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
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.
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
How did N S A Tap Phone Conversations?
Perhaps by Tapping Fibers.
WIRED magazine reported ontheir
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:
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.
Reading these will help you
understand what each FOA certification covers and how to prepare
New Professional Society
for Structured Cabling Recognizes Importance of Fiber Optics
The new Structured Cabling Association,
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.
FTTx Means More Home Networking
- and opportunities for phone companies?
SCA - a new professional society
for structured cabling
Price of copper makes fiber
OFC New Products from 3M
New: FOA Logo
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.
Looking For Fiber Installers In NE US
Here is the information from
Verizon. Contact them at the website below for applications.
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.
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
Verizon is an equal opportunity
employer and supports workforce diversity M/F/D/V
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 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
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
form or the FOA
online store to renew NOW!
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.