VDV Works Virtual Hands-On Training
Fiber Optics Testing: OTDR Simulator and Demo
Part of the VDV Academy Fiber Optic Training Programs


Read About OTDRs

 Dos & Don'ts



Take Data

Viewing the trace

Measure Loss

Modify Test Parameters

Compare Traces




"Virtual Hands-On" Termination

"Virtual Hands-On" Testing

Understanding OTDRs
OTDR Demonstration Program
You can download a free demo of the VDV Works OTDR simulator and use it to follow these tutorials. 
This program will allow you to see how an OTDR works and evaluate the VDV Academy OTDR simulator on your computer. You need to install the demo software on your computer first, then you can read the stored traces and analyze them exactly like you would when using the actual OTDR with your PC.

In fact, this software is the same software used with a PC-based OTDR and the traces provided are real traces taken with that hardware. The software will run without the hardware but all the functions of trace analysis are available.

We recommend you have a basic familiarity with fiber optics (see Lennie at http://www.vdvworks.com/LennieLw/), OTDRs (see http://www.vdvworks.com/OTDR/) and how this OTDR works (use the virtual hands-on tutorial at http://www.vdvworks.com/VHO/OTDR/index.html.)

The only tech support available is the online tutorial: http://www.vdvworks.com/VHO/OTDR/index.html

PC Requirements: PC running Windows excluding Vista. Program takes only ~ 1MB disk space.
Loading the software:
Download the OTDR DEMO ZIP FILE (~1 MB)

Unzip “OTDR Demo”
Print the file "Instructions.doc" for more detailed instructions.

Run "setup.exe" to load the software on your PC. It should run on PCs running any Windows versions except Vista. The software runs just like any Windows program, including toolbars, buttons and file management. We assume a basic familiarity with Windows programs.  

The OTDR program file will be in the directory PROGRAM FILES\IIT\REFWIN\refwin.exe and you can copy the icon to your desktop if you desire.

Running the program:

Run  the application PROGRAM FILES\IIT\REFWIN\refwin.exe

Upon starting, it will respond with a window that informs you it cannot initialize the OTDR hardware. That just means you do not have the OTDR hardware attached, which is not a problem for the demo. Click OK.

You can operate the system from the toolbar or by buttons. All buttons will indicate their function when pointed to with the cursor.

SETUP allows choosing BIG BUTTONS or smaller ones, depending on your preferences and display resolution. If you chose BIG BUTTONS, you can toggle between all the buttons with the far left button SWITCH PANELS.

Loading Traces

From the menu bar, go to FILE - OPEN - and select the “Demo Traces” folder DEMO TRACES

You will find three files:

w-850.ref : multimode trace of a 250 m launch fiber, another 250 m fiber and two fibers approximately 2500 m long at 850 nm

w-1300.ref : multimode trace of the same cable setup but at 1300 nm

SM-75km.ref: a 75 km singlemode cable plant at 1550 nm

Load each file to view. You can have up to 8 files open simultaneously in the OTDR.
Read the "Instructions" file and follow the virtual hands on tutorial at http://www.vdvworks.com/VHO/OTDR/index.html to learn how to use the OTDR demo.

 Download the OTDR DEMO ZIP FILE (~1 MB)

Need technical information for your website or training program? You can license this material and customize it for your use. Contact VDVworks for more information.

FOA Approved 
Get certified in structured cabling and fiber optics. VDV Academy programs are pre-approved for FOA certification training, making it much easier to get yourself or your school approved by these organizations!


Contact us
Karen and Jim Hayes
1119 S. Mission Road #355
Fallbrook, CA 92028
Tel 1-760-451-3655
Fax 1-781-207-2421
email: jim @ vdvworks.com
web: www.vdvworks.com

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