New Does Not Equal Clean

Fiber Optic Connectors need to be pristine when they are connected for several reasons. First, dirty or damaged connectors are the number one cause of network outages. Second, if a dirty or damaged connector is plugged into another connector, your problem just doubled. Lastly, if test equipment, like an OTDR, or a network element, such as a receiver, is damaged it can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair or replace them.

Blogs – Bi-Directional testing with an OTDR

Have you ever wondered how a Standard and an Application Note differ? A standard is developed by many experts using consensus to provide accurate technical information and guidance while an Application Note, while technically accurate, is developed by one vendor to position their brand. One case in point is bi-directional testing using an OTDR. Many application notes have been written about bi-directional testing with an OTDR but what do the Standards say?

EXFO : introduces industry’s first integrated test solution for troubleshooting DWDM networks

EXFO introduces the Optical Wave Expert, the first device to integrate DWDM channel power validation and intelligent OTDR fault-locating capabilities on a single port. Designed to save multiple service operators (MSOs) time and money, the Optical Wave Expert equips field technicians to automatically measure, diagnose and troubleshoot optical fiber links.

A Series of Articles Dives into OTDR Mastery for Fiber Optic Testing

With higher speeds comes increased sensitivity to more factors in the network, creating problems that earlier and slower networks could tolerate with little or no impact. But while continuous upgrades in technology have resulted in more dynamic and adapting networks today, the fundamental requirements for fiber performance remains mostly unchanged. Establishing and maintaining networks requires accurate testing of the fiber infrastructure to ensure it can handle the system’s performance requirements and keep it operational. There are a wide range of tools that can accomplish these tasks, but there is arguably no other single instrument more important for testing and maintaining fiber networks than the Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR).

Subtleties of bend-insensitive multimode fiber

While the industry has justifiably regarded the development of bend-insensitive OM3 fibers as an advancement, there has been at least one unexpected consequence. We have observed unusual, high multimode OTDR attenuation rates (hereafter “rates”), in both bend-insensitive fibers and bend-insensitive cables.These high rates can result in rejection of properly installed cables due to excessive attenuation rates, misinterpretation of rate values, and improper interpretation of such rates during troubleshooting activities. These high rates can result in misinterpretation of OTDR data from data centers, as data centers have relatively short fiber lengths, in which these increased rates occur.

How best to interpret OTDR traces?

Improper use or interpretation of OTDR test results can result in wasted time, materials and money. Estimates indicated contractors lose as much as $100,000 annually due to improperly reading OTDR test results. OTDRs are often used to create a “picture” of a fiber optic cable when it is first installed so later comparisons can be made to help with troubleshooting network problems. OTDRs send pulses of light into optical fibers at varying pulse widths. Then, they measure the small amounts of reflected light that are sent back from faults in the fibers. The device then determines the size and distance of the faults, and defines them as losses or changes in the cable’s light-carrying capacity.