FOA Online Reference Guide To Fiber Optics 


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This is the Fiber Optic Association's Guide To Fiber Optics & Premises Cabling. It includes hundreds of pages of materials from the basics to advanced topics on fiber optics and premises cabling that are intended to be used as reference materials for those working in the industry, studying for FOA Certifications, for FOA training classes and refresher tutorials for FOA CFOTs. The goal of this website is educating students, users, designers, installers or anyone interested in the subject of fiber and cabling for communications systems.

There is a tremendous amount of information on this website.

If you want to look for a topic by subject, go directly to the Table of Contents.

If you want an organized tour or a self-study guide, go the appropriate Study/Use Guide. or  Fiber U.

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Table of Contents




Jump To Reference Topics


Complete Tutorials

Fiber Optics, The Basics( CFOT)   NEW Ahora en español! - Now in Spanish!
Premises Cabling Systems (CPCT) 
Outside Plant Fiber Optics (CFOS/O)  
Specific Topics
Applications of Fiber Optics
Fiber Optic Technology and Standards
Fiber Optic Components
Designing Fiber Optic Networks
Installation of FO Cable Plants
Testing & Troubleshooting Fiber Optic Systems
Using Fiber Optic Systems for System Operators
FOA Tech Bulletins  
FOA videos FOA YouTube Videos  

FOA Standards For Testing and Links

Self-Study Programs  

Additional References - Books and Apps  

LINKS To Other Sources of Technical Information  

Linking And Use of The FOA Guide Materials  




Fiber Optics, The Basics (CFOT Level)  NEW Ahora en español! - Now in Spanish!
Basics of Fiber Optics Home Page  
Basic overview   
The jargon and the technology
Basic applications and transmission systems 
Fiber Optic DatalinksFiber Optic Transceivers for Datalinks  
Optical Fiber
Fiber Optic Cables 
Termination and splicing   
Fiber Optic Testing   
Network Design 
Installation
About Standards
Glossary of terms
FAQs on Fiber Optics  

See the "Fiber Optic Technology and Standards" Section below for information on networks, WDM, etc.

FOA Video Lectures on FOA videos

FOA videos about cable preparation, termination, splicing and testing on FOA videos




Premises Cabling Systems (Fiber, Copper and Wireless) (CPCT Level) 

Premises Cabling Home Page  
Overview of Premises Cabling and Standards, About Standards 
Jargon  
Networks
UTP Cables  
UTP TerminationsUTP Termination (Tutorial)
UTP Installation VHO  66 Block, 110 Block, Jacks, Plugs  
UTP Testing,  UTP Wiremapping  
Coax Cable  VHO Coax Termination  
Fiber Optics in Premises Cabling, Plus more information on OLANs (Optical LANs)NEW FTTD/FTTO (Centralized Fiber), Passive OLANs 
Wireless
Design, New T-568-C Nomenclature
Premises Cabling Installation  NEW
Glossary
See the "Fiber Optic Technology and Standards" Section below for information on networks, etc.

FOA Video Lectures on FOA videos
FOA videos about cable preparation, termination, splicing and testing on FOA videos




Outside Plant Fiber Optics
OSP Home Page  
Basic Overview   
The Jargon and the Technology  
Basic Applications and Transmission Systems  
Fiber Optic Datalinks    
Optical Fiber  
Fiber Optic Cables 
Splicing and Termination   
Fiber Optic Testing   
Network Design   
About Standards
Installation  

Additional Topics
FTTHFTTH Architectures, FTTH PON Protocols, FTTx Installation , Aerial FTTH drops   
Fiber for Wireless Networks  
Definitions of Terms  

See the "Fiber Optic Technology and Standards" Section below for information on networks, WDM, etc.

FOA Video Lectures on FOA videos
FOA videos about cable preparation, termination, splicing and testing on FOA videos


Applications of Fiber Optics

Communications
Networks  NEW Networks are built on cable plants but it helps to understand how they work.
Fiber Optic Datalinks
Fiber Optic Transceivers for Datalinks  
Wavelength Bands Used For Fiber Optic Transmission,  Wavelength-Division Multiplexing
Specifications for fiber optic links and systems, including FTTx  
Telephone, long haul, metropolitan  
FTTH Overview, What is FTTH?FTTH Architectures, FTTH in MDUs, FTTH PON Protocols, FTTH InstallationFTTH Testing  , FTTx Tutorial NEW
Fiber for Wireless Networks   NEW
Internet  
CATV  
Premises Networks, LANs,  Section on Premises Networks  
Optical LANs (OLANs) using FTTH technologyNEW FTTD/FTTO (Centralized Fiber), Passive OLANs, Installing OLANs, Testing OLANs
Data Centers    NEW
Security, CCTV for surveillance  
Industrial, building automation  
Consumer entertainment  
Military  
Media Conversion: Converting copper or wireless to fiber, etc.
Attenuating Power In Overloaded Datalinks 

Tapping Optical Fiber   NEW

Non-Communications Applications
Sensors
Fiber Optic Lighting (TT)
Inspection/ Viewing Using Fiber Optics

Network User's Guide 






Fiber Optic Technology and Standards
About Standards
FOA Standards For Testing
Wavelengths of Light Used In Fiber Optics
Wavelength Bands Used For Fiber Optic Transmission  
Specifications for fiber optic links and systems, including FTTx
Wavelength-Division Multiplexing
How Fiber Amplifiers Work
TIA/EIA and ISO/IEC Standards 
TIA-568 Premises Cabling Standard for Fiber Optics

FOA Standards  NEW Understandable versions of industry standards  
FOA Standard FOA-1: Testing Loss of Installed Fiber Optic Cable Plant, (Insertion Loss, TIA OFSTP-14, OFSTP-7, ISO/IEC 61280, ISO/IEC 14763, etc.)
FOA Standard FOA-2: Testing Loss of Fiber Optic Cables, Single Ended,  (Insertion Loss, TIA FOTP-171, OFSTP-7, , ISO/IEC 14763)
FOA Standard FOA-3:  Measuring Optical Power (Transmitter and Receiver Power, FOTP-95, Numerous ISO/IEC standards)
FOA Standard FOA-4: OTDR Testing of Fiber Optic Cable Plant (TIA FOTP-8/59/60/61/78, ISO/IEC 14763, etc.)  
FOA Standard FOA-5 Fiber Optic Datalinks 




Fiber Optic Components
See the Testing Section for more information on how components are tested.
Optical Fiber
Optical Fiber
Singlemode Fiber Nomenclature, Choosing G.xxx fiber types (PDF) 
Multimode Premises Cable Plant Nomenclature (OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4, etc.)
Plastic Optical Fiber (POF)
How Optical Fiber Is Manufactured
Bend-Insensitive Fibers  
Macro- And Micro-Bending Of Fibers  NEW
Cable
Fiber Optic Cables 
Basic cable (Tutorial)
Fiber Optic Cable Jacket Color Codes
Cable Preparation: VHO:   Cable preparation     Videos on FOA videos
Air-Blown Fiber   
Patchcords – selection, testing, managementNEW
Connectors & Termination
Splicing and Termination  
Identifying Fiber Optic Connectors  
Connector Names and Nomenclature
Standards For Connector Intermateability, FOCIS  
Effects of Alignment and Fiber Geometry on Fiber Optic Connector Loss  NEW
Reflectance Testing   NEW
Basic termination including testing connectors  (Tutorial)
Adhesive/polish connectors VHO:  Epoxy/Polish, Videos on FOA videos  Anaerobic,   Hot Melt
Prepolished/splice connectors  VHO: PPS termination   Videos on FOA videos   NEW
Prefabricated cable systems  
Singlemode fiber termination: VHO:  SM termination     
Termination Times For Various Methods and Connector Types  
Repairing Connectors By Polishing   NEW
Cleaning Fiber Optic Connections 

Splices
Splicing and Termination  
Basic splices   (Tutorial)
Mechanical splices VHO: Mech splice  Videos on FOA videos
Fusion splices - VHO: single fiber and VHO: ribbon Videos on FOA videos
Estimates of Splicing Times for Various Cable Configurations   NEW
Splicing different types of SM Fiber (PDF)  NEW


Transmission Equipment
Fiber Optic Datalinks
Fiber Optic Transceivers for Datalinks 
Specifications for fiber optic links and systems, including FTTx
Wavelength Bands Used For Fiber Optic Transmission
Designing And Manufacturing Fiber Optic Systems (for Manufacturers) (PDF, 0.2 MB)
The OSI Model of Networks 
Attenuators for adjusting receiver power levels  






Designing Fiber Optic Networks 
Designing Fiber Optic Networks, a reference guide for users, contractors, installers, etc. (PDF, 1.3 MB)
Network Design, OSP Network Design, Premises Cabling Network Design
Network User's Guide, covers design through maintenance. (PDF 0.1 MB)(TT)
Network User's Guide (web page)
About Standards
Specifications for fiber optic LANs and Links
Link Loss Budgets And Power Budgets 
Polarity in Fiber Optic Networks
Fiber or Copper? Overview and Fiber LANs
FTTx Online Tutorial 
Estimating Fiber Optic Installations 
Mismatched Multimode Fiber Losses  
Planning For Restoration (PDF, 0.1 MB) Also included in the design pages for Basic and OSP 
Project Paperwork (SOW, RFP, RFQ and contracts)  NEW
FOA Video Lectures on FOA videos


Installation of FO Cable Plants
See the Testing Section for more information on how installed cable plants are tested.

Download a list of tools for installation here. (PDF, 100kB)

Installing Fiber Optic Cable Plants - FOA Tech Bulletin, (PDF 0.2 MB) basis of the ANSI/NECA/FOA-301 Installation Standard 
Installation  Overview
Getting Training
Installation Checklist - step by step installation planning
The Role of the Contractor
Planning the Installation
Safety procedures     Video on safety on FOA videos   NEW
Tools and Equipment
Cleaning Fiber Optic Connections 
Receiving cable and components onsite
Installing Cable - General Guidelines , Air-Blown Fiber,
Installing a Swivel Pulling Eye on Cable  
Polarity in Fiber Optic Networks  
Maintenance  
Troubleshooting fiber optic cable plants and communications systems. (PDF, 0.1 Mb)

Outside Plant (see the complete OSP section)
Digging Safely - call before you dig
Laying, placing or pulling  OSP cable
How To "Figure 8" Cable For Intermediate Pulls
Splicing OSP cable
Termination (splicing on pigtails, PPS, preterminated)
Patchcords – selection, testing, managementNEW
Testing requirements
Transmission Equipment – power requirements - using attenuators as needed
Special methods (Air-Blown Fiber , prefab/preterminated cables)
Aerial FTTH drops
Microtrenching   


Premises Cabling (see the complete Premises Cabling section)
Premises Site Preparation
Laying or pulling cable
Termination (adhesive polish, PPS, preterminated)
Patchcords – selection, testing, management
Testing requirements
Transmission Equipment – power requirements - using attenuators
Special methods (Air-Blown Fiber , prefab/preterminated cables)



Testing & Troubleshooting Fiber Optic Systems

QuickStart Guides to Fiber Optic Testing  NEW
Cable Plant and Patchcord Testing  
Optical Power in Communications Systems  
OTDR Testing  

Test Topics
Fiber Optic Testing   
Fiber Optic Test Instruments 
Visual tracing & fault location  
Using A Cell Phone Camera to See IR Light In Fiber Links  
Microscope Inspection of Connectors 
Measuring Optical Power, Units of Measure (dB, dBm), Using attenuators, Calibration of Fiber Optic Power 
Bare Fiber Testing   NEW
Installed Cable Plant Testing (FOA-1, OFSTP-7 & 14)FOA Standard FOA-1What Loss Should You Expect?, VHO Insertion loss testing   FOA videos
Patchcord or Single Cable Testing (FOA-2, FOTP-171), FOA Standard FOA-2
Testing cables with different types of connectors.
Loss by Cable Substitution - when other methods will not work
Connector and Splice Loss Testing (FOTP-34)
Reflectance Testing  
Data Link or Network Testing
Reference Cables For Loss Tests
Special Applications/Hybrid Cables  
OTDR testing  FOA videos  VHO Using an OTDR, Frequently Asked Questions about OTDRs
Fiber Characterization and Testing long haul networks (CD, PMD, Spectral Attenuation)  
FTTH Testing  
Testing Splitters, Couplers and Other Passive Devices   NEW

Cleaning Fiber Optic Connections (do this before testing or connecting to equipment)

FAQs on Fiber Optic Testing  
Technical Issues For Testing
5 different Ways To Test Fiber Optic Cables According To International Standards
Accurately Testing Fiber Optic Cables
Differences in OTDR and insertion loss measurements
The Math of Insertion Loss Testing - Reference Methods  
Calibration and Uncertainty in Fiber Optic Power Measurements 
Mismatched Multimode Fiber Losses
Modal Conditioning For Multimode Testing
Fiber Loss Testing and Multimode Modal Control
Modal Distribution Effects on Multimode Fiber and Cable Measurements
Encircled Flux  

Troubleshooting
       
Troubleshooting fiber optic cable plants and communications systems. (PDF, 0.1 Mb)

FOA Video Lectures on
FOA videos

Also See
FOA Standards For Testing
Testing Insertion Loss of Installed Fiber Optic Cable Plant (FOA-1) 
Testing Loss of Fiber Optic Cables or Patchcords (FOA-2) 
Measuring Optical Power (FOA-3) 
OTDR Testing of Fiber Optic Cable Plants (FOA-4) 



Using Fiber Optic Systems
User's Guide To Fiber Optic Networks 
Choosing, Installing and Using Fiber Optic Products For Users (FOA Tech Bulletin, PDF 0.1 MB)
Maintenance
Restoration (planning & implementing)   Also included in the design pages for Basic and OSP 
Upgrading

Tapping Optical Fiber   NEW



FOA Tech Bulletins (Printable Reference Documents)
Designing and manufacturing fiber optic communications products for manufacturers of products using fiber optics . (PDF, 0.2 Mb)

Users' Guide To Fiber Optic Communications Networks. (PDF, 0.1 Mb)

Designing Fiber Optic Networks - for contractors, designers, installers and users and the reference for the FOA CFOS/D Design Certification (PDF, 1.3 MB).

Installing Fiber Optic Cable Plants. (PDF, 0.2 Mb)

Testing and Troubleshooting fiber optic cable plants and communications systems. (PDF, 0.1 Mb)

Fiber Optic Restoration - how to plan ahead and restore networks quickly. (PDF, 0.1 Mb)


FOA YouTube Videos

FOA YouTube Videos

The FOA has many videos on YouTube, including Lecture Series on 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.

Below is a list of the current lectures and hands-on videos. We're looking for ideas for topics for future lectures. Send your ideas to <info@thefoa.org>.

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

About the FOA 
FOA Standards  

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.
        Cabling Project Management - for the customer and the contractor

Fiber Optics Lecture Series Videos

FOA Lecture 1: Fiber Optics & Communications 
FOA Lecture 2: Safety When Working With Fiber Optics 
FOA Lecture 3: Optical Fiber 
FOA Lecture 4: Fiber Optic Cables 
FOA Lecture 5: Splices and Connectors 
FOA Lecture 6: Fiber Optic Splices 
FOA Lecture 7: Fiber Optic Connectors 
FOA Lecture 8: Fiber Optic Installation 
FOA Lecture 9: Fiber Optic Network Design, Part 1
FOA Lecture 10: Fiber Optic Network Design Part 2 
FOA Lecture 11: Fiber Optic Network Design Part 3 
FOA Lecture 12: Fiber Optic Testing Overview 
FOA Lecture 13: Testing Fiber Visually 
FOA Lecture 14: Testing Optical Power 
FOA Lecture 15: Five Ways To Test Fiber Optic Cable Plants 
FOA Lecture 16: Insertion Loss Testing 
FOA Lecture 17: OTDR Testing 
FOA Lecture 18: OTDR Setup 
FOA Lecture 19: OTDR Measurement Uncertainty 
FOA Lecture 20: Other Fiber Optic Tests 
FOA Lecture 21: Visual Fault Locator Demonstration 
FOA Lecture 22: Mode Power Distribution in Multimode Fibers Demonstration 
FOA Lecture 23: Total Internal Reflection in Optical Fiber Demonstration 
FOA Lecture 24: Copper, Fiber or Wireless? 
FOA Lecture 25: FTTx 
FOA Lecture 26: Loss Budgets 
FOA Lecture 27, Fiber Optic Datalinks 
FOA Lecture 28, Fiber Characterization  
FOA Lecture 29, Plastic Optical Fiber (POF)
FOA Lecture 30, OLANs, Optical LANs 
FOA Lecture 31, Wavelength Division Multiplexing  
FOA Lecture 32, Fiber Amplifiers  
FOA Lecture 33, Cabling Project Management 
FOA Lecture 34, Networks  

Networks

Fiber Optics - Live!  A series of videos that use lab demonstrations to show how optical fiber works. NEW
Premises Cabling Lecture Series Videos



Hands-On Fiber Optic Videos
Using an OTDR 
Visual Inspection of Connectors With A Microscope  
Fiber Optic Connector Polishing Technique 
Prepolished/Splice Connector Termination (Corning Unicam)   
Prepolished/Splice Connector Termination (Panduit OptiCam) 
The Fiber Optic Tester In Your Pocket (Cell Phone)
  
Insertion Loss Testing
  
Fusion Splicing
 
Mechanical Splicing
  
Fiber Optic Termination, Part 1, Setup & Tools
 
Fiber Optic Termination, Part 2, Jacketed Cable Prep
 
Fiber Optic Termination, Part 3, Adhesive Prep
 
Fiber Optic Termination, Part 4, Stripping Fiber
 
Fiber Optic Termination, Part 5, Connector Attachment
 
Fiber Optic Termination, Part 6, Polishing
 
Fiber Optic Termination, Part 7, Inspection
 
Fiber Optic Termination, Part 8, Distribution Cable Termination
  
Fiber Optic Cable, Part 1 Introduction
 
Fiber Optic Cable, Part 2, Zipcord

Fiber Optic Cable, Part 3 Distribution Cable

Fiber Optic Cable, Part 4 Breakout Cable

Fiber Optic Cable, Part 5 Loose Tube Cable

Fiber Optic Cable, Part 6, Armored Cable


Hands-On UTP Cabling Videos
UTP "Cat 5" Cabling, Part 1, Tools
UTP "Cat 5" Cabling, Part 2, The Training Board
UTP "Cat 5" Cabling, Part 3, UTP Cable
UTP "Cat 5" Cabling, Part 4, 66 Block Punchdown
UTP "Cat 5" Cabling, Part 5, 110 Block Punchdown
UTP "Cat 5" Cabling, Part 6, Jacks
UTP "Cat 5" Cabling, Part 7, Testing
UTP "Cat 5" Cabling, Part 8, Plugs and Patchcords 


FOA Instructor Training and Certification   
FOA Instructor Training - Part 1 -Introduction   
FOA Instructor Training - Part 2 - About The FOA  
FOA Instructor Training - Part 3 - FOA Approved Schools  
FOA Instructor Training - Part 4 - Instructors  
FOA Instructor Training - Part 5 - Curriculum  
FOA Instructor Training - Part 6 - Teaching A Course 
FOA Instructor Training - Part 7 - Hands-On Labs  
FOA Instructor Training - Part 8 - FOA Resources  


View all  the FOA YouTube videos including over 30 "hands-on" examples.  




Fiber Optic Self Study Guides

Fiber U® - "Fiber University" Online Training

Lennie Lightwave and Fiber U
Fiber U - Fiber University Training in Fiber Optics
Free online self-study programs and tutorials at
Fiber U.


CFOT®  And Study On The Basics Of Fiber Optics  

For Students Preparing For the CFOT Exam : Study Guide For The FOA CFOT Exam
For CFOTs  Wanting a Refresher Course: Self-Study Guide

For Anyone  Wanting a  Self-Study Guide To Fiber Optics


CPCT (Premises Cabling)


Study Guide for the CPCT Premises Cabling Exam  

CFOS/O (formerly CFospT, Outside Plant Fiber Optics)


Study Guide for the CFOS/O Exam  

Instructors


For Instructors: Teaching a CFOT Course Using This Website


FOA YouTube Videos
FOA YouTube Videos



FOA Reference Books


FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optics book
 FOA Reference Guide to Premises Cablng book  FOA Reference Guide to OSP Fiber Optics book
Available printed or eBooks on the Amazon Kindle or Apple iPad/iPhone. Click on each book for details.


NECA/FOA-301 Fiber Optic Installation Standard

NECA/FOA-301 Standard

The FOA and NECA wrote this ANSI standard (American National Standard) covering the installation of fiber optic cable plants. Available for free downloads for FOA members or for purchase from NECA.
More.


FOA iPad Self-Study/Reference App

FOA iPad App
The FOA has just released its first APP for the iPad, a self-study version of the FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optics.
The FOA APP builds on the FOA basic fiber optic textbook to create an interactive learning environment that builds on the iBook electronic version of the book to add a guide to use for self-study and real-time testing that provides feedback on what you have learned and correct answers to questions answered incorrectly.

The FOA APP is priced at only $9.99, same as the iBook, so the self-study program is free. Download it from the Apple APP Store with your iPad or iTunes.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/foa-guide/id434354283?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4


FOA LossCalc App (NEW & FREE)

FOA Loss Calculator App
FOA 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

 



Links
LINKS To Other Sources of Technical Information
from manufacturers, publishers, trade associations and technical societies




Linking And Use of The FOA Guide Materials

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Got feedback? Let us know how we can make The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide better. Email us at < info @ thefoa.org >







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