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 2014
Since fiber optics is growing in market share for all kinds of applications, 
I am hearing more stories about problems with installations. At The Fiber Optic Association, I handle most of the technical inquiries, so I tend to see the trends develop. READ MORE
  • Planning

June 2014
As with any project, a communications cabling project requires comprehensive management. Project management for cabling or related networks is best understood when broken into five subtopics:
 Planning, Design, Installation, Testing and Operation. These five areas are equally important and interrelated because the success of each stage depends on proper execution of the preceding one.
May 2014
Optical local area networks (OLANs) have been the subject of these columns for several months, and before that I discussed networks. This month’s column ties together some loose ends to help you understand the OLAN concept better. It should also help you explain it to your customers, so they understand the differences and advantages of OLANs.
April 2014
Optical local area networks (OLAN) will cause you to rethink practically everything you have learned about LANs and LAN cabling. Of course, any major change in technology like this causes FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt), just like voice-over Internet protocol (VoIP) and Wi-Fi have already. 
April 2014
A life-threatening event 
occurs at a large building where many people could be in danger. In this case, it is a smoky fire, but it could also be an earthquake or a mass shooting. The fire alarm system senses the fire, locates the problem, and immediately begins sending signals. It informs the local fire station. READ MORE
March 2014
Last month, I covered the challenges to traditional structured cabling from multimode optical fiber and wireless. Multimode fiber became the favorite cabling for the backbone but never made it to the desktop because every connected device already had a free Cat 5 port. READ MORE
February 2014
My December column covered the development of copper cabling standards through the 1990s and the emergence of optical fiber as an alternative due to its higher bandwidth and distance capability. READ MORE
January 2014
Before I write this column each year, I contemplate the events of the past year and try to determine the direction of the market. The previous year seems to have been one of new challengers to traditional technology. Some of those challengers appear to be quite strong, sensible solutions to evolving markets, while some seem less so or perhaps even downright nonsensical.
 Data centers
December 2013
Last month, I discussed the evolution of PC networks to Ethernet over twisted-pair cables. Toward the end of the 1980s, the IEEE created a new standard for Ethernet called 10Base-T, which means 10 megabits per second (Mbps), baseband (AM, not FM) over unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) copper cable. Then the fun began.