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Best Optical Power Meter: Buyer’s Guide

Power in an optical signal can be accurately measured through an optical power meter (OPM). This term essential relates to a device for testing average power within fiber optic systems. After you install and terminate the fiber optic cables, you need to test them. The test must be carried out for each fiber optic cable for 3 key areas namely power, loss, and continuity. To do that, you would require a fiber optic power meter.

An optical power meter’s design features a calibrated sensor, display, and measuring amplifier. The sensor chiefly comprises a photodiode chosen for the proper range of wavelengths as well as power levels. You can see the set wavelength and measured optical power on the display. The following article shortlists top-notch optical power meters so that you can choose the appropriate and the best optical power meter with all vital features.

List of The Best Optical Power Meter

Check out the thorough reviews of the best optical power meter below.

1. D YEDEMC Mini Optical Fiber Power Meter

D YEDEMC Mini Optical Fiber Power Meter

Being the best optical power meter in the list, this D YEDEMC mini optical fiber power meter includes all necessary features at a reasonable price. It is a light and VFL power meter that can accurately measure optical power. The expert craftsmanship keeps it working for years without any hassles.

A 10mW visual fault locator is included to enhance the measurement accuracy. Moreover, this optical power meter is compatible with the 0.98 in FC/SC/ST universal interface. You can carry out an RJ45 test using this meter.

Key Features

  • It can measure standard wavelengths namely 850 nm, 980 nm, 1300 nm,1310 nm, 1490 nm, 1550 nm, 1625 nm, and 1650 nm.
  • The test range is -70dBm to +6dBm.
  • The power of the red light source is 10mw.
  • Key features supported are auto shutdown, lighting, backlight selection, user calibration, and wavelength memory function.
  • The lithium-ion battery has the capacity of 700 mAh.
  • There is support for simultaneous display of linear mW as well as non-linear index dBm.
  • The meter weighs 8.4 ounces.

Pros And Cons

  • High accuracy and fine workmanship
  • Decent visual fault locate light which can be observed from a far distance
  • The light meter lens is protected by the black cap on the top
  • Easy to use for troubleshooting
  • Good test tolerances
  • You require a separate adapter to test the LC connection

2. Qiirun Optical Power Meter

Qiirun Optical Power Meter

Despite boasting a compact structure, this Qiirun optical power meter can accurately measure optical power. The performance is stable throughout the operation. It guarantees high measurement precision of 850 nm, 1300 nm, 1310 nm, 1490 nm, 1550 nm, and 1625nm wavelengths.

You can use this optical power meter for FTTx testing, maintenance, and testing of telecommunication lines, etc. The display shows linear optical power and logarithmic residual power. The package includes a user manual and a carry case.

Key Features

  • The test range is -70 to +10 dBm.
  • The universal 0.098 in interface is compatible with FC/SC/ST connectors.
  • This meter can constantly operate for 80+ hours and assures reduced power consumption.
  • On the display, there is automatic adjustment of the measurement range.
  • With the two AAA batteries, this meter supports more than 80 hours of constant runtime.
  • The product dimensions are 4.72 (L) x 1.3 (W) x 1.18 (H) inches and the weight is 2.4 oz.

Pros And Cons

  • Can work continuously for work more than 80 hours
  • Automatic adjustment of the measurement range and remaining energy indicator
  • Can test 6 calibrated wavelengths
  • Reduced power consumption
  • Compact, portable, and lightweight design
  • Lots of fiber has used the smaller LC connector with small ferrule, but this tool uses the larger SC/ST/FC ferrule size

3. NOYAFA 3-in-1 Optical Power Meter

NOYAFA 3-in-1 Optical Power Meter

NOYAFA 3-in-1 optical power meter is a compactly designed, easy-to-use testing device for optical fiber networks. You can use it for measurements of total optical power, optical fiber winding, or breakage. The 3-in-1 design and high measurement accuracy suggest that it is one of the best optical power meters for the price. This meter can also work as a VFL light source.

Key Features

  • It can measure wavelengths like 850 nm, 1300 nm, 1310 nm, 1490 nm, 1550 nm, and 1625 nm.
  • The test range is -50 to +26 dBm.
  • The resolution is 0. 01dB.
  • The identification frequency range is 10 Hz to 60 kHz.
  • The output power is -7 dBm.
  • The stability is 0.05dB/15mins.
  • Modulation frequencies are 270 Hz, 1 kHz, and 2 kHz.
  • Optical Device Insertion Loss test is supported.
  • The auto-off time is 15 minutes.
  • The range of operating temperature is -10°C to +60°C.
  • The product dimensions are 8.2 inches x 6.7 inches x 2.5 inches and the weight is 13.62 ounces.

Pros And Cons

  • High accuracy with the high performance-to-price ratio
  • The broad range of power measurement
  • Ergonomic design for comfortable use anywhere
  • Durable construction makes it ideal for working on sites
  • Takes time in calibrating the perfect power

4. GainExpress Optical Power Meter

GainExpress Digital Optical Power Meter

GainExpress optical power meter is exceptionally designed for those professionals intending to maintain their fiber-optic network. Owing to its lightweight and compact design, it is convenient to carry in a pocket or hang around your neck. Throughout the operation, the power consumption is low.

There is a facility to switch between absolute power and the relative energy reading. A transparent LCD screen comes with an intuitive interface. For night operation, the power meter supports the optional backlight. The user manual is available in English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian languages.

Key Features

  • 6 optical wavelengths it can precisely measure are 850 nm, 1300 nm, 1310 nm, 1490 nm, 1550 nm, and 1625 nm.
  • The test range is -70 to 6 dBm.
  • The meter can work as an FC converter for FC/SC/ST interface.
  • The resolution is 0.05 dB.
  • The temperature range is 32°F – 104°F.
  • The humidity range is 5~95%.
  • The precision is greater than or equal to -48dBm.

Pros And Cons

  • Clear LCD for noting down accurate readings
  • Optional backlight supports night operation
  • Supports FC converter for FC/SC/ST interface
  • Compact and lightweight design for ease of carrying around
  • Not extremely accurate

5. Uxcell Fiber Optical Power Meter

uxcell Fiber Optical Power Meter

The best optical power meter is the prime requirement for the installation, functioning, and maintenance of any fiber-optic network. If this is your need then you can use this uxcell optical power meter. It is well-known for its ability of precise readings and durable yet portable design.

With its ingenious design, you can select from automatic shutdown function, precision rear light switch test display, super-wide optical power test range, precise and new users automatic calibration function. Due to its versatile interface design, this optic power meter is compatible with the SC, FC, ST connections. Also, it is compatible with standard 2.5 mm universal adapters which make it more appropriate for FTTH. The LED backlight supports night time use. Accessories in the pack are an oxford cloth, a user manual, a ST/FC/SC connector, and 3 AA batteries.

Key Features

  • The accuracy of display is 5%~+5%.
  • Six calibrated wavelength options are 850 nm, 1300 nm, 1310 nm, 1490 nm, 1550 nm, and 1625 nm.
  • The test range is -70 to + 10 dBm.
  • The product dimensions are 10 x 5.51 x 2.6 inches and the weight is 4.66 ounces.

Pros And Cons

  • Miniature chassis protection design avoids damage caused by falling accident
  • Automatic shutdown function saves on power consumption
  • The automatic calibration function assists new users to adapt the measurement
  • The low voltage display function informs if the battery is low
  • Easy to carry outdoors although it has a large display
  • SC adapter only works on the power meter side

6. Speedwolf FTTH Fiber Optical Power Meter

Speedwolf FTTH Fiber Optical Power Meter

In addition to its ability to accurately measure optical power, this fiber optical power meter is famous for its design. It is prepared in a compact yet durable design that can perfectly fit in a pocket. The user-friendly interface of the information display ensures a satisfying user experience.

Depending on your needs, you can choose the automatic shutdown function. The display comes with a low voltage function and it informs you about the low battery. Furthermore, the user auto-calibration function assists the new users to adapt the measurement. The LED backlight supports night time use. This entire optical power meter is encased in a rubber outshell and robust oxford fabric case. Accessories in the pack are an oxford fabric case, a 2000mAh Li-ion battery, an FC, SC adapter, an AC charger, a micro USB cable, and a user manual.

Key Features

  • The test range is -50 dBm~+26 dBm.
  • This meter provides stable 30mW VFL output.
  • 6 wavelength options are 850nm, 1300nm, 1310nm, 1490nm, 1550nm, and 1625nm.
  • The measurement accuracy is ±0.2 dB.
  • The power measurement linearity is ±0.1dB.
  • The display resolution is ±0.01 dB.
  • Built-in 2000mAh Li-ion battery delivers up to 200 working hours for constant operation.
  • This device can work as a visual fault locator (VFL).
  • The product dimensions are 6.7 x 3.3 x 1.2 inches and the weight is 0.66 pounds.

Pros And Cons

  • Easy to use and light weight
  • High accuracy and broad measurement range
  • Long working time ensures infrequent battery charging
  • No waiting for preheating
  • Miniature chassis protection design avoids the damage due to drop
  • At this price this power meter is not the most accurate but it is still pretty close

7. Jonard Tools FPM-70 Fiber Optic Power Meter

Jonard Tools FPM-70 Fiber Optic Power Meter

The broad test range of Jonard Tools FPM-70 optical power meter makes it a perfect solution for fiber optic cables, coaxial cables, and long-distance telecommunications. You can use this device to measure relative power loss and absolute optical power in fiber optic cables. This is because it can measure 6 pre-set calibrated wavelengths with outstanding accuracy. The pack includes FC, SC, and LC adapters to connect to the PC/UPC/APC FC and SC connectors.

Key Features

  • The power measurement range is -70 to +6 dBm. 
  • It can measure a broad range of wavelengths from 800 nm to 1650 nm with a resolution of 0.01 dB.
  • The product dimensions are 10 inches x 5.5 inches x 3 inches and the weight is 1.09 lbs.

Pros And Cons

  • Measures wide variety of wavelengths with low resolution
  • Includes multiple adapters to let you directly connect fiber connectors with this tool
  • Accurate measurement of power loss in optical fiber cable
  • Suitable for commercial and professional applications due to lightweight design
  • Pricey

How To Pick The Best Optical Power Meter?

For accurate measurement of the optic power, the best optical power meter is handy. You can make a perfect choice by considering the following factors.

1. Wavelength range

All optical power meters support a certain range of wavelengths, typically varying from 800nm to 1700nm. If you need a more precise optical power vale then it is recommended to calibrate the power meter to those wavelengths at which the devices are operating.

The most frequently used wavelengths are 850nm, 1310nm, 1550nm, etc. So, you need to consider both the calibrated wavelengths and wavelength range and calibrated wavelengths.

2. Measurement range

The specific range of optical power which an optical power meter can test must be considered. Commonly, the optical power which optical power meters can measure ranges from -70dBm to +30dBm. Determine the optical power your application needs and choose an optical power meter that includes that power in its range.

3. Types of optical power meters

Fiber optic power meters are available in different types. The measurement uncertainty of all fiber optic power meters is the same but is restricted by the physical limits of transferring standards with optical connections.

The majority of optical power meters come with an uncertainty of +/-5% or approx. 0.2dB, irrespective of the display resolution. Reasonably priced optical power meters typically have a resolution of 0.1dB. The laboratory optical power meters display 0.01dB. A few specialized meters come with 0.001dB resolution.

The apposite resolution must be selected as per the test. Laboratory measurements of low-loss patch cables, splices, and connectors can be done to 0.01dB resolution with an uncertainty of 0.05dB or lower if utmost care is taken in regulating the test conditions.

4. Interface Type

For fiber optic testing, the fiber patch cable’s length is typically used to connect the port on the optical power meter with the equivalent port of devices. On the optical power meters, the optical adapter interfaces can be fixed. In this respect, for example, several optical power meters have only one FC adapter.

If you don’t have the patch cords terminated with the equivalent fiber optic connector then optical power meters incorporated with several replaceable adapters are available too. You can also find optical power meters for multi-fiber interfaces such as MPO/MTP.

FAQs When Picking The Best Optical Power Meter

1. How are optical power meters calibrated?

Optical power meters are calibrated through a traceable calibration standard like a NIST standard.

2. What do you need to consider before using an optical power meter?

Although you choose the best optical power meter, you need to know how to use it properly. Firstly, read the manual and perform a few practice tests before reaching the job site. Now, you need to prepare documents displaying how and where all the cables being used are installed. Keep in mind that you need not rely on memory since you can simply lose track of those cables, chiefly if it’s a big project. It is better to prepare a worksheet to note down your testing data.

3. How to use an optical power meter?

The optical power meter should be set to the proper range (typically dBm, but occasionally mW) and appropriate wavelength while measuring the optical power. Once done, connect the optical power meter to the cable at the receiver end to measure receiver power. Alternatively, you can connect to a short test cable that is connected to the system source for measuring the transmitter power. Now you need to mark the value, and properly compare it to the specific power for the system. Ascertain that it falls in the satisfactory range for the system.

4. What safety precautions do you need to consider before using an optical power meter?

It is recommended to wear eye protection while working with high-power cables. When working with low-power layouts, it’s better to check the connectors with your power meter.

5. What is the accurate method for measuring fiber cable attenuation?

The use of light source testing and optical power meter is the most accurate method for measuring fiber cable attenuation. This method is also known as the one jumper method.

Final Thoughts

The optical power meters are extensively used for the installation, debugging, and maintenance of a fiber network. If you want to ensure the superlative performance of a signal transmission then it is recommended to choose the best optical power meter. Experts recommended that the optical power must not be too high or too low. So, for achieving the precise measurement of the optic power, you need to use an optical power meter. Furthermore, these devices respond to a wide spectrum of light and the calibration is wavelength dependent.

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