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

March 2006
Most cabling installers have only a vague notion of what goes on the end of the cables they install or how the equipment works, especially when it comes to fiber optics. Sending signals using light instead of electricity must seem magical to someone who has not studied fiber optic communications beyond the cables. It is not complicated, just different. READ MORE
March 2006
Industry standards make the world go ’round. No kidding. Without standards, communications and networking would never work. Telephones allow you to talk to anyone in the world, assuming you speak their language. Standards are the “language” of networks and communications. By adhering to standards, manufacturers know their products can work with other products. READ MORE
February 2006
Most customers for fiber optic installation expect the installer to be more knowledgeable about and experienced with fiber optics than they are. That is not just because most users are new to fiber optics or rarely contract for fiber optic installations, but because they have other things to worry about, like running a large computer network, security system or their own business. READ MORE
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