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

May 2013
The last two columns covered fiber optic power meters, test sources and the reference cables you need to test the loss of installed fiber optic cable plants. This month, I discuss using these instruments properly and how to determine if a tested cable plant passes or fails the test.
April 2013
Last month, I discussed one of the most important tools in the fiber tech’s toolbox: the fiber optic power meter. This month, let’s examine the other tool that is equally important: the test source used with the power meter to measure the loss of the cable plant. And, while we’re at it, let’s cover the role of reference cables in testing insertion loss.
March 2013
While we’re on the subject of tools, we should look at some of the testing tools in a fiber optic toolbox that often do not get enough attention (see Fiber Optics, February 2013). We often instruct techs to use a power meter to test loss or measure the power at the transmitter or receiver for troubleshooting, but we usually assume they know how this gadget works and the proper way to use it.
February 2013
Experienced fiber techs often harp on cleanliness. They know dirt causes many problems with fiber during installation, testing and operation. They understand it is important to emphasize cleanliness when splicing or terminating fiber, but it is even more important to maintain clean connectors when testing cables or connecting systems.
January 2013
Every year, when I do a fiber optics update, I report on new technology and applications. This year, I am taking a different approach and looking at where the jobs are in fiber optics. As president of The Fiber Optics Association (FOA), I talk to many contractors and network owners, so I get a broad picture of the industry. Here is where the activity is.
 Communications infrastructure
December 2012
In the early days of fiber optics, the biggest complaint was about the difficulty of installing connectors. You had to mix epoxy and inject it into the connector. Then you had to let the adhesive cure overnight or use a bulky curing oven. The polishing process was complicated and different for every connector type. READ MORE
November 2012
I’m sure you’ve heard that you need the right tool for the job, but have you ever considered that you might need the right tool for you? Nothing affects how easily a job can be done as much as having the correct tools and knowing how to use them properly. When it comes to tools, there are many choices, not just for simple tasks but also for specialized ones such as fiber optic installation. READ MORE
November 2012
Fiber optic installers make some common, avoidable mistakes that cause problems for them and their customers. Do you know about these mistakes and how to avoid them? Correct answers and explanations are in red. READ MORE
October 2012
Tools are extremely important for cable installers working on either copper or fiber cable. Let’s see how well you know your tools and how to use them. Correct answers and explanations are in red. 1. What tools are found in a cable tech’s toolkit no matter what kinds of cables are being installed?A. Cable cutterB. Cable jacket stripperC. Crimp toolD. All of the above READ MORE