July, 2005

Previous Issues: 6/05, 5/05, 4/05, 2/05, 01/05, 12/04, 10/04, 9/04, 8/04, 7/04, 6/04, 5/04, 4/04, 3/04, 1/04, 12/03, 11/03 10/03 9/03, 8/03, 7/03, 6/03, 3/03, 10/02 , 8/02, 5/02



 Third Edition COMING SOON!

The third edition of The Fiber Optic Technicians Manual will be available from Delmar around August, 2005. Use ISBN No. 1401896995 if you want to pre-order your copy.

The third edition is about 15% bigger, with new or updated material on most chapter subjects.

Following publication, the CFOT Test will use the new edition, along with the new NECA/FOA-301 Installation Standard.

At the same time, a laboratory manual with hands-on exercises will be available.


FOA Starts New Project To Investigate MM Fiber Bandwidth
The FOA has become involved with some new projects, including participation in several industry standards committees. One topic seems to be on everybody's mind: what is the bandwidth limitation of much of the installed multimode fiber. Will it support networks like Gigabit Ethernt or 10GbE? And to what distance.
The FOA has decided to take on a research project itself. We are purchasing a new bandwidth tester for MM fiber and will be doing some of our own investigations. We are interested in looking at legacy FDDI-grade 62.5/125 fiber and 50/125 fiber that predates today's laser-optimized variety. We want to see the effects of termination and splicing, and perhaps the effects of offset launch cables.
Interested in what some of todays fibers look like? Go to "Tech Topics" and download the file "MM Fiber Bandwidth" (1.6 MB PDF File.)

FOA CFOT Renewals Get Free Copy of NECA/FOA Installation Standard
Every CFOT will now receive a free copy of NECA 301-2004, Installing And Testing Fiber Optic Cables, produced by The FOA in cooperation with NECA (The National Electrical Contractors Association). This is an important reference document for defining the installation and testing of fiber optic cable plants in a "neat and workmanlike manner."
The FOA feels this is such an important document that we are giving a free copy (normally priced at $15) to every active CFOT when they renew their active status.
The FOA has also sent free copies to all FOA-Approved schools. The new FOA CFOT exam to be used after August, 2005, will include questions from the standard. Schools should be including information from the standard in their classes already.

Remember Our Suggestion For A Duplex SFF Connector?
Our suggestion was for a connector compatible with a duplex LC, which has become the de facto connector standard for high speed networking hardware.
We had heard that several patchcord manufacturers were offering a version of the dual LC with a single body and strain relief, and here are photos to prove it. These assemblies are made by Timbercom of Lake Oswego, Oregon under the trade name "Armadillo." They feature a hard shell around the connectors to protect the fibers and a single push unlatches both connectors. They have a dual SC version also.

Power Monitor Uses Everything But Wiring!
How about a fiber optic power monitor that transmits readings over wireless links? Oz Optics offers a tiny inline monitor that can be read over Bluetooth or WiFi wireless networks. It's similar in concept to some designs of 15 years ago where a modem allowed a monitor or remote OTDR to call a specified number to upload data or signal alarms. But unlike that system which could call a phone number anywhere in the world, this system requires the user to be within a specified distance, about 10 m for Bluetooth and 100 m for WiFi. However, if you have a tech in the neighborhood, they can read the links to help troubleshoot problems without opening any boxes. Pretty handy.

Job Opening: Mobile Fiber Optic Service Manager
Are you looking for a challenge in the Fiber Optic and Premises Network Markets? Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur within a company? Are you a "hands -on" type of person in the field? Diamond USA is looking for a candidate that has proven field fiber optic technician experience, strong industry knowledge, excellent customer interaction skills, the ability to manage multiple jobs and assignments and train employees and customers. The position will include field support of installers and designers, certification of installers, diagnostic and restoration of fiber optic data networks, and provide field and market expertise to sales team. RCDD is a plus. Pre-employment drug screening and MVR required. We offer competitive salary with benefits, 401K.
Please submit resume with salary requirements to:
Diamond USA, Human Resources
27    Industrial Ave.
Chelmsford, MA 01824
Fax: 978-256-6544 E-mail: hr@diausa.com

Another Interesting FTTP Website                         

Fiber Optic Communities of the United States (FOCUS) is a non-profit organization representing communities with optical fiber running all the way to the home and business.  Their site states: "The unlimited capacity of fiber allows super high quality voice, video and data services, plus applications like home security, home automation, and videoconferencing.  Residents and business occupants of fiber optic communities find this state-of-the-art technology makes possible great new advantages, such as distance learning, telework, and telemedicine.   The scalability, security, reduced maintenance and extended life of fiber-to-the-premise make it the most "future proof" of all communications infrastructures.  Complementary technologies, like in-home wireless networks, also appear in many fiber communities to add mobility and convenience. Fiber optic communities are located across the United States in urban, suburban and rural settings.  Whether you are looking for a high-bandwidth home or seeking a high-bandwidth environment for your business, the place to look is a fiber optic community."

The FOCUS website has listings of FTTP communities and promotes not only running fiber to the home/business, but encourages homeowners to consider the advantages of living in a FTTH community.


FOA Again Sponsors NECA VDV Conference
The FOA is again sponsoring the NECA VDV Conference, but it's been renamed The IBS Conference, where IBS stands for Integrated Business Systems. IBS is not to be confused with ITS, or information transport systems, the new TLA (three letter acronym) BICSI is using. Obviously the cabling industry is having an identity crisis.
But the NECA show will include technical sessions and exhibits on fiber optics and low voltage cabling, and the FOA will be there. This year, it's in New Orleans, September 17-20. See NECAshow.org for details.

Tech Puzzler
What makes the MT-RJ or Optijack different from connectors like the SC or LC?
Answer below

New Tech Topics

Does Glass "Flow"? Is it really a liquid?

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on General Topics and Testing

Fiber Or Copper? Making decisions, overview and LANs

What Happens When You Mate Mismatched MM Fibers?


FOA Website Expands To Support Fiber Optic Educators

Instructors' Home Page And New Online Train-The-Trainer Program
The FOA has always focused on creating better educational opportunities in fiber optics - it's our charter: we're a non-profit educational organization. We've done two things recently to expand that commitment - both here on the FOA website.

We have over 120 schools and hundreds of instructors teaching at those organizations, and we'll notify them about these new web pages, but we invite any instructor interested in fiber optics to dig in and use these pages too.

First, we've created a home page for instructors where we'll cover topics just for them, like our TTT program and resources just for instructors. It's at http://www.thefoa.org/instructors/index.html

Secondly, we've put our TTT seminar online, in both PPT and PDF format at http://www.thefoa.org/instructors/index.html

Our online TTT program is the beginning of qualifying for the FOA CFOS/I Instructor Certification. Soon we'll have the program set up for instructors to register to begin qualifying for the certification.

FOA Certification Top Choice

The FOA CFOT and CFOS programs continue to gain momentum in fiber optics. Almost 15,000 CFOTs have been certified by over 120 schools as the FOA completes its 10th year. Since our founding in July, 1995, we have dedicated ourselves to promoting fiber optics and professionalism in fiber optics personnel, focusing on education and certification. We are continuing to add new schools and more CFOTs as users of fiber optics learn that a CFOT is the indication of a professional, well-trained fiber optic technician. Now with FTTH (fiber to the home) finally taking off, demand for CFOTs is rising and schools are responding by expanding programs rapidly.
The FOA now has approved programs at 115+ organizations, welcoming new additions like the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Corning Cable Systems for their installation training programs and NASA's Goldstone Tracking Station. The complete list of FOA-Approved schools is at http://www.thefoa.org/foa_aprv.htm.

New Tech Topics

New PowerPoint Presentation Introduces Fiber Optics
The FOA has created a short PowerPoint presentation that introduces you to fiber optics and talks about job opportunities in the field. It was intended for instructors to introdcue studnets to the field, but it's a good introduction for anyone. It's about 3 meg file so it takes a while to download and you need PowerPoint to view it. See http://www.thefoa.org/ppt/

How Optical Fiber Is Made

Singlemode Fiber Nomenclature

Plastic Optical Fibers (POF)

Wavelength-Division Multiplexing

Fiber Amplifiers

Proposed Fiber Optic Cable Jacket Color Codes

The Effect Of Termination and Splicing on Bandwidth

FOCIS - Fiber Optic Connector Intermateability Standards

Calculating Link Loss Budgets

Specifications for Fiber Optic LANs and Links

EAI/TIA 568 B.3 For Fiber Optics

What Loss Should You Measure When Testing Fiber Optic Links?


Don't miss Eric Pearson's Newsletters - with some tests on connectors.

New sections of "Lennie Lightwave's Guide To Fiber Optics" covers loss testing of fiber optic cables and OTDRs.


Your Name, CFOT - It pays to advertise!

The FOA encourages CFOTs to use the logo on their business cards, letterhead, truck or van, etc. and provides logo files on this site for that purpose. But we are also asked about how to use the CFOT or CFOS certifications. Easy, you can refer to yourself as "Your Name, CFOT" or "Your Name, CFOS/T" for example.

Feel free to use the logo and designations to promote your achievements and professionalism!

Remember To Renew Your Certification !

Remember to renew your FOA certification. All current CFOTs have a ID Card with their certification data and we keep a database of current CFOTs to answer inquiries regarding your qualifications if needed. If you forgot to renew, use the online application form or the FOA online store to renew NOW!

Want To Get FOA Email?
We have been asked if we could send the FOA newsletter by email or post it on the website. We are looking into that and will definitely get one started soon. When you renew your certification, you will be asked if you are interested in email newsletters and if so, you will be asked to give your email address for us to use in a mailing list. If you want to get started now, send an email to info@thefoa.org with the subject "eMail List"
Note that The FOA never releases its mailing lists for any use! Your data is always safe with us.

To Contact The FOA:
The Fiber Optic Association
1119 S Mission Road, # 355
Fallbrook, CA 92028
Office Hours 10AM-5 PM Pacific Time
Telephone: 760-451-3655
Fax: 781-207-2421

Officers and
Board of Directors
Jim Hayes, President, Treasurer
Eric Pearson, Director of Certification
Tom Collins, Gateway Comm. College
Van Ewert, AESA
Bill Graham
Karen Hayes
FOA Staff:
Jim Hayes, newsletter, website editor
Karen Hayes, Administration

The FOA is managed under contract by:
1119 S Mission Road, # 355
Fallbrook, CA 92028
Telephone: 760-451-3655
Fax: 781-207-2421
email: info@vdvworks.com
FOA Board of Advisors
Elias Awad, Clerk, Director of Education
Tony Beam
Dave Chaney
F. Douglas Elliot, Past President
William H. Graham
Jim Hayes, President, Treasurer
John Highhouse, Past President
Danny S. Lyall
Eric Y. Loytty
Bob Mason
Eric Pearson
Paul Rosenberg, Past President
Dan Silver
Richard James Smith
Dominick Tamone
Tom Collins
Van Ewert
Elias Awad

Want to write for the FOA Newsletter? Send us articles, news, anything you think might be interesting to the rest of the membership!

Return to Top

Return to The FOA Home Page

(C)1999-2004, The Fiber Optic Association, Inc.


Tech Puzzler: The MT-RJ and Optijack are plug-and-jack connectors, not two identical connectors that mate with a mating adapter. It makes them harder to test unless you use a OFSTP-14 Method C test.