Insertion loss can be defined as the attenuation of the signal as it passes through a passive device. The attenuation is caused by the passive device. The type of passive device determines the amount of attenuation it has on the signal. For example, as a signal travels in and out of a splitter (the passive device), it experiences insertion loss. It doesn’t matter if the signal travels from the input to output port or returns from output to input, the insertion loss will be the same.
Signal insertion is also caused by things like:
- Long cabling
- Wire size
- Noise from adjacent cables
- Defective connectors and conductors
Some loss is normal, however if there is too much loss, there won’t be a good signal. This results in unhappy customers and other issues that can lead to more operational costs like numerous truck rolls. You can avoid these unnecessary operational costs and home visits by testing and troubleshooting passive devices like splitters at the point of installation or making service calls more efficient. With the right tools, technicians can proactively detect insertion loss before getting back to the plant.
Ways to detect and measure insertion loss and attenuation
Insertion loss measures the amount of signal strength that is lost as the signal arrives at the receiving end of the cabling link. Ideally, you want insertion loss to be as low as possible. Insertion loss is measured in decibels (dB). The lower the dB level the better. Use a spectrum analyzer to measure insertion loss.
Field technicians can use a handheld spectrum analyzer like Hitron’s CGN-DP3 meter to calculate signal loss while onsite instead of non-portable devices back at the plant. Calculating, measuring and testing the signal attenuation/insertion loss at the point of installation helps prevent issues right away.
Installers and service technicians in the field get read outs on the CGN-DP3 wireless DOCSIS 3.1 meter and ProMeter App for all major tests in real-time. Some of these tests include:
- Spectrum Analysis
- Channel Scans
- Flux Pre-Equalization, ICFR, Taps & Echoes
- DOCSIS Measurements
- Ping/Trace Route
- Speed tests
The CGN-DP3 also pairs with the CSN-01 pressure tester to create a powerful suite of tools.
Hitron’s Whole Home Certification testing tools are designed to empower technicians to troubleshoot the whole home at a fraction of the cost of other solutions, saving you cost, time, and training needed.