RF Test Solutions - Terminator Cap
Modern test techniques such as Distance-to-Fault utilizing Frequency Domain Reflectometry require a proper RF termination at the far end of the cable being tested. Often, the far end of the cable is not readily accessible. Current techniques would require access to this far end, preparing the end of the cable, installing an RF connector, and then attaching a termination to the RF connector.
Terminator Cap is a self-contained, easy to install device that can be attached to the far end of a cable and left in place until the cable is installed permanently. A Terminator Cap will provide a quality termination at the far end of the cable, facilitating testing.
When a cable manufacturer or distributor spools cable onto a roll the far end is buried and inaccessible. If the manufacturer or distributor installs a Terminator Cap prior to the spooling operation, an RF termination is available to readily test the cable on the spool.
By performing DTF testing at various stages of the cable spools journey to the end installation location, it will be easy to determine if the cable on the spool has sustained any damage. This is a not uncommon occurrence.
Today, the damaged cable is often times not found until after it is installed. A typical installation is time consuming and expensive. When a bad cable is found, it must be uninstalled and replaced.
With a Terminator Cap installed on the cable, that cable can be tested just prior to installation on the tower. A bad cable can be rejected, eliminating the extra cost associated with uninstalling and reinstalling a bad cable.
There is some confusion about testing with DTF. The confusion is caused by not differentiating the testing conditions. Some state that you cannot use DTF for pass/fail testing while others are convinced you can. The dilemma is due to not specifying what is being tested and under what conditions
DTF can absolutely be used for pass/fail testing of raw cable whether spooled or not. The test is broadband and uses a high quality RF termination. There are no significant band-limiting devices when testing just cable.
DTF cannot be used for pass/fail testing if the entire antenna system is being evaluated. This is due to a relatively poor termination (the antenna) and other potentially band-limited devices such as surge protectors. For this test condition a baseline snapshot must be taken and used for future comparison.
A companion product, a slip on DIN test connector, now means that raw cable can be tested with no connector installation required! It has never been this easy and efficient to test cable.