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October 2019


    
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FOA Newsletter - Features

In This Issue - (INDEX)

Click on "RETURN TO INDEX " after each section to return you to this INDEX so you can find things easier.

Features

Figure 8 On Aerial Cable?
Directional Boring Downtown

Save 1/3 On Your Certification Renewal
Looking For a Job?
Is That A Good Idea?
Fiber Optic Manufacturing In Space
10GPON Update
Testing MM Fiber With BI MMF
LA MEtro South bay Project
Not Much Future: Cat 8 and OM5
Need More Ethernet
Can You Learn Skills Online
Worth Reading - LOTS! (Southern Fiberworx makes "Great Georgia Jobs")
Another Look At Connector Contamination
Conferences:
POF 2019
CCGA Symposium

Lennie's Guide - 25th Anniversary Edition
FOA Guide Updates
FOA School Offers Toolkit With Online Training

More

FOA Certifications: 

CFOT Total

Sections 

FOA Facts - about the organization

FOA Resources  
Fiber U - free online self-study courses
Publications: FOA Textbooks, NECA/FOA 301
 "Quickstart Guides"
 videos FOA YouTube Videos
Online Reference Guide: Many new pages
Certification. Updated:  FOA OSP Certification
FOA Schools: New schools and programs
Q&A: What technical questions you asked the FOA?
FOA Fiber FAQs Page
Product News - New stuff
Worth Reading: News from around the world



DIG SAFE - Call 811 before you dig!


Jobs
See FOA Jobs Web Page and FOA on FOA on LinkedIn
The FOA Jobs Web Page has been updated and a new page added on Using your FOA Training/Certification to Find the Right Job in Fiber Optics

Where Are The Jobs In Fiber Optics? FOA talks about all the applications for fiber optics, what jobs involve and the qualifications for the workers in the field in this YouTube video.

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CFOT Renewals
Renew your FOA certification online - plus get a discount on the new FOA books and an extra month free. Details here.


The Archives: Past Issues.
Use these links to read past issues or use FOA's  Custom Search to look for specific topics on our website.
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12/03 , 11/03 10/03 9/03, 8/03, 7/03, 6/03, 3/03, 10/02 , 8/02, 5/02
Current Issue of FOA Newsletter

The FOA CFOT® (Certified Fiber Optic Technician) and Fiber U® (the FOA online self-study program) are registered trademarks of the FOA.
FOA Guide
Want to know more about fiber optics? Study for FOA certifications? Free Self-Study Programs are on "Fiber U®." Looking for specific information? Here's the largest technical reference on the web: The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide.

fiberu.org

Free online self-study programs on many fiber optics and cabling topics are available at Fiber U, FOA's online web-based training website.


 FOA Reference Books
Available Printed or eBooks
The fiber book is available in Spanish and French

FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optics book FOA Reference Guide to Premises Cablng book FOA Reference Guide to OSP Fiber Optics book FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optics book
FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optic Network Design book FOA Book on Fiber Optic Testing FOA Outside Plant Fiber Optics Construction Guide  Lennie Lightwave

Lennie and Uncle Ted's Guides are now also available as free iBooks on iTunes.
Lennie Lightwave's Guide To Fiber Optics   Uncle Ted's Guide to Premises Cablling
Click on any of the books to learn more.
Fiber Optic Safety Poster to download and print


FOA Videos on videos

FOA is a member of:

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IMSA
FTTH Council

The FOA Newsletter is edited by Jim Hayes - send your stories, leads, ideas, comments to <jim @ foa.org>
Jim Hayes


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Time To Renew Your FOA Certifications?
To keep your FOA certifications active, you need to renew them when they expire. Now we have a new more convenient way to renew - an online store at Paypal - where you can quickly and conveniently use your PayPal account or your credit card to renew your certifications.

You now renew with PayPal (or a credit card)
 
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Get IMSA/FOA CFOT Certified

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FOA master instructor Tom Collins will be teaching a combined IMSA/FOA CFOT course at the IMSA Forum & Expo in New Orleans August 18-22. 

More information on the IMSA Conference classes here

If you are attending the IMSA conference, visit the FOA booth to get a free copy of the new "Lennie Lightwave's Guide."
















Let’s Talk About Contractors And Contracting, Continued


Aerial Figure 8?

Figure 8 aerial

Here's one that would startle you when you look up and see it. Don't we "figure 8" cable on the ground?

This is handing from a messenger wire on Bundy near Olympic and the transit lines in West LA. It certainly is very neat, and we assume it's hung there to protect it when the installation crew took off for the weekend before they could complete the installation.

We posted this on the FOA LinkedIn group and challenged people to guess how much fiber was in the 8s. The guesses were good - matching ours. Here's our estimate: We enlarged the photo and counted at least 40 "figure 8s." the loops were over 1 meter in diameter so each figure 8 should be ~7 m. That says we're looking at ~300 meters of fiber. Fiber like this, ~10 mm diameter, weighs~ 65 kg/km, so this is ~20 kg of cable.

We'll drive back by soon and see if they completed the installation. If you know anything about this, contact us @ jim @ foa.org.



Directional Boring In Urban Areas With Minimal Disruption

We've written several times that directional boring and microtrenching are the least disruptive of construction practices in urban areas, so we were pleased to stumble upon an excellent example right here in Santa Monica, CA.

Santa Monica Cable Install

The installation crew was on Santa Monica Blvd just 1/2 block from the ocean. They were directional boring along the center of the street, taking up the center land and traffic was moving well on either side of them.

Santa Monica Cable Install

Santa Monica Cable Install

Ahead of them down the street was a tech with a locator, monitoring the drill head and looking for other utilities. (That shows 1) they know what they are doing and 2) know to be very careful in urban areas where the areas under streets can be very crowded with utilities.

Santa Monica Cable Install

Four blocks up the street where the boring was completed, the cable installers were preparing the ducts installed earlier for the cable installation.

Santa Monica Cable Install

They needed to remove several paving blocks to run their ducts into a vault under the sidewalk. Pedestrians like us had no problem moving around them (or hanging around to shoot pictures.)

Santa Monica Cable Install

Looking more closely, you can see they are installing several ducts - regular fiber ducts and a bundle of microducts.

Santa Monica Cable Install

They were installing 3 regular fiber ducts and a bundle of 6 innerducts. This shows this crew was planning ahead. All those ducts can eventually be filled with cables handling thousands of fibers, what may be needed in the future in a busy city like Santa Monica with lots of businesses, including movie production companies that work in digital video now and high tech companies too.

This is a good example for both installers and city managers. Directional boring, when carefully done, can be accomplished with little disruption, and with planning, multiple ducts can be installed to accommodate future expansion of the networks without further construction.



SPECIAL OFFER - Save 1/3 On Your Certification Renewal Cost

In the near future, there will be a requirement for continuing education to renew your FOA certifications. We'll explain why soon, but for now FOA is testing an option for renewals where you take a short Fiber U online self-study course with certificate of completion exam and pay for renewal when taking the exam. 

If you would like to help FOA test this option, you can save 1/3 the cost of your renewal.  Go here to take the Fiber U CFOT Renewal Course:



Looking For A Job?

Did you know that FOA has a lot of information on the website about where the jobs are in fiber optics and how to get one of them? One of the topics is how to use job search sites to find fiber optic jobs. We just added a new site to the link, ZIPRECRUITER.COM, that you should check out. They even have some good information on what fiber optic jobs pay, based on their listings.



There's more below....

.. plus some really interesting technical questions discussed in depth





New:

The FOA 2018-19 Update Page covers all the new technology and applications we covered in this newsletter in 2018-19. Now you can review all that new tech at once.

The FOA Fiber FAQs Page (FAQ s = frequently asked questions) gathers up questions readers have asked us (which first ran in this newsletter) and adds tech topics of general interest.

This months "Good Questions" has some unique questions from our readers.


Is That A Good Idea?

Direct termination

FOA received an inquiry this month from a contractor who had a customer questioning using patch panels to terminate cables and then connecting hardware with a patchcord. Why not just terminate fibers directly and plug them into equipment, saving the cost of patch panels. FOA argued for protecting the fibers and using patchcords which also simplifies moves, adds and changes.

This is an example of someone doing that. Two fibers were terminated on the fibers directly and the fibers looped around the side of a rack to plug into equipment. We were on a tour with a number of others and we were crowded around this rack. Doesn't it seem bad judgement to leave fibers like this, not like the two connectors next to them which are in 3mm jacketed cables with strain relief boots on the connectors? One of us could have easily hit these two fibers and broken them. Then, they would have to be reterminated. If that happened to the two fibers beside them, the patchcord could have been replaced and the link would be back in business.

We recommend using patch panels.  Here are some examples of simple modules for use in terminating cables for patching. These are Multilink CT-X modules for termination only and splicing. They protect the cables and fibers and simplify patching.

modules


Fiber Optic Manufacturing in Space

FOA recently interviewed Dr. Dmitry Starodubov, Chief Scientist, FOMS, a small company in San Diego that has been making fibers in space on the International Space Station (ISS). FOMS has developed a  instrument for fiber fabrication in space environment that can make up to hundreds of km of fiber per mission.

Dmitry Starodubov ISS National Lab Photo

Dr. Starodubov was recently honored for this achievement at the ISS R&D Conference. (2019 ISSRDC Award: Demonstration of Patented Hardware for In-Space Manufacture of ZBLAN Fibers- be sure to watch the video)

The project has shown that a microgravity environment improves the quality of specialty optical fibers with the promise of up to 100x reduction in insertion loss. One type of fiber, ZBLAN, has the potential of losses in the range of 13-22 dB per 1000km at 2500nm, higher in the IR that conventional fibers used today. Fiber optic manufacturing on a low earth orbit platform could be a surprisingly affordable manufacturing approach due to low mass and high value of optical fiber products.

fiber from space

Dr. Starodubov and NASA Lead for Integrative Studies Lynn Harper inspect the results of Space Fiber program by FOMS.
 
For more information, contact FOMS, 3525 Del Mar Heights Road, #236 • San Diego, California 92130 • 1.858.342.0993 • www.fomsinc.com




Does Your Telecom Room Look Like This?

hotel LV

Yes, this hotel in Las Vegas has the LAN and video cabling for the floor of this hotel on the wall in a housekeepers closet.





10GPON Update In FOA Guide

FOA has updated its page on FTTH PON protocols to include the latest standards for 10GPONs. There are three standards, NG-PON2, XG-PON and XGS-PON. As is common with all communications networks, work on upgradeing network capability and speed starts as soon as a network is introduced and PONs are no exception. GPON has been the most widely used PON scheme for both FTTx netowrks and passive optical LANs (OLANs) and GPON has been upgraded to several versions with higher transmission speeds and higher power budgets to allow greater distance, higher split capability, or both. The assumption is that a fiber network has a lifetime of up to 40 years, so upgrades to GPON have assumed that they will use the same passive optical network architecture and fiber type (G.652 singlemode.)

Furthermore, upgrades have been designed around coexistence with current GPON networks. By utilizing different wavelengths, it is possible to have these newer, faster networks sharing the same passive optical network as the original GPON system, allowing offering higher speeds to users while continuing to serve current users without disruption. Some commercial users can take advantage of higher speeds while typical consumers are well served by GPON. One of the big advantages of the PON upgrade standards is the ability to overlay networks. Thus a city could operate one regular GPON network for consumer FTTH use and have another, faster network operating on the same cable plant independently, offering a higher level of service and security.

More on PON Protocols in the FOA Guide.


Testing Multimode Fiber With BI Fibers

FOA sent a contribution to the last TIA standards meeting looking for clarification on the use of bend-insensitive (BI) fibers for testing, as well as what fibers to use when testing BI MM fibers. It seems to be a bit odd to be discussing this topic since BI fibers were introduced a decade ago, but this issue remains unresolved.

The problem is as follows:
1. Most standards say do not use BI MMF for reference test cables. This is because standards call for launch cable mode conditioning (mandrel wrap or encircled flux) that is ill-defined for BI MMF. Except one standard. FOTP-171B has one section saying no BI MMF (Sec. 3.6.1) but another (A.3.2) says to use the same type of fiber for reference cables as in the cables you are testing.
2. Manufacturers are mostly making BI MMF today. OFS is the one manufacturer that says they continue to make non-BI MMF.
3. As far as anyone knows, nobody marks on the jacket of cables whether the fiber is BI or non-BI. There seems to be consensus that is should be marked, but no standard exists to require it.
4. Many test equipment vendors provide non-BI MMF for test cords. Nobody else was identified as a supplier.
 
Conclusion? We're about where we were a decade ago.


Over critics’ objections, L.A. Metro approves $4.4 million for South Bay internet project

Los Angeles County transportation officials on Thursday unanimously approved $4.4 million in funding for a high-speed internet system in the South Bay. A coalition of 16 cities, including Carson and Torrance, had pitched the fiber-optic cable ring as a way to alleviate congestion by allowing government employees to telecommute and by helping to synchronize traffic lights. The funding will be covered by Measure M, the sales tax increase for transportation projects.

Some business groups disagreed. “While a fiber optic network may be a worthy project, it is not a transportation project,” said Maria Salinas, the president and chief executive of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. Funding the fiber project through Measure M is a “highly questionable decision,” she said.

Read more from the LA Times.


Not Much Future For Cat 8 and Wideband MMF (OM5)

TIA's FOTC - Fiber Optic Technology Consortium - shared data at their fall meeting recently that is highly instructive. Based on feedback from viewers of several of their webinars, when asked if they planned to use two components, the results were:

Cat 8 - 1%

Wideband MMF (OM5) - 1% (with a further 16% maybe in the future)

It does not seem like those components have a real future.


Need More Ethernet?

Here is a standards committee that stays busy! Bob Metcalfe, the co-inventor of Ethernet once said "The wonderful thing about standards is we have so many to choose from."

IEEE 802.3ca: 25 and 50 Gb/s PON Ethernet
IEEE 802.3cm: 400 Gb/s over MMF
IEEE 802.3cn: 50/200/400 Gb/s > 10 km SMF
IEEE 802.3cp: Bidi 10/25/50 Gb/s over single SMF ≥ 10 km
IEEE 802.3cp: Bidirectional 10/25/50 Gb/s over single SMF ≥ 10/20/40 km
IEEE 802.3cs: Increased-reach Ethernet optical subscriber access (SuperPON) (SMF)
IEEE 802.3 Multi-Gb Automotive Optical PHY Study Group
IEEE 802.3cg 10 Mb/s Single Pair Ethernet (copper)
IEEE 802.3ch:  Multi-Gb Automotive Ethernet PHY (copper)


Can You Learn Skills Online?

That's a tough one. Learning skills requires "hands-on" practice and that requires tools and components to practice with. But FOA has a course on Fiber U called "Basic Fiber Optic Skills Lab" that introduces you to the tools and equipment then takes you through cable prep, splicing, termination and testing. If you have completed the Basic Fiber course and already have a set of fiber tools, this course will help you to learn how to use the tools and learn basic fiber installation practices which you can practice using your own equipment.

basic skills lab

What About Safety?

That's the subject of a future FOA Newsletter






Worth Reading - News Summary

September 2019

"Show Great Georgia Jobs" TV Features Southern Fiberworx

Southern Fiberworx

Southern Fiberworx was one of the first "Do-It-Yourself" FTTH networks which FOA worked with to help get started. Greg Turton's company has been amazingly suffessful and is recognized here for it's accomplishments. This is a video worth watching!  

Introduction To Singlemode Fiber
Well-written white paper by Leviton. When you see how many generations of MMF have been introduced while we use the same old SMF, you'll get the idea. And their analysis of SM transceiver cost is revealing.

How OFS Makes Fiber
Interesting YouTube video on how fiber is made. Perhaps a little too much "show biz" but fascinating. If you have ever seen fiber manufacture, look at this video. You will be amazed at how big preforms have become!

5G Rollout To Create 3 Million New Jobs, Adding $500 Billion To The US Economy
5G, the next generation of wireless technology will create 3 million US jobs adding $500 billion to the US GDP according to a recent report by Accenture. (Remember our articles on "Fighting Misinformation" - bullshit - recently?)

WHY WIFI IS FAILING YOUR BUSINESS (Is that so or is this competitive obfuscation?)
"WiFi trouble in the workplace is inevitable, and it is costing your business time and money. WiFi simply cannot support your business-critical operations because it was not engineered to meet your growing data demands. Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) is latest spectrum released by the FCC that is ready to put all your WiFi failures behind you." This webinar seems to be more for our
"Fighting Misinformation" segments. CBRS is new  frequencies that will be shared between military users and cellular service providers. Does that sound reliable? And 5G uses the same protocols as the next WiFi version - WiFi6 - so why is it going to have more throughput. Are they just trying to sell you a DAS?

Driverless Vehicles Must Have Own Highways, Says Hella
Autonomous cars must be kept away from ‘normal’ traffic, a leading auto supplier has insisted.

China's Data Centers Alone Will Soon Use More Electricity Than All Of Australia
Between 3% to 5% of all electricity used globally comes from data centers that house massive computer systems (WBUR, Boston, MA, USA)

Pa. Turnpike installing fiber optic system, to lease extra capacity
The turnpike is moving on its own to install a fiber-optic communication system in the eastern part of the state to meet its internal needs and is designing it with extra space that it will solicit private operators to lease.

KentuckyWired broadband project completed in Eastern Kentucky,   and there's more
KY WiredKYWired
FOA schools are training workers for this project since it began. FOA hosted a Workforce Summit in 2016 to kick off the program. Here is the project website.

Belden’s Digital Electricity Cables reach distances and wattages that PoE can’t
Designed in conjunction with VoltServer, Belden’s Digital Electricity Cables are available in copper-only and hybrid copper/fiber constructions. PoE stretches the limits of 4-pair unshielded twisted pair copper (Cat 5) because the conductors are very small, so Bleden makes cables with bigger conductors capable of handling higher currents safely..


In Case You Missed These From Past Issues:

What Makes a Red Sky at Night (and at Morning)? You might wonder why this is in a newsletter about fiber optics, but it's quite relevant. The mechanisms that make the sky blue during the day and redder at dawn and dusk can teach you about the mechanisms of loss in an optical fiber.

Tellabs Optical LAN At Texas A&M Athletic Field - 27TB downloaded, 1.5TB uploaded during game!

New York Stock Exchange Uses MIcrowaves Because They Are Faster Than Fiber. Of course, radio waves travel near 1C while light travels through glass at ~2/3C.

Massachusetts helps towns building own fiber networks  In all, the state office has so far marshaled $3.5 million from a contingency fund to cover unforeseen costs for seven towns.

State Legislative Initiatives to Restrict Low-Voltage Contractors and Integrators From Installing Equipment, Cabling and Infrastructure



The True Cost of Telco Damages (what backhoe fade or target practice can cost)

Rural Electric Cooperatives: Pole Attachment Policies and Issues, June 2019.

Ckearfield-FOA Certification Training Clearfield is now offering their customers an FOA CERTIFICATION course. This course provides a basic understanding of fiber optic technology, as well as Clearfield product knowledge and how Clearfield’s integrated product systems work together in a fiber network.

Making the most of your FTTX investment (10G PON by ADTRAN)

5 Best Practices for Utilizing GIS Data.   (White paper) American City & County

Substandard Contractors - Fiber Optic Knowledge Doesn't Always Trickle Down  (EC Mag)

Preparing For WiFi 6.  (Siemon white paper on cabling for IEEE 802.11ax))

Another Source Of Articles On Fiber

FOA President and editor of this newsletter Jim Hayes has also been writing a column in Electrical Contractor Magazine for almost 20 years now. Electrical contractors do lots of fiber work and this column has covered some topics they are interested in including installation processes, network design, fiber applications and a lengthy series on dark fiber - what it is, how's its used and how it benefits the growth of communication. A recent web site redesign makes it easier to browse all these articles - just go to http://www.ecmag.com/contributing-authors/jim-hayes and you can see all of them.



Introducing Lennie Lightwave's Guide - 25th Anniversary Edition

FOA has reprinted "Lennie Lightwave's Guide" on its 25th anniversary in a special print edition.

Lennie 25th Anniversary  


Many of you have used the current online version of Lennie's Guide on the FOA website. Now you can have a slick printed version - real paper - you can hold in your hand and read. Leave a copy on your desktop to impress your friends, or on the table in your company's reception area instead of out-of-date magazines. Give them to your customers and employees to help them learn fiber optics. Use it to prepare for FOA certifications. FOA will be giving them away at conferences like the IMSA Annual Conference in New Orleans later this summer.

You can get your own copies of
Lennie Lightwave's Guide at Amazon.com, only $9.95US.



Another Look At Connector Contamination

Brian Teague of Senko Advanced Components sent us the results of an interesting experiment he ran to show an unusual effect of the contamination on a connector. He started with a clean SC/UPC singlemode jumper, shown in the 400X image to the left. Then he connected it to a 1310nm laser test source and measured the power out of the fiber with a fiber optic power meter. Then he disconnected the connector from the meter, touched the end to his finger, contaminating the end of the ferrule as you can see in the image on the right.

But then he connected the dirty connector to the meter and measured the power again. The power was decreased by 0.22dB. Yes, the contamination on the connector acted as an attenuator to reduce the power considerably. Think what would happen if you them mated it to another connector. Not only would you see the attenuation caused by the contamination, you will probably see even more loss caused by the gap created by the flakes of skin.

That's why you should inspect, clean and inspect again to ensure all connectors are clean before testing or making connections.
contamination of fiber optic conector






POF 2019

The 28th International Plastic Optical Fibers (POF 2019) will be held at Keio University Hiyoshi Campus, Yokohama, Japan from November 20th to 22nd. Objective & scope of the conference is to discuss the latest developments of POF and a variety of POF related applications. During the conference, there will be Special Session featuring lectures by world’s leading experts and demonstrations over the advantage of POF in occasion of 10th anniversary of Keio University Photonics Research Institute (KPRI).
More on  POF2019 in Yokohama.



CGA COnf 2020

The CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo is the premiere international event in the damage prevention industry. This event has featured education to help all stakeholder groups, and opportunities to network with industry peers, learn safe practices, and lower costs associated with underground damages.

Put this conference on your calendar - the focus is safety in construction. FOA will be talking about "New Construction Techniques In Fiber Optics." Want to submit a paper yourself? Go here


V2X

 Santa Clara, CA December 2/3, 2019

Interested in the infrastructure of smart cities as they deal with the future of connected and automated vehicles? This comprehensive educational conference combines presentations, panel discussions and tutorials, along with visionary keynote speakers, to provide an end-to-end understanding of the infrastructure requirements and business opportunities in V2X systems. The meeting is run by SmartGig Media who ran the excellent SmartGig Cities conferences a couple of years ago. FOA plans to attend because this is one big aspect of the evolution of metro communications and relates to the interest of our new certification partner IMSA, the traffic engineers.

Learn more




 High Fiber Count Cables - Continued Updates


Nothing new this month...



FOA Guide

We are continually updating the Online Reference Guide to keep up with changes in the industry and adding lots of new pages of technical information. When you go to the FOA Guide Table of Contents to see the latest updates - look for New.


PON Protocols in the FOA Guide. 10GPON Update In FOA Guide

Basic Fiber Optic Jargon, OSP Fiber Optic Jargon and Fiber Optic Jargon for managers.

FOA has a new page on Restoration
 
The updated Fiber Characterization page in the FOA Guide goes in to more depth on why fiber characterization is important, what tests need performing and how to interpret results.

Practically every page in the section of the FOA Guide on Fiber Optic Testing has been reviewed and updated, much of it based on the new FOA textbook on testing. This includes pages on measuring power, fiber attenuation, connector or splice loss and cable plant loss. Browse through the testing section and see what's new.

We've started with a page in the FOA Guide on Fiber Optic Network Management that describes what our advisors think is important and created a page to introduce them to the language and technology of fiber optics which we call "Fiber Optic Jargon - Illustrated." Over time, we'll be expanding this section and create a Fiber U self-study course also.

FOA has created a new section of the FOA Guide on OSP Construction.

Inspecting and Cleaning Connectors.
Dirty connectors are one of the major problems in fiber optics, causing high connector loss, high reflectance and contaminating transceivers. Network operators claim that 15-50% of all network problems can be traced to dirty connectors causing connection problems.
FOA Guide section on inspecting and cleaning connectors.

Go to  The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide.

FOA School Offers Toolkit With Online Training

Slayton tool kit

Slayton Solutions (FOA Approved School #156) is offering a simple fiber optic tool kit that includes a 29-piece set of fiber optic tools and a power meter along with training videos and online instruction for only $499. 29 Piece Kit includes all tools and devices a technician needs to install fiber optic connectors and test optical power.  Information on the kit is available on YouTube. You can contact them for more information at  slaytonsolutions@sbcglobal.net or https://www.fiberopticsinstitute.com



New FiberNext Job Board And Savings Club For CFOTs

FiberNext
FOA Approved School FiberNext has created an online job board for fiber techs and a special "savings club" for CFOTs.

Job Board
The Job Board was designed to help connect employers with fiber technicians and other fiber optic professionals. It is a place where employers in the fiber optic market can post job openings and a place where fiber optic professionals can post that they are looking for employment. Please feel free to post an opening or browse for your next job or employee. https://fibernext.com/job_board.php

Savings Club
FiberNext, besides being an FOA approved school is also a distributor. FiberNext invites FOA CFOT®s to join the “FiberNext CFOT®  Club to get special savings on selected fiber optic products.  Visit https://fibernext.com/cfot_club.php to sign up today ”


Recycling Fiber Optic Cable

We received this note from Steve Maginnis, LD4Recycle/ CommuniCom Recycling on recycling fiber optic cable:

We have 3 Processors gearing up to accept fiber optic cable (FOC). As we all know, all FOC is not the same. Several truckloads of “typical” FOC scrap from FOC mfgrs and “typical” FOC and Coax cable have been studied and tested.

Therefore, today you can begin contacting me with the type FOC material or scrap you toss to the landfills today. We need to quantify the expected feedstock. Our expectation for quantities is quite large (tons) but there is a capacity limit. And I do have several processors that can take ALL materials and others that can accept LIMITED types of FOC material and quantity.

Contact:
Steve Maginnis
LD4Recycle/ CommuniCom Recycling
(Visit our new website)
sm@LD4Recycle.com
803.371.5436



Safety On The Job

Safety is the most important part of any job. Installers need to understand the safety issues to be safe. An excellent guide to analyzing job hazards is from OSHA, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Here is a link to their guide for job hazard analysis.

FOA also has lots of information on safety: FOA Guide, YouTube video and a Safety Poster


Best Practices Guide For Underground Construction

Best Practices - CGA

We assume you are familiar with the "One Call" and "Call Before You Dig" (811) program, but are you also familiar with the people behind it - the Common Ground Alliance and their Best Practices website?

CGA is a member-driven association of 1,700 individuals, organizations and sponsors in every facet of the underground utility industry. Established in 2000, CGA is committed to saving lives and preventing damage to underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices. CGA has established itself as the leading organization in an effort to reduce damages to underground facilities in North America through shared responsibility among all stakeholders.

Officially formed in 2000, the CGA represents a continuation of the damage prevention efforts embodied by the Common Ground Study. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation and completed in 1999, this Study represents the collaborative work of 160 industry professionals who identified best practices relating to damage prevention.
Any best practice or program endorsed by the CGA comes with consensus support from experts representing the following stakeholder groups: Excavators, Locators, Road Builders, Electric, Telecommunications, Oil, Gas Distribution, Gas Transmission, Railroad, One Call, Public Works, Equipment Manufacturing, State Regulators, Insurance, Emergency Services and Engineering/Design.

Read the CGA Best Practices Guide here.

Here are all the CGA resources for damage prevention.

Should Your Company Become An FOA Corporate Member?





Dig Once

The word on the "Dig Once" program is getting out - FOA is getting calls from cities asking us for information and advice. It helps that the current Administration is trying to convince cities of the advantages of installing ducts or conduits when they dig up a street so they don't have to do it again. Here are some links for more information.

The DoT page on the administration’s Executive Order: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/otps/exeorder.cfm
From the Council of State governments: http://www.csg.org/pubs/capitolideas/enews/cs41_1.aspx
From the city of San Francisco: http://sfgov.org/dt/dig-once
An article about Dakota County, MN: https://muninetworks.org/tags/tags/dig-once

And the one to download and hand out:
A “How To” Guide from The Global Connect Initiative: https://share.america.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/6.-GCI-Dig-Once.pdf

Useful Online Resources

We often have contacts give us online links for useful information which we like to share with our readers. Here are two:




Why We Warn You To Be Careful About Fiber Shards


Fiber in Finger

Photo courtesy  Brian Brandstetter,  Mississauga Training Consultan


FOA Facts

FOA is a non-profit professional society chartered to promote professionalism in fiber optics through education, certification and standards. FOA is mostly known for  certifying techs - mostly CFOT®s -Certified Fiber Optic Technicians - but also may be CPCTs - Certified Premises Cabling Technicians or corporate members involved in fiber optics.

FOA is a "virtual organization" - we have no "brick and mortar" presence. We operate over the Internet with operations centered in California, with active workers and volunteers in locations as diverse as Texas, Ohio, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Denmark, South Africa, the Middle East and many more.

Being a virtual organization, FOA has very low overhead, allowing us to offer cost-effective certifications and many free programs to support our industry.

CFOT Total
As of today, FOA has certified this many techs. About 90% come from our schools but many experienced techs have become FOA CFOT-certified directly through our "Work-to-Cert" program.

FOA has almost 200 approved training organizations in about 40 countries around the world around the world.

FOA Certifications Now Last For 3-Years

Beginning in 2019, all FOA certifications issued or renewed will be for a period of 3 years. Most certification bodies worldwide have standardized on 3 year certifications. FOA has been working with a number of organizations that use our programs but have standardized on 3 year certifications. FOA has decided that it is time to change our policies to align with the majority of other organizations.

Remember that FOA certification renewals include all the certifications one individual has for one price. FOA does not charge for any additional certifications, so, for example, if a CFOT also has specialist certifications like the CFOS/T or CFOS/S, they are included at no additional cost when the basic certification is renewed.

FOA CFOT Logo

FOA has 14 fiber optic certification programs covering every aspect of fiber optic network design, installation and operation.

Primary Certifications: CFOT (basic fiber), CPCT (premises cabling), CFOS/O (outside plant, taught with CFOT included) and CFOS/D (fiber optic network design).

Skills Certifications (for installers and techs, requires CFOT): CFOS/S (splicing), CFOS/C (connectors/termination), CFOS/T (testing), CFOS/FC (fiber characterization).

Applications Certifications (for techs or anyone, including managers and supervisors): FTTH (fiber to the home), CFOS/L (optical LANs), CFOS/DC (data centers), CFOS/A (fiber to the antenna), CFOS/DAS (distributed antenna systems) and CFOS/W (fiber for wireless)



(what you are reading)

FOA monitors the trade press, websites and other resources continually to look at what's happening in many technologies that affect fiber optics. We're tracing technologies as diverse as wireless, IoT, autonomous vehicles, smart cities, energy, or anywhere fiber is used to bring news to our readers.

FOA continually updates our technical materials, online and printed, and our curriculum to ensure our readers have access to the latest technical information and our schools teach the latest technology and applications. Our printed books are being updated right now.

FOA Guide
FOA created the FOA Online Guide as a non-commercial trustworthy technical reference almost a decade ago so the industry would have a reliable technical reference. In the last year, over 1million visitors downloaded about 4 million pages of technical information.

fiberu.org

FOA offers free online self-study programs at Fiber U. In 2017, the number of online sessions doubled to 200,000. Many of those are preparing for FOA certification programs - taking courses at our schools or using the "Work-to-Cert" program. Some of our schools are requiring Fiber U programs as prerequisites for their classroom courses so they can spend more time on hands-on activities.

videos

FOA offers over 100 educational YouTube videos that have been viewed 2.4 million times.

FOA offers its training programs to other organizations at no cost to help them train their members properly in fiber optics. For example, FOA has been working with the Electrical Training Alliance (IBEW/NECA) for over 20 years, training their instructors for their apprenticeship programs. We work with many other organizations and companies to provide the materials they need.

FOA has about 300 corporate members - companies in various aspects of the fiber optic industry worldwide that we list online and offer discounts on certifications and renewals.

FOA provides speakers for many conferences and even presentations for use by other organizations to educate people on the aspects of fiber optic communications.

FOA has a program to provide
classroom materials for STEM teachers (science, technology, engineering and math) introducing K-12 students to fiber optics and creating science projects.

FOA provides forums for discussion on various social media. Our LinkedIn groups have about 5,000 members each. If you are not joining us on social media yet, please do.

Find us on Facebook  FOA on LinkedIn  videos 
Pinterest  Twitter


Interested In A Career In Fiber Optics?

Careers in fiber optics


FOA has created a new YouTube video to introduce students to careers in fiber optics. It was made for showing to high school and junior high students interested in tech careers but anyone interested in a possible career in this field will find it interesting. If you have kids in school or know teachers, let them know about this too. Watch the FOA Careers In Fiber Optics Video on YouTube and visit the
FOA Careers In Fiber Optics web page at www.foa.org/careers/.

ts
1-844-440-0047
www.fiberoptictraining.com





Fiber Optic Education For Students At Any Age 

We hear about fiber optics all the time - it's in the news whenever we hear articles about high tech, the Internet and communications, and many communities are getting "fiber to the home." But few people really understand fiber optics or how it works. FOA is focused on educating the workforce that installs and operates these fiber optic networks but we're always getting inquiries from STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teachers who want to introduce fiber optics to younger students in K-12 grades or technical schools.

We start with the FOA Careers In Fiber Optics Video on YouTube and visit the FOA Careers In Fiber Optics web page at www.foa.org/careers/. These are for students who think they might be interested in careers in fiber optics and want to know more about what fiber techs do.

Teachers for fiber optics
Using red laser light (a VFL here but a laser pointer works also) to show how fiber guides light.

FOA has begun developing a series of YouTube videos intended for teaching students in elementary, middle and high schools about fiber optics. The first FOA video is titled "Fiber Optics For Teachers." With this video, we show teachers how fiber works and carries signals and then explains simple experiments to demonstrate how fiber optics works in the classroom using some plastic fiber and a laser pointer. Since many teachers do not know where to get the fiber, the FOA offers to send them a sample for use in demonstrations in their classroom (USA only right now.)

At the end of the video, teachers are given directions on how to request samples of the plastic fiber from the FOA.

This video joins the "Fiber Optics Live" series How Light Travels In A FiberFiber Attenuation and Connector Loss that show how fiber works using simple experiments that can be duplicated in any classroom. More videos will be coming soon.

If you have kids or know some teachers who would be interested, please send them to the introductory video Fiber Optics For Teachers  and we'll be glad to help them get started with some entertaining programs for their classrooms.


Resources For Teachers In K-12 And Technical Schools

Teachers in all grades can introduce their students to fiber optic technology with some simple demonstrations. FOA has created a page for STEM or STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) teachers with materials appropriate to their classes. Fiber Optic Resources For Teachers.

 

If you have kids in school or know teachers who are interested, send them to the FOA page Fiber Optic Resources For Teachers.






Should Your Company Become An FOA Corporate Member?

As all FOA individual members know, they join the FOA by becoming certified, mostly taking their CFOTs but some CPCTs,  either by attending a FOA approved school or joining directly based on field experience (our "work to cert" program.) Over the years, we've been contacted by manufacturers, contractors, consultants, and other types of organizations who ask about becoming members.

We don't certify companies or organizations, we told them, so we were not sure what we could offer as a benefit of membership. But then, companies asked about using our educational programs to train employees, how they could get listed on the FOA website as service providers or if they could get a quantity discount on membership or certification for all the FOA members working for them. That began to sound like a benefit for being an FOA corporate member. And providing a list of useful suppliers to the market could be a benefit to the industry as a whole.

So FOA has quietly been letting companies and other organizations join the FOA to take advantage of those benefits so we now have several hundred corporate members. We've put then into a database and listed them on the FOA website in map and list form. Here's the map.

FOA Corporate members

The online
map and list can be used to find suppliers and service providers.

The map, like our map of schools, lets you find the FOA corporate members close to you.  The table form lists them by category: Installer/Contractor, Component Manufacturer, Installation Equip. Manufacturer, Transmission Equipment, Services/Consulting, Distribution and Users of Fiber Optic Networks. You can sort the tables to find members meeting your needs, e.g. by location, certifications offered, etc. Click on any column heading to sort that column; click twice to sort in reverse order.

How Does An Organization Become An FOA Corporate Member?

Simple, just fill in the online application form. When your application is accepted, you will be asked to pay the one time membership fee - $100US. You will then be listed on the online  map and list, have access to exclusive FOA educational materials for your employees and get discounts on certifications and renewals. 




  


Events of Interest: FOA now posts events on our LinkedIn groups, Facebook page and other social media




FOA on LinkedIn


FOA has a company page and three LinkedIn Groups


FOA - official company page on LinkedIn
 
FOA - covers FOA, technology and jobs in the fiber optic marketplace

FOA Fiber Optic Training - open to all, covers fiber optic technology and training topics


Grupo de La Asociación de Fibra Óptica FOA (Español)  

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FOA Logo FOA Resources



FOA Standards:


FOA offers free standards for datalinks and testing the installed fiber optic cable plant, patchcords and cable, optical power from transmitters or at receivers and OTDR testing.
Look for the "1 PageStandard" web page and in the FOA Online Reference Guide.

View the  FOA YouTube Video On FOA Standards 

NECA/FOA 301 Fiber Optic Installation Standard

NECA 301
Standards cover components and systems and how to test them, but rarely get into installation issues. The FOA NECA 301 standard which covers installation of optical fiber systems has been revised for the second time, adding considerable new materials. This standard is derived from FOA educational material put in standards form and approved by ANSI as an American National Standard. It's specifically written to be used in contracts to define "installation in a neat and workmanlike manner." The standard is available from NECA.   FOA members can go here for instructions on how to download your free copy.


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Fiber U

Free Fiber U Self-Study Programs


FOA's "Fiber U" free online self-study programs help you learn about fiber optics, study for FOA certifications or use them to help create "blended learning" classes. There are two new free online self-study programs on Fiber U. Fiber Optic Network Design is for those interested in learning more about how to design fiber optic networks or studying for the CFOS/D certification. FTTx is for those wanting to know more about fiber to the "x" - curb, home, wireless, etc. - or studying for the CFOS/H certification.
Got to Fiber U for more information.

Fiber U Online Self-Study Programs Offer Certificates of Completion

FOA has been offering quite a few free online self-study programs on Fiber U, our online learning site. We are always getting questions about getting a certificate for completing the course online, so we have setup an option to take a test online and get a certificate of completion for these online courses.

Fiber U certificate

While it's not FOA certification, FOA will recognize a
Fiber U Certificate of Completion as background experience to qualify for applying for FOA certifications. We also intend to expand the program to more specialized topics as preparation for FOA specialist certifications.

If you have associates that want to get started in fiber, have them take this course online to get started. Go to  Fiber U and get started.


FOA Books And Publications

Updated Books
FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics  FOA Reference Guide To OSP Fiber Optics

Many textbooks are behind the technology because they are rarely updated. FOA really keeps our textbooks up to date. We did a major update a year ago and another was just completed. The The FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics has been updated to reflect new components like OM5 fiber, testing for fiber characterization and more information on installation.

The
FOA Reference Guide To Outside Plant FIber Optics has been expanded to include an extensive section on outside plant construction taken from Joe Botha's OSP Construction Guide textbook. This additional material is being added to support the new FOA CFOS/O OSP tech certification program which now includes of OSP construction.

 FOA Basic Fiber Optic Textbook Available in French and Spanish

  FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optics book FOA Text in French FOA text in Spanish FOA Reference Guide to Premises Cablng book FOA Reference Guide to OSP Fiber Optics book  FOA Guide To Fiber Optic Network Design  FOA Outside Plant Fiber Optics Construction Guide

FOA Book on Fiber Optic Testing   FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optic Testing


Libro de Diseño para Redes de Fibra Óptica en Español - FOA Design Book Available In Spanish Online

Design in Spanish

La Asociación Profesional de Fibra Óptica (The FOA) ha traducido y hecho disponible en Español, la “Guía de Diseño para Fibra Óptica”. Esto para todos los interesados en estudiar para la certificación CFOS/D en su idioma nativo. Puede acceder a la traducción al libro de Diseño en línea utilizando este enlace. La versión impresa del libro estará disponible muy prontamente.


FOA has translated the FOA Guide To Fiber Optic Network Design book and made it available online to those studying for the CFOS/D Certification but whose native language is Spanish. You can access the Spanish translation of the Design book here. A printed version will be available in the near future.


Lennie & Uncle Ted Guides - Perfect For Getting Started

Lennie and Uncle Ted's Guides have moved  to the FOA website. Lennie is the place where many if not most fiber techs begin their education. FOA has just updated the two guides to ensure they stay relevant - more than 20 years after they were first written.

Lennie goes all the way back to 1993 when he was created as the mascot of the original "Fiber U" conference - the same Fiber U that is now the FOA's web-based training site. Lennie Lightwave's Guide To Fiber Optics was created as a beginner's introduction to fiber optics. Over 60,000 printed version of Lennie's Guide were given away and it became one of the first commercial web pages in 1994. Uncle Ted's Guide To Communications Cabling was written a few years later to introduce techs to "Cat 5" - UTP wiring - that had only recently been standardized in TIA-568.

Lennie and Ted's Guides are used in the current Fiber U online self-study programs and are still the best place to start learning about fiber optics.


Lennie and Uncle Ted's Guides are online at the links here, can be downloaded as printable PDFs and are now also available as free iBooks on iTunes.

Lennie Lightwave's Guide To Fiber Optics   Uncle Ted's Guide to Premises Cablling

Lennie Lightwave's Guide to Fiber Optics and Uncle Ted's Guide To Communications Cabling   are now available free to iPad users who can download them from the Apple iTunes store. Of course they are still available online or for download.

You can also find these free guides on the FOA website - go here for all the links: Lennie Lightwave's Guide to Fiber Optics and Uncle Ted's Guide To Communications Cabling  

Download PDFs of Lennie or Uncle Ted.


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FOA iPad Apps

FOA LossCalc
FOA Loss Calculator AppFOA LossCalc estimates the optical loss of a fiber optic link. This will save time for the installer of a fiber optic link needing to know whether test results are reasonable and/or make a "pass/fail" determination. It can also help the designer of a link to determine if communications equipment will operate over this link.
By choosing the type of link (singlemode or multimode) and specifying the length of the fiber and numbers of connections and splices, it will calculate the end to end loss of the link. The app has default specifications for singlemode and multimode links or the user may create custom setups with specifications appropriate for any application. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/foa-losscalc/id476262894?mt=8&ls=1



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videos


The FOA has many videos on videos, including two Lecture Series (Fiber Optics and Premises Cabling), Hands-On lectures on both and some other informational and instructional videos. For all the videos, go to the FOA Channel "thefoainc" or use the direct links below.


View a complete list of FOA Videos with links to each video on YouTube.


Where Are The Jobs In Fiber Optics? FOA talks about all the applications for fiber optics, what jobs involve and the qualifications for the workers in the field.



Fiber Optics - Live!  A series of videos that use lab demonstrations to show how optical fiber works. 
Fiber Optics LIVE!


Cabling Project Management - what's involved in a copper/fiber/wireless project -advice for the customer and the contractor

Hazards Of Counterfeit Cable

You may have read the stories we have written about the counterfeit "Cat 5" cable made from copper-clad aluminum rather than pure copper. Recently we tried an unscientific burn test on the cable compared to a known good UL tested cable and posted a video on YouTube. You can see the results below.

Counterfeit cable flame test

Counterfeit Cable     Real UL-rated cable

The difference is obvious and the danger is real. Watch the video on YouTube: Premises Cabling Lecture 11: Counterfeit Cat 5 Cabling




View a complete list of FOA Videos with links to each video on YouTube.



View all the FOA Channel  on YouTube.  






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FOA Schools

New School:

Midwest Communications Technologies, FOA Approved School #378.


Find a listing of all the FOA-Approved schools here.


Find An FOA-Approved Training Organization


Most inquiries we get regarding finding a FOA-Approved training organization want to know two things: what school is closest to me or what school offers the certifications I need. The FOA has about 200 training organizations we have approved worldwide so finding the right one can be difficult! We've been looking at ways to make it easier, and we think we've got a good solution. In fact we have two solutions.

First we have added a sortable table of all the FOA-Approved schools.

You can also use our FOA Google Map to find FOA-Approved schools.

FOA Map

What Should A Fiber Optics or Cabling Tech Know and What Skills Do They Need?
FOA certifications are based on our KSAs - the Knowledge, Skills and Abilities that techs need to succeed. Read the FOA KSAs for fiber and cabling techs.



School News


Feedback

We always enjoy feedback, especially when it shows how great some FOA instructors are. These came from students of Tom Rauch, an instructor at BDI Datalynk:


"I took your fiber optics certification courses this past March. I just wanted to let you know that in two weeks I start working as a fiber optic technician with ___ up in ___. You mentioned on the first day of the course that there is always one guy in class who had rubbed his last two nickels together to be there and, in that instance, I was that guy. Now I'm going to be able to provide for my family like never before and I owe it to the certification that I received from you and BDI Datalynk. I just wanted to thank you again."

"Thanks to our tremendously knowledgeable and patient instructor Thomas Rauch, who was not only generous in sharing his wealth of information, but he did so with ease, humor and in a way that invited curiosity and participation. He was encouraging and proud of our accomplishments and helped us learn from our mistakes in a way that did not break our confidence, rather it pushed us to better results the next go around. The hands on labs were just AWESOME!" Just thought you should know what a class act you have representing you in his travels..... but then again you probably already knew that! : )

In almost 19 years at Verizon and having held numerous positions, I have gone through many training sessions. I cannot remember ever having been actually looking forward to coming back to class quickly after lunch, to get back to the hands on activities, and walking away with the sense of empowerment that the information presented was not only relevant but dead on point accurate! I will be signing up for the Outside Plant class on March! I can't say enough good things about Tom and his impact! Feel free to quote me, I can only imagine that he will open so many doors and change so many lives in the years to come, with his style of teaching! Great experience, awesome job!
"

IBEW and FOA Partner on Fiber Optic Training

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association(NECA) through the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) in a partnership with the FOA has published a new textbook for training IBEW apprentices and journeymen in fiber optics. The new textbook uses the material from the FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics with new material and photos from other NJATC training partners.

NJATC FOA Textbook


Quote from one of our certified instructors: I want to thank you and your organization for all the resources you provide for the students and the opportunity to offer the certification to the students. The fact that you published the book yourself to get the cost down and the unlimited free resources on your website shows a commitment to the public that is second to none. I let it be known to the students that the FOA is the best in the industry at supplying knowledge and resources related to the communication industry. I look forward to passing on the information that you provide for the industry.


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Good Question! Tech Questions/Comments Worth Repeating

New: The FOA Fiber FAQs Page (FAQ s = frequently asked questions) gathers up questions readers have asked us and adds tech topics of general interest.

Real Questions From FOA Newsletter Readers

Cheating On Link Length
Q:
I have a fiber run for a camera starts at location A to location B it is 467 feet.  Location B jumpers through to location C which is 2060 ft at location C. Transceivers areSFPs ONLY GOOD UP TO 1800 ft, but this company only has a multimode system. Is there something i can do to make this work?
A: It might work as is, since electronics are usually quoted with conservative specs and will work farther than specified most of the time. If you have several SFPs, test the output power to see if it exceeds specs and choose the 2 ones with highest power. If that still doesn’t work, contact SFP manufacturers for higher power units.


Pulling Cable
Q
: I’m having trouble finding much information on the matter. What type of swivel should be used to pull fiber and what would be the correct way to pull armored fiber.
A: Start  on the FOA Guide here and go here for types of swivel pulling eyes. with https://foa.org/tech/ref/OSP_Construction/Underground_Installation.html and here are sources https://www.comstarsupply.com/cable-pulling/swivels.html It’s not common to “pull” armored cable since it’s designed for direct burial, but a kellums grip on the jacket will generally work.


Errors In A Data Link
Q
: What is the significance of bit error, and what is the acceptable rate for communications and submersible vehicles?
A: On any data link, there is an acceptable amount of error that can be tolerated. If it’s a digital voice link, a BER 10E-6 (1 error in 1million bits) is acceptable without affecting voice quality. If it’s a link to your bank, the typical standard is a million times higher (10E-12). Link protocols usually have ways to determine BER, like attaching a checksum to the end of a data packet and having it checked at the receiving end. If a error is suspected, the packet will be discarded and retransmitted. Here is a tutorial on BER and an explanation of errors in a a fiber optic link.

Math of Fiber Optics
Q:
Do you by any chance recommend any books as an introduction to understand the mathematics of fiber optics? Fiber optics confuses me,  particularly how so much data can travel over light without interfering with each other, 
A: If you are interested in information theory, that’s really covered by Claude Shannon at Bell Labs 70 years ago. That’s actually pretty simple. Shannon proved that digital data was best and how much data could be transmitted with a given amount of bandwidth (Read more). There are several levels of math associated with fiber optics. The real theoretical basis is probably in dozens of books but I like these:

Top Level: Gerd Keiser  
Middle Level: Jeff Hecht.

If you are interested in non-math explanations, the FOA website has that:
Fiber Optic Datalinks
Bandwidth: https://foa.org/tech/ref/OSP/fiber.html#dispersion
Wavelength-Division Multiplexing

For testing math (dB loss, metrology, etc.) these links or the FOA book on Testing
Metrology and Fiber Optics
The Math of Insertion Loss Testing - Reference Methods


APC Connectors
Q:
Why NOT make the use of APC connectors the new standard for all adds, moves and changes to any campus, MDU or similar application using single mode cable?
A: There is absolutely no reason not to use APC connectors other than the cost is higher and one must be careful if they are used in a cable plant that also has PCs or UPCs because they are incompatible. We recommend them all the time for short links like data centers, passive optical LANs and FTTH where runs of singlemode fiber are short. In fact they are very common in these networks today.

GPON
Q
What is normal Range for good power in an FTTH fiber?
A: The GPON specification for downstream power from the OLT is OLT transmitter power should be 0 to +6dBm and link attenuation in the range of 13 to 28dB, which says receiver power the ONT must be a maximum of 13 dB less than +6dBm or -7dBm and a minimum of 28 dB less than 0dBm or -28dBm, so -7 to -28dBm at the receiver.
Upstream, the similar calculation is ONT transmitter -4 to +2dBm  and the receive power at  theOLT is -11 to -32dBm.
See http://thefoa.org/tech/ref/appln/FTTH-PON.html for the full specifications for GPON.

T
esting Cable Before Installation
Q: Does the FOA publish a standard for assessing single-mode fiber optic cables, prior to use on a specific project?
A: The ANSI/NECA/FOA-301 fiber optic installation standard covers this in Section 4.1. It recommends visual inspection and testing if there is any suspicion of damage to the cable. Many contractors will test a couple of fibers with an OTDR before installing any cable, just for assurance. It requires an OTDR with a pigtail launch cable and a mechanical splice.


Cable Bend Radius
Q: We are working on project where we need to know difference between short term and long term bend radius for fiber optic cable?
A: The bend radius for cables is generally specified under two conditions - under stress, e. g. when being pulled, it is a radius 20 times the cable diameter. Relaxed, after installation, it is a radius 10 times the cable diameter. The relaxed specification, 10X, is considered a long term specification. Some of the new high fiber count cables have different specifications, sometimes 15X or 20X under either condition. Check with the manufacturer for their specific cable.

OTDR Resolution
Q: 
If testing a 40KM link with 1KM launch and receive cords should I be able to see the connector and cassette splice on each side? My OTDR setup is at 64KM, 300ns pulse and 10 second test at 1310/1550/1625. It shows as a single event so far but with the pulse width at 300ns won’t that combine the events into one event during analysis?
A: You will not be able to resolve a connector and splice close together, especially on a long link like that. 300ns is almost 60m pulse width! You will see an even of the splice and connector combined.


Transmission Wavelength Compatibility
Q:
We are looking at the specs for  two devices, A and B. The spec sheet of Device A lists it is capable of MM in 850nm wavelength. The spec sheet of Device B lists it can do MM at 1300nm. If I connect these devices via MM patch cord, what is the impact due to different wavelengths? Will the transmission suffer significant loss or since both are multimode, wavelength is irrelevant?
A: Fiber works at either wavelength, but transceivers do not. The attenuation rate for MM fiber is ~3dB/km at 850nm but only ~1dB/km at 1300nm. But  850nm receivers use silicon photodiodes while 1300 nm receivers use InGaAs. The 1300 detectors are not sensitive at 850nm and vice versa. So while the fiber works fine, the electronics do not. They should only be used with like devices.

 



Older questions are now available here on the FOA Guide.



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FOA "Quickstart Guides"

In our continuing quest to help people understand how to test fiber optic cable plants and communications systems, we've created two more "QuickStart Guides to Fiber Optic Testing." They are simple, step-by-step guides on how to test fiber optic cable plants, patchcords or single cables using insertion loss or OTDR techniques and optical power from transceivers. It's as straightforward as it can get - what equipment do you need, what are the procedures for testing, options in implementing the test, measurement errors and documenting the results.
It can't get much simpler.
Send anybody you know who needs to know about fiber optic testing here to learn how it's done in a few minutes.

Testing Fiber Optic Cable Plants And Patchcords  

Testing Fiber Optic Cable Plants With An OTDR  

Testing Optical Power In Communications Systems 





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FOA Tech Topics - 

A Fiber Optic Tester In Your Pocket?  (See the video on Corning on YouTube )
Yes! The camera in your old cell phone is sensitive to infrared light - lots more than your eye - and can detect light in an optical fiber or from a transmitter.  Chris Hillyer,CFOT/CFOS/I, Master Instructor, Northern California Sound & Communication JATC brought this to our attention.
IR Viewer 850 nm  IR Viewer 1300 nm

If you have an old cell phone, try it. Our experience is that older cell phone cameras have better sensitivity at IR wavelengths than newer phones, so you may want to toss that old flip phone into the toolbox.


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Product News


YOKOGAWA OTDR Has Extended range, High Resolution And Multitasking


Yokogawa OTDR

One OTDR manufacturer you don't hear as much about is YOKOGAWA (formerly ANDO) which is too bad - they make some of the best OTDRs, exemplified by this new model AQ7280. Need long range - how about 50dB. High resolution - 0.6m dead zone. Like touch screens, but for some functions want hard buttons, it's got that. Options for VFL, microscope, light source and power meter, etc. - it has that too.
But the unique aspect of the YOKOGAWA AQ7280 is it offers multitasking - you can let do a trace with long averages while you inspect connectors, make power readings, use the VFL or other functions.
More info on the YOKOGAWA AQ7280.

FOA thanks Yokogawa for a gift of an OTDR to use for R&D and teaching!



Have you read the FOA pages on cleaning?



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 Digging Safely (Read the FOA Tech Topic)

There is a toll-free "call before you dig" number in the USA: 811

See www.call811.com for more information

The Common Ground Alliance has an excellent "Best Practices Guide" online

Fiber Optic Asset Protection Summit by the "811" group.

The US Department of Transportation has a website called "National Pipeline Mapping System" that allows one to search for buried pipelines.   




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Employment/Job Listings

Send your job openings to info @foa.org and we'll run them in all our social media.


Where Are The Jobs In Fiber Optics?

Fiber Optic Installation Banner

The FOA was chartered to "promote professionalism in fiber optics through education, certification and standards." Our focus on creating a professional workforce to properly design, install, maintain and repair communications network infrastructure has led us to work with groups in many different areas of technology that use fiber optics, way beyond the basic telecom applications that most of us think of first. FOA has probably worked with most of the potential applications of fiber optics, but we're always learning about new ones!
In addition, we get lots of calls and emails from our members looking for information about where the jobs are and how to train for them. FOA has created three ways to help you find jobs, train for them and apply for them.

Where Are The Jobs In Fiber Optics?
FOA has created a 20 minute YouTube video that talks about all the applications for fiber optics, what jobs are involved and the qualifications for the workers in the field. Besides telecom and the Internet, we cover wireless, cable TV, energy, LANs, security, etc. etc. etc. It's a quick way to get an overview of the fiber optic marketplace and we give you an idea of where the opportunities are today.

Watch the new FOA YouTube Video: Where Are The Jobs In Fiber Optics?

What Training Is Needed For The Jobs In Fiber Optics?
As you will learn from the video described above, the jobs in fiber optics are quite diverse. FOA has investigated these jobs to understand the needs of workers for those jobs and, when necessary, create curriculum and certifications to properly train workers. For example, the FOA FTTx certification was developed at the request of Verizon who needed specialized installers for their FiOS program. Now we are working with the industry on the OLAN (Optical LAN) program (see below).
We have summarized the jobs and required training in a new web page that has two uses - 1) If you have FOA certifications, what jobs are you specifically qualified for? - 2) If you are working in a specialized field or want to get a job in that area, what training and certifications will qualify you for those jobs?
What Training And Certifications Are Needed For Jobs In Fiber Optics? 

How To Find And Apply For Jobs In Fiber Optics
We get many questions from CFOTs, students at FOA-Approved schools and others contemplating getting into the fiber optic business regarding jobs in fiber optics - and how to find them - so we’ve created a new web page to share some information we've gathered about jobs in our industry. The information is designed to help you understand what jobs are available in fiber optics, how to find them and apply for them.
If you are looking for a job in fiber optics, here is the FOA's guide to jobs. 

We hope you find this useful. FOA tries to find new to increase the professionalism in our industry and helping qualified people find jobs is our highest priority - read the article below to see why! If you have feedback on how we can help you and our industry, contact us at info@thefoa.org.

Join FOA on 
FOA on LinkedIn

A list of 10 ways to get your resume noticed, from Marketplace on NPR   




 Do listings in the FOA Newsletter and LinkedIn groups Work? Here's feedback:

"We did great!  We have over 15 interviews next week."

"Your newsletter generated a significant number of applicants and we have filled the position."





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 FOA Logo Merchandise

New FOA Swag! Shirts, Caps, Stickers, Cups, etc.
FOA T Shirt
The FOA has created a store on Zazzle.com offering lots of new logo merchandise. It has lots of versions of shirts and other merchandise with "FOA," "Fiber U," "Lennie Lightwave" designs and more so you should find something just for you! See FOA on Zazzle.
 

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 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!

Contact FOA at info@thefoa.org to get logos in file format for your use.

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Privacy Policy (for the EU GDPR): The FOA does not use cookies or any other web tricks to gather information on visitors to our website, nor do we allow commercial advertising. Our website hosts may gather traffic statistics for the visitors to our website and our online testing service, ClassMarker, maintains statistics of test results. We do not release or misuse any information on any of our members except we will confirm FOA certifications and Fiber U certificates of completion when requested by appropriate persons such as employers or personnel services.
Read the complete FOA Privacy Policy here.

To Contact The FOA:
 
The Fiber Optic Association Inc. (FOA) is the international professional society of fiber optics. FOA is chartered to promote fiber optics through education, certification and standards.


 
Contact Us
 
The Fiber Optic Association

http://www.foa.org or email <info@foa.org>
       



Want to write for the FOA Newsletter? Send us articles, news, anything you think might be interesting to the rest of the membership!
info@thefoa.org



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