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

January 2006
Those involved in fiber optics are incurable optimists. Market forecasts always show upward trends and promise that fiber is going to replace copper wire or rebuff wireless and whatever other alternative methods of communications are currently being hyped. Even the bubble bursting in 2001 caused only a short pause in the optimism. I have to admit that things are looking up. READ MORE
December 2005
Optical fiber, like copper wire for communications, needs to be kept dry to maintain its performance. On wire, moisture causes high impedance and crosstalk. In fiber, it adds to the attenuation and may make fibers brittle and more susceptible to damage. READ MORE
November 2005
Many fiber optic specifications and tests refer to wavelength because most parameters have some wavelength dependency. Attenuation, for example, is caused by absorption and scattering. Absorption occurs at certain wavelengths and scattering gets less significant at longer wavelengths. What exactly does all that mean? Let's start by defining wavelength. READ MORE
November 2005
Imagine what would happen if you were working on a construction project and had to make a measurement. You used your tape measure and got a length based on the markings on the tape. A member of your crew showed up with a laser ranger and made his measurement. Another worker brought over a yardstick, while his buddy just stepped off the length. READ MORE
October 2005
Some years back, fiber optic connector manufacturers started offering connectors that terminated fiber quickly without using adhesives or requiring polishing. The manufacturer glued a short stub fiber into the connector ferrule and polished it perfectly in the factory. READ MORE
September 2005
It is common knowledge that fiber optics has much more information-carrying capacity than copper wiring, mostly due to the fact that fiber optic suppliers have been touting the bandwidth advantages of fiber for so long. The usual pitch is to install fiber optics and forget about the frequent upgrades you face with copper cabling. READ MORE
August 2005
A few years ago, a cohort and I were demonstrating fiber optic terminations in our booth at the NECA show. He came back from visiting another booth with a large twist-on wire connector, commonly called a “Wire-Nut,” the Ideal trademark for these devices. READ MORE
July 2005
Fiber optics, like many of today's technologies, has developed its own language, created from technical terms specific to fiber optic technology. Sometimes the fiber optic community cannot-or will not-standardize, and we mean beyond choosing a standard connector. Sometimes the industry cannot even agree on what to call something. READ MORE
July 2005
Every fiber in an installed fiber optic cable needs testing for loss. The insertion loss test is the standard test required by every network and cabling standard around the world. Superficially, loss testing is easy. You need a power meter, test source, a couple of cables and the ability to follow standard procedure. READ MORE

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