The 5 essential uptime tools every tech needs

Most techs have their own approach to stocking their field kits. Some are meticulous and orderly, others…not so much. And while it’s important to give them latitude, it’s also important to ensure that everyone is properly equipped with uptime tools.

We’ve found that there are five essential tools every tech needs to keep the network up and running. As a network manager, if you can standardize these five items, you’ll find that network problems are solved quicker and cheaper.

Here’s our list of five essential uptime tools:


Often, an optic that doesn’t work simply needs to be cleaned. Cleaning the lens with the appropriate wipe and cleaning connectors with the right tool (ie: Stickler) can turn a failed optic into a working transceiver. Make sure your techs have the proper cleaning equipment and the training to use it.


Meters are the first step in diagnosing problems. Without a meter, it’s much harder for a tech to know what kind of issue he or she is supposed to fix. As a manager, make sure each tech has a meter that’s both appropriate for the job and in good working order.


The humble fiber jumper may be the most overlooked tool in a tech’s arsenal. The best techs understand this, and make sure they always have at least one cable that’s been tested working and has the appropriate connector (SC/UPC, SC/APC, LC/UPC, etc). With the certainty that the cable works, techs can better uncover the true source of problems.


It’s rare that a transceiver issue is something truly novel. Most of the time, issues fall into a handful of categories. A simple troubleshooting checklist of common problems helps your techs, especially the less-experienced team members, understand and fix issues faster. Add to the checklist regularly by asking your techs about problems they’ve encountered and how they solved them.


Integra Optics Smart Coder

The Integra Optics SmartCoder puts a team of software engineers in the palm of a technician’s hand. It allows a technician to quickly re-code an Integra optic out in the field, instead of driving back to the warehouse to get a properly coded component. Doing this allows problems to be solved quicker, and reduces costly truck rolls.

We hope these simple tips will help your techs be more efficient. We’d love to know what tools are essential to your team. Email your essential tools to