small parts. The eyepiece provides a clear, 10X magnification. This loupe is designed to be used with the flared edge facing the eye. If the JEL10X does not meet your inspection needs, our premium eye loupes (featured above) provide a higher image quality and a wider field of view suitable for industry inspection applications.
This head-worn inspection magnifier is ESD compliant and cleanroom compatible. It is ideal for inspecting components when high magnification is not required and may be worn with or without prescription eyeglasses. The position of the magnifying lenses is adjustable so that they can be swung out of your line of sight when magnification is not needed.
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Detail of ISO (Top) and
MIL (Bottom) Surface Imperfection Standards
Scratch-dig panels are used to determine the cosmetic surface quality of an optic. We offer two panels each with imperfections defined by either ISO 10110-7 or MIL-O-013830A. Each standard has its own requirements for the sizes and density of scratches and digs. For details and dimensions on the etched patterns, please refer to the photo to the right and the expandable table below. To use the panel, place it next to the optic under inspection and compare the imperfections on the optic's surface to the imperfections on the panel.
Certificates with nominal and measured feature dimensions for the masks used to create these panels are available by clicking on the Support Docs icons () below.
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Partial Extension of Telescoping Arm
This telescoping inspection mirror is ideal for viewing components in hard-to-reach areas of the lab.