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

July 2013
Recent columns have focused on tools and test equipment and how to use them, but what about taking care of them properly? This point was brought home to me recently when I spent two days training instructors to help them get started with their Fiber Optic Association (FOA) certification classes. READ MORE
June 2013
Now that we’ve covered the test equipment and learned how to estimate the measured loss using a loss budget, it’s time for one more related topic: creating the test conditions to get the “right answer.” And what, you might ask, is the right answer?
June 2013
Termination of installed optical fiber cables has always been perceived as a difficult, expensive, time-consuming process that discouraged some contractors from developing in-house capability for fiber installation. READ MORE
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