All electronic equipment needs to be functionally tested after assembly. The ideal is to provide the most test coverage in the shortest time for the least cost. When test engineers develop product test plans, they select the most appropriate off-the-shelf general purpose test equipment available. What Reach does is design and manufacture custom test equipment that is a better fit for the test application than general purpose equipment. This can not only reduce test time, but also reduce costs.
Manufacturers of Ethernet Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE) such as Ethernet Switches need to test PoE power functionality during manufacturing. Once a unit is in manufacturing, it can be assumed that it has already been tested for full Compliance with the applicable IEEE 802.3 PoE standard. It is not cost-effective, nor necessary, to perform compliance testing at the manufacturing stage. What is needed is a functional test that verifies the software’s ability to detect and control power, and the basic connectors’ and magnetics’ ability to provide power and pass data.
The Reach RT-PoE tester family has been designed for cost-effective functional production test. It assumes that the PSE can be operated in a “diagnostic” mode whereby the power control and detection functions of the PSE can be individually tested. The LLPD protocol specified by the 802.3at standard is not supported so as to keep the cost of the tester low.
The Reach Power-over-Ethernet Tester Model RT-PoE3N provides diagnostic functional testing of 24 PSE ports compatible with IEEE Standards 802.3af and 802.3at. It can draw up to 720mA per port while passing gigabit traffic. It provides high density with 24 Powered Device (PD) loads in a 1U high chassis.
Each RT-PoE section has a “UUT” and a “REF” port. The UUT port is connected to the PSE and acts as a PD load to that port. The UUT datapath is connected via power-isolating magnetics to the REF port. In this way, an external data bit error tester or PSE test functionality can be used to test data integrity while power load is enabled.