Fiber U Self Study

Fiber Optic Testing, Lesson 6: Components, Networks and Troubleshooting

When you finish this lesson, go here for directions to take the Fiber U Certificate of Completion Exam  


Objectives: From this self-study lesson you should learn:
  • What networks may require special testing.
  • What other fiber optic components need testing?
  • How does on test a complete fiber optic network?
  • Why is troubleshooting so difficult-or is it?
  • What do you need to remember most about fiber optic testing?

So far, we've mainly concentrated on testing the fiber optic cable plant. However, other components and systems require testing also. Patchcords, for example, are often a source of problems in connecting and operating networks. If you work with communications systems, it's important to learn how to troubleshoot the active electronics too. In labs, you may be faced with testing fibers, connectors or splices. All these are straightforward testing issues and will see how they are similar to what you have learned before.

The course leads you to read online or printed materials (with an emphasis on the online using the FOA Guide), watch FOA YouTube Videos, complete some activities and take the quizzes. Each lesson plan will be self-contained. Lesson plans open in new pages so the course overview page stays open to lead you to the next lesson or you may use the link at the bottom of the page.

Student Assignment

Read the references, watch the videos and take the quizzes (Test Your Knowledge)

FOA YouTube Videos,
FOA Lecture 20: Other Fiber Optic Tests  (This video covers reflectance, bandwidth, PMD and CD for long haul SM systems and spectral attenuation for WDM systems.)

FOA Lecture 28, Fiber Characterization   (Testing long distance high speed networks)
FOA Lecture 39 Maintaining Fiber Optic Networks  (Not what you think!)

Online FOA Reference
FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optics
Connector and Splice Loss Testing (Lab tests, not field, used for R&D or component qualification.)
Reflectance Testing (How one measures the reflectance from connectors and optical return loss from a cable plant.) 
Data Link or Network Testing
(While many installers never test a system, end users and those troubleshooting systems need to know this.) 
Testing long haul networks (CD, PMD, Spectral Attenuation)  (Long SM fiber runs have special problems.)
Fiber Loss Testing including Multimode Modal Control (This is a major effect in measurement uncertainty when testing multimode fibers.) 

Reference Textbook
FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optics, Chapter 8
FOA Reference Guide to Outside Plant Fiber Optics, Chapter 8 

Test Your Knowledge
Online Quiz

Extra Credit Reading & Certification
Assignments beyond the basics required for the course will be listed as extra credit.

Read everything in the FOA Online Guide about test.
If you have a CFOT and appropriate experience, this course will prepare you for the FOA CFOS/T specialist certification.


Fiber U Certificate
Get a "Fiber U Certificate of Completion" When You Complete The Course
After you complete the Fiber U Fiber Optic Testing online self-study course, you can now take an online exam and, when you pass the exam, get a "Certificate of Completion" for this course. You should complete all lessons including taking the quiz ("Test Your Comprehension") at the end of every lesson. When you think you are prepared, you can take an online exam for a nominal fee ($20) which will give you a "Certificate of Completion" for this course.

If you are working on FOA certification, print out (PDF) your completed case studies from Lesson 8 and save along with your Fiber U Certificate of Completion for your application for certification.

When you are ready, go here to take the Fiber U Fiber Optic Testing Certificate of Completion Exam  

Please note: receiving this Fiber U Certificate of Completion does not include FOA certification or membership but it does become documentation of your knowledge of fiber optics and should be part of your portfolio of documented knowledge, other training and work experience that can qualify you to apply for FOA direct CFOT certification through the FOA "Work to Cert" program.

Read more about the Fiber U Certificate of Completion program including detail directions on taking the exam.

For more information on the FOA and its certification programs, go to the FOA page on certification.

For information on the FOA "Work to Cert" direct certification program for those with industry experience, go here.


Table of Contents: The FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics

(C)2016, The Fiber Optic Association, Inc.