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

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.
November 2013
The runaway success of PC sales in the 1980s led to the development of today’s computer networks, what we now call local area networks (LANs) or enterprise networks. The need for allowing PCs to communicate quickly followed their sales success. READ MORE
October 2013
When we discuss copper, fiber and wireless, we focus on the media, often without regard to the networks for which the media are supposed to provide connections. To better understand the role of the media and the selection of the best choice, it helps to understand networks.
September 2013
This is the first in a series of columns on networks and cabling—media, really—as we explore the nature of networks, their cabling needs and how they have evolved to provide for today’s “always connected” society. The goal is to give you the information you need to assist your customers and maybe better plan for your future. 
August 2013
Recently, I was training a group of instructors and heard a complaint that I had heard before from another Fiber Optic Association (FOA) training organization. Both had purchased Miller strippers for their training classes, and these particular strippers had a problem—they consistently broke the fibers.