One of the most useful features of the Fiber Defender Alarm Processor Unit (APU) is its ability to provide valuable diagnostics to the user.  This information can be used to document system performance, and if the system is detecting poorly or if it spontaneously generates an alarm, corrective actions can often be deduced from the diagnostics.

Specifically, the STATUS function permits monitoring of current APU operating conditions including power supply voltage, sensor element optical loss and laser current.  This feature is available on all FD2XX and FD3XX APUs and can be accessed using software available from Fiber Sensys or with any terminal emulator program such as Hyperterminal.

The most useful diagnostic aspect of STATUS is loss measurement.  This indicates the optical power loss in dB between the laser output and the detector input, thereby validating the integrity of the sensor element.  If high loss is indicated, replacing the sensing element with a known-good optical jumper can isolate the problem to either the APU or the sensor; this is referred to as a loop back test.  If loss goes down, the problem is in the sensing element; if loss remains high, the problem is internal to the APU.

The other STATUS diagnostics are not quite as powerful as loss measurement, but are nonetheless very useful.  Please contact FSI to access an in-depth article describing this powerful Fiber Defender operating feature.

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