The Fiber Optic Association - Tech Topics
The FOA presents "Tech Topics" - a free resource for the fiber optic industry - schools, installers and contractors, and those interested in finding out more about the medium that has revolutionized communications. Here you will find numerous webpages, technical papers and links on fiber optics, with content ranging from the basics for the novice to state of the art papers.
The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide is another source of technical information on the FOA website, organized as a reference guide for training or self-study. It expands on FOA Tech Topics with more details and adds self-study programs for students.
Don't miss the FOA Newsletter. It is online monthly and has lots of technical content. You can read back issues too. Sign up for the email version .
Interested in linking to FOA webpages or reproducing FOA technical materials? Here is the FOA policy on use of our technical materials.
FOA Tech Topics and
Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide
New Reference Books for FOA Certifications
We have created three new FOA books to be used in training for FOA certifications and as reference books for contractors, installers and end users of fiber optics.
These books have full curriculum support for FOA-Approved training organization, including free curriculum materials for teaching FOA certification courses.
Because we are self-publishing these books using more modern "publish on demand" technology, they are easier to keep up to date, easier to buy and much, MUCH cheaper!
Details on the new books and how to purchase them online are at the book pages linked to the photos above.
The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide is a complete reference website for fiber optics created as a complement to our textbooks. It is formatted to be easy to read online or with mobile devices.
The NECA/FOA 301 Fiber Optic Installation Standard
- NECA 301, Installing And Testing Fiber Optic Cables, produced by The FOA in cooperation with NECA (The National Electrical Contractors Association), has been updated. This second revision expands the original standard to cover much more detail, describing the installation and testing of fiber optic cable plants.
To Fiber Optics
- Getting Started: Introduction To Fiber Optics presentation in English or Spanish
- FTTx PowerPoint tutorial
- Lennie Lightwave's Guide To Fiber Optics
- FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics - The Basics of Fiber
- End User Site: For whose who are planning to install fiber optic networks or already have them.
- Free Self-Study Programs
- Lennie Lightwave and Fiber U are back! Learn the basics of fiber optics in preparation for taking a training course, refresh your knowledge or prepare for the CFOT exam online at Fiber U online.
- Instructional Videos
- We have made available online videos on four topics:
Asked Questions (FAQs): General FAQs and Testing FAQs.
- Cable Preparation (zipcord, distribution, breakout, loose tube and armored cables)
- Termination (adhesive style connectors)
- Mechanical Splicing (Ultrasplice, with optimization using visual fault locator)
- Testing (insertion loss with light source and power meter)
- The videos are in Quicktime format for viewing online.
- You can also view these videos and more on the FOA channel on
- 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. (PDF, 0.2 Mb)
Choosing, installing and using fiber optic products for communications network users. (PDF, 0.1 Mb)
Designing Fiber Optic Networks - a reference guide for contractors, designers, installers and users and the reference for the FOA CFOS/D Design Certification (PDF, 1.3 MB).
Installing Fiber Optic Cable Plants. (PDF, 0.2 Mb)
Troubleshooting fiber optic cable plants and communications systems. (PDF, 0.1 Mb)
Fiber Optic Restoration - how to plan ahead and restore networks quickly. (PDF, 0.1 Mb)
- Fiber Optic Components and Standards
- FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics - Fiber Optic Technology and Standards
- FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics - Fiber Optic Components
- How Optical Fiber Is Manufactured
- Fiber Optic Connector Identifier - a history of fiber optic terminations.
- Origins of Fiber Optic Connector Names
- FOCIS - Fiber Optic Connector Intermateability Standards
- Multimode Premises Cable Plant Nomenclature (OM3, etc.)
- Wavelength-Division Multiplexing( DWDM, CWDM)
- How Fiber Amplifiers Work
- Plastic Optical Fiber
- Singlemode Fiber Nomenclature
- Fiber Optic Cable Jacket Color Codes
- The Effect Of Termination and Splicing on Bandwidth
- Understanding Fiber Optic Wavelengths
- Multimode Fiber Bandwidth ( PDF 1.6 MB)
- EIA/TIA (US) and IEC (International) Fiber Optic Standards
- EAI/TIA 568 For Fiber Optics
- FO Power Meter Calibration Uncertainty
Fiber Optic Network Design
Start with the Design Reference Guide in FOA Technical Bulletins
FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics - Fiber Optic Network Applications
FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics - Fiber Optic Network Design
Specifications for Fiber Optic LANs and Links (Updated 1/2008)
Premises Cable Plant Nomenclature (OM3, etc.)
Calculating Link Loss Budgets
What Loss Should You Measure When Testing Fiber Optic Links?
What Happens When You Mate Mismatched MM Fibers, e.g. 50/125 > 62.5/125?
Fiber or Copper? A general overview and a specific look at fiber in LANs.
Fiber Optic Construction Guidelines from US DoT
American Polywater's Cable Pulling Calculators
The OSI Model For Networks, Marilyn Michelson
Fiber Makes Telecom Closets Disappear, Eric Pearson
Estimating Communications Cabling Installations, F. Douglas Elliott
EAI/TIA 568 For Fiber Optics
FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics - Fiber Optic Installation
- FTTx - Fiber To The Home/Premises/Curb
- FOA's FTTx Pages
- FTTH, FTTH PON types and FTTH network architecture.
- FTTx PowerPoint tutorial
- Designing And Building Homes For Broadband/FTTH (FOA Presentation To Homebuilders)
- Fiber Optic Installation
- Start with our Tech Bulletins, listed above.
Termination Times How long does it take to terminate fibers with connectors? A time/motion study.
- Safety In Fiber Optic Installations
- Digging Safely - Avoid Buried Cable Damage or Physical Harm To Installation Crews
- Fiber Optic Termination, a Lennie Lightwave Tutorial
- Cleaning Fiber Optic Connections
- Stripping Fiber Optic Cable. Berk-Tek has several ap notes on stripping cables on their website as PDF files. Here is the list
of all Berk-Tek ap notes.
- What Happens When You Mate Mismatched MM Fibers?
- Eric Pearson's (Pearson Technologies) Fiber Optic Newsletter (PDF format)
- Volume 2, No. 1 "Cleave and Leave" Connectors
- Volume 2, No. 2, Connectors and Interpreting OTDR Traces
- Volume 2, No. 3, Fiber To The Desk Costs, Testing
- Volume 2. No. 4, More "Cleave and Leave," Mandrel Wraps
- Volume 4. No. 1, Should OTDR Testing Be Required By Standards
- Advice from an "Old Pro" - 10 Reccommendations for Designing and Installing Fiber Optic Networks
- Fiber Optic Testing
- FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics - Fiber Optic Testing
- Before you test, read about loss budgets and expected measurement results.
- 4 Ways To Test An Installed Cable Plant, an overview of testing standards and measurement uncertainty (PDF, 1.3MB)
- Insertion Loss, a Lennie Lightwave Tutorial
- Understanding OTDRs , a Lennie Lightwave Tutorial, and "Virtual Hands-On OTDR Tutorial"
- Do OTDR tests correllate with insertion loss measured by Light Sources & Power Meters? (FOA R&D Project, PDF, 44 kB)
- First clean your connectors and equipment.
- Testing FAQs. Worth a review, answers many questions we are often asked.
- More advice on using OTDRs properly. (PDF, 1.2 MB)
- What Happens When You Mate Mismatched MM Fibers, e.g. 50/125 > 62.5/125?
Jobs in Fiber Optics - FOA Advice on Finding Them
- Fiber Optic Jobs
- Fiber Optic Job Titles.
Fiber Optic Teaching Labs (PDF) (DOC)
- Fiber Optic Science Project
- Fiber Optic Project for a Science Fair Or Scouts
Does Glass "Flow" Over Time? Is It Really a Liquid?
- Fiber Optic Lighting
- The FOA is really focused on fiber optics in communications, but we get requests for information on lighting so we have created a tutorial.
- Fiber Optic Lighting Tutorial.
- Here is a website that has some very good examples of fiber optic lighting.
to other fiber optic sites
FOA Tech Topics and
Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide
More detailed information can be found on the FOA Online Reference Guide.
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