Editor's Note: This is the correct quiz that was supposed to be included in the May print issue. We apologize for the mixup.

There are many tools available for testing voice, data and video cables. Some are designed for specialized testing required to verify installation or troubleshoot problems. How well do you know these test tools? Correct answers and explanations are in red.

1. Of the four testers used for 4-pair unshielded twisted-pair cables, only a _______ does not test for proper connections of all pins.
A. Wire mapper
B. Cable certifier
C. Cable verifier
D. Time-domain reflectometer

The time domain reflectometer only measures length and detects shorts and opens, but does not verify connections.

2. Of the four testers used for 4-pair unshielded twisted-pair cables, only a _______ tests to confirm the cable plant meets TIA-568 or ISO/IEC 11801 standards.
A. Wire mapper
B. Cable certifier
C. Cable verifier
D. Time-domain reflectometer

A cable "certifier" tests the cable according to cabling standards to verify it meets the appropriate levels of performance defined in the standards.

3. If you need to test a cable plant to ensure that the cable plant will transmit 1,000Base-T signals, you need a ________.
A. Wire mapper
B. Cable certifier
C. Cable verifier
D. Time-domain reflectometer

A cable "verifier" actually tests with network signals to ensure the cable plant will transmit data for the specified network.

4. Besides measuring the length of a copper cable, a time-domain reflectometer can find opens or shorts by looking at the _______ of the return test pulse.
A. Shape
B. Width
C. Polarity
D. Amplitude

A TDR looks at the reflected pulse from the end of the cable. If it is of the same polarity as the test pulse, the far end of the cable is open while reversed polarity means it is shorted.

5. Coax cable is generally only tested for ________.
A. Attenuation
B. Bandwidth
C. Continuity
D. Dispersion

Coax cable is usually only tested for continuity unless it has high frequency performance problems. Then it needs to be tested for bandwidth over the full specified frequency range to determine the problem.

6. When testing either fiber or copper cables, it's extremely important to ensure your cables used to connect the test equipment to the cables under test are in good condition.
True
False

The cables that connect test equipment to the cables under test can affect the measurements so they need to be the proper cables and in good condition.

7. A ________ tests a fiber optic cable plant in a similar manner to how a communication system will use it.
A. Visual fault locator
B. Light source and power meter or OLTS
C. Optical time-domain reflectometer or OTDR
D. Inspection microscope

A light source used for testing acts like a transmitter and a power meter is a receiver, so the test is similar in function to how the transmission system will use the cable plant.

8. A ________ is used to verify splice loss in a long fiber optic cable run with fusion splices between cable segments.
A. Visual fault locator
B. Light source and power meter or OLTS
C. Optical time-domain reflectometer or OTDR
D. Inspection microscope

Only the OTDR can verify the quality of splices in two cables fusion spliced together.

9. A fault too close to be seen with an OTDR can sometimes be found with a ______.
A. Visual fault locator
B. Light source and power meter or OLTS
C. Optical time-domain reflectometer or OTDR
D. Inspection microscope

Visual fault locators use a bright red laser to allow visually pin-pointing problems like high loss splices, connectors, stress losses at bends or cracks in the fiber.

10. Testing cable plant with either an OLTS or an OTDR will always give similar loss measurements.
True
False

Since the OLTS makes a direct measurement and the OTDR uses an indirect method, the results are often different.


HAYES is a VDV writer and educator and the president of The Fiber Optic Association. Find him at www.jimhayes.com.