By the Number: Testing of Fiber Optic Cable

Part 5

By: Jeff Dominique, Chief Instructor

FNT Consulting & Training

Fiber Optic Test Plan Outline to be discussed:

  • Part 1: The subject(s) to be tested.
  • Part 2: The instruments involved in performing the test.
  • Part 3: How the instruments are to be configured for the test.
  • Part 4: Identification of test reference method(s) and reference jumpers or launch cords needed to perform the referencing step.
  • Part 5: Validation and gathering proof of instrument(s) calibration.
  • Part 6: Identification and documentation of "to end(s)” and "from end(s)”.
  • Part 7: Identification of wavelength(s) used to perform the test.
  • Part 8: Identification of job specification test requirement i.e. single direction test or bi-directional test.
  • Part 9: Gathering of information regarding test location, client information.

Validation and gathering proof of instrument(s) calibration: Part 5

One of the most complicated issues in dealing with testing devices is when to pull it from the field for its scheduled calibration.

The corporate files need to be updated frequently in order to stay on top of the Due Dates and then the equipment coordinator has to monitor when the instrument is not scheduled for use so that it can be retrieved and sent off to the calibration lab, before the date expires.

The calibration process can take two to four weeks and when the device is off for calibration, loaners are typically not offered so it becomes a fine balancing act on when to recall the instrument, based on its return from calibration date and when it is going to be needed on a job.

The implications of missing the calibration date often spells increased calibration cost, longer delays in returning the instrument from the calibration lab and of course your inability to produce the "in calibration” documents required by most customers today.

In several instances, the calibration lab will affix a sticker directly to the instrument that indicated the next calibration due date. This can be a very convenient indicator if it is not removed over the course of the units use. However, most customers want a copy of the actual cal-lab results so be prepared to produce this document with every job that you do. One way of ensuring that you always can produce the document is to make several copies of the original calibration document and keep it with the instrument itself.

Part 6: Identification and documentation of "to end(s)" and "from end(s)".

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