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Thread: Mislocating CATV line

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    Senior Member jayc's Avatar
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    Default Mislocating CATV line

    OK guys, I have a locating question for you.

    We are working on a force relocate project right now and in part of it we've got to dig up the existing CATV feeder cables in the ground and relocate them to the new pedestal locations. Right now they come off a riser pole and go to peds.

    So we're digging at 60' trench with a mini excavator and we hit a CATV feeder cable that was not marked (closest mark was 30' away). This is a newer .625 cable (compared to the older .500 cables) which comes straight off the pole and directly to the ped in a straight (diagonal) line. It doesn't 90 or 45 anywhere and it's not in pipe.

    So I call up the locator, who is a nice guy and been doing this a long time, and we talked about it...I've talked to this guy about a dozen times on this job already and he's always willing to help me or answer any questions I might have about something.

    Now, he hooks his locator back up to it (one of those 10k units USIC uses) and sure enough, picks it up right on the AT&T cable. Now, we'd already dug a 40" pit where the AT&T and power was located to expose them, and sure enough, it was picking up the AT&T - he looked at the depth, it said 1'6" - which is exactly how deep the AT&T was. Take a look at the picture to see what I'm talking about. He hooked up to the tap, to the aluminum jacket inside the ped, ring clamped to the cable at the riser pole, and he clamped to the aluminum jacket in the trench where the cable was damaged.

    When he hooked up to the tap and the aluminum jacket in the ped, he followed the AT&T cable. When he hooked up to the aluminum jacket in the trench where the cable was damaged, he picked it up in 5 different locations - all different directions and none where the cable was actually located. After I respliced the cable, he tried again, and still had the same results as before.

    Does anyone know why this would be happening and what can be done in the future to successfully locate the cable.



    Last edited by jayc; April 25th, 2014 at 09:48 PM.

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    Default Re: Mislocating CATV line

    Did he try to unbond the AT&T

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    Default Re: Mislocating CATV line

    the locator should unbond the ground at the catv ped and direct connect there with an independent ground and locate back to the pole riser using the lowest possible freq (512) and lowest power setting. Verify that his peak response agrees with his null response. If he did not do that, his signal will follow the path of least resistance and bleed onto the facility that has the best ground assuming that power, phone, tv, share a common ground at the pole and the homes. This should be a fairly simple locate, however if that cables insulation has been damaged and exposed to earth his signal may be distorted. Good Luck.

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    Default Re: Mislocating CATV line

    Would it be possible that that cable was already hit in a different spot and he's just getting a forced signal on the AT&T. Also (this wouldn't have solved the problem before the damage), but did he direct connect to the jacket of the cable where it was damaged and see if he could run it back to the ped and pole?

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    Default Re: Mislocating CATV line

    Quote Originally Posted by orangeboots View Post
    Did he try to unbond the AT&T
    He did not unbond the AT&T when he was locating the Comcast. I don't remember if the Comcast was grounded to a ground rod or not, I'll be back tomorrow with my McLaughlin Verifier to see if I have any luck with it.


    Quote Originally Posted by PureOwnage View Post
    Would it be possible that that cable was already hit in a different spot and he's just getting a forced signal on the AT&T. Also (this wouldn't have solved the problem before the damage), but did he direct connect to the jacket of the cable where it was damaged and see if he could run it back to the ped and pole?
    I don't know if it was already damaged in a different spot. I know it had to be directional bored in because it's running under a parking lot. He did direct connect to the jacket where it was damaged and that's where he got 5 different locations it said it was running.

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    Mke
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    Default Re: Mislocating CATV line

    First off... Wasn't someone on the vine stating that catv was the easiest thing to locate?

    Back to the topic...

    Mr.X is on the right path. I don't know if jumping to 512 right away is a great move. If this cable is shoving the signal to ground, 512 may not give you the umph to push the signal to the source. I'm guessing he was running 65 or 33. If this was the case, I'd step the frequency down and see what you get.

    Me, personally, I would of connected the 810 and marked all the bleed off and then induce the signals back to the source, then side box to pick up any additional signals that may be masked by the stronger tones. Unless there wasn't enough room to induce... Then I would take the machete and hack the catv to isolate the individual cables and direct connect to the cable.


    Mke
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    Default Re: Mislocating CATV line


    Greetings jayc! If this was my locate, my steps:

    1.) Use f8 locating AT&T.

    2.) Go to the out-end of the CATV, direct connect using f8 and mark it back to the pole.

    3.) Direct connect to electric transformer using f8.

    Big red flag if any of the lines ride very close or on top of another; as in your example, CATV riding AT&T. If so:

    4.) Couple the CATV feeder using f33, 20% power, keeping the gain low, first on the out-end, and if need be, then off the pole. Works every time for me!

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Default Re: Mislocating CATV line

    He could go unbond all nearby cable services from the communal ground at all the houses within a few hundred feet. With these bonds intact, you've set yourself up for guaranteed bleedoff on elec. and Tel, and I've seen many gas tracers bonded to the ground rod, too. Don't ask me why. But USICdoesn't give him the time to do that.

    Isolate as many bonds as youfeel like and make sure his ground isn't crossing any nearby utils, and you should be good. Please rebond everything.

    If you don't isolate your system via bonding and ground placement, as well as use LOW wattage to combat bleedover, you're asking for a mess.

    If signal is allowed to easily cross propagate via communal grounding, you'll end up with a troubleshooting nightmare. Ghost peaks/nulls in different places, several "good" signals of varying strength and direction, lines being masked due to depth and field interference... add all that to the RF pollution being spewed out of the ped grounds, pole ground, and anchor, and you've got yourself a damage.

    I'd break those bonds and work from the outs in, possibly 33khz lowest power. If he'd used 60cycle or radio mode on that RD to run a sweep, he should have picked that CATV feeder up and been able to trace it back to its origins.

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    Default Re: Mislocating CATV line

    Its a pain in the butt, but sometimes you have to unbond everything for several houses to get cable tv to locate correctly. If i have trouble with cabletv i usually open up surrounding att peds and unbond everything in them all cables drops and then locate tv in 8k 1 bar of power should be good with TX 10

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    Default Re: Mislocating CATV line

    what city was this in? could that coax have been wows cable? wow is wide open west better known as americast back when ameritech owned the phone and cable company. some of their stuff still runs/pops inout of at&ts ducts

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    Default Re: Mislocating CATV line

    Often you can disconnect the main bond inside the cable ped. Unplug the drops at your peril and mark the main out as quickly as you can before angry housewives come storming out cuz little Johnie got SpongBob cut off just before the Squidward caught him. With cable internet, it may be wise to warn folks but USIC doesn't grant much time per ticket for thhat. Splash and dash is what makes the money.
    Whoever said cable is easiest I don't know but any time you can't unbond easily, ie cable/electric, it's a pain to do it right. I wish common bonding between utilities could be phased out and a lot of these problems would go away.
    Last edited by daman1; April 26th, 2014 at 06:11 PM.

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    Default Re: Mislocating CATV line

    The main problem on the original locate is that the locator felt comfortable with his signal or he would have gone thru these extra steps. He obviously cares and is a vet maybe a power mode sweep when everything else was done?
    daman1 and phoenix827 like this.

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    Default Re: Mislocating CATV line

    Quote Originally Posted by Wingfoot View Post

    Greetings jayc! If this was my locate, my steps:

    1.) Use f8 locating AT&T.

    2.) Go to the out-end of the CATV, direct connect using f8 and mark it back to the pole.

    3.) Direct connect to electric transformer using f8.

    Big red flag if any of the lines ride very close or on top of another; as in your example, CATV riding AT&T. If so:

    4.) Couple the CATV feeder using f33, 20% power, keeping the gain low, first on the out-end, and if need be, then off the pole. Works every time for me!

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In a lot of places out here phone and power are joint trenched. What pisses me off is sometimes locators just assume that's the case - last year I was going to a building and he marked it as being joint trenched when I knew AT&T had their stuff coming in from another direction and it wasn't located.

    So out here you will pick up power and phone in the same spot, same trench.

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    Senior Member jayc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mislocating CATV line

    Quote Originally Posted by fiberlocator99 View Post
    what city was this in? could that coax have been wows cable? wow is wide open west better known as americast back when ameritech owned the phone and cable company. some of their stuff still runs/pops inout of at&ts ducts
    It's in Streamwood, and WOW won't come out there to locate their stuff. Not for us, not for gas, not for power, and not for phone when all of them called their tickets in. It's a miracle that nothing got whacked. WOW also uses .715QR cable, the stuff I ran into was .625P3, and it was the only .625 coming off that pole. The other 2 were both .500 cables.

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    Default Re: Mislocating CATV line

    Quote Originally Posted by jayc View Post
    It's in Streamwood, and WOW won't come out there to locate their stuff. Not for us, not for gas, not for power, and not for phone when all of them called their tickets in. It's a miracle that nothing got whacked. WOW also uses .715QR cable, the stuff I ran into was .625P3, and it was the only .625 coming off that pole. The other 2 were both .500 cables.
    maybe it was an old americast cable before wow. I know people that work at wow and they tell me their locator in this area(elgin streamwood bartlett) sucks. I tell him every time at they should have hired me back in 2011 but went with the current crappy locator instead who is not locating their plant for your tickets. too bad so sad wow. next time you have a problem with wow call 630-536-3100 and ask for monty he is the construction supervisor in charge of the locators. he is out of the office in naperville off of diehl or just hit their shit and keep working.

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