OSP Expert: Don McCarty

Training Field Technicians in the Past and the Present

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The transition to fiber is finally progressing with more consistency. Nevertheless, copper is still around for most companies, and it requires repair and maintenance. Yet what we find is that the demands to move to cable means there is little respect and training for the copper technician. I get it. You don’t find it critical to your long-term strategy. But that’s short-sighted. Give your copper techs the tools and training (and respect), and they will perform their role more efficiently, which means they will spend less time on each call, and that results in more money to put towards fiber.…

More About Cable Locating

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Last year I wrote a column on locating fiber cables. Colin Ward from Norscan offered some comments that I think might be helpful to you. Hi, Don, I recently came across your 5 Questions About Fiber Optic Bonding, Grounding, and Locating article (http://www.isemag.com/2016/09/5-questions-about-fiber-optic-bonding-grounding-and-locating/), and it’s sparked some interesting discussion around the office. I wanted to share our thoughts with you. The line that stuck out the most to us was this one: Assuming that fiber cable locating is the only reason to ground the sheath or locate wire, why not just do it during cable locates, and then remove the…

Using the Resistance Bridge Feature

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In Today’s Multi-Functional Test Sets. With the broad adoption of DSL and other bandwidth services in the paired copper network, many of today’s field technicians have highly sophisticated multi-functional tests that include a resistance bridge. Those of you who don’t have a multi-functional test set will at least have a standalone resistance bridge. A resistance bridge together with an understanding of the electronics theory behind it allows you to find most resistive faults that affect bandwidth. You might wonder why you need to understand the electronics theory behind it. I promise you, it increases your efficiency and confidence considerably. Without…

Underground Conductor Locating

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Pity the poor cable locating tech. This is the type of job that requires great skill and dedication, and more than just a little luck. It is also a job that can produce terror and prayer. All this is compounded by cable maps without proper footage, not drawn to scale, and outdated by 2 or more years of change. Yet, the locator is expected to be 100% accurate in the task. A cable cut is an instant judgement of the accuracy of the location. No excuses are acceptable, and no quarter is given. You cost us money; you go home…

Line Powering vs. Commercial Power

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Line powering is a way to power remote equipment from a central location using existing cable pairs in the copper network. It is an alternative to commercial power which can be expensive and sometimes it is unavailable. This is not something new. Line power has been used as far back as the early 1960s by Telcos for T1 power and then HDSL powering and more recent DSLAM powering. Today there are a plethora of applications such as fiber-to-the-node (FTTN), distributed antenna systems (DAS), and remote unit powering among other applications including FTTH for many independent Telephone companies. Following is one…

Give us your best guess: What is the life of fiber?

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I received an email from Glen Copeland, who is a Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) and the Principal Engineer for a large Utility in Central Washington State. The Utility has built a fiber optic network that extends to most of their county, providing residents with broadband access speeds up to 1 Gbps. As a utility provider, their main business is to provide power to their customers. Their electric rates are among the lowest in the nation, while their customer service standards are among the highest. With a focus on the customer, their goal is simple: safely provide utility services that enhance…

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