Objectives: To learn how fiber optic components and cables are tested and what errors may occur in testing. Learning
how visual continuity testing, visual fault location, insertion loss
testing and OTDR testing are done by testing actual components.
Student Assignment: Read the references and take the quizzes (Test Your Comprehension.) Complete the lab exercises.
Presentation Slides: 89-97, Advanced - Testing PPT
Online FOA References:
VHO: Insertion Loss Testing
VHO: OTDR Testing
The Fiber Optic Technicians Manual: Chapter 17
Student Lab Manual
Data, Voice and Video Cabling Installation: Chapter 14
Visual tracing, continuity tracing, visual fault location
Connector inspection with microscope (optional if already done in termination lab)
Insertion loss testing of a cable with light source and power meter, single-ended (FOTP-171) and double-ended (OFSTP-14 or 7)
OTDR testing, using OTDR and long lengths of cable or the OTDR Simulator (FOA Starter Kits)
In the hands-on testing lab, each student should test a variety of
cables some of which are good and some bad. The best method to
use is to test for each for continuity, check connectors with a
microscope, test insertion loss of cables using a light source and
power meter and if they are long enough, take traces with an OTDR.
Before testing insertion loss, use the light source and
power meter to test the reference launch and receive cables to see if
they are good enough for use as reference cables, then test
unknown cables. If students have made cables during the termination
exercise, the can measure the loss in this session. Test some cables
If time permits and equipment is
available, using an OTDR to find faults and measure splice loss
(bi-directional and average) is recommended. Students should understand
that OTDRs are more often rented when needed than purchased.
Extra Credit Reading
Pages on testing from Table of Contents (reading all is recommended)