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Thread: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

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    Default How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    As we all know there are many ways to locate different utilities. When I first started locating on my own, I would run into situations where I needed a second, and sometimes a third and forth opinion, on how to run F/O lines. Depending on who responded first, the answers varied from the insane (cutting the plastic back to the sheeth) to the resonable (clamping or inducing). Knowing a fiber damage would put me out of a job if I were to cut the plastic back - and finding out there was no metal sheeth, thus damaging the cable this method is out of the question. The proper technique of clamping and inducing the F/O does not always work either. A friend of mine told me to try an old school thumb tack. The thumb tack will allow you to penetrate the plastic but not damage (in my experience) the fiber optics inside and provides a metal contact point.

    Please note, if you are going to use this technique - do not force the thumb tack into the line. This will cause a damage. You should cautiously push the pin through the plastic until you feel it stop - you will feel this, and stop applying pressure. You realize the lack of pressence of the sheath in the cable if the pin contiues to pass thru easily. I do not recommend everyone try this, I know it has worked for me in the past. I will not be held responsible for any damages received using this message. Attempt at your own risk, this is a technique I have used and have been successful in the process. This is better than "skinning back the plastic" but can hae the same result. Proceed with cation!

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    Senior Member RD_Wrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    ummm...knowing how to read telecommunications codes to be able to tell if it is a sheathed fiber or not might be helpful before trying this technique...
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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    @ RD Wrangler, this is true. I need to put out the disclaimer for those who do not. Also, clamping and inducing do not always work, even on a cable with a sheath you must be careful not to push the pin thru and damage the cable.

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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    @ RD Wrangler, this is true. This is why I needed to put out the disclaimer for those who do not. Also, clamping and inducing do not always work, even on a cable with a sheath you must be careful not to push the pin thru and damage the cable

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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    Its always handy also to have a little magnet with you at all times. If it sticks then you know you have a sheeth. I would NEVERRR push a thumb tack in . Thats just retarded, Also hooking up at a splice point works well for me!

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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    Do ya'll think we should tell him about the 'Cheater Clip'?
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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    Quote Originally Posted by ManholeFreak View Post
    Its always handy also to have a little magnet with you at all times. If it sticks then you know you have a sheeth. I would NEVERRR push a thumb tack in . Thats just retarded, Also hooking up at a splice point works well for me!
    You do realize that most ground sheathing is aluminum right? A magnet will not work for this.

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    Senior Member sauroke's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    Most fiber optics have a code along the outside plastic sheath that let you know whether it is locatable or not. The problem is one company varies from another, i.e. comscope fibers have a different code than corning, and alltell have their own codes. Until codes are set into a mandatory nomenclature, you may find hundreds of different codes for the foc in question. I have found that when you go to a splice, you can actually open the splice itself, and see whether or not it has a sheath. In some instances, whether coming from, or going to a pole, there is no splice, unless you want to climb the pole to get to it. I find that a pushpin, the kind used for sewing actually work the best, because thumbtacks usually have a dull tip, and are bent at the top.

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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    a lot of phone companies have info on the print of what type of fiber. One phone put a tracer wire in with this type of fiber. Also the one that is not sheathed has a yellow stripe on it

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    Senior Member sauroke's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    I have also found phone with no stripe that is nonlocatable. Also, the prints may show one nomenclature, but the actual cable is different. At this time I always get the phone company involved. CYA at it's best.

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    Senior Member FiosKing's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    not the best idea to use a thumb tact on fiber lol.... good way to damage it... most of the fiber should have a tracer copper on the side of it (verizon anyway)
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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    Quote Originally Posted by FiosKing View Post
    not the best idea to use a thumb tact on fiber lol.... good way to damage it... most of the fiber should have a tracer copper on the side of it (verizon anyway)
    The verizon service drops have a small gauge copper tracer wire on them, their newer mains have no attached tracer wire or metallic sheath. It is fairly common for the contractor to have put these in with no tracer wire either in the ground or duct.

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    Senior Member FiosKing's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    this is true, we have that around here as well... we write a report and verizon or the telcom company has to come out before work starts to run a tracer
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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    Quote Originally Posted by FiosKing View Post
    this is true, we have that around here as well... we write a report and verizon or the telcom company has to come out before work starts to run a tracer
    I push an electricians' fish-tape down the duct but can only go about 245'. But this does not leave a tracer in the duct for the next time so the tracer still needs be installed. Plus fish taping a duct really adds time to a locate.

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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    They should be leaving a mule (pull) line in the duct.. the type with the tracer wire is good for that.
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