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What is the Find Fault tool?

Jake Anderson - Dec 14, 2022 6:00:00 PM

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Breaks in fiber cables can be extremely disruptive, which is why quick attention and efficient restoration are so important. When a fault causes service to go down, you need to be able to identify both the suspect cable and the exact location of the physical break in order to remedy the situation. 

Without the proper tools and resources, this is very challenging and risks extended downtimes and lost productivity for your end users. The Find Fault tool is what you need to address cable breaks and get clients back up and running on your network with little interruption.

What causes faults in fiber cables?

A “fault” can describe any physical deformity or malfunction that compromises the performance of a fiber cable or strand. Cable bends, breaks, failed splices, and loose jumper cables are all examples of faults that can be caused by a number of factors.

For example, a roadside car accident may take out a street-level cabinet of fiber terminals. An innocent construction crew could run their backhoe over installed lines. Even hungry squirrels can take down a network by chewing or biting through lit cables.

On a more catastrophic level, natural disasters, like hurricanes and tornadoes, can wreak havoc on fiber networks and leave behind numerous faults that need to be fixed over a wide area.

What is the Find Fault tool?

The OSPInsight Find Fault tool is able to pinpoint the location of breaks along fiber optic cables with remarkable precision using inputs from optical time-domain reflectometers (OTDRs).

OTDRs measure the integrity of fiber cables by sending optical pulses, or “traces,” from an end port down the fiber and assessing the quality of the light that returns. These traces can identify faults and their distance from the end port but don’t actually paint a useful picture of where breaks are geographically located. This is where the Find Fault tool comes into play.

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With OSPInsight’s network management software, users can select the end port in the software that represents the physical end port the OTDR was plugged into. Then, the distance reading from the OTDR can be input and the Find Fault tool will place a pin on a map of where the actual fault is located.

The Find Fault tool even allows users to layer on Google Maps in order to get a better sense of the location relative to existing structures and built environments. Using Google Maps Street View, restoration crews can evaluate the scene and begin to plan their approach.

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Integrating with alarm monitoring equipment

The Find Fault tool also integrates seamlessly with alarm monitoring equipment that will alert network managers of cable faults without needing to run OTDR traces. The screenshot below displays the output of an alarm monitor which includes the fault type, fault distance, and cable route being compromised. This level of automation facilitates swift recovery in faulty networks.

A must-have for network management

Successfully installing new cable and lighting it up for end users is only one aspect of high-quality network management. Cables break. Networks go down. This is why quick and accurate troubleshooting capabilities are so important.

With OSPInsight’s Find Fault tool, network managers can locate cable issues with ease and get their clients back on the grid with minimal disruption.

Learn how OSPInsight can help you today!

Thousands of users have trusted OSPInsight software for over 25 years. Schedule a product demonstration to learn from one of our Solutions Engineers how OSPInsight can help your organization take your fiber network to the next level.

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