OSP Expert: Don McCarty

The Changing Role of the Field Technician in the Bandwidth Business

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When I started in the telephone business in 1965, the field technician’s jobs were fragmented. Technician’s responsibilities today are even more fragmented. Let’s take a trip from then until now. THAT WAS THEN On a new installation it is the responsibility of the dispatch center to program the originating equipment (OE), and to provide wiring information to the central office technician and the installer as to which OE is wired to which horizontal mainframe and to which vertical the feeder cable appears.  • The CO frame technician runs jumper wire from the horizontal main frame to the vertical main frame,…

Testing, Testing

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Testing and Test Results on a Multifunction Test Set — I received the following question from a field technician in Cairo, Egypt. They have the same types of cables and the same types of service that we have here in the US, hence the same problems. One of their field technicians had questions on testing and test results on his multifunction test set. I felt this discussion might be helpful to some of you struggling with similar issues. Greetings, Sir — I would like your help when using the EXFO 635G multifunction test set. I’m really grateful for your concern…

The Challenges Inherent in Single-Pair Faults

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Taking care of copper cable has never been easy. The older the cable gets, the more companies cut copper budgets, and the harder it gets to resolve cases of trouble.  Today’s field technicians typically use a variety of test equipment for fault locating in an increasingly complex and adverse environment. These tools provide tremendous advantages but only if the techs are taught how to maximize use of the equipment, and if they are given the time and other support needed from managers.  Sometimes, in spite of best efforts and good equipment, things go wrong and the job may not be…

Limited Access Install Procedures for FTTH / DSL / Bonded DSL

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I was recently contacted by the GM of a small independent Telco asking me about good procedures for installation in general and also in this time of COVID-19 pandemic concerns. This is not a problem I’ve had to deal with during my active working career so I reached out to my friend, Randy Lis, the GM of Piedmont Rural Telephone Cooperative (PRTC) in Laurens, South Carolina, and asked about his processes. I have tremendous respect for Randy and PRTC. They are proactive and organized in creating and implementing best practices. Randy referred me to his Outside Plant Supervisor, Mike Foster,…

More on Fault Location in the Copper Infrastructure

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I’ve received many queries about use of the open meter and TDR functions on multifunction test sets — and I offer some tips and knowledge in this month’s column. The Open Meter Function and the TDR Function The open meter function and the TDR function can quickly show the distance to an open cable pair. Both functions can be used for other purposes, such as finding water in a section of air core PIC cables, identifying and finding split cable pairs, unknown load coils, and more. Using the Open Meter Test the pair. Use a volt ohm meter (VOM) to…

Using Your Test Set

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… and Using Your Noggin — In my columns for the past 3 months, we have been discussing fault locating in the copper infrastructure with a multifunction test set. Based upon these columns, I’ve received several questions about using specific test set functions. In this month’s column, I address several of the most frequently asked questions, including: • How does the test set convert ohms to feet or meters? • How does temperature affect measurements? • How does the test set account for gauge or temperature changes? Converting Ohms to Feet or Meters When converting linear wire resistance from ohms…

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