OTDR, What does it do?

Optical Time Domain Reflectometers (OTDRs) and fault locators are used to certify new fiber installations and locate faults in deployed fiber optic networks.

OTDR

OTDRs:

  • Scan and characterize fiber optic networks (from one end of the fiber).
  • Display characterized fiber either as a trace showing optical loss and reflectance vs. distance or as a LinkMap providing an icon-based representation of the fiber sections, splices, connectors and any detected faults (breaks or macro-bends).
  • Provide link summary information (end-to-end length, loss, optical return loss).
  • Provide details for each detected connector, splice or fault including event location, event type, loss and reflectance at event and loss to event.

Let’s get a good look at one of the AFL models from their YouTube channel.

OTDRs and fault locators are available for both multi-mode and single-mode networks including passive optical networks (PONs) supporting a range of performance requirements and budgets.

For more information on selecting the proper OTDR check out the AFL selection guide. Once you have a model selected contact your Authorized AFL Distributor Discount-Low-Voltage.com for pricing and availability.

Use your smart phone to help test Fiber Optic Cable

Two things are happening in the world that have a significant impact on fiber testing—more than 6 billion smartphone users are expected in the next four years and 400 gigabit per second (Gb/s) data center speeds are expected in the next two years.

The two are clearly related because more devices mean more data and the need for higher bandwidth, resulting in an ever increasing number of fiber links in the data center. But how exactly are they related when it comes to testing those links?

As the most widely used interface, it makes complete sense for your smartphone to become an integral part of an overall fiber testing and inspection solution. It’s rapidly becoming a “must have” rather than a “nice to have.” Leveraging your smartphone can make the task of testing fiber links easier, faster and more efficient—and that means more money in your pocket.

the rouge tester

When it comes to using your smartphone for testing, it’s important to have a good app. A powerful and flexible app that is also uncomplicated can go a long way in minimizing testing challenges without the need for additional training. The right combination of a great app and an advanced fiber test platform offers a myriad benefits. You can easily see your assigned testing project and parameters, view and save live test data as it is collected, and recall and share results via email, text or mobile cloud applications. And by syncing results data to the cloud, you no longer have to save it to a USB drive and risk the chance of lost test data or managers waiting for the information.

As fiber technology continues to evolve and network speeds continue to increase to 40 and 100 gigabit and beyond, fiber optic networks are becoming more sophisticated and more complex than ever before. And that means more stringent performance requirements and greater pressure to ensure proper design and installation. While test and inspection may be a small part of your business, it is essential for ensuring that your fiber optic installation will meet the performance requirements for the application it was intended to support.

Let’s check out the product video from AFL.

At a time when extensive and comprehensive fiber testing is a must, doesn’t it make sense to use a device that you already own and are comfortable using—especially if it helps you get the job done faster and more efficiently to save you time and money?

You can order online at Discount-Low-Voltage.com

 

Need the LC connector clip for AFL LC connectors?

When terminating the AFL LC style fiber optic connectors you might need to plug and unplug the connectors from a SFP module repeatedly.

SFP plug into switch

If so, you need to attach that small little clip that holds the two LC connectors together, here’s a look at it from our YouTube channel.

As you can imagine they’re inexpensive and save a headache when plugging and unplugging repeatedly. Order online at Discount-Low-Voltage.com

How to test the attenuation of Fiber Optic Cable

I got tired of all the wizards and scientist over explaining every detail when it comes to testing fiber, so I grabbed a light source and power meter out of inventory and made a fiber link with a couple of wall mount boxes so I can easily show you how to do it.

Here’s some words from the manufacture regarding this fiber test kit – The Silicon ZOOM II / Dual OWL 850 Test Kit is ideal for LAN managers and installers who need to do simple attenuation tests on their multimode networks.

The Silicon ZOOM II (Zeroed Output Optical Meter) is an economical fiber optic power meter designed to provide accurate testing of multimode fiber cables at 850nm wavelength. The 4-digit 7-segment LCD display shows power readings with a resolution of 0.01dB, power units in dBm, dB, or uW, and battery power level. The Silicon ZOOM II comes configured with a 2.5mm universal port for connection to SC, ST, and other connector types that have a 2.5mm ferrule.

These are in stock, order it online at Discount-Low-Voltage.com

How and why to keep Fiber Optic Connectors clean

When dealing with fiber optic networks, it is important to know that cleaning is a key factor to keep dirt and contamination from blocking the critical light path on a fiber. Dirt and contaminates contribute to 50-80% of all fiber issues, causing networks to start dropping packets or go down all together. Keeping your connections clean keeps your network running as well as:

  • Ensure connector integrity – crucial for reliable network performance
  • Extends the life of connectors – dirt causes connector damage
  • Minimizes troubleshooting network issues – cleaning eliminates a majority of connection issues

Let’s check out a couple of easy to use products by AFL from our YouTube channel.

You can order many different cleaning products and kits online at Discount-Low-Voltage.com

Overview of ADSS Pole Attachment Hardware for Fiber Optic Cable

Today let’s take a quick look at the Mini Bracket from our YouTube Channel.

Mini Brackets are used for short and medium spans of ADSS fiber optic cable as well as Aerial Drop cables. Mini Brackets are sized to fit specific ADSS diameters. Standard Mini Brackets are employed with fitted bushings to provide a good support/groove fit and to prevent the support from damaging the cable. The bolted supports are supplied with aluminum captive bolts to simplify installation with no loose parts.

For more information on this item you might want to check it out on the site. Thanks!

Having trouble cleaving fiber cable? This might be why.

You just received your fiber optic cable, connectors and new tool kit. You get started and you hit a snag with your cleaver not appearing to work properly, you’re doing it according to the instructions included in the tool kit and you’ve watched the how-to video provided by the manufacture. So what’s the deal? This is the most common issue when contractors are new to terminating fiber optic connectors and after numerous conversations regarding the same common issue we’ve made a troubleshooting video that will solve your problem.

Let’s check it out from our YouTube channel.

I recall one of our recent cleaver troubleshooting phone calls where the contractor was about to raise the blade! Don’t do it! When you first receive your new cleaver it’s set and should last you a while before a blade adjustment is needed. Here’s a overview on a cleaver by AFL that also you shows how to make that blade adjustment.

If you purchased your fiber cable, fiber optic connectors and tools from us, thank you. If you have any further questions regarding fiber you may contact Mercy Salinas at 888-797-3697 extension 232.

AFL CT-30 Fiber Optic Cleaver Overview

One of our most popular fiber optic kits is the AFL Fast kit that allows you to terminate connectors in the field quickly and accurately. The most costly part of a fiber kit seems to be the cleaver so we cracked it open to get a better look.

The CT-30 is equally at home in a splicing van or in a bucket truck and is ideal for FTTx applications. Don’t forget the 16-position blade yields 48,000 single-fiber cleaves, or 4,000 12-fiber ribbon cleaves before requiring replacement, and the built-in scrap collector conveniently stores fiber shards until they can be safely discarded.

The CT-30 Cleaver is packaged with three scrap collection options that allow the user to tailor it to their cleaving preferences. The CT30 is delivered with the SC-01 Side Cover installed for users that prefer not to use an automated scrap collection system. For those that prefer an automated scrap collection system, the FC-02 Fiber Collector and two scrap box options are included. The FDB-02 Scrap Box is a smaller bin for users seeking a compact profile. The FDB-03 Scrap Box is a larger bin with sweeping brush and static resistant surfaces for those users seeking to maximize scrap capacity. All scrap options are easily configured by the user.

Its also kinda sweet that the blade is replaceable and it’s fairly inexpensive. I also like how it’s compatible with the AFL Fujikura fusion splicer.

Considering this cleaver is also commonly used in industries such as Aerospace and Defense, Alternative Energy, Broadcast, Electric Utility, Fiber Optic Component and Equipment Manufacturing, Industrial Environments, Installers and Contractors, Medical, Mining, Oil and Gas, Security, Transportation and more helps to make this cleaver one of the most popular and reliable tools on the market.

For further questions you may contact: Mercy Salinas at 888-797-3697 ex 232

MTP Fiber Optic Cable – Polarity

TIA-568-C.0 “Generic Telecommunications Cabling for Customer Premises” goes over three MTP cable polarity methods – A, B and C. With multiple channels in a connector, components must be manufactured with the same polarity. Differences in polarity will not be corrected by simply flipping or switching the positioning of the connector at the location. Here’s a quick look at the current polarity methods.

I’m going to start you out with what so far seems to be the most popular polarity pinout, this would be the “Universal Polarity Management Method” and is used in many Corning fiber networks. It seems to be a little odd that this would be the most popular so far because the universal method is not included in the TIA standard but it does meets the “intent of the standard” that’s according to Corning. Makes good sense that this would be most popular because Corning seems the be the biggest giant in the fiber optic cable market.

This system is mated key-up to key-down. This method supports simple concatenation of multiple trunks without effecting polarity. Accommodates all simplex/duplex connector types. The components related to your MTP connector will also allow for easy moves without polarity concerns used in other methods.

universal

The next most common polarity pinout method I see is “Method B”. This uses a single module type wired in a straight-through configuration and standard patch cords on each end. One thing that will stand out to you is how all the components in the system are key-up to key-up. This method will require more planning for your modules location. This method also does not accommodate angle polished single mode connectors. It’s also a common method in Commscope fiber optic network infrastructures and popular with end users due to it simplifying upgrades.

method b

Now thinking about it, the next method is not far behind after looking at my sales history of MTP cables. Let’s talk about “Method A”. This uses a single type wired in a “Straight-Through” configuration and two different patch cords in a optical circuit. One cord is straight and the other is flipped. All components in the channel are mated key-up to key-down. Because the polarity is addressed in the patch cords the end user is responsible for managing the network.

method A

The last method I’m going to brush on is “Method C”. This uses a pair wise fiber flip in the trunk cable to correct for polarity. This will enable the use of the same module on both ends of the channel and standard patch cables. Because the polarity is managed in the trunk, extending links requires more planning to maintain polarity. The TIA standard does not mention text regarding the ability to migrate to parallel optics, but parallel optics capability can easily be achieved with a special patch cord to reverse the pair-wise fiber flips in the trunk.

method c

So, there are four popular wiring schemes but the standard only recognizes three. I know, it feels like a bit of a gray area. Further questions contact sales at 888-797-3697 or comment below. Thanks!