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Old 01-05-2016, 10:42 PM   #1
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Default Trying to learn fiber in Edmonton Canada

My company has been trying not to sub out our data on jobs but our guy that did our fiber/data packages just left. We have the equipment but the boss wants me to find a course to learn how to use it so I can be the point man for fiber terminations.

All I can really find locally in Edmonton are these; (We are hubbell certified)

The CFOT cert would be nice but I'm more concerned in getting practical training than on properly splicing/pulling than in on some guy blabber about theory and refraction.

Can I realistically learn to be field capable with either of these courses? Any suggestions otherwise?


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Old 01-06-2016, 03:21 AM   #2
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Talk to the manufacturer you want to use, bicsi and foa are both good as well.
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Old 01-06-2016, 03:26 AM   #3
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I took a few of the FOA courses at NAIT. I already had several years of field experience, and I learned from people that did as well. I didn't learn a whole lot by taking the courses, but somebody that knows very little will take away a lot. I only took the courses in order to get the certification. It goes a long way in getting work from some customers.

Honestly, you're not going to be field ready just by taking the CFOT course. The specialist courses (CFOS/T, CFOS/O, CFOS/S, CFOS/C) will give you more in depth hands on training in the specific aspects of installation (OSP, Splicing, Termination, Testing). After a few those you could probably be ready to go out in the field. Honestly, hands on experience goes much further in my opinion though. I train all of my fiber guys in the field. They work side by side with me until I deem they are competent to go on their own.

The theory is important to have too though. Anybody can use a splicer, or terminate fiber. If something goes wrong though, it takes somebody with knowledge to figure out where the issue is, and fix it without just starting to replace parts blindly.

If you are using big name products (Corning, Commscope, etc...), every piece comes with good instructions. Following these instructions is the #1 thing to be doing. Lengths are fairly important when it comes to splice trays, enclosures, and terminations. Follow the instructions to a T, and make sure your installed product tests at, or better than spec, and everything will be good.

I suggest familiarizing yourself with your product before ever going in to the field as well. You should be able to perform a dozen good terminations and splices in the shop before you ever go in to the field. You should be familiar with how to properly calibrate your splicer, or clean your equipment. You need to know how to properly strip different types of cable and cladding before you go to a customers premise and royally mess things up. There are procedures available for all of this. Most manufacturers have pretty decent videos available on YouTube for how to use their products. I always hit YouTube and the manufactures website the first time using a new product to find out exactly how I should be installing it.

Out of curiosity, what company are you working for?
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Old 01-06-2016, 07:44 AM   #4
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I agree with Dawizman regarding theory - someone on the job definitely needs to be somewhat proficient with the theory. It really isn't that much material - one or two days in the classroom should be sufficient to get you started.

Splicing and terminating are skills you can learn pretty quickly in the classroom, depending, but you really need to spend some time (and materials) practicing at the bench before you're ready for the field.

It is delicate and exacting work, some people are going to pick it up easily and some are going to be hopeless. If you had to pick a lineman or a jeweler to teach fiber optic work from scratch, bet on the jeweler to be ready for the field faster.
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Old 01-06-2016, 02:12 PM   #5
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I worked at a cabling and fiber optic contractor for about a year and a half, and I firmly believe that you can teach (almost) anyone to splice. Terminating is a bit tougher. However, I wish I had gotten some semblance of theory training. Through testing I eventually became somewhat proficient at troubleshooting issues based on looking at the numbers we would get back on our test results, but having a little bit of theory training would have went a long way in my opinion.
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