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

November 2004
Is it time to fine-tune older fiber? Some fiber optic networks have now been in use for more than 20 years, a tribute to the inherent capabilities of optical fiber. In that same time, copper cabling for premises networks has been through two generations of coax and at least four generations of unshielded twisted pair cabling. READ MORE
October 2004
Use the Web to keep up with the latest information Most fiber optic installers get started by taking a short class or seminar that covers the basics. That usually means a half-hour lecture each on fiber optic technology, how it is used for networks and the various components. Then, there are short hands-on sessions on cable prep., termination and testing. READ MORE
September 2004
Signs, sensors and nondestructive testing Most contractors, as installers of building cabling systems and those involved with telephone companies, CATV or utility outside plant installations, are familiar with fiber optics. Fiber optics, however, has other applications besides communications, some of which may be business opportunities for electrical contractors. READ MORE
August 2004
There’s strength in members Many electricians have their first encounters with fiber optic cabling when asked to install the cable for others who terminate and test it. It usually doesn’t take long for the electrician to realize that he or she is losing a valuable source of revenue, so they too learn how to install fiber optics. READ MORE
July 2004
Where did these terms come from? Rarely do I present a fiber optic seminar without getting some questions on what some connectors terminology means, and often I’m questioned on how such a term originated. Having been in the business for more than 25 years myself, I do remember some of the origins of these terms and find it amusing to share the stories. READ MORE
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