December, 2003

Previous Issues:November, 2003 October 2003 September 2003, August 2003, July 2003, June 2003, March 15, 2003, October, 2002 , August, 2002, May, 2002

The FOA Office Has moved. Please use our new phone, fax and mailing address.

TSB 140 Nears Approval With Changes

TSB 140, the TIA/EIA 568 addenda intended to explain fiber optic testing for premises installations is nearing a vote in the TR 42.8 committee, but has been modified to keep it realistic. (See FOANL 8/03) This standard offered two "tiers" of testing, with tier 1 being normal testing (continuity, polarity and insertion loss) and tier 2 was OTDR testing. Since OTDR testing was called for in the standard, many thought it would be interpreted as mandatory for premises installations, which it certainly is not, nor in fact, is it even appropriate in many premises installs. So the standard has been reworded to make certain users know OTDR testing is OPTIONAL! It also adds an "annex' to clarify the TSB, which is itself a clarification of 568, on detailed test procedures.

Low Cost Bandwidth Tester Debuts

Advanced Fiber Solutions of Milton, MA has started shipping a low cost bandwidth tester for multimode fibers. This tester uses time-domain techniques with DSP (digital signal processing) and sophisticated FFT analysis, combined with a PC as a controller to reduce costs. It can test 50/125 and 62.5/125 fibers at 850 and 1300 nm up to 10 km long and has a frequency range of 2.5 GHz.

Bandwidth testing of MM fibers was a big issue 20 years ago, before SM fiber became available for long distance telecom networks. It resurfaced with gigabit networks (Ethernet and Fibre Channel) in the last few years, where the useful length of cable plants was limited by the fiber bandwidth. Work by your editor (JH) and Eric Pearson using a prototype of this instrument has also shown bandwidth is affected by termination processes, and information on this will be published in the near future.

Is Cat 6 Dead? Already?

An editorial by Donna Ballast, a telecom engineer at UT Austin and BICSI's standards laison, in the latest Cabling Installation and Maintenance magazine, seems to be the epitaph for Cat 6. The article says it's acceptance in the marketplace is disappointing and the move to create an "augmented" Cat 6 capable of 625 MHz bandwidth for 10 gigabit Ethernet dooms current Cat 6. Her conclusion is a "must read."

And a report from Europe says Mysticom was able to transmit 10G Ethernet over Nexans Cat 7 cabling - a whopping 25 meters in an "enhanced mode" and 20 m in standard mode. Doesn't look good for Cat 7 either!

More on "Holey Fibers" ?

Last month, we mentioned "holey fibers" that transmit light in voids in the fiber instead of using solid optical materials. A new application for this technique has been proposed, using it for wafer-level integration of optical integrated circuits. Creating optical paths in most IC substrates is difficult due to the high index of refraction of the materials and high attenuation. But if nanotechnology can be used to create "bandgap" structures, like holey fibers, in the substrate, high quality optical interconnections are possible.

Want to know more? Here are some links from the MIT website. Another way to find articles is to Google "holey fibers."

Understanding OTDRs

A new section of "Lennie Lightwave's Guide To Fiber Optics" covers OTDRs. It tells how they work, what they measure, how (and where) to use them and describes the measurement errors. A good read!

New Tech Topics

Plastic Optical Fibers (POF)

Wavelength-Division Multiplexing

Fiber Amplifiers

Eric Pearson's Newsletters - with some tests on connectors.

Interested In Advanced Certification?

If you think you might, download and print yourself a FOA Logbook to keep track of your experience and traning. It will help you qualify for the CFOS certifications.

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 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
Elias Awad, Clerk, Director of Education
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
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

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

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