OSP Expert: Don McCarty

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…

A Sad Shift From Quality to Quantity

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By guest writer Daniel Burch — The column this month was penned by Dan Burch with Tescom, a company respected for a 35-year history manufacturing quality test equipment targeting the telecom and CATV industry. Dan also has a long history in the industry as a technician and eventually in engineering management. This is a topic dear to my heart. Here’s Dan. “… Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” (Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken) There was once a time in the telephone business…

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…

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