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about OTDR trace viewer software, fiber characterization, fiber optic measurements and other


Our cloud OTDR trace viewer helps you analyze OTDR traces even better.

A new updated version of the Fiberizer Cloud online service has finally been released. It took longer than usual, because this version is packed with new features to analyze OTDR traces, and other possibilities.

 

Fiberizer Cloud main menu

 

Thanks to feedback from our customers, we could significantly improve the overall process of analyzing OTDR traces, making it faster, more accurate, and more valid. Just have a look at the impressive list below:

 

  1. Now you can enter parameters of your real OTDRs into the repository of our cloud OTDR trace viewer, or you can create virtual OTDRs for analyzing your traces, with OTDR parameters like dynamic range, dead zone, serial number, etc. That is the way many of our customers keep track of their available OTDRs and try new ones. With this feature you can also run efficient simulated testing of virtual networks (see the next item).
  2. More versatile networks can be created in the cloud, with a library of parameters to choose, for various fibers and connectors available to simulate online analysis. You can instantly apply parameters of single-mode and multimode optical fibers from Corning Inc., as well as characteristics of different fiber connector types (APC and UPC). The data are already in the cloud repository for you, so you can save time entering them. But if you need to correct the fiber network parameters manually, you can still do it.
  3. You can see the OTDR trace overview in the new Summary tab, which shows the total loss, the total distance, and the specified section parameters for your optical fiber.
  4. Improved analysis of fiber sections with 2 or more close events. Feedback from our customers shows that there may be cases when 2 or more events get too close for the usual 5PT mode to be efficient, because here the loss measurement error gets too high. For such cases Fiberizer Cloud now has a new 3PT mode with no approximation, which produces significantly better results.
  5. The improved Reporting feature gives you more opportunities to view and analyze your OTDR traces, and include the results in official documents. Following our customers’ feedback, we completely redesigned our OTDR trace viewer template system for reporting. Now you can create an MS Excel template for your specific needs and then upload it to your Fiberizer Cloud account. Then you just select the files to be included in your report, and choose the necessary template. The data from the files selected are applied to the template, and our cloud OTDR trace viewer generates a report for you.
  6. Fiberizer Cloud expands your equipment compatibility, and sometimes even makes it up for slips of others. If you work long enough in OTDR trace analysis, you know that more often than not the .sor format has variations not compatible with some software. Our cloud OTDR trace viewer is one of the most compatible application on the market. Besides, recently one major OTDR producer, released a buggy software application which actually saved traces in its own proprietary format inaccessible to other equipment, while keeping the .sor extension. If you try to analyze such a file, our OTDR trace viewer warns you about it, so you know why you have a problem.

Add value to your OTDR and try Fiberizer Cloud right now, no registration needed:

 

 Analyze OTDR trace with Fiberizer Cloud 

 

Please help us to help you. Tell us how we can improve the library and the cloud OTDR trace viewer in general, your feedback is greatly appreciated.


Что такое Fiberizer Cloud?

Небольшое видео о том, что такое Fiberizer Cloud, кому и как этот сервис может помочь.

 


OTDR viewer for MAC

I am writing this blog post from MacBook. Usually I am using Apple PCs (running under MAC OSX / Leopard) and Apple iOS mobile devices for all non-business task. For our industry (fiber optics installation and maintenance) many OTDR vendors still can not provide software running under Mac OS.

But today I have great news for our Mac users. From this moment you can start working with OTDR traces from your Mac with fully functional online software.

After Fiberizer Mobile for iPhone and iPad was offered, Apple fans got a chance to use favourite devices for specific business application. That was really first OTDR trace viewer in the world working on iOS gadgets.

I know that this mobile application still hasn't many features, but in the next updates we would try to make the application do:
  • analyse standard OTDR traces
  • observe events table
  • edit sor files and generate reports

The time passed, and now Fiberizer suggest you new and absolutely another product - Fiberizer Cloud. This is fully-functional OTDR trace viewer working in your browser. You can use Chrome browser for Mac and despite some limitations (in compare with Windows users) Fiberizer cloud will do its job with great success (I also tried to work in Safari and everything seems to work the same). This is how you could see the main working area:
OTDR Viewer for MAC

The most progressive thing in this system is the word "Cloud". Before that fiber optic engineers haven't opportunity to store, view and edit *.sor files in online storage systems like Google Drive (they don't support them). Now the situation has changed significantly. You can do everything you need with OTDR traces on any computer on any OS (even on Mac OS) if only you have good Internet connection :), and this is very convenient.

Moreover you can not just view OTDR traces but also work with events, create new ones and edit existing:
OTDR trace

Fiberizer Cloud also support PDF and CSV reports for one or multiple traces. You can generate and store them in service:
OTDR trace report

I hope you'll like how the Fiberizer Cloud made. The design is modern and user-friendly. You can easily understand its logic and will be able to find all the necessary stuff.

Fiberizer Cloud suggests to use Collections to organize traces. This is almost like Google mail, both using tags. So you can add as many tags for your trace as you wish. Yep! That's right, no more silly folders:
Fiberizer Cloud Collections

There are still some work to do. For example 3D Accelerating (DirectX feature for Windows PC) not supported on Macs so you will see little vertical line that cut OTDR trace noise during the trace viewing. Hope is not a big disadvantage, and we'll do our best to fix it too:


cut OTDR trace noise

I should say, that our developers did a great job - we are trying to make available the possibility to work easily on any PC, tablet or palm platform. This is great, when you don't need to choose your preferred OS because it hasn't got the necessary application.

I think the area of optical communications will got a good push to become more modern and think better about today users needs.

OTDR sor format vagueness
Our company is working many years with OTDR file format (Originally Bellcore 1.0-2.0, then Telcordia GR-196 and SR-4731) and we have something to tell about this topic because our software (especially Fiberizer Cloud - web SOR Viewer and storage) now widely used by customers all over the world to process not only own Agizer OTDR's data but many vendors as well.

1. Offsets notes/issues

1.1. Acquisition offset (AO) and Front panel offset (FPO)
Specification stands: "AO tells how far away from the OTDR the first data point in the trace file is". As a result  AO must be negative  when a number of the first data points belong to internal fiber (before OTDR output connector). 
At the same time internal fiber determined by FPO value. "FPO indicates how much of the saved trace corresponds to lead in fiber."

It means AO and FPO duplicates each other when internal points exists :
-AO = FPO, as FPO > 0

When trace file points start from Nkm (i.e. 0..Nkm points are skipped):
AO=N, FPO = 0

In all other cases parameters are in conflict! (when |AO| <> FPO)

Agizer™ Suggestion: Keep current definition of AO (including negative values) and reject FPO.
Our OTDRs distance calibration procedure is binding moment when light goes through front panel to 0 sec(m) of trace data point by changing AO.

1.2. "Distance" type fields.
 AOD and UOD depend on Group Index (GI) user selected.  User may be confused to see UOD marker in wrong location after he changed GI for whole trace (because all data points stored in time).

Agizer™ Suggestion: Store all values (AO, UO) only in time. FPO has no "distance" pair.

1.3. Problem of binding User Offset to connection between lead-in fiber and link.
To measure distance properly with lead-in fiber user need to input length of his lead-in fiber as User Offset value. But event location is Time type value, so it's not easy task to get 0-accuracy by editing  UO in meters (consider GI)

Agizer™ Suggestion: We are using custom field to keep number of event to bind UO. User has choice: input UO himself; input UO himself but bind to nearest event; input event number. 

1.4. Whether Event and Markers locations must depend on User Offset.
 Specification stands: "Event Propagation Time (EPT) is relative to the beginning of the link (the end of the User Offset fiber). "

Agizer™ Suggestion: User Offset is used when time values recalculated to distance values just before displaying for user. As a result all time values (including Event locations are stored relative to 0sec time (adjusted by AO/FPO)

1.5. Connection of fibers with different Group Indexes (or Helix Factor).
Real link consists of many fibers spliced together and for accurate distance measurement need to extend format by including sections (from point N to point M) with different GI. Same as it is currently done for different Pulse Widths.
It is especially useful for bi-directional analysis when we need to bind events of the traces measured  from opposite directions.


2. String fields (like Comments, fiber type, etc... )


2.1. There is Language Code in General parameters (like EN, CH, RU) which is not exactly tell us encoding table was used for selected language.

Agizer™ Suggestion: Add "U8" language code for any languages and use UTF-8 encoding.

3. Thresholds (Loss, Reflectance, End-Of-Fiber)


3.1. Specification stands: "Events table should contains information about events along the fiber trace that the fiber trace analysis software has identified as exceeding the user selected
event threshold levels (see Fixed Parameters Block)"

Agizer™ SuggestionConsider threshold values as alarm levels (pass/fail) to highlight certain events. At the same time Events table must include ALL events (including passed - OK, i.e. lower than thresholds) which analysis software was able to identify.

Otherwise skipped event might affect next event parameters calculation (see next figure):


Left approximation shoulder have wrong attenuation coefficient and event loss is also incorrect.

4. Other

4.1. Signed short integer (multiplied by 1000 scale) is not enough for some fields.
For example Attenuation Coefficient Lead-in Fiber (ACI) for Event need more accuracy for some applications (like 0.1234 db/km). 

4.2. Zero level of dB scale (vertical axis). It's described quite well in specification but some vendors understand it in a different ways.
We understand it as follows: 
- Maximum level (top of chart) is 0dB (maximum backscattering/reflection level which OTDR can measure)
- Minimum level (bottom of chart) is -65dB (negative value because signal attenuate along the trace)


We are glad to welcome software and fiber optic engineers to discuss these issues!