OSP Expert: Don McCarty

The Value of Longitudinal Balance in DSL Circuit Evaluation


As we are writing this column, both Vernon May (a bandwidth expert) and I are training together on a combination DSL – cable fault locating course in Tennessee. We are teaming up on this month’s column to discuss the longitudinal balance test. It is one of many discussions that we get into on providing quality bandwidth. I have been preaching for years that if you are going to provide bandwidth over the copper infrastructure then the copper infrastructure must be stellar, and the longitudinal balance test properly applied and interpreted — and this will indicate the health of any copper…

Don’t forget to blanket your horse!


I often share my list of “how to best approach both your tasks and your customers,” but I have to admit, I plagiarize much of that content from the following. So I figured, why not give you the original material? Here you go. Chicago, Illinois B. E. Sunny, President October 28, 1911 W. R. Abbott, Superintendent RULES FOR TROUBLEMEN 1. Put up a “good front.” It is not necessary to advertise any tailor shop, neither is it necessary to go about your work looking like a coal heaver. Overalls can look as respectable as anything else, but they must at…

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…

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…

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