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 2012
Communications cabling installations follow rules—some mandatory, some advisory—covered by what we call standards and codes. In my experience, these two sets of rules are often confused, so let’s see how well you understand them. Correct answers and explanations are in red. READ MORE
March 2012
Around the world, billions of dollars are being spent trying to bring “broadband” to everyone. However, broadband is defined loosely. Some say anything over 1 megabit per second (Mbps) is broadband, while others are looking at much higher speeds. Cellular wireless defines broadband at much slower speeds than fiber to the home (FTTH), cable modem or digital subscriber line (DSL) service. READ MORE
March 2012
No, not the great outdoors but big buildings, convention centers, airports, hotels, casinos and other large public spaces. They require special cabling considerations because of the size of the space and the number of users. How well do you understand designing and installing cabling for big spaces? Correct answers and explanations are in red. READ MORE
February 2012
Networks and links continue to get speedier, but at some point, they require faster cabling to support them. You may need to upgrade copper to faster copper, copper to fiber or even older fibers to quicker ones. How well do you know the rules? Answers and explanations are in red. READ MORE
January 2012
Every year, I review the hot applications and technology that affect contractors working with fiber optics. Last year, controversies over bend-insensitive fiber and multimode testing were big news. The controversies, however, are already blowing over, as they are simply “growing pains” as new fiber optic technologies were introduced. READ MORE
January 2012
Every fiber optic installer should have familiarity with basic fiber optic testers and their proper use. Here are some basic test situations. Can you pick the right tester from the fiber optic toolbox for the job? Correct answers and explanations are in red. 1. Check the continuity of a fiber in a cable. A. Visual tracer/fault locator B. LSPM or OLTS C. OTDR D. READ MORE
December 2011
In order to install a cable plant that will meet industry standards and work with communications systems designed for using that type of cabling, it’s necessary to pick the right parts for the system. Each year, it seems the questions remain the same, but sometimes the correct answer changes! Can you pick the right parts? Correct answers and explanations are in red. 1. READ MORE
December 2011
Working with fiber optics puts some unusual strain on your vision. Experienced techs have learned to deal with it. They wear safety glasses to avoid fiber shards from cleaving fibers. Spotting those tiny glass fibers when splicing or terminating cables can be difficult until you learn to use a black work mat or other dark background that makes them stand out. READ MORE
November 2011
Dirt is the biggest problem in using fiber optics. When you are working with hair-thin strands of glass that must be mated in exact alignment, the tiniest specks of dirt can cause major problems. Dirt affects the loss of connections, the integrity of splices and the accuracy of tests during installation. READ MORE