Common used fiber optic test equipment includes fiber optic power meter, fiber optic light source, fiber multimeter, optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR) and fiber fault locator. Power meter is used for absolute optical fiber power measurement as well as fiber optic loss related measurement. Light source is used with power meter to test the fiber system loss. Multimeter is an integrated unit of power meter and light source. OTDR is classic fiber optic test equipment, it is most easy to use but it is also one of the most expensive, OTDR could give you an overview of the whole system you test and it could test the whole system fiber length, joint point and loss. Fault locator’s name already express its function, it could be regarded to be part of OTDR and fiber fault locator is cheap.
An optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR) is a device used to precisely detect faults in an optical fiber link of a communication network. Its function includes generation and transmission of a series of high-speed optical pluses within the fiber. The process of running these tests requires the OTDR tool to input a light pulse into one end of a fiber cable. The results are based on the reflected signal that returns to the same OTDR port. Some of the light transmitted through the cable will scatter and some will be reflected and returned to the OTDR. This returned scatter and reflections are measured to gather useful information about the cable, such as loss and distances to connectors or faults. This is measured by recording the time it takes for signals to return to the OTDR.
Fiber splicing is the process of permanently joining two fibers together. Unlike fiber connectors, which are designed for easy reconfiguration on cross-connect or patch panels.
Mechanical splicing doesn’t physically fuse two optical fibers together, rather two fibers are held butt-to-butt inside a sleeve with some mechanical mechanism. You will get worse insertion loss and back reflection in mechanical splices than in fusion splices.Mechanical splicing is mostly used for emergency repairs and fiber testing.
In fusion splicing, two fibers are literally welded (fused) together by an electric arc. Fusion splicing is the most widely used method of splicing as it provides for the lowest insertion loss and virtually no back reflection. Fusion splicing provides the most reliable joint between two fibers. Fusion splicing is done by an automatic machine called fusion splicer (fusion splicing machines).