June, 2006

Previous Issues: 5/06, 4/06, 3/06, 2/06, 1/06, 12/05,11/05, 10/05, 09/05, 08/05, 07/05, 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


Looking For a Fiber Optic Installer? Use the FOA Installer Database Free!
CFOTs - Register Now On The FOA Searchable Database of Installers, Contractors and Consultants. Go to the FOA Installer Database to register. Looking For Jobs? See Below


NEW-FOA Technical Bulletins
How do you design and manufacture fiber optic systems? Choose and install one to serve your communications needs? Troubleshoot problems? The FOA Fiber Optic technical Bulletins will provide step-by-step guidelines to help you. All are PDF files you can print and use.
Designing and manufacturing fiber optic communications products for manufacturers.
Choosing, installing and using fiber optic producst for users.
Troubleshooting fiber optic cable plants and communcations systems.

FTTx Success Inspires New Technology
As one would expect, the rising fate of FTTx installations has led to a renewal in interest in developing new fiber optic technology. One focus is the integration of optical and electronic circuits to simplify the transciever needed for each link. According to MIT Technology Review, some progress is already being reported. The article, however, grossly underestimates the current rate of FTTx installation!

Fiber Made Discovery of Titanic Shipwreck Possible - 20 Years Ago!
It's hard to believe that Dr. Ballard's crew at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute on Cape Cod, Massachusetts discovered the wreck of the Titanic 20 years ago. The discovery was made possible by the invention of a composite fiber optic cable that carried power and signal to the remote-operated vehicle (ROV) Jason. Until Dr. Ballard's team at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute developed a unique new type of undersea tether cable for ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) that combined steel for strength, copper for power and fiber optics for signals, ROVs were limited to tether lengths too short to find shipwrecks at the depth of the Titanic. Using fiber to replace heavy coax cable for video and signals and using high voltage (about 1800v) for power to reduce current loads allowed to make a cable much lighter and stronger than conventional cable. The lighter cable allowed the ROV called Jason to dive deeper than ever before, producing the historic photos of the Titanic and many more undersea sites. Now all ROVs use this composite fiber optic cable to expand their range.
Here is the Woods Hole story on the cable. Be sure to explore their website on their other projects too.
Photo courtesy WHOI.

How did N S A Tap Phone Conversations? Perhaps by Tapping Fibers.
WIRED magazine reported ontheir website (http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,70619-0.html) that if was revealed in a lawsuit challenging the N S A eavesdropping that a AT&T employee revealed that NSA tapped fiber in rooms next to AT&T switches in San Franciso. "While doing my job, I learned that fiber optic cables from the secret room were tapping into the Worldnet (AT&T's internet service) circuits by splitting off a portion of the light signal," Mark Klein wrote. Klein is cooperating with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in their lawsuit against the company.

How Many Fibers Per Cable? Lots, If It's A Ribbon Cable.
1000? 2000? It's been done! We recently attended a training session on ribbon fiber spicing run by Phong Pham of Corning. If you have never spliced ribbon fiber, you will be amazed at the productivity of a trained splicer! You can indeed do a dozen fibers in the time a regular splicer does one. We discussed the construction of ribbon cable and how many fibers can be accomodated. US applications have used up to 1000 fibers from several manufacturers (Corning, of course, and Superior Essex just announced a cable with up to 1008 fibers - 7 bundles of 12 ribbons of 12 fibers) but Japan has used cables with twice as many fibers for FTTH applications in dense neighborhoods.
Here is a photo and a close up of a spliced ribbon before sealing in a sleeve.
For those contemplating ribbon splicing - or teaching it - but are discouraged by the cost of the splicer, you can rent them from Corning. Phong is your contact:
Phong P. Pham, Manager, Rental Services, Corning Cable Systems, (828) 901-5559, http://www.corning.com/cablesystems/rentals
email: Phong.Pham@corning.com

Fiber Connected Wireless Priced Remarkably Low!
Wireless LANs are not "wireless" since they require wiring into the LAN switches or servers at some point. Most wireless access points are connected with Cat 5e or Cat 6 UTP wiring, and some use the spare pairs to carry power to the unit. Now one vendor is offering a fiber optic connected access point allowing greater distance coverage for wireless LANs, like in a warehouse, for a unbelieveable price - less than $100 more than copper-connected units. the unit is the "ShAir Fiber Multifunction Access Point" from Transition Networks and we found them offered by several distributors.

What's Going On In Developing Countries?
The website "Developing Telecoms" covers the news from the rest of the world.

Tech Puzzler
What connector is this? We're going to run a few months of having you try to identify fiber optic connectors, some common, some obscure. Recognize this one?
Answer below

Understanding FOA Certifications
To answer questions on FOA certifications, we've created several new web pages:
Overview of FOA certifications
Training Requirements - What Schools Are Teaching
Reading these will help you understand what each FOA certification covers and how to prepare for them.

New Professional Society for Structured Cabling Recognizes Importance of Fiber Optics (and Wireless)
The new Structured Cabling Association, Inc. (http://www.scausa.org/) is a professional society aimed at installers of "structured cabling" or premises cabling. Structured cabling has been focused on so-called "Cat 5" or UTP cabling for years, while network speeds have left UTP behind. Now most backbones for LANs are fiber optics and every network seems to have wireless. The SCA, founded in part by FOA activists Tom Collins and Jim Hayes, intends to make structured cabling training and certification more relevant to today's world.

Last month in the FOA Newsletter:
FTTx Means More Home Networking - and opportunities for phone companies?
SCA - a new professional society for structured cabling
Price of copper makes fiber look better
OFC New Products from 3M
And more...

New: FOA Logo Merchandise
FOA has arranged with EmbroidMe to provide FOA logo merchandies. Identify yourself as a FOA-certified tech or instructor. The lab coats are super impressive for either cabling techs and instructors. Check out the selection.

Verizon Looking For Fiber Installers In NE US

Here is the information from Verizon. Contact them at the website below for applications.


Video/Cable/Fiber Installers

US-MD-Silver Spring/Gaithersburg
US-MD-Capitol Heights/District Heights
US-VA-Fairfax/Falls Church/Reston


Have a desire to work in a growing industry with the leader in Fiber to the Premises technology?

Have a background in the Video/Cable Installation industry (cable splicers/installers)?

Want a Full Time opportunity to grow in a company that values diversity and a desire to succeed?

If so, Verizon is having an invitation only information session on February 11th to provide information and qualify candidates for the over 100 positions currently available in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Basic Qualifications:

Must have Video/Cable splicing/installation industry experience, basic computer literacy, and/or an equivalent education in Fiber Optics and Video/Cable.
Must successfully complete Verizon's pre-employment testing. Physical Requirements: Must meet Verizon medical standards for the job. Ability to perceive differences in wire and cable colors. Must meet weight restriction to comply with OSHA/Company safety standards. Where a Commercial Driver's License is required, the applicant must pass an alcohol and drug test.
Must have ability to remove ladder from installation truck; carry, raise, climb and descend ladder, and place ladder on truck.
A valid state driver's license is required and must have ability to drive vehicle with manual gearshift.
Background check will be conducted on all employees.

This is a Full-Time, regular position with outstanding benefits! The pay range for these positions is $569.50/week to $1,103.50/week. Wage credit may be considered based upon work experience, education, and training. Paid Training is included.

Apply online at http://www.verizon.com/fiberjobs

Verizon is an equal opportunity employer and supports workforce diversity M/F/D/V

Job Openings

Check Recent Job Openings In Previous Issues of The FOA Newsletter


FOA CFOT Renewals Get Free Copy of NECA/FOA Installation Standard
Every CFOT renewal 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.


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?

New PowerPoint Presentation Introduces Fiber Optics - in English or Spanish!
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/

FOA Certification Top Choice

The FOA CFOT and CFOS programs continue to gain momentum in fiber optics. Over 15,000 CFOTs have been certified by over 120 schools as the FOA completed 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 125+ 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.



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!


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

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)1999-2006, The Fiber Optic Association, Inc.

Tech Puzzler: It's a Deutsch 1000, one of the first fiber optic connectors. Deutsch 1000 was probably the first commercially successful fiber optic connector. It was really a "pin vise" holding a stripped fiber. The nose piece is spring loaded and was pushed back when the connector was inserted into a mating adapter. The fiber stuck out into a drop of index matching fluid on a plastic lens. This solution was state of the art in the late 70s, yielding about 3 dB loss. Many users remember it as the connector on the front panel of the original Tektronix OTDR.
Want help identifying fiber connectors. See the FOA Tech Topics Connector ID page.