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Pinpointing Trouble Spots with Anritsu OTDR

Here are some case studies of real problems and how to catch them early using an Anritsu OTDR before they develop into a bigger fault.


Sometimes, high-security facilities like a carrier's office or a bank cannot be easily accessed when a problem occurs out of hours, and the delay can cause big damage and may result in questions about the quality of the contractor's work. The cause may be strain points in fiber bends increasing the impact of fiber aging changes.
If the service engineer can't get to the source of the problem, it can't be fixed.
I can't fix the problem if I can't get access to the cabinet!
caseproducts Measuring the optical loss at bends in the fiber can help prevent installing fiber with bends having a high probability of future problems.


After running FTTH fiber cable into a house sometimes the user may change the cable path or bend it too much, causing increased optical loss so that TV services are lost although data services still work. Frequently, the user may move furniture and reroute the fiber cable without realizing it.
FTTH: I am connected to the internet but I can't watch anything on my TV!
caseproducts Measuring the loss at bends during installation helps predict potential problem points, supporting a quick response if problems arise.


Special care must be taking when bending optical fiber and many trouble spots can be created if the engineer handles it like metal cable. In particular, many problems occur when the fiber is bent too sharply as it enters tight spaces, such as in a cable connection box.
FTTA: We've had lots of problems due to a new engineer who is inexperienced with optical fiber!
caseproducts Although not a fault, pinpointing the location of optical splitters and connectors helps assure speedy troubleshooting.


Not surprisingly, any dirt, such as fingerprint smears, or scratches on the fiber connector end face cause unwanted light reflections and communications problems. However, reflected light cannot be measured with a power meter.
We are having data communications problems, but the power-meter level measurements are all normal!
caseproducts Measuring reflected light with the Anritsu OTDR confirms the condition of the fiber connector end face.


Most inspections use the same patch cord to connect the tester to different appliances, so if the patch cord connector end face gets dirty somehow, the dirt can be transferred to the connector end faces of all appliances measured subsequently, causing them to all seem faulty.
I connected a tester to several communications appliances one after another and now all the appliances have communications problems!
caseproducts Connecting the Video Inspection Probe (VIP) accessory to the OTDR easily spots any dirt or scratches on tester, patch cord or appliance connector end faces.

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