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Published on January 24, 2014

Simplifying Copper Testing with EXFO’s SmartR

The challenge of testing new and changing technologies can be easily addressed with simplified copper testing. You may have read earlier blog entries referencing Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule, which states that mere talent and training alone are not sufficient to gain proficiency in any particular discipline. And learned that it takes approximately 10,000 hours of practice to acquire mastery of an art or skill (spread over a period of roughly 5 years, at a frequency of 6 days a week, 8 hours a day). The fact that many workers who excel at their craft are leaving telecom positions, coupled with rapid changes in technology, is making it easy to see that proficiency at some skills may never be attained.

When performing copper troubleshooting, not only do outside plant (OSP) technicians need to select the right test combinations, they also need to consolidate the extensive test data and clearly understand the meaning of the results to determine whether the values are good or not. They also need to determine the type and location of the fault. This is why simplifying copper testing is so important to companies deploying new or changing technologies: these companies need access to tools that can reduce the hours needed to achieve proficiency.  EXFO products, including the MaxTester 635, use features in their tests enabling technicians to speed up interpretation of results.  By working smarter, not harder, the SmartRTM feature set eliminates guesswork and integrates training with testing, which means that less training and expertise is needed to provide test results for the latest broadband technologies.

SmartRTM consists of two distinct test features, i.e., Pair Detective and FaultMapper. The Pair Detective feature “detects the fault,” while the FaultMapper “locates the fault.” The Pair Detective is actually a series of tests that run automatically and analyze the copper under test. Fault identification is optimized by way of color-coded and plain-language results, and guidance of probable issues is quick and comprehensive. The FaultMapper feature also consists of an automated series of tests that locates the faults and provides an intuitive, graphical representation of the copper loop.

Together, these tests take the guesswork out of testing, and that brings about the simplification. Technicians can trust the results they see, and are able to make informed decisions with less knowledge and training to make the copper loop pristine and capable of supporting the new broadband technologies.

In a nutshell, our expertise and experience has put the 10,000 hours in SmartRTM so that technicians can be experts on every single job right, from day one!

For more information about simplified copper testing, check out our Copper Loop Qualification webpage.