Upcoming Webcasts

Fiber Optic Fundamentals – The Physical Layer - July 23, 2014

Since the first commercial installation of fiber optics for communications systems in 1975, fiber optic technology has evolved to fill thousands of applications in voice, video, and data communications. In response to its widespread proliferation, manufacturers have developed numerous types of cables, connectors, and splices in order to meet the challenges of today's optical applications.


  • Optical Time-Domain Reflectometers or OTDR: understand what they are and how they work for you.  Understanding when and where to use them and what their results really mean.
  • Splicing successfully: helping you understand the types of splices available and the equipment and techniques necessary to make the highest quality connections.


Optical Fibers – Their Legacy - June 18, 2014

Anyone who works in fiber optics knows about the different types of current optical fibers but may not know how, when, and why these different types evolved. This session, presented by The Light Brigade, will fill in the background, the sequence, and answer these questions.

Fundamentals of Fiber Optics  - May 28, 2014

The true power of technology lies not in the hardware of today’s devices, but in the networks that interconnect them. Whether it be small local area network in an office, factory or campus setting, a metropolitan area network that connects thousands of users, or the vast global reach of the Internet, fiber optics plays a lead role in providing this seamless connectivity. This webinar, presented by The Light Brigade, is intended for those who are new to fiber optics or who need a refresher on how fiber optics functions and how is applied in voice, video and data-com applications.

Fiber and Cable Management Products   - April 23, 2014

Most fiber optic communication systems require some level of products that are used to interconnect and manage optical fibers and cables. The fiber issues mostly involve working around the optical connectors, splices, WDMs, and splitters, while the cable issues deal more with the physical protection of their internal elements and future adds, moves, and changes.

Safety Concerns in Fiber Optic Systems  - March 26, 2014

Those who work with or near fiber optic technology can be exposed to a wide variety of safety hazards. Fiber optic lasers, amplifiers, fibers, and chemicals all require a high level of awareness to proper safety practices. In addition, many of the work environments where fiber is used — such as in confined spaces or near high voltage equipment — possess additional safety concerns. This webinar explores the safety issues that are of concern to anyone who works with or near these elements. The content includes visual safety based on national and international standards, physical safety for handling optical fibers and chemicals, and work area safety.


Fiber and Cable Management in FTTx Networks - December 18, 2013

This webinar, presented by The Light Brigade, will examine the types of fiber and cable management products and their roles in active Ethernet and PON installations using home run, centralized, and distributed FTTx architectures.

Learn how these products are deployed and integrated in the central office, hub site, the outside plant, and subscriber locations.  The webinar also addresses fiber and cable management requirements for MTUs and MDUs, WDM-PON systems, and how to make migration, growth, and coexistence a part of your early design plans to save future costs.


Testing and Troubleshooting FTTH Systems   - November 21, 2013

This webinar, presented by The Light Brigade, will examine testing and troubleshooting requirements for active Ethernet (P2P), legacy PON, and 10G-PON systems.  Particular attention will be paid to the challenges of testing PON systems with optical splitters, as well as testing for span and splice attenuation, optical return loss, component reflectance, and bidirectional multiwavelength power levels.  Troubleshooting is covered beginning with a logical P2P perspective and moving into the more complex P2MP systems.

FTTx Outside Plant Design Fundamentals  - October 30, 2013

An engineer must have economic reasons for everything that is on the network schematic. In order achieve the most logical, economical design strategy, it is critical to study and plan the field placement of network elements such as the central office, nodes, cabinets, and splitters. The FTTx Outside Plant Design Fundamentals session focuses on cost-effective planning of FTTx network designs, fiber feeder routes, and proper splitter placement for PON or active Ethernet systems.

The session compares and contrasts distributed, centralized, home run, and point-to-point network field configurations in the outside plant. The content examines design benchmarks and installation parameters for high-rise buildings, campus style apartments, single-family residential areas, and rural areas, as well as the impact of dynamic issues such as take rate and density on economical deployment.

This session is based on content from The Light Brigade’s FTTx OSP Design course announced at the 2013 FTTH Conference.

Testing and Troubleshooting Passive and Active Components in FTTx Systems - September 25, 2013

A host of active and passive devices are used in FTTx systems.  This webinar, presented by Larry Johnson and The Light Brigade, describes how the most common of these optical components are used and tested in conjunction with transmitters, receivers, and outside plant products.  As fiber reaches further to the user, the cost associated with truck rolls also increases. 

This session will address how to quickly identify problems for expedient resolution. The session includes the types of test equipment used to perform systems and component testing for the service provider and includes features, recommendations, and potential problems as systems are upgraded to 10 Gb/s.

FTTx: It's been a long time coming - August 28, 2013

At the 1989 “Subscriber in the Loop” Conference, the world’s leading communication organizations came together to present their findings on delivering  triple play services to the subscriber.  These findings became the foundation of FTTx standards that were implemented by FSAN, ITU, IEEE and the SCTE.

This session will explore how legacy active Ethernet and many PON variations operate.  From components through systems, the session will address design, construction and operations perspectives.  The background of each key element will be explained along with why specific products were selected and standardized.

Fiber Optic Passive Devices  - July 31, 2013

Passive devices are purely optical components that are used in fiber optic communication systems to guide, refract, reflect, split, multiplex, and filter light. Considered a more cost-effective alternative to electro-optical (active) components, these devices see wide usage in DWDM, CWDM, FTTx, and ROADM systems. This webinar will highlight how various types of passive devices operate and are applied in fiber-optic systems, and take a look at applicable standards.  The session is based on The Light Brigade’s Fiber Optic Passive Devices DVD.

Fiber Optic Safety? - June, 26 2013

In today’s workplace, job safety has never been more important. Workplace injuries can take an enormous toll in terms of lost quality of life, operating costs of business, and decreased profitability. A successful safety culture begins with an organization’s management team and extends down throughout the entire organization. When strong health and safety practices become part of the operational fabric of an organization, everyone wins. Employers and employees who work together to identify and control hazards on the job can save lives and money while improving business and productivity.

The Training Blog

Larry Johnson

by Larry Johnson
Director and Founder
The Light Brigade

Welcome to the Training Blog

The Light Brigade is proud to partner with Lightwave to bring you the chance to learn more about the fiber optic world.  For the past quarter century, the Light Brigade has been involved in the education and training...


Larry Johnson
Director and Founder

Larry Johnson has been involved with fiber optics since 1977 and is regarded as an expert in all aspects of fiber optic design, installation, testing, and measurement. In 1987, he founded The Light Brigade, a leading fiber-optic training company responsible for instructing more than 40,000 people. Mr. Johnson has participated in the development of fiber optic standards, authored books on fiber-optic technology and is currently documenting and archiving the history of fiber optics.

Cameron Karch

Cameron Karch has been involved with communications since 1983 specializing as a technician in both voice and data protocols. He has performed both project management and quality control tasks in addition to splicing, testing and emergency restoration disciplines for a variety of CATV, telephone companies, end users and government organizations. Cameron has a variety of certifications from the White House and the Optical Society of America. He has worked as a fiber optic technician and an instructor for The Light Brigade since 1987.

Phil Shoemaker

Phil Shoemaker has been a member of The Light Brigade’s training staff since 2000. When he’s not teaching, Phil is responsible for researching the latest technical content used in The Light Brigade’s training materials. He has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Electronics Engineering Technology (BASEET), and is certified as an ETA Installer/Administrator, a NARTE Technician Class III, and has FCC GROL Certification (Elements 1 and 3). He is also a member of SPIE.

Jerry Renville

Jerry Renville started his training career in the U.S. Navy Nuclear Propulsion Program as an instructor with the Reactor Training Division aboard the USS Eisenhower. Mr. Renville has worked with The Light Brigade as a technician, instructor, and technical support since 1995. Other roles he has been involved with include installing fiber optics as a contractor responsible for the maintenance and builds for the City of Seattle, as well as building multiple LANs for schools, colleges, and hospitals. He has also been involved with technical sales for fiber optic testing, splicing, and construction equipment.

The Light Brigade Channel