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 2011
Handling cables and patchcords is a major source of damage and performance degradation in systems. Let’s examine your understanding of how to care for them during installation, testing and moves/adds/changes. Correct answers and explanations are in red. 1. The biggest cause of problems with fiber optic cables is _________.A. DirtB. BreakageC. TensionD. Moisture READ MORE
March 2011
In fiber optics, there seems to be a lot of confusion about where and how one properly uses an optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR). READ MORE
February 2011
In many of my previous articles on fiber optic testing, I have mentioned optical time-domain reflectometers (OTDRs). OTDRs are valuable fiber optic testers when used properly. Improper use, however, can be misleading and, in my experience, can contribute to expensive mistakes for the contractor. READ MORE
February 2011
Data centers are ideal markets for the electrical contractor because they have a lot of communications cabling and require vast numbers of power cables for the digital electronics and air conditioning. How familiar are you with data centers? The correct answers and explanations are in red. READ MORE
January 2011
Some years, it seems That little changes in fiber optics, but 2010 certainly was not one of those years. Last year brought new components, applications and standards, all of which can affect this work in the short term. Let’s start with what may be the biggest news: bend-insensitive fiber. Optical fiber has always been sensitive to bending losses. READ MORE
December 2010
Single-mode (SM) Fiber is practically the only fiber used in outside plant (OSP) installations and is even becoming more common in premises networks. Telephone, cable television, smart grid and cellular systems are all on SM fiber. As local area networks (LANs) become faster, going up to 40 and 100 gigabits per second, backbones sometimes will include SM fiber. READ MORE
December 2010
Video systems have many applications, from surveillance to broadcast television. Cabling for video can be specialized or operated over cabling designed for other uses. How well do you understand video cabling? Correct answers and explanations are in red. 1. Video signals can be sent over ________ cables. A. Coax B. Unshielded twisted pair C. Fiber optic D. READ MORE
November 2010
Loss is the No. 1 performance specification in fiber optics. Whether you are designing a network, specifying components or testing an installation, the focus is on loss. How well do you understand fiber optic loss? Answers and explanations are in red. 1. Loss in a fiber optic cable plant is the reduction in optical power caused by ________. A. Connections B. Fiber attenuation C. READ MORE
November 2010
Sometimes the fiber optic installer is faced with a fiber optic cable or cable plant that, at first glance, doesn’t seem reasonable, necessary or even possible to test. However, most situations can be handled with regular test equipment plus some adapter cables and a thorough understanding of standard procedures. Here are some examples from recent jobs that have confused installers. READ MORE