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

  1. #16
    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave72 View Post
    They should be leaving a mule (pull) line in the duct.. the type with the tracer wire is good for that.
    Sometimes the mule line is no longer there, just the fiber. Often when the mule line is there it is the type without tracer wire. The tracer type mule line must cost more so many of the contractors do not buy it. It looks like if they do buy it they ration it and keep most of their inventory the non-tracer type.

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

    To add something about tracer wire, Some companies are buying cheaper trace wire, using a copper clad wire , usually orange in color. A 3M product that has , what I think has a high resistance to it, causing the signal not to travel. In some cases when I hook up, I loose my tone no more than 10 feet away!
    Of coarse when I expressed my concerns about this wire, I was told that 3M assured it was made of the finest materials. And I know that it has allot to do with the type of soil in the area, as well as a good ground.

  3. #18
    Mke
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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    Hey Locate, I have personally caught contractors installing 10' sections of tracer wire just so the wire is visable in the vaults or Manholes just to pass inspection. For example, They install a storm line in its entirety and back fill the majority of the line, but when they grout it into the manhole, they put a small section of wire in so it "looks" like it has a tracer wire. You clip on this wire, and it only goes 10' or so and disappears. Or if they use 18guage wire, that is small enough to break continuity when properly backfilled.

    mke

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

    Down here in NC, most fibers I have seen (Save Charlotte NC) is Copper Sheaved. I am a direct connection kind of man, so I will do all that is necessary to get a direct connection on the line before clamping. For direct connection you can do this:

    -Connect to a metal point on the outside of a spice.
    -Use a fishing hook or something with a sharp point to carefully make contact with the copper sheath. Use caution.
    -Use a pocket knife to clean a small part so that you have a clean area to connect to the copper. Use caution and always use some kind of material to rewrap the cleaned area to prevent corrosion on the exposed copper.
    -If it is FITL Fiber, then connecting to the phone drop provided will have results.
    -If it is Dielectric then get the Telephone company out there to dig it up.

    For Clamping:

    -If you can unbond any ground going from the splice to the ground.
    -Clamp every cable in the splice/handhole. From experience I have seen alot of time the signal will not travel all the way around the entire splice area.
    -Make sure to check the fiber codes on the sides of the fiber. So you know which one to clamp to first as indicated by the prints and it will also show you if there is something that is not on the prints, if it can be located or not, strand count, date put in, ect.

    Happy Locating

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

    There are many great ideas and comments (I excluded one, everyone has their right to their opinion - like a butt), thoughts, and explainations. There is no one way t oskin a cat, and in this industry locators have to do different things to get the desired result - a precise locate. At least for those of us who respect the job we do. I asked the question because I am always learning something new and no one in this field, to my knowledge, know everything. Thanks again!

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

    I think the thumb tack idea is brilliant, ! Thanks dude for that good advice!
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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

    Sorry this is a little off topic, but I used to get into handholes for street lights to locate them. I would pop them open, and clamp around one of the lines leading to the light. It was the only sure way to get a great signal on the lights themselves, due to poor signal from the transformer that they are fed from. When I was out in the field with one of my supervisors, they told me that we are NOT allowed to get into these at all due to possible electric shock. I was then told that I was only allowed to LINE OF SIGHT the street lights....does this make sense to anyone else? I guess what I mean is aren't we here to ACCURATELY locate something? What happens when the street lights cross into the median?
    If anyone has a better way (instead of opening handholes, God forbid I break company policy) of locating street lights, please let e know!

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

    hey Sauroke, start you a new thread with this topic ok . it is a very good question but just in the wrong place. thanks dude!
    Quote Originally Posted by sauroke View Post
    Sorry this is a little off topic, but I used to get into handholes for street lights to locate them. I would pop them open, and clamp around one of the lines leading to the light. It was the only sure way to get a great signal on the lights themselves, due to poor signal from the transformer that they are fed from. When I was out in the field with one of my supervisors, they told me that we are NOT allowed to get into these at all due to possible electric shock. I was then told that I was only allowed to LINE OF SIGHT the street lights....does this make sense to anyone else? I guess what I mean is aren't we here to ACCURATELY locate something? What happens when the street lights cross into the median?
    If anyone has a better way (instead of opening handholes, God forbid I break company policy) of locating street lights, please let e know!
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

  9. #24
    Senior Member Wingfoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    Quote Originally Posted by RD_Wrangler View Post
    Ummm...Knowing how to read telecommunications codes to be able to tell if it is a sheathed fiber or not might be helpful.

    This is the coding of fiber optic cables for ATT. Pay special attention to the 3rd digit in the code. This code indicates if the fiber in question has a metallic sheath, has non-metallic strengthening fibers or is sheathless. This is critical information when trying to locate fiber optic cables. If the fiber does not have a metallic sheath, you must have a tracer wire to locate it.

    This is a typical fiber optic code found on an AT&T print and it's subsequent breakdown:


    AT 5BQ2MT - 072

    1. Indicates the manufacturer of the Fiber Optic cable


    AT – AT&T

    Al – Alcatel

    Nt – Northern Telecom

    Sr – Siecor

    Va – Valtec


    2. Describes the Fiber type


    2 – Single mode (all)

    3 – Single mode ixe (at)

    4 – Step-index multimode (at)

    5 – Graded-index multimode (at)

    There are other codes for multi mode fibers; however, the information in this section is not significant to a locate technician.


    3. Transmission performance


    B - .35db / km (at)

    4 - .40 db / km (all)

    g - .45 db / km (all)

    5 - .50 db / km (all)

    7 - .70 db / km ( Nt, Sr, Va)

    The information in this section is not significant to a locate technician.


    4. Sheath type


    2 – All dielectric cable

    3 – Non-metallic x-ply

    6 – Flame retardant PVC non-metallic

    9 – Non-metallic ixe

    N – Kevlar – poly – steel


    5 – “B” over sheath

    c – Standard x-ply

    t – Flame retardant

    h – Primary R/I protected

    m – poly – steel – poly

    q – Lxe metallic armor

    s – Submarine cable

    t – Lxe R/I protected

    NOTE: The code/sheath indicated above in RED identify unlocatable fiber optic cables. If you need to locate a fiber optic line that includes any of these top 5 codes, notify your supervisor immediately.


    5. Represents tension load of fiber cable

    The information in this section is not significant to a locate technician.


    6. Cable unit type core design

    S – slotted core

    L – loose buffer tube

    B – light pack

    R – ribbon

    M – Accuribbon

    The information in this section is not significant to a locate technician.


    7. Unit size


    4 – 4 fibers per slot

    6 – 6 fibers per slot

    t – 12 fibers per slot

    The information in this section is not significant to a locate technician.


    8. Number of guaranteed fibers


    002 – 2 strand

    006 – 6 strand

    012 – 12 strand

    024 – 24 strand

    048 – 48 strand

    060 – 60 strand

    072 – 72 strand

    144 – 144 strand

    216 – 216 strand

    432 – 432 strand

    864 – 864 strand

    These are the most common sizes of fiber optic cables. There is no set amount or size that may be used.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by Wingfoot; September 24th, 2010 at 05:34 AM.

  10. #25
    Mke
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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    Great Post Wing

    Mke

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

    To further what he said there, heres sample coding from NC operations. To cover what we have on the CUS side of code reading.

    Fiber Optic Cable Description
    ----------

    M1 M2- S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6- N N N. EX: (AT-25C2BT-012)

    M1M2 Cable Manufacturers
    ----------
    AL: Alcatel
    AT: Lucent (OFS)
    SR: Corning (Siecor)
    PC: Pirelli
    SP: Superior

    Abbreviations
    ----------
    DS: Dispersion Shifted
    MM: Multi Mode
    NZDS: Non-zero Dispersion Shifted
    SMF: Single Mode Fiber

    S3 Sheath
    ----------
    -Jacket Construction

    (Goes by Character, Locatability, and Application)

    D Not Locatable -
    1 Not Locatable -
    2 Not Locatable Meritime
    3 Not Locatable -
    6 Not Locatable Premise Riser
    7 Not Locatable Premise Plenum
    8 Not Locatable Premise General
    9 Not Locatable -
    G or M Locatable -
    B Locatable -
    C Locatable -
    F Locatable Indoor/Outdoor
    H Locatable -
    J Locatable -
    N Locatable -
    P Locatable -
    R Locatable -
    S Locatable Submarine
    Q Locatable -
    T Locatable -
    U Locatable Steam-Resistant
    V Locatable -
    W Locatable -
    Y Locatable -

    NNN
    ----------
    Number of Fiber in Cable

    S=Corrugated Steal
    C Corrugated Copper Members
    SS=Corrugated Stainless Steel
    SW=Steel Wire
    MR=Metallic Rods
    D=Dielectric Strength
    DR=Dielectric Rods
    P=Polyethylene Jacket

    S3 Sheath Contd.
    ----------
    -Jacket Construction
    (Inside to Outside and Character)

    P: D
    D-P: 1
    P-D-P: 3
    P-S-P: G or M
    D-S-P: W
    D-S-P-S-P: V
    D-P-S-P: N
    D-P-S-P-S-P: R
    SW-P-SW-P: C
    SW-P-SW-P-C-S-P: B
    SS-SW-P: H
    SW-P-C-S-SW-P: J
    S-MR-P: Q
    SS-MR-P: T
    DR-P: 9
    S-MR-P-SS-P: Y

    Composite Fiber Locating
    ----------

    Here is a Beige Square ped normally called an ONU ped or a Composite fiber ped. A composite fiber is a cable that has a copper and a fiber optic cable all wrapped in one sheath. Composites come in many different sizes.

    The only way to locate a composite fiver is by direct connecting to the copper side of the cable. The copper side of the cable can be found most often inside the ONU ped but also the copper can be pulled up in a Mag placed next to the ONU. The copper side can be found in a Mag and the fiber found in a hand hole.

    Looking inside the ONU cabinet look to see where a fiber and a copper appear to be coming out of the ground together. One will be a copper and another will be a fiber going to a box in the top of the ped. Find the end of the copper and that will be your connection point. The smaller fibers will often be bonded in the same place as the services. Again be careful, some of the small copper are similar in size to the AT&T services. Remember the copper size can be many different sizes you must use the prints to help identify the correct sizes of the cable you are looking for. Above is a very small one and the copper to the right is a slightly larger one. Be careful sometimes the copper will be behind the bonding plate.

  12. #27
    Mke
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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    while i'm thinking about it..... has anyone tried the Bacon flavored Spam?

    I know its off topic, but was as random as vacuum boy's post.

    and i'm serious about the flavor of the spam.

    mke

  13. #28
    Junior Member fizat07405's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    Remember when accessing and unbonding the composite at an onu, you will only be able to locate that fiber to the nearest onu or splice. after that the fiber will be commonly grounded again and you will lose your target.... also be sure to bond that composite back up for future locating....sometimes the copper side you can access in a hh.... also if your not geting a good signal check the next sets of onus to make sure they are properly grounded so your signal can travel...
    also remeber the copper pairs on a composite is what powers the onu and carry voltage, its not a good idea to access pairs with cheater clips , you might get zapped , damage your equip, or the onu itself,,, also make sure to close the ony while hooked up because if someones sprinklers come on and the onu's insides get wet it can be damaged...
    Last edited by fizat07405; June 18th, 2011 at 01:26 PM.

  14. #29
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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    It is also a good idea that if you can not absolutely isolate your target and direct connect, pot hole it in 2 different areas then induce. get a visual on it...

  15. #30
    Senior Member Enjoythefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you locate fiber optic(F/O) lines?

    NVM. To each his own.
    Last edited by Enjoythefall; June 24th, 2011 at 11:41 PM.

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