OSP Expert: Don McCarty

Cable Fault Locating and Repair

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Part 3. Understanding Crossed Battery and Your Advanced Test Set Features — To recap, for this 3-part series on Cable Fault Locating and Repair, in the June issue we ran Part 1 providing a review of short-term versus long-term approaches. In the July issue, with Part 2, I provided processes I employ and teach to help technicians integrate advanced fault locating techniques using longitudinal balance and other functions of a multi-function test set. In this month’s column, the final part of my 3-part series on evidence-based best practices for Cable Fault Locating and Repair, we consider the complex topic and…

Cable Fault Locating and Repair

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Part 2. Identifying a Faulted Pair — In my previous column (Part 1 in the June 2020 issue), I discussed the evils of the fast, easier “cut to clear” solution when repairing a faulted cable. This is a short-term fix that will cost more in time and resources eventually as you run out of pairs. I also provided a bulleted process for qualifying a cable pair as “good.” In this month’s column, we look at using your test set to explore longitudinal balance as one of the elements that help identify a faulted pair. Additionally, I will provide the process…

Cable Fault Locating and Repair

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Part 1. Short-Term and Long-Term Approaches — Are your technicians efficient in quickly finding and repairing copper cable problems? Or are they doing what’s been done before and it seems to work well enough? Yet, under close examination, if you’ve adopted the “quick fix” approach, you are costing your company more in the long term. 2 Major Problems: Cut-to-Clear, and Divide-and-Conquer When the root cause of a service interruption is a single pair fault in an aerial terminal or in a buried pedestal, many field techs under management direction, or because they haven’t been trained, move the customer’s service to…

Manufactured Cable Characteristics and Their Effects on Test Set Accuracy

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We constantly hear in the field that a test set is not performing its advertised tasks. My resistance bridge missed that trouble by 75 feet or This open meter measured short or long or The TDR indicated the fault at the wrong footage. As technicians puzzle out why measurements aren’t correct, their first step is to consider whether their input might be off. More knowledge is better! Understanding the make-up of the cable and how different types of cable can throw off your measurements, help ensure that your test set has the best information available, and that it can provide…

Take care of your customers NOW!

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New life for the old copper infrastructure — This column describes causes of service disruption. Upcoming columns will offer easy processes for identifying the location of the fault. I have been involved in provisioning and maintaining the copper infrastructure for more than 55 years. During that time, I have had the good fortune of working with many managers and technicians who practice proactive maintenance in their quest to provide quality service over copper. When proactively provisioned and maintained, good old copper will continue to provide service well into the future. Thousands of miles of copper circuits are providing service on…

Did you work safely today, or were you just lucky?

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Staying safe begins when you load up and get in the truck and (I hope!) you hook up your safety belt. I had the seat belt habit pounded into me by my old boomer line foreman, Ellis Nelson, while working for Northwestern Bell in Minneapolis. Ellis would catch me “sittin’ on the belt insteada usin’ em,” and if you’ve ever felt the wrath of a boomer line foreman in chew mode, you’ll know why wearing them became habit. Because of this safety lesson, I lived through a terrible car accident in 1991. Lesson learned! Working line crew is your basic…

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