OSP Expert: Don McCarty

Cable Pair Trouble in the Copper Infrastructure


And Its Effect on Bandwidth My goal when consulting or training is to help companies work with what they have to achieve the maximum quality bandwidth possible over paired copper. Getting to best quality sounds simple: you need a clean cable pair with good longitudinal balance within the reach for that particular type of bandwidth service from ADSL to G.fast. Yet there are many obstacles to overcome to achieving maximum bandwidth. The biggest challenges to achieving maximum bandwidth: • Longitudinal Balance • Bonding and Grounding • Noise • Crosstalk Some troubles affect only one circuit, and other faults affect all…

The Arduous Task of Cable Locating Path and Depth


Locating underground utilities is becoming more and more difficult for all utility companies due to increased congestion on main feeder runs and in subdivisions. In the old days of locating our concerns were dozers, backhoes, trenchers, and shovels. In today’s environment there is the dreaded horizontal boring machine. The boring machine can be controlled to an exact depth, but the problem lies with today’s cable locators in giving the exact depth of existing utilities. Cable locators do not find pipes and cables. They find electromagnetic fields that surround the pipes or cables. Why does it matter? Because electromagnetic fields do…

Resolving DSLAM and Modem Interoperability Disputes


Dear Readers: This month I am passing off my responsibilities as author of this column to the industry-respected Vernon May, an expert in copper, DSL, and fiber. He has created, implemented and taught telecommunications technology on 6 continents for over 35 years, and has leveraged his service provider and vendor experience into that of trainer/coach, inventor, systems designer, program manager, product manager, and plant operations expert. He currently holds 2 US Patents, including #8,027,807 B2 on Remote DSL Circuit Evaluation. — Don My Favorite Spectator Sport Is Back in Season By Vernon May No, I don’t mean those large men…

Reader’s Letters


If you’re a regular reader of Don McCarty’s OSP EXPERT monthly column in OSP magazine, you learned in our July 2015 issue that Don’s been in the column-writing biz for 30 years now — and an OSP expert in the ICT industry for more than 40 years. During this time he’s gained a lot of followers, and a lot of pen pals. Recently, Don sent to us some of his fan mail — and we thought you’d like to read these letters, too. Enjoy! (And do let Don know what you think: You can contact him at 831.818.3930 ordmccarty@mccartyinc.com). Karen…

A Review of the Multi-Functional Test Set


A quality multi-functional test set is an absolute necessity for today’s field technician. You may have seen a series of articles I wrote earlier this year about a few quality test sets. The multi-functional test set, properly used and interpreted, identifies problems with the copper infrastructure and where these problems occur. Interpretation can be difficult for the novice field technician — or even the experienced field technician — especially if that field technician does not have an electronic background. Following are questions from field technicians about functions of the test set when testing a cable pair: How much is too…

Some Clarification on DSL Testing


In a recent conversation with my friend and colleague, Ed Rousselot from Megger Corporation, he stated that he agreed with me on the process of provisioning and maintaining the copper infrastructure for bandwidth, but he felt that a significant amount of information could be gleaned about the health of the physical layer from DSL testing. Here is what Ed wrote to me: In the early 1970s I was trying, with little success, to get analog subscriber carrier working in Arkansas, and an old wire chief gave me some advice that is as true now as it was then. He slowly…

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