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Chapter 18:
Troubleshooting and Test Equipment
Fiber-optic troubleshooting usually involves checking for damaged or incorrectly installed equipment, or for components that have failed or malfunctioned in some way. Sometimes the problems are simple, but usually they require specialized test equipment to analyze and identify the problem. This chapter opens by summarizing common problems likely to be encountered in fiber-optic systems. Then it describes important test equipment and its operation, drawing on measurement concepts you learned in Chapter 17. Finally it reviews some simple procedures to track down problems. The techniques covered are specific to fiber optics, not general to communications. That means you will learn ways to spot a broken cable, but not how to diagnose the hardware or software in an electronic switching system. This chapter is an introduction to basic concepts and the most important equipment, not a step-by-step description of everything you will need to know on the job. That’s a book or a course in itself. Think of it as a quick introduction to fiber-optic first aid. It won’t teach you how to perform delicate surgery on the network, but it will help you respond intelligently if the system goes down.
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