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 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
November 2003
One often needs a fast fiber optic termination. It’s not just when you are doing a large number of connectors, as in a computer facility or a telecomm room; sometimes it’s when you only need to do one or two, such as repairing a damaged connector or terminating one or two fibers at a location, as is often encountered with video systems or fiber to the desk. READ MORE
October 2003
My first thought in writing this column was that the title was wrong.It should be “Why Do People Still Install Copper?” In the fiber optic business, we’ve suffered from the copper industry’s harping that fiber is fragile because it’s made of glass, hard to install and too expensive. READ MORE
September 2003
Whenever tests are performed on fiber optic networks, the results are displayed on a meter readout in dB. Optical loss is measured in dB while optical power is measured in dBm. Loss is a negative number (like -3.2 dB), as are most power measurements. Confused? Many fiber optic techs are too. Let’s see if we can clear up some of the confusion. READ MORE