Why come to us?

  • Over 20 years’ dedication to meeting the global needs of the most demanding fibre optic specialists
  • Our focus on delivering customer satisfaction; attention to detail, expert advice and competitive pricing
  • We distribute only the best quality brands with no minimum order
  • ISO 9001:2008 certified production and distribution
  • Next-day delivery for all stocked items for customers throughout the UK and Europe
  • Two-day delivery for customers based outside Europe
  • Rapid sourcing of special and high-value capital equipment not already in stock
  • All products available for personal collection from our trade counter 8.30am-5.30pm
  • OEM accounts
  • Blanket and scheduled orders welcome – just ask
  • In-house expertise and training capability in all types of fibre terminations, including complex terminations, expanded beam and harsh environments


Free Quote

Free Quote

When do you use an OTDR?

We have brought in various OTDR manufacturers to teach their use to our students. Since most of our attendees are contractors, we try to give them a realistic overview of what jobs they will see and what tools they will need. It is very important to understand when you need an OTDR and when it is not appropriate.

If you are installing an outside plant network such as a long distance network or a long campus LAN with splices between cables, you will want an OTDR to check if the fibres and splices are good. The OTDR can see the splice after it is made and confirm it's performance. It can also find stress problems in the cables caused by improper handling during installation. If you are doing restoration after a cable cut, the OTDR will help find the location of cut and help confirm the quality of temporary and permanent splices to restore operation. On singlemode fibres where connector reflections are a concern, the OTDR will pinpoint bad connectors easily.

OTDRs should not be used to measure cable plant loss. That is the job of the source and power meter, which duplicates the actual fibre optic link, as we described in the first part of this article and is documented by every standard ever written for cable plant loss. The loss measured will not correlate between the two methods; the OTDR cannot show the actual cable plant loss that the system will see.

The limited distance resolution of the OTDR makes it very hard to use in a LAN or building environment, where cables are usually only a few hundred feet long. The OTDR has a great deal of difficulty resolving features in the short cables of a LAN and is more often than not simply confusing to the user.

And one OTDR manufacturer once told a class of students that they could justify the cost of an OTDR simply by using it to test the length of the fibre on a reel when they get it to make sure they got what they paid for. The class laughed at the instructor and pointed out the cable manufacturers mark length on the cable jacket and a £2 calculator would do as well!

Since OTDRs are very expensive and have only specific uses, the decision to buy one must be made carefully. For that reason, most instrument rental companies will rent one for a few days or weeks when you need them. However, if you are not familiar with their operation or cannot understand the results of OTDR tests, it would be much better to hire a specialist to do the testing for you.




Cable assemblies





Harsh Environment


Media converters

Polishing films



Testing & inspection



Tech Optics Ltd provides leading companies worldwide with an extensive range of the best available fibre-optic communications products, customised cable assemblies and fibre-optic expertise. We will give you our best possible service, technical assistance and support along with competitive pricing on our world-class range of products.

NQA ISO 9001 Quality Managment

Contact Us:

Phone: +44 (0)1732 770466
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Unit 6, Tannery Road
Kent TN9 1RF