OSP Expert: Don McCarty

Support From the ICEP Engineer


Field technicians are constantly involved with, and are responsible for, unwanted noise on customer circuits, whether the circuit is copper, fiber, wireless, or any combination of the above. If the root cause is beyond the field technician’s ability to solve it, the field technician should be able to turn to network engineering for support. If network engineering cannot help, they should be able to turn to the Inductive Coordination and Electrical Protection Engineer (ICEP) to assist them and the field technician with expert technical advice and assistance. Most RBOCS have ICEP engineers. (Telcos, especially the smaller companies, who do not…

How to Save a Section of Cable and a Customer


A cable pair from the central office or remote to the customer costs some hundreds of dollars to a Telco for engineering, placement, heating up, and installation. When a technician cuts away from such a pair to restore service, it takes more than 6 years of base-rate revenue before that customer will again show as profit to the Telco. In addition, when a section is going bad, each cutover is expensive, and includes the lost revenue from the cut pair, the labor cost, and the eventual major costs of section replacement when you have a full complement of customers with…

Resistance Bridge Fault Locating


or the fallacy of single-pair hookups — Over my many years in the business, I have written and taught about resistance fault locating (RFL) using the single-pair hookup to find a ground or crossed battery on one side of a cable pair when the other side tests clear. Regular column readers and my past students know that I’m adamant about this topic because without a good process, in-depth knowledge, quality tools, and management support allowing the needed time to implement the correct repair, technicians will cut-to-clear rather than locating and repairing the problem. This approach, while easy and fast to…

Letters From Readers


May 8, 2019 Power Influence and Balance — While I always find Don McCarty’s articles to be very informative and spot on, in his article in the May issue of ISE magazine, I think there could have been a better way to describe the relationship between power influence, noise metallic and (pair) balance. While what Don said is true: “Circuit noise (noise metallic) and power influence are interrelated, each being dependent upon the other to form acceptable balance”, I think the better way of explaining this would be as follows: “Power influence and balance (pair quality) are interrelated, each being…

Don’t give up on the tough cases of power influence and circuit noise


My colleague Russ Gundrum and I helped Sam, a fiercely dedicated manager, solve a problem that several technicians were unable to resolve — and they gave up. The customer had so much noise on her line that she was unable to hear or talk; without a cell phone, she was left without a connection to the outside world. When the problem was resolved, she actually cried. Neither Russ nor I collected a dime and yet we agreed this was the best compensation we’ve received in our decades of solving trouble cases. We were honored to meet this manager who was…

Those Special Cables


Troubleshooting low count cables and drops with today’s test equipment — I received an email from a field technician about a problem he was having with the fault location features of his multi-function test set when using the RFL, Open Meter, and TDR functions. He stated that the measurements were fairly accurate when using the manufacturer’s settings on cables that were 25-pair cables and larger. When measuring the distance to a fault using the manufacturers settings on small count cables such as a 6-pair cable, the measurements were inaccurate. Field technicians use many types of test equipment or multi-function test…

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