April, 2004

Previous Issues: March 2004, January, 2004, December, 2003, November, 2003 October 2003 September 2003, August 2003, July 2003, June 2003, March 15, 2003, October, 2002 , August, 2002, May, 2002

New PowerPoint Presentation Introduces Fiber Optics
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/

Fiber To The Home Costs Down to $250?
In Korea it is, if numbers reported in Lightwave last month are correct. Stephen Hardy's monthly editorial says that Korea plans to connect 300,000 homes for about $75million by 2008. Simple math says we're talking only $250 per home, way less than we've seen quoted anywhere else. Sounds pretty cost effective to use, if you want to offer real broadband services!
Interested in the status of fiber to the home? See the website of the Fiber To The Home Council at http://www.ftthcouncil.org/

10 Gigabit Ethernet Finally Makes It on Copper - Just Not Very Far!
The IEEE, curator of the Ethernet standard, has approved a new copper cabling standard for 10 Gigabit Ethernet. 10GBase-CX4 does not use Cat 5 or Cat 6, it uses a 8-pair coax cable that must be factory made to go 15 m, about 50 feet, for use in data centers. The rest of the 10G standard calls for fiber. The copperheads are still trying to make it work on Cat 6, but now say they need 625 MHz bandwidth, effectivley killing Cat 6 in todays marketplace.

Semiconductor Developments May Help Fiber Optic Growth
Two interesting developments in semiconductors may have big influences in the integration of fiber optics into the heart of computers and integrated circuits (ICs). Intel has developed a silicon IC that can act as a external modulator for fiber optics. Previously, this required more exotic semiconductors like InGaAs. Creating this on a silicon IC would allow integrating optics onto a low-cost IC that could be used for optical backplanes or internal computer connections or even optical computing. A complementary development at the Univ of Illinois produced a light-emitting transistor (LET), this time in GaAs. A LET would allow integration of optical transmitters in a IC format or create integrated transmitter devices. Both developments are a long way from commercialization, of course, but are indicative that R&D in photonics is still very active and important to fiber optics.

FYI (News & Comment)
The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has published a new telecommunications systems bulletin (TSB), 'Additional Guidelines for Field-Testing Length, Loss and Polarity of Optical Fiber Cabling Systems,' TSB-140.
This TSB describes field testing of length, optical attenuation and polarity in optical fiber cabling using an optical loss test set, an optical time domain reflectometer and a visible light source such as a visual fault locator. The purpose of this document is to clarify, not replace, ANSI/TIA/EIA-526-7 and ANSI/TIA/EIA-526-14A.
TSB-140 was created by TIA TR-42.8 Subcommittee on Telecommunications Optical Fiber Cabling Systems and released February 2004. A TSB is not a standard, but rather contains technical material that may be valuable to industry and users. To obtain copies of the document, please contact Global Engineering Documents at (800) 854-7179 or visit http://global.ihs.com.
Comment: TSB-140 was created by TR-42.8 because supposedly the followers of TIA 568 couldn't understand OFSTP-14 and -7. In the form presented to the committee at its February meeting, it contained three addenda that exemplified the term "obfuscate." One attendee said he had shown them to three experienced installers and none could figure them out. Personally, we studied them for two hours the night before the meeting and were still confused as to what they were trying to say. They appeared to be a kludge method of referencing for test equipment that could not adapt to certain types of connectors, a totally unnecessary method if OFSTP-14 and -7 were used as they were intended.
It would be a "cheap shot" to say that 568 is still being written by "copperheads."
The FOA Board of Directors has decided that it is time to become involved in this committee and will make recommendations based on our long experience in fiber optics for the next revision of 568 that will incorporate the wisdom of current FOTPs and OFSTPs in their original form.

Tech Puzzler
You just installed a multimode fiber optic cable that was not an easy install. Now you test it and it shows strange results - the loss is as high at 1300 nm as 850 nm, but you know the fiber should have much lower loss at 1300 nm. The connectors should be the same too. What's the problem?
Answer below

NFOEC 2004 in Anaheim
This year's National FIber Optic Engineeers Conference will be in Anaheim, CA Sept 12-16. NFOEC is the old ROBC/Bellcore show for the telco engineers, but tends to be the more practical cousin of OFC. Check it out on their website http://nfoec.com/

Products of Note:
Noyes (AFL Telecom) has introduced a "Fiber Cleaning Pack" that is a compelte cleaning kit for all fiber optic connectors. It's biggest selling point is the use of a non-flammable cleaning fluid, a big advantage over the old standby isopropyl alcohol. It is model FCP1 - find it on their website at www.AFLtele.com


Loctite, the adhesive people who supply most of the private labelled anaerobic adhesives, is offering specially packages versions for the fiber optic user. Smaller bottles are good, since you would have to do thousands of connectors to use up a bottle of Loctite 648, which is the most popular anaerobic adhesive. Ask Loctite for a copy of their "Fiber Optic Products Catalog" www.loctite.com

New Tech Topics

Plastic Optical Fibers (POF)

Wavelength-Division Multiplexing

Fiber Amplifiers

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

New sections of "Lennie Lightwave's Guide To Fiber Optics" covers loss testing of fiber optic cables and OTDRs.

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 info@thefoa.org 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
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

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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Tech Puzzler: The cable was overstressed during installation or has locations that are too tightly bent. Fiber is more sensitive to bending or stress losses at higher wavelengths, so the effect is to make the loss similar at 850 and 1300 nm. The same effect happens in SM fiber , but at 1310 and 1550 nm.