Low-cost video probe with PortBright ™Illumination and auto focus enables fiber technicians to quickly find and inspect the right port

Fluke Networks FI-500 is the first fiber video inspection probe with an integrated flashlight to make it easy for network installers to inspect fibers in today’s crowded fiber patch panels. Fluke Networks PortBright™ feature, coupled with autofocus and large, high-contrast display, make the FI-500 an essential scope for fiber technicians operating in dense, low-light environments.

Dirty fiber optic endfaces are a major source of problems in singlemode and multimode fiber optic systems. The FI-500 lets technicians quickly determine if endfaces are contaminated or damaged, and it is positioned between simple analog scopes and high priced, automated video models.  Even though the FI-500 is nearly half the price of most fully automated inspection scopes, it provides many of the same features, including autofocus, a large backlit display, a freeze view, and a wide variety of tips for inspecting almost any fiber endface.

“As fiber is deployed deeper into the data center network, it is important to have a full range of troubleshooting tools,” said Stuart Hoiness, senior vice president of enterprise networks for Corning Optical Communications. “Cleanliness of the connector endface is often overlooked when troubleshooting. Thus, this craft-friendly device from an industry leader like Fluke Networks will benefit the data center market and should be part of any fiber installer’s tool kit.”

The FI-500 provides illumination to help the user locate the right fiber or port in dark or crowded panels, plus a rugged “liquid lens” technology for fast autofocus.  Controls on the probe enable one-handed operation, including a pause button which freezes the image, making it easier to inspect difficult-to-reach places or to see when the image just won’t stand still. The compact probe provides a 610 X 460 micron field of view, with a range of zoom and centering functions. The large display provides an instant view of fiber contamination in the bulkhead or patch cords. The rechargeable unit comes standard with adapters to support most UPC connectors.  APC adapters are also available.

“For fiber technicians trying to troubleshoot problems in today’s complex, compact and low-visibility fiber locations, the FI-500 provides the simplicity and practicality of a manual inspection scope, but with advanced features to reduce troubleshooting and inspection time,” said Harvey Trager from Fluke Networks. “We think that 9 out of 10 dentists would approve of the fact that the FI-500 helps technicians avoid holding a flashlight in their teeth”

The FI-500 sells for about half the price of automated video scopes and is available through a variety of traditional and online suppliers. A range of adapters is included, addressing most applications without additional purchases, although specialty adapters are also available.

“Ease of operation makes Fluke Networks’ latest FiberInspector a great tool for diagnosing and troubleshooting fiber endface contamination issues,” reported Greg Badnerosky, Project Supervisor at Fisk Technologies, a leading designer and installer of structured cabling systems. “The flashlight feature is especially handy, as many of the fiber boxes we encounter at constructions sites aren’t well lit.”