Are you still hesitating to use third-party fiber optic transceivers? Maybe you haven’t noticed that the third-party ones are already predominant in the telecommunication market. Installing third-party fiber optic transceivers is relatively easy, providing you are using a transceiver that is MSA compliant and compatible with your brand of networking equipment. The following guide explains how to install third-party fiber optic transceivers:
1) Make sure you have the correct transceiver module for your device. Your device manual should contain a list of compatible transceiver models. The third-party transceiver module you purchase should also indicate which name brand manufacturer it is compatible with. For example, Fiberstore’s AFBR-79EEPZ QSFP+ transceiver is 100% compatible with Avago’s AFBR-79EEPZ. And their Cisco Linksys MGBT1 is 100% compatible with Cisco’s MGBT1.
2) Make sure you have the correct equipment and safety gear, such as a grounding device (e.g. ESD-preventative wrist strap), to prevent electrostatic discharge from damaging sensitive transceivers. If set down, fiber optic transceivers should be placed on a clean and static-free area, such as an antistatic mat.
3) Ensure that both the device’s transceiver ports and the transceiver’s plugs are clean and free of dust or oxidation. If the transceiver is new and won’t be used immediately, do not remove the dust plug. The dust plug at the end of a transceiver should only be removed at the time a fiber optic cable is inserted, and fiber optic cables should only be plugged into a transceiver after it is completely installed.
4) Properly orient the transceiver with the device slot. If your transceiver has a bail clasp (locking handle), pull it down until it clicks into a horizontal position. When installing a transceiver into a top slot, the bail clasp will typically be facing up when the transceiver is installed and locked into place. When installing transceivers into bottom slots, the bail clasp will typically be facing down when the transceiver is locked into place. Different devices can have different module socket configurations, so make sure you install the transceiver with the correct clasp-up or clasp-down orientation. For SFP and SFP+ transceivers, look for TX (transmit direction) and RX (receive direction) markings, or arrowheads, which will help you identify the proper orientation for the transceiver. Unnecessary removal and insertion should be avoided to prevent damaging both the transceiver and the device.
5) When you slide the transceiver into the device slot there should be an audible click to indicate that the transceiver is in place. Press the transceiver firmly in using your thumb. To ensure the transceiver is secure, lightly tug on it and try removing the module without releasing the bail clasp.
6) If installing more than one transceiver, repeat steps 1-5 until all transceivers are installed. After all transceiver modules have been inserted, it’s time to remove the dust plugs on any cable-ready modules and begin connecting fiber optic cables. It is recommended that you remove the dust plug on the fiber optic cables first, and inspect and clean the end-faces of the connecting cables. Then remove the dust plug on the transceiver just before the cable is plugged in. This will keep the sensitive components inside your third-party fiber optic transceiver module protected as long as possible.
Learning how to install fiber optic transceivers is very helpful even though you are not a professional telecom engineer. As long as you follow the six steps outlined above, you should be able to install most form-factors of third-party transceiver modules without any hitches. For XENPAK compatible transceivers, you will need a flathead screwdriver to tighten the installation screws in the transceiver’s faceplate into the faceplate of the connecting device.