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Cisco ONS 15200 Series DWDM Systems

Optical Power Level Troubleshooting for the Cisco ONS 15216-MD16-2-Red/Blue 100-GHz Mux/Demux Module

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Optical Power Level Troubleshooting for the Cisco ONS 15216-MD16-2-Red/Blue 100-GHz Mux/Demux Module

1. Low Optical Power For Composite (Multiplexed) Optical Signal at Mux

2. Low Optical Power for an Individual Wavelength at Mux Common Port

3. Low Optical Power for All Individual Ports at Demux

4. Low Optical Power for Individual Port at Demux

5. Low Optical Power for Blue (Upgrade) Wavelength at Mux

6. Low Optical Power for Blue (Upgrade) Wavelengths at Demux

Obtaining Documentation

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Documentation CD-ROM

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TAC Case Priority Definitions

Obtaining Additional Publications and Information


Optical Power Level Troubleshooting for the Cisco ONS 15216-MD16-2-Red/Blue 100-GHz Mux/Demux Module


This document provides procedures for troubleshooting the most common power problems encountered with the Cisco ONS 15216-MD16-2-Red/Blue 100-GHz mux/demux optical filters. It contains the following sections:

1. Low Optical Power For Composite (Multiplexed) Optical Signal at Mux

2. Low Optical Power for an Individual Wavelength at Mux Common Port

3. Low Optical Power for All Individual Ports at Demux

4. Low Optical Power for Individual Port at Demux

5. Low Optical Power for Blue (Upgrade) Wavelength at Mux

6. Low Optical Power for Blue (Upgrade) Wavelengths at Demux

Obtaining Documentation

Obtaining Technical Assistance

Obtaining Additional Publications and Information


Caution For a system carrying live traffic, the Common Out and Common In ports of the ONS 15216 Red Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) Base Unit carry multiplexed aggregate signals. Also, the upgrade connections of the ONS 15216 Blue DWDM Upgrade Unit (To Base1, To Base 2, From Base 1, and From Base 2), when connected to the ONS 15216 Red DWDM Base Unit (From Upgrade 1, From Upgrade 2, To Upgrade 1, and To Upgrade 2, respectively) carry multiplexed aggregate signals. Major service interruptions occur if these connections are tampered with during troubleshooting. Any work on these connections should be undertaken during a maintenance window.


Note The 100-GHz ONS 15216 Red DWDM Base Unit and Blue DWDM Upgrade Unit filters are passive devices that do not have any alarming. Any trouble notifications come from associated equipment in the system such as the ONS15216 EDFA2 or transport equipment loss of signal (LOS) alarms.


1. Low Optical Power For Composite (Multiplexed) Optical Signal at Mux

Symptom    Because of the typical use of the mux/demux product, low optical power for composite (multiplexed) optical signals is most easily identified from the far end of a particular link.

Possible Cause    Many factors outside of the operation of the mux/demux device, such as faulty patch cords, faulty connectors on a patch panel, and atypically high loss across outside plant/network fiber, could easily result in the same symptom.

The vast majority of instances of this kind of problem are due to old/faulty patch cords and/or dirty connectors. Always check connectors, patch cords, and patch cord routing before beginning diagnosis.

Recommended Action    Using an OSA connected to the monitor port of the mux device, verify total channel optical power uniformity.


Note Troubleshooting problems with an optical power meter (OPM) but without an optical spectrum analyzer (OSA) requires you to take the ONS 15216 Red DWDM Base Unit and the ONS 15216 Blue DWDM Upgrade Unit out of service. All individual wavelength inputs to the unit must be removed. Use the OPM to measure the power of the first wavelength. Connect the first wavelength to the unit and verify the channel insertion loss is < 5.5 dB by measuring the power output from the Common Out port. Remove the first wavelength. Repeat procedure for all wavelengths to ensure insertion loss of all ports.



Step 1 If optical power is not seen to be uniform, determine which wavelengths are exhibiting below average optical power, and diagnose at the individual mux port.

Step 2 If overall optical power as seen at the monitor port is acceptably uniform, check to ensure that the connector for the composite signal output is clean and fully seated.

Step 3 If connector is clean and fully seated, verify that the patch cord is a single-mode patch cord, as multi-mode patch cords transmit light but incur high loss.


2. Low Optical Power for an Individual Wavelength at Mux Common Port

Symptom    Because of the typical use of the mux/demux product, low optical power for an individual wavelength at the mux Common port is most easily identified from the far end of a particular link.

Possible Cause    Many different factors outside of the operation of the mux/demux device, such as faulty patch cords, faulty connectors on a patch panel, and atypically high loss across outside plant/network fiber, could easily result in the same symptom.

The vast majority of instances of this kind of problem are due to old/faulty patch cords and/or dirty connectors. Always check connectors, patch cords, and patch cord routing before beginning diagnosis.

Recommended Action    Using an OSA connected to the monitor port of the mux device, determine which individual wavelength or wavelengths are exhibiting high insertion loss.


Note Troubleshooting problems with an OPM but without an OSA (optical spectrum analyzer) require you to take the ONS 15216 Red DWDM Base Unit and the ONS 15216 Blue DWDM Upgrade Unit out of service. In order to determine which individual wavelength is exhibiting high insertion loss, all individual wavelength inputs to the unit must be removed. Use the OPM to measure the power of the first wavelength. Connect the first wavelength to the unit and verify the channel insertion loss is < 5.5 dB by measuring the power output from the Common Out port. Remove the first wavelength. Repeat the procedure for all wavelengths to ensure insertion loss of all ports.



Step 1 Verify that the optical transmitter is connected to the proper port on the mux device. If the wavelength of the transmitter does not match the wavelength for the individual add port, the optical signal will be drastically attenuated.

Step 2 At the individual wavelength add port, verify that the optical patch cord used to connect the transmitter to the mux/demux device is free of defects, and that the connectors are clean, fully seated, and free of scratches.

Step 3 Verify the optical power and wavelength coming from transmitter.


3. Low Optical Power for All Individual Ports at Demux

Symptom    Low optical power is exhibited for all individual ports at demux.

Possible Cause    The vast majority of instances of low optical power for all individual ports at demux are due to old/faulty patch cords and/or dirty connectors. Always check connectors, patch cords, and patch cord routing before beginning diagnosis.

Many different factors outside of the operation of the mux/demux device, such as faulty patch cords, faulty connectors on a patch panel, and atypically high loss across outside plant/network fiber, could easily result in the same symptom.

Recommended Action    Using an OSA connected to the monitor port of the demux device, verify total channel optical power uniformity.


Note When troubleshooting problems with an OPM but without an OSA, use the OPM to measure the power of each individual wavelength at the demux output ports. Repeat this procedure for all wavelengths.



Step 1 If optical power is not seen to be uniform, determine which wavelengths are exhibiting below average optical power, and diagnose at the individual mux port at the far end.

Step 2 If overall optical power as seen at the monitor port is acceptably uniform, check to ensure that the connector for the composite signal input is clean and fully seated.

Step 3 If connector is clean and fully seated, verify that the patch cord is a single-mode patch cord, as multi-mode patch cords transmit light but incur high loss.


4. Low Optical Power for Individual Port at Demux

Symptom    Low optical power is exhibited for an individual port at demux.

Possible Cause    The vast majority of instances of low optical power for an individual port at demux are due to old/faulty patch cords and/or dirty connectors. Always check connectors, patch cords, and patch cord routing before beginning diagnosis.

Many factors outside of the operation of the mux/demux device, such as faulty patch cords, faulty connectors on a patch panel, and atypically high loss across outside plant/network fiber, could easily result in the same symptom.

Recommended Action    Using an OSA connected to the monitor port of the demux device, determine which individual wavelength or wavelengths are exhibiting high insertion loss.


Note When troubleshooting problems with an OPM but without an OSA, use the OPM to measure the power of each individual wavelength at the demux output ports. Repeat this procedure for all wavelengths to determine which individual wavelength or wavelengths are exhibiting high insertion loss.


At the individual wavelength drop port, verify that the optical patch cord used to connect the receiver to the demux device is free of defects, and that the connectors are clean, fully seated, and free of scratches.

5. Low Optical Power for Blue (Upgrade) Wavelength at Mux

Symptom    Because of the typical use of the mux/demux product, low power for a blue (upgrade) wavelength at mux is most easily identified from the far end of a particular link.

Possible Cause    The vast majority of instances of low power for a blue (upgrade) wavelength at mux are due to old/faulty patch cords and/or dirty connectors. Always check connectors, patch cords, and patch cord routing before beginning diagnosis.

Many factors outside of the operation of the mux/demux device, such as faulty patch cords, faulty connectors on a patch panel, and atypically high loss across outside plant/network fiber, could easily result in the same symptom.

Recommended Action    Using an OSA connected to the monitor port of the mux device, determine which individual wavelength or wavelengths are exhibiting high insertion loss.


Note Troubleshooting problems with an OPM but without an OSA requires you to take the ONS 15216 Red DWDM Base Unit and the ONS 15216 Blue DWDM Upgrade Unit out of service. All individual wavelength inputs to the unit must be removed. Use the OPM to measure the power of the first wavelength. Connect the first wavelength to the unit and verify the channel insertion loss is < 5.5 dB by measuring the power output from the Common Out port. Remove the first wavelength. Repeat this procedure for all wavelengths to ensure insertion loss of all ports.



Step 1 If only blue (upgrade) wavelengths are exhibiting high insertion loss, verify that the optical patch cords used to connect the base module to the upgrade module are free of defects, and that the connectors are clean, fully seated, and free of scratches.

Step 2 If the connectors are clean and fully seated, verify that patch cords are single-mode fiber, as multi-mode patch cords transmit light but incur high loss.

Step 3 After you verify the fiber type and the connectors of the patch cords used to connect the base module to the upgrade module, ensure that the bottom connector in the far left column (Port 5: From upgrade 2) of the base module is connected to the bottom connector in the far left column (Port 5: To base 2) of the upgrade module. Also verify that the second-from-the-bottom connector in the far left column (Port 4: From upgrade 1) of the base module is connected to the second-from-the-bottom connector in the far left column (Port four: To base 1) of the upgrade module. See Figure 1 and Figure 2.

Figure 1 Front Panel of the ONS 15216 Red DWDM Base Unit

Figure 2 Front Panel of the ONS 15216 Blue DWDM Upgrade Unit


6. Low Optical Power for Blue (Upgrade) Wavelengths at Demux

Symptom    Optical power is low for blue (upgrade) wavelengths at demux.

Possible Cause    The vast majority of instances of low optical power for blue wavelengths at demux are due to old/faulty patch cords and/or dirty connectors. Always check connectors, patch cords, and patch cord routing before beginning diagnosis.

Many factors outside of the operation of the mux/demux device, such as faulty patch cords, faulty connectors on a patch panel, and atypically high loss across outside plant/network fiber, could easily result in the same symptom.

Recommended Action    Using an OSA connected to the monitor port of the demux device, determine which individual wavelength or wavelengths are exhibiting high insertion loss.


Note When troubleshooting problems with an OPM but without an OSA, use the OPM to measure the power of each individual wavelength at the demux output ports. Repeat this procedure for all wavelengths, and determine which individual wavelength or wavelengths are exhibiting high insertion loss.



Step 1 If only blue (upgrade) wavelengths are exhibiting high insertion loss, verify that the optical patch cords used to connect the base module to the upgrade module are free of defects, and that the connectors are clean, fully seated, and free of scratches.

Step 2 If connectors are clean and fully seated, verify that the patch cords are single-mode fiber, as multi-mode patch cords transmit light but incur high loss.

Step 3 After you verify the fiber type and the connectors of the patch cords used to connect the base module to the upgrade module, ensure that the bottom connector in the far right column (Port 40: To upgrade 2) of the base module is connected to the bottom connector in the far right column (Port 40: From base 2) of the upgrade module. Also verify that the second-from-the-bottom connector in the far right column of the base module (Port 39: To upgrade 1) is connected to the second-from-the-bottom connector in the far right column (Port 39: From base 1) of the upgrade module. See Figure 1 and Figure 2.


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