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

June 2004
Low loss is still a big issue Terminating optical fibers by attaching connectors with epoxy adhesive and polishing the ferrules seems like an anachronism. That was how we started almost 25 years ago, so surely better methods have been developed by now. You can get preterminated cable assemblies that need no field termination at all. READ MORE
May 2004
Careful documentation can help Gone are the days when all fiber optic cables were the same. Most building cables had 62.5/125 micron multimode fibers for LANs or security systems, while outside plant cables were all single-mode fiber. For some time, we have been encouraging people to install hybrid cables with both multimode fibers for today and single-mode fibers for the future. READ MORE
April 2004
You get what you pay for Every fiber optic cable needs to be tested for loss with an optical loss test set (OLTS). The OLTS simulates the actual network hardware that will run on the cable so the test results will show if the network will work properly on the cable. It consists of a test source, which simulates the transmitter of a fiber optic link, and a power meter, which measures the loss. READ MORE
March 2004
They can be useful—but only if used correctly There are two distinctly different fiber optic applications: premises cabling and outside plant (OSP) cabling. Premises cabling deals primarily with short multimode cables in buildings or between buildings in a campus. Outside plant cables have single-mode fibers and may go for hundreds of kilometers for telephone or CATV systems. READ MORE
March 2004
What would we do without them? Standards affect all of us, everywhere we go. The minute details of standards are required to allow widespread use of products and to facilitate commerce. READ MORE
February 2004
Fiber optics, as we all know, has not had a very good time the last couple of years, with the overall market dropping by almost 80 percent (see chart at top right). But most of the problems were a result of the investment “bubble” caused by all of the hype over the Internet and ridiculous predictions of the future of telecommunications. READ MORE
February 2004
You have to admire the copper cabling people for their tenacity—they never give up. In spite of hearing for the last 15 years that copper has no future, they persist in developing new technology that allows copper, like the mythical Phoenix, to rise from the ashes as strong and viable as ever. READ MORE
January 2004
Since the fiber optic “bubble” burst a couple of years ago, employment ads for fiber optic installers have been scarce. But are real jobs still available? If so, where are they? Is the outside plant market dead? What about premises applications? What technologies are driving new installations? READ MORE
December 2003
Every year around Christmas, stores roll out artificial trees made with optical fibers. You know the ones—they glow and shine colored light out the ends of the branches. Who would think that these trees are made of a type of optical fiber that offers easy-to-install cheap communications links? Plastic optical fiber, generally referred to as POF, is a large-core fiber made of very pure plastic. READ MORE

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