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

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
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
May 2010
Many of the problems encountered in troubleshooting fiber optic networks are related to making proper connections. Since the light used in fiber optic systems is infrared (IR) light, which is beyond the range of the human eye, one cannot see it. READ MORE
April 2010
The cost of installation for most fiber optic cable exceeds the cost of the cable itself, so ensuring the cable is good before installation is important. The first test the installer must do with a spool of cable is visually inspect it. The spool of cable should show no visible damage, indicating it has been properly handled during shipment. READ MORE
April 2010
Most contractors assume it is necessary to field-terminate fiber optic cabling systems as part of every installation, but they are all looking for alternatives. The first alternative most people consider is to use prepolished/splice connectors, which use a mechanical splice to terminate the fiber. READ MORE