Industry Update – Effects of Using a BIMMF Cable as a Launch Cord

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The TIA convened for its last meeting of 2019 from Sept 16th to Sept 20th in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Up for discussion in the TR42.11 subcommittee was the general concern from field installers on the testing and usage of bend insensitive multimode fiber (BIMMF).  Current standards call for non-BIMMF cables to be used as the launch cables for fiber optic testing. This is because non-BIMMF cables can maintain encircled flux (EF) launch conditions which are often required when testing installed multimode (MM) cables.

Standard, non-BIMMF reference cables are becoming more difficult to find and there is an increasing push to allow BIMMF cables to serve as launch cables for testing. The members present at the TIA meeting weighed the pros and cons of sanctioning BIMMF cables for this use and the potential impact on the accuracy of MM measurements.

As of now, the standards bodies have yet to reach a consensus on this topic. We at OptoTest place the utmost importance on measurement accuracy and continue to encourage the use of standard non-BIMMF launch cords tuned to an EF launch for MM testing. If you’d like to learn more about BIMMF cables and the importance of launch conditions, we invite you to read AN-125 Bend-Insensitive Multimode Fiber (BIMMF) and AN-135 Launch Conditions for Multimode Testing.

If finding non-BIMMF reference cords has become difficult for you, OptoTest builds all multimode reference cords with standard non bend insensitive fiber.  Please contact us for more information.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. What has been your experience with testing  and usage of BIMMF vs non-BIMMF cables?


If you have any questions or comments, we want to hear from you. Don’t hesitate to contact the OptoTest team!

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