January, 2008

In This Issue
Online Museum of Fiber Optics?
New Videos on Tech Topics
More on OM3 Cabling
FOA To Co-Sponsor "BroadbandProperties Summit 08"
Looking For Jobs - several this month. See Below
NEW: Sign up for the new FOA eMail Newsletter

The Archives: Previous Issues:
12/07, 11/07, 10/07, 09/07, 08/07, 07/07, 06/07, 05/07, 04/07, 03/07, 2/07, 1/07
12/06, 11/06, 10/06, 09/06, 8/06, 7/06, 6/06, 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 FOA-Certified Fiber Optic Installer? Use the FOA Installer Database Free! CFOT's register online.

Interested in An Online Museum Of Fiber Optics?
We recently found an "online museum" started by an enthusiast of "craftsmanship" - mainly making models of all sorts, like engines, airplanes, trains, etc. (Here it is.) As we viewed this website that covered the history of modelmaking, we wondered if such a website devoted to the history of fiber optics would work. There is a short website on the history of our industry created by Jeff Hecht, author of "Cities of Light" and Chapter 1 of the Fiber Optic Technicians Manual. But we're thinking of a more ambitous project, hosting articles from those who made the history about how they remembered it really happened.
Interested? Want to contribute? Know anyone who would be interested to include?
Contact Jim Hayes at jim@thefoa.org

FOA Tech Topics - New Videos
We continue expanding the Tech Topics section and have added some videos. These videos, in a format familiar to the "You Tube" users among you, cover cable prep, termination with epoxy/polish connectors, mechanical splicing and insertion loss testing.
You need Quicktime to view these videos which you can download free here from the Apple website.
If you know of other videos (especially manufacturer training videos) that we might be able to get permission to include here, let us know.

A Valid Question On The OM3 Fiber System
An instructors at one of the FOA-Approved schools had an interesting question on the OM3 standard. He wanted to know if connectors and panel-mounted mating adapters should be color coded aqua too. Well, certainly they should, but connector manufacturers are reluctant to produce yet another colored connector.
For ages, beige connectors were multimode, blue singlemode and green singlemode APC. In today's cable plants, beige is already used for both 50 and 62.5 fiber. Obviously any connector on an aqua cable is going to be OM3. In the past, we've had all metal connectors (e.g. ST, FC) that could not be colored and color-coded individual fibers in a distribution cable, so strain relief boots were made in colors for identification.
For ST connectors, in particular, several manufacturers made colored stickers to put around the mating adapters on patch panels, a good solution to identify the fibers terminated at that position.
Read the whole story about OM3 Cabling in The November FOA Newsletter

FOA To Co-Sponsor "BroadbandProperties Summit 08"
The FOA, one of the most active proponents of fiber to the home, will co-sponsor the BroadbandProperties Summit 08 to be held in Dallas, April 28-30, 2008. As they describe it, it is "Produced by the editors of Broadband Properties and sponsored by the FTTH Council and The Fiber Optic Association, this primer covers the key economic and technical issues surrounding fiber to the home. It makes clear why FTTH is the only technology that will deliver enough bandwidth, reliably and at a low enough cost, to meet the consumer demands of the next decade."
The FOA is working with BBP and the SCA to present a session on what needs to be done INSIDE the home (and apartment) to allow the occupants to take advantage of FTTH. For the home builder, what goes on inside the home is important to the owner or renter, as the ability to use the broadband connection for video, voip, etc. depends on the internal connections. Our session is intended to educate municipal planners, architects, developers and home builders, of course, but also FTTH vendors and installers, who should also be actively educating this group not only on the advantages of FTTH, but also what they need to do to make FTTH and any other broadband connection more useful and attractive to the end user.
Along the way, we'll make a pitch for properly educating installers of both the broadband connection and the home cabling to ensure proper installation!

Interested in attending? We will have special rates for FOA members. Contact us.

Information Gatekeepers Inc(IGI), part of the IGI Group, announces a special low cost offer of its telecommunications newsletters to Colleges and Universities. " This is an opportunity for colleges and universities to offer the latest news an telecommunications Markets and Technologies from around the world to their students and faculty. Library and text books are are often a year or two out of date by the time they are published. Researchers spend time and money sorting through the "Internet Garbage Pail" for tidbits of reliable, up-to-date, and accurate bits of data. This will allow Colleges and Universities to provide students and faculty access to the latest in news in the telecommunications and related fields on markets and technology worldwide", according to Paul Polishuk, CEO of the IGI Group.
Newsletters are being offered at 10% of exisiting prices to cover handling and mailing costs.
Colleges and University Libraries should contact IGI directly if interested at info@igigroup.com

FTTH Notes:
What's AT&T up to?
The FOA was contacted by a reporter in Ohio regarding AT&T's local plans for FTTH and U-Verse Internet TV service. Read the story here.
Verizon FiOS
Verizon is now deploying GPON in its network in new developments in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Texas. GPON offers more bandwidth than the BPON currently used, allowing more features for FiOS TV for example. See this Lightwave article for more info. Where is Verizon offfering FiOS service? See this map.
Want To Learn More About FTTx?
The FOA has created a special FTTx resources section of our website with a FTTx links page with lots of links to news, market reports, technical articles and vendor technical and product information. Here is a great place to start learning more about FTTx.
FOA's CFxT FTTx Certification Program Explained
Read the Broadband Properties article about the FOA FTTx certification program. Read the article about FOA President Jim Hayes being honored for his work promoting FTTH.

FOA & SCA Helps California Homebuilders Understand High Tech Homes
The FOA and Structured Cabling Association are combined forces to discuss how broadband connections like FTTH requires new thinking from homebuilders on how homes should be designed and built to provide high speed connections inside the home so the family can take advantage of all that broadband offers. The presentation was part of the Building Industry Show educational program sponsored by the Building Industry Association of Southern California.
Even with home sales in a slump, a good group came to hear Jim Hayes discuss why high tech cabling offers a way for builders to makes homes more attractive to buyers and more profitable. It also offers great job opportunities for cabling installers and contractors.
Want to see the presentation? Go here.

End Users Need Advice Too
Most technical information on fiber optics seems to be aimed at installers, but at the FOA we get lots of phone calls from end users. Often they are confused and want advice: Should they use fiber or copper? What components should they choose (and why?) What does a fiber optic system design require? Can they install fiber themselves or should they hire a contractor? How do they find a contractor? What should the contract with the contractor include? What are the requirements for testing and documenting a network? And sometimes, we get a fiber optic network user who asks "My system is down? What can I do?"
Well the FOA has started addressing the needs of the end user. A new section of the FOA website will be devoted to the end user, trying to cover all these questions and more - as the users call us to ask.
Don't assume the information is just for users, not installers, contractors and consultants. It's information you need to be familiar with also, and we'd suggest you tell all your customers about it, as it will help explain fiber optics in terms they will understand and help you and them communicate about fiber optic projects.

The Fiber Optic Association User's Guide To Fiber Optic System Design and Installation


Installing Fiber Optics? Have You Seen These?
We get lots of calls here at the FOA looking for advice. Many are from people unfamiliar with fiber optics who are planning an installation, having an installation done or testing and troubleshooting problems. To answer these questions, we have created a standard on installation, NECA/FOA-301 and three Tech Bulletins for users and installers. These, plus all the information in our "Tech Topics" section, will answer many of your questions. It's where most of our callers are sent for detailed explanations they can print and distribute to interested parties.

 Digging Safely

The old story (not a joke!) about the most likely fiber optic communications system failure being caused by "backhoe fade" reminds us that digging safely is vitally important. The risk is not just interrupting communications, but the life-threatening risk of digging up high voltage or gas lines.

There is a website called "Common Ground Alliance" that focuses directly on this issue. Here is how they describe themselves:

Damage Prevention is a Shared Responsibility
The Common Ground Alliance (CGA) is a member-driven association dedicated to ensuring public safety, environmental protection, and the integrity of services by promoting effective damage prevention practices.    In recent years, the association has established itself as the leading organization in an effort to reduce damages to all underground facilities in North America through shared responsibility among all stakeholders.

Of special interest is their "Best Practices" Manual, available for downloading. If you do OSP installs, please get yourself a copy and read it.


There is a new toll-free "call before you dig" number: 811

See www.call811.com for more information

National Fiber Optic Protection Summit: By the "811" group. March, 2008 in Vegas.

Home Tech - Needed To Take Advantage of FTTH

Once a home has a broadband connection, which we hope is fiber to the home, but could be DSL or Cable Modem, the usage of all that bandwidth depends on distribution within the home. The in-home connections can be UTP or Coax copper, wireless or fiber. But architects and home builders must learn how to build homes to take advantage of broadband connections. The FOA, in conjunction with the Structured Cabling Association, have started working with home builders to bring them up to speed. You can see the first tutorial we have jointly developed at the SCA website.





Download This!
There are tons of technical application notes and videos on the web, and occasionally we recommend some you should download. The JDSU fiber testing guide is really worthwhile, as are the ADC FTTx book and Westover video on fiber inspection and cleaning, linked below.
JDSU Testing Book
JDSU offers a free download of their Testing Guide from the Lightwave website. This is one great book which explains some basic fiber technology, but the real value is the last half which deals with OTDR testing. Not only does it give the usual info, but it covers important topics like measurement uncertainties and anomolies like ghosts and gainers.
I was in the testing business for 20+ years at Fotec and think this book is one of the best fiber optic testing texts available. It's complete but comprehenisble! I used to believe that premises techs did not need OTDR training, but now OTDR manufacturers are pushing their use in premises networks. Unfortunately, the limitations of OTDRs in premises applications can cause extreme problems for those who are not aware of their limitations. So knowing hows OTDRs work is essential information to every tech. 
Download yourself a copy and read it! http://lw.pennnet.com/whitepapers/wp.cfm?id=665
Westover Application Notes And Cleaning Video
Westover has several application notes on inspecting and cleaning fiber optic connectors. The video is a big file (50+MB) but a good tutorial.
Download page: http://www.westoverfiber.com/Support/downloads.php
ADC's Book On FTTx
ADC has an excellend book on FTTx. Here is a link to request a copy: http://www.adc.com/productsandservices/productsolutions/fttp/book/index.jsp

Now In Spanish: FOA Textbook & Text For FOA Advanced Certifications
The FOA's textbook, The Fiber Optic Technicians Manual, is used by our approved schools around the world to teach fiber optics. Book Details: Manual Del Technico De Fibra Optica, Published by Thomson Delmar Learning, ISBN 1-4180-6121-2
If you are getting started in fiber optics and Spanish is your native language, you can download an introduction to fiber optics in Spanish here.
Eric Pearson's book that is used for the CFOS/I reference book, Successful Fiber Optic Installation, is also now available in Spanish.
Contact the FOA for more information.

NEW-FOA Technical Bulletins/Tech Topics
New Videos! Here
Testing Update
Are there really 5 different ways to test optical fiber cabling after installation? Why so many? How do the measurements - and more importantly the measurement results - differ? What are the advanteages and disadvantages of each method?
Why are there 4 ways (maybe 5) to test fiber optic cables?
Do OTDRs and OLTS tests give the same results?
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 download, 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.
New Tech Topics
Updated link specs for fiber optic networks - now includes 10G Ethernet.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on General Topics and Testing
Fiber Or Copper? Making decisions, overview and LANs
How do you clean connections?


Bob Ballard of FOA-Approved School BDI Datalink has a neat website with some good technical content. Be sure to pay particular attention to these pages:
http://www.bdidatalynk.com/mythsoffiberoptics.html and http://www.bdidatalynk.com/askdoctor.html

Like Good Technical Videos? Try NECA/IBEW/JATC's Electric TV.

Job Openings

Linden Photonics, Inc. has a jop opening described below:

Linden Photonics, Inc., is a small business that develops packaging technology using extrusion/molding of novel thermoplastics.

Currently Linden has three SBIR contracts that are funded over the next two years. They relate to extrusion of high performance thermoplastics on optical fiber and metal wire harness for use in demanding DoD environments. Linden subcontracts extrusion to outside vendors and performs value added qualification testing in-house.

Linden is looking to hire an engineer with at least 5 years experience to run two of these contracts. The job will broadly require the following:

        I Interfacing/monitoring outside vendors

 Documenting results and planning follow-up actions/experiments.

        Develop, design, implement in-house test stations. AUTOCAD or Solid Works experience desirable.

             Assist and write SBIR proposals.

The larger responsibility is to help grow and built a small business so that it successfully transitions from contract to commercial sales using the technology developed under SBIR contracts.

If this sounds interesting please contact:

Amaresh Mahapatra
Linden Photonics, Inc.
270 Littleton Rd., # 29
Westford, MA 01886
tel. 978-392-7985

Fiber/Copper Instructor in the Baltimore area.
Our Fiber Optic/Copper Cable Network Program is a 72 hour, non-credit program aimed at providing entry-level skills for students interested in obtaining an a position in the telecommunications industry. Typically the class is scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 - 10 pm on our Catonsville Campus.  Our immediate needs are for someone to teach 8 Fiber (Copper has been completed) classes beginning on 11/13 and ending on 12/11/07; the next program will begin in April of 08.  Would consider putting a piece in your newsletter requesting anyone interested in teaching to send me their resume. A Bachelor's degree and industry experience are required. If possible, could you email me a sample of your newsletter.

Mary Lou Beach
Program Coordinator
The School of Applied and Information Technology
410-455-4564 Fax

Engineering Assistant
Job Description
Under the direction of Design and Development Engineers build and test prototype and preproduction parts
Assist Engineering to create, develop, modify and implement joining processes including soldering, welding, epoxy fixing, glass sealing and fixing
Assist Engineering to develop and implement processes relating to fibers, fiber pigtail assemblies and connector/receptacle assemblies
Perform wire bond, ribbon bond processes
Perform hermetic sealing and testing processes
Assist with necessary testing and qualification of parts. Testing will include optical, electrical and RF parameters.
Assist with documenting designs, processes and procedures
Assist Engineers with transferring to and training Production staff
Skills Required
Excellent knowledge of hybrid microelectronic assembly equipment
Excellent hands-on assembly and test skills
Ability to work with limited guidance independently
Extensive experience with hybrid microelectronic assembly processes
Prior experience with fiber optic and/or optoelectronic devices
Good working knowledge of electronic and RF test instrumentation strongly desired.
Education and Experience
>3years relevant work experience
At least ASEE or equivalent
Inside Technical Sales
Job Description
Support in-coming calls for technical/application questions.
Provide quotes, quote follow-ups and closing of sales.
Developing of new customers/business through prospecting, re-engagement of inactive accounts and introduction of new products. 
Represent sales in weekly meetings regarding production schedules, forecasting, quality control and custom projects. 
Manage RMA's (Returned Material Authorization) from initial customer discussion through internal review and final conclusions. 
Work with procurement to ensure on-time material deliveries.
Interact with engineering regarding technical questions and custom requests. 
Keep account information updated, run daily contact reports and manage ACT our account management database software.  
Education and Experience
Engineering Degree, EE preferred.
5 years technical sales experience. 
Optics/Photonics background preferred. 

Please forward resumes to:

Pauline Molenaar
Office Manager
EM4 Inc.
7 Oak Park Drive
Bedford, MA 01730
781-275-7501 x 252

Project Manager
Celergy Networks, Carlsbad, CA, a leading provider of voice and data networking and structured cabling installations, seeks  Project Managers for Telecommunications. Candidates must be able to work in a fast-paced environment, multi-task, be able to quickly identify potential roadblocks and facilitate solid solutions, and have strong customer service skills.
Responsibilities include coordinating labor, materials and customer scheduling required for implementation of projects to meet and or exceed customer expectations and deadlines, daily communication and reporting to customer on status of work, margin control of projects, interaction and team work with engineer, accounting and purchasing manager to ensure a profitable and smooth implementation.
The Successful Candidate Will Have:
Strong organizational and communication skills required.
Strong negotiation skills and experience in negotiating pricing reduction
3+ years experience in customer service and/or help desk related work preferably within Telecom industry, but not required.
Working knowledge of Windows NT, especially word, excel, power point, adobe.  
MS project and IS09000, 9001, etc experience preferred, but not required.
Understanding and basic knowledge of PM process and procedures
Ability to follow process and procedures, enhanced with ability to identify improvements and suggest changes if required for improvement for greater efficiency and customer service.
Experience in Project Management of multiple accounts simultaneously preferred.
Strong interpersonal skills and experience working with a team required.
Basic knowledge in cabling/infrastructure preferred.
The salary range for a project manager currently offered is between 40k- to 60k / year, based on experience.
Lucia Romanov-Stark
Director of Marketing
Celergy Networks, Inc.
2011 Palomar Airport Road, Suite 200
Carlsbad, CA 92011
Phone: (760) 268-1913 x 6134
Fax: (760) 603-8577
Mobile: (949) 374-2334


Verizon: Fiber Network Field Technician (Outside Field Technician)
Openings in the following areas: CA, TX, WA, OR, VA, MA, NJ, RI
Take your career to new heights at a company that's a leader in global communications: Verizon. We offer an unparalleled opportunity to advance your career while contributing in an enthusiastic, team-oriented environment.
Primary duties include, but are not limited to:
Install, remove, rearrange, program, test, troubleshoot and maintain fiber network services.
Install and configure routers, set top boxes.  May assist with installation of PC software as needed and ensure proper configuration of the customer's PC.  Interact with the Fiber Solution Center as needed.  May install appropriate inside wire/cable.
Install, maintain and repair outside and inside fiber equipment/facilities including inside wiring and fiber jumpers at the distribution hub.
Interface with customer to negotiate the placement of equipment; may assist with account registration, e-mail, and web access, and training the customer on how to use the new equipment.  Ensure customer satisfaction.  Respond to inquiries and provide follow-up, as necessary.
Interpret schematic work order drawings to determine job specifications and installation needs.  Order and/or obtain required equipment.  Effect problem solving where appropriate.
Utilize various test equipment to analyze equipment trouble and take appropriate maintenance action.
Requires high level of customer contact to ensure customer satisfaction.
Climbing poles and ladders; lifting 75-100 pounds on a regular basis; pushing, reaching, bending and stooping; manual dexterity; good sense of balance; and good color vision.
Must have a current/valid California Drivers License and a clean driving record.
Qualified candidates must pass all company required tests, a pre-employment drug screen and a background check. In addition, candidates will be required to successfully pass a legally required DOJ Criminal Records Check/screening process (fingerprinting).
Candidates must be able to work any shift given, including days, weekends, holidays and overtime as required.
Verizon offers:
Hourly rate for this position is $12.87-28.55.  Wage credit may be granted for related work experience and/or college degree.
Benefits include medical, dental, life insurance, 401(k) with Company match and paid vacation
interested candidates should go to https://www22.verizon.com/about/careers/fiberjobs.html to apply AND schedule themselves for testing.
Thank you for showing an interest in Verizon!
Verizon is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer supporting workforce diversity. m/f/d/v. Principals only! 


Also Check Recent Job Openings In Previous Issues of The FOA Newsletter


Tech Puzzler
Recognize this connector?, see below.
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.

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.

FOA Certification Top Choice

The FOA CFOT and CFOS programs continue to gain momentum in fiber optics. Over 23,000 CFOTs have been certified by over 200 schools. 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 160+ organizations, welcoming new additions like the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Corning Cable Systems and AFL 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. You must be a current FOA member and CFOT to participate in our online database of installers, contractors, technicians and consultants. If you forgot to renew, use the online application form 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 The FOA Home Page

(C)1999-2008, The Fiber Optic Association, Inc.

Tech Puzzler:

It's an ESCON connector, used on IBMs mainframe peripheral network. See the connector ID page on Tech Topics.
See the Lennie Lightwave for a complete tutorial on OTDRs and more.