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Thread: tracer wire

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    Default tracer wire

    I ran into a bit of a bind today. I found 5 fibers (all non-traceable) without a tracer wire. One came down a pole and went into a handhole about 30' away, no problem. However the other 4 went for quite a distance to a cell site, I informed my sup of the problem and all the necessary info. My question is this, would a piece of maybe 12 gauge wire, or even coax be a good choice to use in lieu of a fish tape? Since you can get them in a longer stretch than a fish tape (which the longest I can find is 250') and is kinda expensive I figured that maybe a rigid wire like a 12g or possibly coax might be a good candidate. This way I don't have to delay any tickets or bother my sup with these problems that could had been avoided if I had something to put in the conduit. I am just looking for the cheapest effective route.

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    Default Re: tracer wire

    There are stand alone mounted on a reel fish tapes longer than 250' used by the crews that install those conduits. These are impractical for most locators to carry around. The long term answer is to get hold of one of these long industrial strength fiberglass tapes and pull in a permanent tracer wire.

    I expect you will have to contact the owner of the FO run and tell them they have a un-locatable run due to failure to install tracer wire. They will have to have their construction people come and install tracer wire. This is the process we have to use when run is beyond the 250' length of our steel fish tapes.

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    Default Re: tracer wire

    If your looking for a cheap but almost effective as a fish tape and know some telecom techs, see if you can get some spare c-wire.

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    Mke
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    Default Re: tracer wire

    It really depends on how much room there is in that conduit and if they used Maxxcell or not. Even with fishtape a crowded conduit can be a pain in the rear. The fiberglass rodder would work, but they are expensive and you still will probably have to tape a wire to it to locate through the area in question. The only other realitively cheap way is using a mouse and blowing some string through the conduit and pulling a wire. But then, i'm not sure if you got room for a shop vac in the work truck.

    Or, you could always put a Big "F.U." in the work area. When the contracator calls to ask what the hell, you can just tell him it states "Fiber Unlocateable".

    Just a thought.

    Mke
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    Default Re: tracer wire

    What locator or locators did you use on the 5 fibers and what freqs?

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    Default Re: tracer wire

    Are there locate balls on the fibers? Are you near transmission power lines?

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    Default Re: tracer wire

    First off, is there a spare conduit running with the four?
    Secondly, I have had hit or miss with this, depending on how good your b wire is. Push b wire through conduit (note, some xbox's have an extra reel, though you didn't hear it from me). Scrape end, and ground it. Locate line from other end. I know it sounds strange to ground it, but b wires have a charge running through them when hooked up. I have had to use this technique a few times, though 250 ft sounds a bit long for it.
    Third, old school, use a 12 gage wire, push it through as far as you can. Locate it out, pull out shovel, expose the conduit. Drop marker ball (if you have one). This is as far as you can locate from one end, move to the other,repeat above steps, and check distance between both points. Move approximately to the center of the 2 eyeball, and start digging. If you need to, trench until you find it. The distance between the 2 points should give you a good idea as to where it runs. If you need to, dig again going in either direction. That is the best you could do, cheaply, and effectively.

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    Default Re: tracer wire

    The five fibers were all on different jobs, oddly enough back to back. Millertime, I'm kinda new to this ( I stated almost a year ago but was laid off after training and brought back recently) I don't know what c-wire is. MKE I like the FU idea, a 20' FU would work wonders. Yaheadme, I was using a rd4000 trans and receiver I am not quite sure of the exact model of the 4000 but it is a very old one that only has 3 freqencies, 5, 8 and 65. Usually I use 8 at low or 50% for direct connect and 65 on clamping. I can never seem to get a signal through when I use 8 for clamping even at 100%. Notsoserious, No tracer balls or power tans. lines in the general area that I know of. Sauroke, There were spare conduit that I could plainly see on 3 of them, the other two went into a conduit at the base of the pole that looked to be 4" and was a 24 strand so needless to say if it stayed that size there should be plenty of room. Also the same with b-wire, I don't know what c-wire is. I did end up trenching a few spots after running some old phone drop (already cut) I found in a ditch next to the pole down a few conduits.. didn't get to far with it which is what gave me the thought of just using wire vs a fish tape. Its just a pain to get the fish tape, but also the last time I had to delay a ticket for a untraceable fiber it took the FO 2 weeks to come and run a tracer wire and me about 4 mins to mark it the 200' locate area.

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    Default Re: tracer wire

    C- wire is the semi rigged 2 wire Ariel telephone line that was used a lot back in the day. It's almost the same consistency of a fish tape and if you have some connections with the telephone company techs you may be able to snag some. I have used that a time or 2 in a pinch to snake down a conduit and locate the fiber when I couldn't get ahold of a fish tape

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    Default Re: tracer wire

    Some fibers require higher freqs to run.65khz is not high enough for some.I had a few fibers that i could only locate with a pipehorn at480khz.Try another locator if you have one with higher freqs.If that doesn't work your gonna need a tracerwire,fish tape,or gpr.

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    Default Re: tracer wire

    I would turn it back to the company that owned it. They want it located cheaply & effectively, then they need to fix their junk. If I'm trying to run a wire down their conduit, then I am wasting my company's time. I personally have no problem telling a multi billion dollar global conglomerate that I can't locate their junk plant because of their poor standards. Let them pay another crew to run a tracer wire.
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    Default Re: tracer wire

    You have to be careful pushing rodder into a conduit with ADSS/Dielectric only fiber. Depending on conduit/cable size, you can end up doing some real damage to the fiber itself. I'd personally be turning this one over to the customer owner if you're a sub-contract locator or the construction crew of your company to have the issue resolved.
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    Default Re: tracer wire

    I recently bought a fish tape from harbor freight, only 15 bucks. Seems to have worked great when I have needed it. I flattened and taped the end so there it no way for it to get caught, also anytime I feel the slightest resistance while pushing I stop. if it isn't far enough I'll take other measures but If I just need maybe 40' I think its worth it.

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