Jim Hayes

Fiber Optics Columnist and Freelance Writer

HAYES is a VDV writer and trainer and the president of The Fiber Optic Association. Find him at www.JimHayes.com.

Articles by Jim Hayes

September 2010
At the Fiber Optic Association (FOA), we get many technical questions from contractors, installers and end-users (www.foaguide.org). This month’s quiz includes real questions we’ve been asked recently. Can you answer them? Answers and explanations are in red. 1. We’re installing a fiber optic backbone with patch panels on each end. READ MORE
August 2010
Testing the loss of an installed fiber optic cable plant involves checking the loss of the fiber itself, plus any splices and terminations added during installation. Insertion loss—expressed in decibels (db)—is measured by coupling a test source to the fiber and recording how much light is lost when transmitted through the fiber. READ MORE
August 2010
The electrical contractor’s role in fiber optic design/build projects is important. In the last few years, there have been many changes in optical fiber technology to accommodate the need for faster network speed for transfering increasingly large amounts of data. READ MORE
August 2010
Splicing fiber optic cables is the main means of connecting fibers in outside plant installations and is even used in some premises applications, but it is not as familiar to many installers as the termination process. How well do you know splicing? Answers and explanations are in red. 1. Splicing is a(n) __________ joint between fibers while connectors __________. A. READ MORE
July 2010
The optical loss of a fiber optic cable plant is the most common measurement installers make. Also called insertion loss, it is measured by using a test source, a power meter, reference test cables and connector-mating adapters. The insertion loss test mimics the actual usage of the cable plant with a transmitter and receiver, so it is the best indication of the condition of the cable plant. READ MORE
July 2010
I’m often asked technical questions about copper and fiber optic cabling. The majority are about problems troubleshooting cabling systems or networks. Some have simple answers but not all. Here are some questions we’ve been asked; see if you can answer them. Answers and explanations are in red. 1. READ MORE
July 2010
The flood of information being generated, stored and transmitted over the Internet has created a massive demand for new data centers. For electrical contractors that also do telecommunications work, data centers are immense opportunities, involving power, mechanical structures, cabling and security systems. What is a data center? READ MORE
June 2010
For electricians, voltage is the primary thing measured. In fact every electrical measurement is based on voltage, based on the relationship V = IR. In fiber optics, the most basic measurement is the optical power of the light at the end of a fiber. Optical power measurement is the basis for loss measurements as well as the power in an operating system at the source or receiver. READ MORE
May 2010
There must be a gazillion ways to install premises cabling, depending on the design of the building and location of users. Let’s look at some of the guidelines included in TIA 568 or ISO/IEC 11801 standards. Answers and explanations are in red. 1. Within a building, cables may be run in __________. A. Cable trays B. Conduit or duct C. RacewaysD. READ MORE