Top 10 Fiber Questions All Fiber Optics Networking Technicians Should Know

There’s a lot to remember as a FOA Certified Fiber Optics Technician, but it’s important to stay on top of the field.

Take this exercise below to test your knowledge! How Do You Measure Up? Are you Squared Away?

  1. Per ANSI/EIA/TIA-568B.3, what is the maximum attenuation allowed per mated pair of connectors? What is the maximum attenuation allowed for a mechanical splice?
  2. Which multimode fiber cable provides for 10GbE at 300 meters?
  3. How does one perform a Link Loss Budget Analysis for a fiber optic system? In other words – how does one analyze the resulting attenuation of a fiber segment? Is the Power too high or is it too low and what does a good technician do about it in both respects?
  4. Using a Power Source & Light Meter, do you know how to determine which connector has the higher attenuation when testing a fiber segment?
  5. Do you know how to use a Bare Fiber Adapter and a VFL?
  6. Do you know how to read an OTDR Trace? If so – what is a Gainer? What are LSA’s?
  7. What is the maximum pulling tension for installing indoor fiber optics cable?
  8. Considering reference cables, can you explain Method B? Can you explain Method A?
  9. What are the 4 elements that make up a fiber optic transmission system?
  10. Erbium-doped optical fiber is used for what purpose?

If you or your fiber installation technicians can not answer the basic fiber questions listed above, why not enroll them in our CFOT program so they can do a better job for you AND for your customers.

Find an upcoming course near you! 

FOA Certified Instructor, Michael Rauch Joins BDI Datalynk, LLC

April 14, 2017

BDI DataLynk is pleased to announce that Michael Rauch, FOA Certified Instructor, has joined our professional fiber optics
instructor group. Michael graduated from Rowan University in 2009 with a dual major in Business Management and Human
Resource Management.

He was certified as a fiber optic technician in October of 2013 and began working for Dynamic Telenet Infrastructure shortly
after. His tasks included the installation and maintenance of fiber networks throughout the metropolitan New York area.
Among the customers Michael serviced were the NYC Housing Authority, Newark Airport and NJ Transit.

In 2014, he began working for J.T. Oronzio General Contracting installing and maintaining fiber networks throughout the
east coast. Including customers such as Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, Crown Castle and many more. Responsibilities included
fiber installation, splicing, connector termination, OTDR and insertion loss testing.

Michael is an FOA Certified Fiber Optics Instructor for CFOT, CFOS/T, CFOS/S, and CFOS/O BDI Datalynk/FOA courses.

Hobbies – Traveling, Biking, Camping, Water Sports and Spending time with family.

BDI DataLynk, LLC is an Austin based company providing standards-based fiber optics network infrastructure
training programs. Programs are sanctioned by the Fiber Optics Association (FOA).

For more information on the BDI DataLynk, LLC training programs and current class schedules, visit the web site
at www.bdidatalynk.com or call 512-785-9024.

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Renowned Fiber Optics Laser Transmission Pioneer Extends Training Contract with BDI DataLynk, LLC.

BDI DataLynk is pleased to announce that Peter H. Morcombe, pioneer fiber optics engineer, has extended his contract for two more years as FOA Master Instructor. Mr. Morcombe has over 24 years experience in high tech telecommunications and computers. He had responsibility for more than 500 projects in 18 countries, including the 140 Mbps fiber optic link from Hitchin, Hertfordshire, UK to Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK in 1977. Additionally, Peter was project manager for the 1980 ME29 computer project and the Duke University Free Electron Laser. He spent 4 years developing lasers and picosecond streak cameras. His fiber optics experience includes the manufacture of fiber, fiber optic cable, terminal equipment, and complete systems installation. He designed and implemented the very first Fiber to the Home project in Milton Keynes, England. Most importantly, Peter worked with many of the early fiber optic pioneers including Dr. Charles Kao and David Payne in the design and development of the early fiber optic systems.

Further, Mr. Morcombe contributed to the development of the fibers used in TAT-8, the first long-haul submarine fiber optic system. Additionally he was responsible for many terrestrial fiber optics projects. For several years, Peter was Chief R & D Engineer at the Duke University Free Electron Laser Laboratory in Durham, NC. His teaching experience includes “Fiber To The Home” and many specialist courses in fiber theory and technology. Peter’s professional memberships include FOA, IEE, IEEE and LEOS (Lasers & Electro-Optics Society). Peter has a Master of Arts with Honors from Cambridge University in Electrical Engineering and Physics. In addition, he was awarded a scholarship in physics by Pembroke College, Cambridge and an industrial scholarship by GEC Ltd. He is Certified as a Master Instructor by the Fiber Optics Association.

BDI DataLynk, LLC is an Austin based company providing standards-based fiber optics network infrastructure training programs. Programs are sanctioned by the Fiber Optics Association (FOA).

For more information on the BDI DataLynk, LLC training programs and current class schedules, visit the web site at www.bdidatalynk.com or call 512-785-9024.

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PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC), its Workforce Solutions division and the University of Pikeville (UPike) announce the creation of the Kentucky Regional Telecommunications Installation and Maintenance Training Program.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 29, 2015
Big Sandy Community and Technical College
Contact
Joshua L. Ball
Director of College Relations
(606) 889-4703 (office)
(606) 624-8545 (cell)
jball0079@kctcs.edu

BSCTC, UPIKE ANNOUNCE CREATION OF KENTUCKY REGIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROGRAM

BSCTC WORKFORCE SOLUTIONS TO OFFER THREE INDUSTRY-SANCTIONED CERTIFICATION COURSES ON JULY 27

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC), its Workforce Solutions division and the University of Pikeville (UPike) announce the creation of the Kentucky Regional Telecommunications Installation and Maintenance Training Program.

The program, the first of its kind in Eastern Kentucky, correlates with the construction of the Kentucky Information Highway (I-Highway), which is set to begin in August.

The Telecommunications Installation and Maintenance Training Program is set to begin on July 27. Sanctioned by the Fiber-Optics Association (FOA), BSCTC will offer a trio of certifications taught by Austin, Texas-based BDI DataLynk, an internationally recognized fiber-optic training company.

The certifications include:

• Certified Fiber Optics Technician (CFOT) (24 hours, three days)
• Certified Fiber Optics Specialist in Testing and Maintenance (CFOS/T) (16 hours, two days)
• Certified Fiber Optics Specialist in Splicing (CFOS/S) (16 hours, two days)

“Our region is poised to stand on the right side of the digital divide and the world-class connectivity that comes with the Kentucky Information Highway brings a wealth of potential for new investments from business and industry,” said Dr. Devin Stephenson, president of BSCTC. “It is important that our college be responsive during these exciting times and work collaboratively with regional partners.”

The certification courses are part of an expansive stackable credential program that can lead to an associate degree at BSCTC. The college and UPike have partnered to provide a seamless transfer to a baccalaureate degree in telecommunications.

“It is the responsibility of the colleges and universities serving Eastern Kentucky to prepare our workforce for the jobs that are going to be available,” said Paul E. Patton, interim president and chancellor at the UPike. “A partnership between the university and Big Sandy Community and Technical College is the most efficient way to achieve this goal. The program is among the many ways we can, and do, work together to serve the people of our region.”

Jeff Whitehead, executive director of the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP), said his organization is providing financial support because “it’s a good investment into our workforce.”

“This is a great opportunity to gain valuable skills in just seven days to prepare for jobs we know are coming to the region,” said Whitehead. EKCEP is the workforce investment board that serves 23 counties in eastern Kentucky.

Jim Hayes, president of FOA, added: “FOA is very pleased to be working with Big Sandy Community and Technical College and BDI Datalynk to support the Kentucky Regional Telecommunications Installation and Maintenance Training Program. Fiber optic communications is the No. 1 priority for communities in the 21st century. It powers the future economy and brings economic development to those communities which recognize its importance.”

Jared Arnett, executive director of Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR), said he is encouraged by local leaders taking commitments to help the region overcome obstacles.”

“The partnership between BSCTC and UPike is a clear sign that they share in the belief in belonging to a unified region,” said Arnett. “This telecommunications project will pave the way for broadband technology and future economic development opportunities for eastern Kentucky.”

For more information contact Kelli Hall at 606-218-1275 or email kelli.hall@kctcs.edu.

INFO BOX

Big Sandy Community and Technical College and its Workforce Solutions division will launch a trio of certification courses for the Kentucky Regional Telecommunications Installation and Maintenance Training Program on July 27.

Here are a description of the certification courses:

Certified Fiber Optics Technician (CFOT)
This three-day Basic Certified Fiber Optics Technician Course explores the theory and history of fiber optics data transmission and is designed for anyone wanting to become certified in the basic installation, troubleshooting and testing techniques of installed fiber optics networks as required per industry standards. Certification Exams (both written and hands-on) are administered and graded at no additional cost at the end of the session. This program includes 85% hands-on activities by allowing the student to build and test his/her own fiber optics network. This course is sanctioned by the Fiber Optic Association (FOA).

Certified Fiber Optics Specialist in Testing & Maintenance (CFOS/T)
A focal point in this two-day program is to offer a general, easy to understand, approach to fiber optics testing standards with little theory and considerable hands on activities. This comprehensive program explains the variety of testing standards, equipment, and technological approaches used in fiber network testing and maintenance and how to choose among them. This 85% hands-on course includes a detailed study of fiber network testing and troubleshooting procedures, OTDR fundamentals and uses, OTDR vs. Insertion Loss Testing, Return Loss Testing, and Attenuation testing using the Power Source and Light Meter. Certification Exams (both written and hands-on) are administered and graded at no additional cost at the end of the session. This course is sanctioned by the Fiber Optic Association (FOA).

Certified Fiber optics Specialist in Splicing (CFOS/S)
This two-day Splicing Specialist Training includes a presentation explaining the importance of high performance splicing and further details the points necessary to achieve these splices. The depth of this presentation is much greater than most textbooks and provides background information about splicing that is very important to the student. An overview of OTDR functions and trace understanding is also provided during this presentation. 95% hands-on classroom activities will provide training in both fusion and mechanical splicing of single mode fiber optic cables. The student will be responsible for successfully making and testing fiber optic mechanical and fusion splices. In addition to the basic splicing activities outlined above, the student will further be required to correctly and efficiently install spliced fibers into splice trays and trays into enclosures. The student will further be required to achieve a splice loss of less than 0.15 dB for all splices and demonstrate proficiency in interpretation of splice loss using OTDR splice traces during troubleshooting and repair session. This course is sanctioned by the Fiber Optic Association (FOA).

For more information contact Kelli Hall at 606-218-1275 or email kelli.hall@kctcs.edu.

Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) is committed to providing accessible, high-quality learning to meet the educational and workforce needs of the Big Sandy region. With campuses in Prestonsburg, Paintsville, Hager Hill and Pikeville, BSCTC offers 27 programs and more than 200 credentials with an emphasis on innovation in learning and student access, transfer and success. Visit www.bigsandy.kctcs.edu to learn more.

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2009: What To Expect?

Forty years ago I attended a training session given by Oliver Wight, the IBM employee who invented MRP systems. (materials requirement planning). The first thing he covered was forecasting, and he reminded us of the one thing one must never forget about forecasting: “All forecasts, from the moment they are made, are wrong!” Having never forgotten this, I am reluctant to make forecasts or, when forced to do so, repeat Ollie’s warning! So consider yourself warned….

That said, I do want to share with you some thoughts on what we hear and see for the coming year. First, the economy is not likely to improve in the short term. It may get worse, even much worse. After the last telecom bubble burst in 2001, some companies failed quickly, others struggled until acquired and some have never recovered.

But the telecom market recovered over the last seven years slowly based on real applications and revenue, not the hollow promises of the “Dot Bomb Era.” The dramatic reduction in the fiber optic market – and prices of fiber optic components – has been a major reason the focus of telco fiber has moved to FTTH (fiber to the home).

The other reason was the high cost of maintenance of aging copper cable plants that could not support newer services that generate good revenue like DSL for Internet or TV. Verizon, which probably has the oldest cable plants, justified their FiOS FTTH program in part on maintenance savings which would offset about 20% of the cost in only the first 4 years.

Now FTTH technology is proven, the major obstacle to its expansion is capital for installation and overcoming some regulation. For the last eight years, telcom oversight appears to have been more based on poitical ideology and lobbying than technology, but the new administration looks ready to change all that.We look for the new administration to be full of technical whizzes not political wonks and the proposed government spending on infrastructure to pump up the economy to specifically target expanding broadband access:

Obama said his administration would seek to implement the “single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s” via use-it-or-lose it grants to states—and made clear that this would include digital infrastructure no less than roads and bridges. “As we renew our schools and highways, we’ll also renew our information superhighway,” said Obama. “It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption. Here, in the country that invented the internet, every child should have the chance to get online, and they’ll get that chance when I’m President—because that’s how we’ll strengthen America’s competitiveness in the world.” See http://arstechnica.com/ and below.

Not only will fiber benefit from the expansion of broadband connectivity, fiber will be installed alongside highways, within towns as part of security and traffic management systems as part of metropolitan networks funded by economic recovery funds. Job retraining for broadband is also likely to be a focus of this new administration also, as their focus also includes jobless benefits.

What about fiber in corporate (premises IT and industrial) networks? As corporate backbones move toward 10G Ethernet, fiber has major advantages in speed, latency and power consumption, all three important issues for IT networks. But the cabling to the desktop is being dropped in favor of newer wireless technology, allowing workers the mobility they desire. Copper wiring is still suffering from volatile prices for copper and plastics used in cable construction also. Industrial networks will lag as production drops. But the biggest unknown factor in corporate networks is where will the money come from. Credit remains hard to get and corporate profits are dropping. Upgrades in corporate networks look less likely today.

During one recession, I worked for a company whose President was adamant that recessions were opportunities for growth. Rather than cut back R&D or promotion, he continued developing new products and selling as hard as he could. While competitors hid in their shell, the company gained market share and grew like crazy when the economy started to improve. That’s what I advise if you can do it.

Jim Hayes, President Fiber Optic Association