Is it Possible to Preview OTDR SOR File Traces as Windows (PC) Thumbnails or Icons?

Having a preview of the OTDR traces as the Windows file thumbnail does help a lot in quickly identifying individual test results. VeEX offers the Fiberizer SOR Shell Utility for Windows, free of charge.

OTDR SOR trace file icons viewed in standard Windows versus Thumbnails using VeEX SOR Shell plug-in

VeEX's Fiberizer® SOR Shell Utility enables Windows™ computers (PCs) to display simplified OTDR traces as graphic thumbnails for each individual SOR file in Microsoft Windows' File Explorer, giving users the convenience to visually identify (and differentiate) the results embedded in different .sor files by their individual thumbnails.

Wouldn’t that make your life easier, when searching for the right fiber optics test results to open?

This Windows SOR Shell add-on, part of the Fiberizer Desktop utilities, is available free of charge, and it should be compatible with standard SOR files from other OTDR vendors too. Just download it from the link above and install.

SOR: Defined by Belcore/Telcordia SR-4731, the Standard OTDR Record file format is used as an open industry-standard storage format for optical time-domain reflectometry (OTDR) test results (a.k.a. "traces"), which is commonly used by all vendors, for cross-platform compatibility*.

It contains fiber trace data, which includes distances, reflectance, loss, and fiber attenuation measurements, recorded by an OTDR instrument when testing a fiber optic cable.

*However, full compatibility among all vendors can't be guaranteed, if/when other vendors decide to customize their SOR files with proprietary data.

Download the installer from the SOR Shell Utility link and unzip it. Then launch the Sorse_2.2.5631.0.exe to install it.

SOR Files Viewed in the Standard Windows File Explorer

With the default Windows File Explorer, SOR files are not recognized and must be opened with an OTDR analysis application (like Fiberizer) in order to finally see their content and identify the right one.

Some Windows-based OTDRs and OTDR apps (from other vendors) may display the icon of the associated application for all SOR files in the File Explorer window (not individual thumbnail previews). In that case, all SOR files still look the same, which is not that helpful either.

Same Files Viewed After Adding the SOR Shell Utility

After installing VeEX's SOR Shell Utility, Windows File Explorer will display individual thumbnail representations of each file's content (trace), providing a full visualization of their content, which helps saving time by quickly identifying the appropriate trace to open. Consistent naming, grouping and filing structure are also crucial for efficient OTDR results and fiber jobs management (e.g., multi-fiber cables or ribbons).

The feature becomes part of Windows, so there is nothing to launch. It works with SOR files in your hard drive (HDD), USB memory stick, Network Attached Storage (NAS), etc.

No registration or sign in required.

VeEX’s software applications, services, systems and/or platform for customers of qualifying VeEX Inc. products, are offered in compliance with our Privacy Policy and adhering to our Terms of Use. Please read these terms and conditions carefully before downloading, installing or using Our software. 

This simple plug-in is offered AS IS and AS AVAILABLE, with no express, explicit or implied warranty or support.

Could the SOR Thumbnail Preview be Used in EXFO OTDRs?

While it is technically possible to use the SOR Thumbnail Preview with EXFO's Windows-based OTDRs, we cannot guarantee its compatibility or its impact on the overall performance of Windows. This is because we do not have information about the specific processors (CPUs) used in EXFO's different FTB platform models. If you decide to try it, please proceed at your own risk. The same caution applies to other Windows-based OTDRs available in the market.

*EXFO is a registered trademark of EXFO Inc.  

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