OTDRS are used in the testing and certification of fiber optics cables, but choosing the correct OTDR for your specific job requires the understanding of a few key concepts.

Singlemode vs. Multimode – Singlemode fibers are fibers with a core size of around 8-10 microns while multimode fibers have a core size around 50 microns or 62.5 microns. These two styles of fiber generally determined by the distance of the signal you are transmitting. Therefore, if you fibers are shorter distances and multimode fibers are being used you require an OTDR with 850 and 1300 nm wavelengths. If you are testing fibers with longer distances and singlemode fibers are being used you likely require an OTDR with at least two of the following wavelengths…. 1310 / 1490 / 1550 / 1625

Dynamic Range – The dynamic range of an OTDR determines the distance the unit can send and receive test data within a fiber optic cable. The higher the dynamic range of the unit, the further the OTDR can test. However, just remember the dynamic range is the power of an otdr and the condition of the fiber plant truly determines the distance the signal with travel down the fiber.

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