“Be sure to” – it may sound like something your mom would say, but everyone knows that mom is always right. Sure…her friendly “be sure to” reminders could seem annoying or pointless, but at the end of the day she was right, and you’re happy you listened. Well, VIAVI isn’t your mom, but you’ll most certainly find these “be sure to” tips helpful, and over time you’ll hopefully avoid plenty of headaches.

Here is a top 5 list of important “be sure to” tips for your fiber inspection and testing routine.

1. Be sure to….use a repeatable process.

A wise man once said “If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.” Believe it or not this applies to your fiber testing approach too. Since contaminated connectors are the #1 cause of troubleshooting in fiber networks, technicians need an inspection and cleaning process they can rely on to ensure the best fiber connections. Don’t have a process? Check out the first episode in our Inspect Before You Connect video series and learn some simple steps you can act on today.

2. Be sure to…test fiber connectors proactively.

Many people think of inspection as a troubleshooting step – employing test gear only when issues arise. What it comes down to is doing the job right the first time. Why not prevent troubleshooting issues that result in permanent cable damage and network downtime? By being proactive about fiber inspection, you can ensure optimal cable performance from the get-go. In episode 2 of our fiber inspection video series you’ll hear about this classic case of reaping what you sow.

3. Be sure to…inspect BOTH sides of a fiber connection.

One of the most common mistakes technicians make is neglecting to inspect and clean both sides of a fiber connection. If you clean your patch cord but forget to inspect the bulk head you run the risk of cross contamination. The risk ranges from residue-based coffee ring stains, to permanent damage from dust particle migration scratching the bulk head. Check out episode 3 in our inspection video series to learn more about why checking both sides of a fiber connection is a critical step in the inspection process.

4. Be sure to…inspect new fiber connectors.

It’s easy to assume that a new fiber connector doesn’t need to be inspected. It’s brand new – right out of the bag, why would it be dirty? But it’s possible, for instance, that even dust caps themselves can transfer residue and create the perfect environment for mold to develop. Learn about common scenarios when brand new cables can become contaminated in episode 4 in our video series.

5. Be sure to…inspect reference cords and test leads.

This is the classic case of garbage in, garbage out. If you don’t test them, dirty reference cords could have devastating effects on all your test efforts. You also run the risk of permanently damaging not only the reference cord, but also the test port. Damaged test ports are the most common reason for test equipment needing repair. Watch episode 5 in our video series to learn more and hear about two real-world examples.

For access to all things fiber inspection, helpful “mom-like” advice, or to view the entire Inspect Before You Connect video series, visit viavisolutions.com/inspect.

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