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 2003
The beginning of the year is always a good time to reflect on the past and contemplate the future. Except in fiber optics. It is hard to get people to look back, as the last year and a half has been pretty painful for many in fiber. READ MORE
November 2002
Fiber optic cable has typically been categorized as fragile,like glass, which the actual fiber is, of course. But unlike drinking glasses that break when dropped or windows that lose every battle with a kid's baseball, glass optical fiber is incredibly strong and flexible. Remember, the material that provides the strength in fiberglass boats, ladders, etc., is glass fiber. READ MORE
October 2002
Your mother was right--dirt is bad. Cleanliness can be next to impossible on the jobsite, but when it comes to fiber optics, it's mandatory. The problem is simply that fiber itself is small, about the size of a human hair. The light-carrying fiber core is even smaller, 62.5 or 50 microns for multimode or less than 10 microns for single-mode fiber. READ MORE
September 2002
The fiber optic cable you just installed failed testing. What do you do next? How do you find the problem and fix it—fast? Fortunately, fiber optics is easy to install and experienced installers generally find that about 95 percent of all fibers they install will test good. But even the best installers sometimes have problems, and finding the cause can sometimes be easy, sometimes confusing. READ MORE
August 2002
When fiber was introduced,its enormous bandwidth and extremely low attenuation made it the No. 1 choice to replace copper in long-distance telephone networks. Once the telcos switched from multimode to single-mode fiber in 1984, they found almost boundless bandwidth. READ MORE
July 2002
Choosing the right fiber optic cable is extremely important for any installation. The purpose of the cable is to protect the fibers during installation and the service lifetime. Several types of cable are available. Your choice will affect the level of fiber protection, ease of installation, splicing or termination, and, most importantly, cost. All cables share some common characteristics. READ MORE
June 2002
Fiber optics is full of jargon but it’s important to understand it. One of the more confusing terms to many is “wavelength.” It sounds very scientific, but it is simply the term used to define what we think of as the color of light. READ MORE
May 2002
Regarding safety in fiber optic installations, the first thing that comes to mind is usually eye damage from laser light in the fiber. People imagine a laser burning holes in metal or perhaps burning off warts. While these images may be real for their applications, they have little relevance to most fiber optic communications. Eye safety is an issue, but usually it’s not with light in the fiber. READ MORE
April 2002
It may seem unbelievable, but fiber optic links and networks have been used for over 20 years. The first telco networks were installed in the late 1970s and data links were already in use by 1980, when there were few personal computers (PCs) and computer networks. READ MORE