January, 2006

Previous Issues: 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.

Fiber To The Premises/Home Is Real - And Offers Real Jobs
The FOA is working with Verizon to help recruit qualified fiber installers, including new graduates of FOA-Approved training programs. As you probably FTTP has become one of the hottest areas in fiber optics. We have been contacted by Verizon to help them in their recruitment efforts, through our FOA-Approved schools and contacting our current CFOTs. Details on the Verizon requirements are given below and you can apply online.

"Heard On The Street" Wonders "Why Not Fiber?"
Frank Bisbee, influential editor of "Heard On The Street," a very popular industry website that focuses on structured cabling, questions how long users will continue to re-cable every time the industry introduces a new UTP (unshielded twisted pair) cable type. Besides the enormous costs of installing new cabling each time, there is now the liability of abandoned cabling that must be removed according to the NEC (National Electrical Code.)
In Frank's words: "The demand for speed and the appetite for ever-larger bandwidth are reaching some crucial technology pinch points. Some observers feel that the infrastructure industry is approaching a barrier of obsolescence in several critical areas. Copper based transmission facilities, particularly unshielded twisted pair cable is pushing its upper limits on speed and distance. When you add radiation and EMP, the formula points towards a non-electric transmission path. Fiber optics has become a staple in the cabling backbone and seems to be extending the services into the work areas through methodologies like zone cabling."

What Does It Take To Make UTP Work At Higher Speeds?
Alien crosstalk has been the bugaboo of "Augmented" Cat 6 cabling. The twisted pairs are so precisely made they pick up signals from pairs in other cables laid with them in cable trays or conduit. The solution has been to make bigger (larger diameter) cables or shielding pairs individually as is done in Europe. Bigger cables cause problems with conduit and cable tray fills, fitting cables in and around racks, firestopping, etc., as well as cost.
It's foolish to say it can't be done, but it may also be foolish to keep trying to use UTP. If you had installed FDDI-grade multimode fiber fifteen years ago, you could have just upgraded the electronics, but most users have instead recabled with copper several times at immense cost- and now face the even higher costs of removal of all the abandoned cabling.

Next Challenge For Copper - 100 Gigabit Ethernet
While the copper folks struggle to make 10 Gigabit Ethernet work over UTP cable, networking researchers are already looking at 100 G Ethernet, bypassing 40 Gb/s which has been the next step for telecommunications. Both Lucent/Bell Labs and Force 10 Networks have announced successful demonstration of 100 Gb/s hardware. Even fiber has to work hard at 100 Gb/s. Bell Labs used a multilevel coding scheme. Details of the Force 10 Networks solution are sketchy.

Fiber Optic Media Converters Simplify Driving Giant Displays, Even Home Theater
Ever wonder how you control one of those giant screen displays you see in sports arenas, on the Strip in Vegas or in casinos? How about the ones at car dealers showing you the photos of the latest cars or logos and prices? Well, at a home electronics show recently, we found out how many of these work. They are just big versions of a computer screen or TV and are driven from a PC in an room far away, with the signals being sent over fiber optics. The company we saw selling these interfaces was Gefen, based in Woodland Hills, CA. They offer fiber optic interfaces for DVI (computer monitors) or HDMI (high definition displays) that can allow the controlling PC to be located up to 500 meters away. Thus the person programming the display can sit at a PC with a local monitor to see what the display looks like and drive the remote monitor with the same display. Gefen also offers a simple cable with built-in fiber optic converters that realy simplifies the application, and at a price that has led to applications in home theater where controlling cable messes is important in making an attractive installation.
Gefen DVI cable connects remote monitors to 100 meters. Here are more details.

Electronic Product Backplanes On POF?
Researchers at the University of California at Santa Cruz are working on a project to develop high speed interconnects for all types of electronic equipment by serializing data and sending it on plastic optical fiber (POF.) Applications can include all types of interconnects, not just networks, but also small low-powered devices like cell phones or PDAs. Issues being investigated are integrating optoelectronics, bandwidth of the fiber and flexibility.

Singlemode Fiber Use In Premises Networks Up to 40%
An increasing number of high speed LANs are migrating to SMF instead of laser-optimized MMF (OM3.) A recent article in Lightwave quotes Sumitomo and Mohawk/CDT as agreeing that SMF is now 40% of the market and MMF 60%. While many users have been installing hybrid cables with both SMF and MMF for years, planning on using SMF for the higher speed upgrades, such a high percentage is surprising. However, it also is important to note that short SMF links are sensitive to reflections at connections, requiring quality terminations, preferably APC or PC pigtails spliced on to the backbone cables.

Verizon Looking For Fiber Installers

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 Premise 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



Order The   Fiber Optics Technician's Manual directly from Amazon.com.

Third edition of The Fiber Optic Technicians Manual Now Available!
About 15% bigger, with new or updated material on most chapter subjects, including more "hands-on information, but the price remains the same, $54.95. ISBN No. 1401896995
FOTM Lab Manual is available from Delmar (ISBN:1418028754, Price: $19.95) with tons of hands on exercises.
An Instructor's Guide to the FOTM is also available from Delmar. (ISBN: 1401897002, Price: $33.95 )

For information on the Lab Manual or Instructors Guide, contact Delmar directly at 1-800-347-7707 for further information.
Remember the CFOT Test now uses the new edition, along with the new NECA/FOA-301 Installation Standard.
Another good book: Eric Pearson's Successful Fiber Optic Installation - a cookbook for fiber optics!

Check Last Month's Job Openings

New PowerPoint Presentation In Spanish
A new PowerPoint presentation in Spanish for instructors and anyone else interested has been posted on the FOA website for free downloading. It is an explanation of fiber optics in Spanish, created by Francisco Castro Cabrera of Mexico City, who is starting up our new FOA chapter in Mexico. It is complementary to our PowerPoint introduction to fiber optics in English. Here is more information on the presentation in Spanish.


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.

Tech Puzzler
What causes chromatic dispersion?
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?

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 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. 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

Officers and
Board of Directors
Jim Hayes, President, Treasurer
Eric Pearson, Director of Certification
Tom Collins, Gateway Comm. College
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!

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(C)1999-2005, The Fiber Optic Association, Inc.


Tech Puzzler: Light of different wavelengths travels at different speeds in glass, which is what causes a prism to disperse light.