SFP Optical Transceiver Tutorial on Installation, Removal and Precautions - Store.QSFPTEK

SFP Optical Transceiver Tutorial on Installation, Removal and Precautions

We may encounter lots of issues when using optical transceivers, such as the SFP module not being detected, the SFP module not working, etc. Mastering the basic knowledge of the use of optical modules can effectively avoid the above problems caused by improper operation. This optical transceiver tutorial will introduce how to install SFP module, how to remove SFP module, and give some insights on the operation precautions. Following these tips will maintain the SFP transceiver modules in google performance and so to extend its lifespan.


optical transceiver using tutorial


How to Install the SFP Module?

1. Hold the optical module with the label facing up, and the end with the dust plug facing out. Insert the SFP module optical interface into the networking equipment port.

2. You should hear the latching mechanism clicks while it is firmly seated. To check whether the module has been installed in place, try to pull the module. If it cannot be dragged out, it means the installation is in a good place.

3. Clean the fiber end face with a fiber optic cleaner.

4. Remove the dust cap of the SFP transceiver.

5. Insert the fiber patch cable connector into the SFP module.

6. With a slight sound or a vibration, it notes fiber cable is been put into place.

7. Link the other side of the fiber cable to the device with an SFP transceiver at the other end.


Note: Both transceivers and cables are keyed. So if they cannot be inserted in with ease, check if the orientation is reversed.


How to Remove the SFP module?

1. Press the cable connector to remove the cable from the transceiver.

2. Put the dust cap back to the connectors of the module and fiber optic cable.

3. Gently press the optical module back into place to prevent shifting when removing the jumper。

4. Use module tab* to gently pull out the optical module in the horizontal direction.


*Note: According to different module types latch mechanisms, the detailed operation of step 4 varies.


• For Transceiver with SFP form factors (such as 1G SFP, 10G SFP+, 25G SFP28),  there is a bail latch mechanism. Pull the module pull ring to the outside about 90 degrees to release the locking state between it and the guide rail. Then grasp the bail to pull the transceiver out of the port.


bail latch mechanism of SFP form factor module


• For Transceiver with QSFP form factors (such as QSFP+, QSFP28, QSFP-DD), there is a horizontal pull tab. Grasp the pull tab close to the transceiver body to carefully pull out of the transceiver straightly.


 pull tab of QSFP form factor module

What to be Noted when Using the Transceiver Module?

1. Wear anti-static gloves and wrist straps to prevent Electrostatic Discharge

Before touching the optical transceiver module, ensure that you have correctly worn anti-static gloves or an anti-static wrist strap. Grounding equipment is also helpful. Because transceiver electrostatic-sensitive parts are irresistible to electrostatic discharge (ESD). Take care to touch the SFP cage only. What’s more, keep the environment humidity within the acceptable range, usually 30 ~ 75%RH.


2. Use dust cap and cleaning tools to keep optical interface clean

Put the dust caps of the transceivers and fiber cables on when they are not being used. Dust exists everywhere anytime. The dust cap is a shield to prevent dust in the air from entering the laser. Otherwise, the optical connectors will be polluted when connecting the fiber patch cable with the SFP module interface. A contaminated optical transceiver may cause signal loss or even link failure. Besides, prepare fiber optic cleaning tools such as a cleaner pen and other fiber inspection tools.


3. Handle with care to prevent bumps

To prevent the optical module from being pressed or bumped, never touch the golden finger, and make sure to handle the optical transceiver with care. Ceramic parts inside optical transceivers are fragile.


4. Prevent laser damage to the eyes

Don’t look directly into the transceiver laser and the tail of optical fiber in the working state. The invisible laser may cause permanent harm to the eyes.


5. Do not plug and unplug optical modules frequently unless necessary

Consumables have a service life, and so do SFP transceivers. Frequent plugging or removing the optical transceiver will damage the module optical interface and shorten the transceiver's lifespan.


6. Install or remove the module after unlinking the cables

When plugging the SFP module into the system equipment port, disconnect the cables. Jumpers and modules may be vulnerable to damage if modules with cables are installed or removed directly.


7. Use proper grade transceiver in the recommended environment

The acceptable working temperature of regular modules is 0~+70℃, which are commercial optical transceivers. If transceivers should be applied in severe temperatures, consider using industrial SFP modules, which can endure - 40 ~85℃. 


8. Pick DDM or DOM capable SFP modules

DDM or DOM is a digital diagnostic method to monitor transceiver parameters, such as working temperature, voltage, current, etc. It tells whether your transceiver is working in the right state and helps you to plan ahead for potential failures. To learn more about why DOM SFP matters, please read Digital Diagnostic Monitoring Wiki


9. Pay attention to optical fiber link attenuation

Fiber link attenuation is the optical loss that happens when optical signals are transmitted through the link. Generally speaking, fiber link attenuation includes attenuation of fibers, connectors, splices, and system tolerance (patch cords, chain ties, unpredictable fiber attenuation events, etc. should be considered, approximately 3dB). The total link attenuation value should not exceed the transceiver's power budget. How to calculate attenuation in optical fiber cable?


10. Use optical attenuator in short link to protect receiving device

The transmitter (TX) optical power of long-distance transceivers is generally greater than its overloaded optical power. To prevent the optical transceiver from burning, you should maintain the value of TX power under the overloaded optical power. Deploy an optical attenuator in a short-reach link to reduce TX optical power.



To extend the service life of the optical transceiver and prevent link failure, follow the above optical transceiver tutorials. Besides, it is also necessary to choose a reliable SFP manufacturer to purchase high-quality SFP modules from them. QSFPTEK is such an optical transceiver supplier that you can always count on. We offer various types of optical modules compatible with 200+ brands.

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