fladuhcracker

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About fladuhcracker

  • Rank
    Ground Hand
  • Birthday 01/19/41

Profile Information

  • Industry Telephone
  • Location miami fl, nashville tn ,various temp locations
  • Union CWA 3121 retired life member
  • Gender Male
  • Country usa
  1. I retired from the Bell System 20 years ago this month. I only worked once after that. I worked as a PCS for a contractor for Bell on a directional boring job for a couple of month. I was offered a job for a fairly big operation doing the same thing but it was a little far away from my house and I had to start right away and I had existing plans and could not start when they wanted me to. So that was the end of my post retirement career. I assume If I had taken the job and performed to their satisfaction I could have kept working all ove Florida and mabe other states. I will have to said that the manager of the company was a retired Bell engineer who Had been a cable repairman before becoming an engineer and had been my cable helper when he started with Bell. How's Mumford/ I had a nephew who lived there for a while when he was in the Navy. I visited there several times since I had Grandkids in Memphis. I am originally from up the road from you in Carroll County.
  2. Scotchcast

    Scotchcast (from 3M) Now that's a blast from the past. Made many a block in PIC cable it. Also go back to about 1962 in Miami Fl. They decided to put all the cables under air pressure.We would take a section where everything was buried lead sheath (Jute). First shoot plugs into all the F type terminals using scotchcast, That is a story all to it's self. Then solder valves on splices unde U guards or dig up splices and run lead air pipe to them. When all this was done we would put the cable unde air pressure with nitrogen tanks. Then take readings at all the valves and put the reading on graph paper to see where leaks were or blocks. If it indicated where a buried spice was on the platts,we would dig up the splice and test it for leaks. When I say we,I don't mean a digging crew. Before we would dig up the splice we would try to determine  if mabe the leak was there by putting feron in the cable and trying to probe the area with a probe with an aspirator bulb (off an explosive meter) the air we got went in to a box and we would test it with our propane torch. If there was freon there the flame from the torch would turn a brilliant green and we would know we had a leak in the area of the splice. Usually we had to dig it up anyhow if  the graph indicated a large leak that would prevent us from maintaining approx 10 psi on the cable. Oh boy the good old days
  3. take a quarter out of a pot of hot wiping solder

        I don't post on here very often. Having retired almost 17 years ago there's not a lot I can contribute to. Every thing I know about has already been covered somewhere in here it seems like. I  do read the post often and I glad I reread this one and saw the Youtube video of the guy sticking his hand in the solder.  Every one I ever saw do it was very careful to dry his hands. Mabe they were just getting dirt or mabe the oil on your skin off. I really don't know. fI we stuck any thing in the lead pot that had any moisture at all it would spit lead out like shrapnel.   I noticed this video after the above one posted. It brought back a memory what some bored Cable Helpers would do stuck out at a manhole for 12 hrs at night. In 1963 there was about 6 or more 24 hr underground crews sent from Miami to Cocoa Beach. We worked 2 men on each 12 hr shift,A splicer and a helper. Mostly we were splicing ug cable going to Cape Kennedy,I believe it was still called that. Some bored cable helper seeing the ant mounds wonder what would happen if he poured solder down in one.,so he heated up the solder pot and poured it down the anthole,let it cool then dug it up and washed the dirt,sand and ants off. He ended up with something similar towhat is shown in the video. Not quite as complex. He then melte enough solder in the pot to come up 3 inches or so,let it set up.got it out of the pot and turned it upside down making a base for the kind of sculpture the ant hill made. That got several of the other helper making one and showing them to girls they met. Those girls really loved them. They would offer just about anything for one of them for their apartments. So that was the forerunner of what this guy is doing with Al. Honest injun I never made one fladuhcracker http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IugvemOyZY
  4. Side Cutters

    All my years at Bell we always had 9" Kliens. I don' t remember ever having anything else. The snips (sissors) that the cable splicers used varied at different times between Clauss and Wiss , sometimes with serrated blades sometimes not. Some splicers would serrate the blades themselves using a file. They may have made left handed snips back then but we never had them. I was always told that you could not be a cable splicer back then if you were left handed. I'm not really sure if that was true. For the most part a lefty could not use the snips the way we used them for splicing cables. I supose a lefty could learn to use them with his right hand. They had notches for skinning the insallation but not many splicers used them especially when most all of the larger cables had either paper or pulp installation. They used the non notched side of the snips. When you were splicing up a new cable the snips would hardly ever leave you hand. They stayed across the palm of your hand with your little finger thru the loop or what ever the real name is. They were inline splices and you would grab a wire from each side. They do what they called breaking the wires kind of flip them over each other in the bank where you were making your splices. There were normally 3 banks of pigtails(spliced wires) then skin the wires twist them up using 3 lose twist and 5 tight twists use you snips to kind of bend the pigtail over and pull the waxed cotton sleeve over it and cut left over wire off and grab another pair of wires from each side. Your snips never left your hand. Kind of boring but thank goodness splicing up new cables was only a small part of  the job of a cable splicers. Then came mechanical connectors instead of twisted wire splices. Thank Goodness 
  5. How did you get where you are?

     Did any of you veteran cable/phone guys get in by apprenticeship, or a totally different way?     Totally Different way. In 1960 when I started with the Bell System there was no formal apprenticeship. You went to a some basic training classes and from there it was mostly on the job training with classes now and then to cover things that was changing. There were lots of other support jobs but this info applied to Outside Plant type jobs and the central office. The lowest entry job was a cable helper,which was what I was hired as. The other entry level positions were lineman,installer/repairman and frameman (central-office). These were considered semi skilled workers. You could request changes within these titles by writing a letter. The next step up was cable splicers,PBX men and switchman and i believe cable repairman was a separate title at that time,these were skilled workers.If there was an opening for one of jobs you bid for the job going by your seniority.Before the bid was posted any one holding that title in the bell system could transfer in to the job. Normally they wanted cable helpers to become splicers,framemen to be switchman and installers to be PBx men,because there training and experience made them more qualified. However whoever had the most seniority was suspose to get the job. So if a cablehelper had worked hard learning  the cablesplicing job and some guy was po'd about something and had the seniority he could get the job. For instance if a senior person working as an I/R wanted the job he could get it. It was the same with his job also. If the I/R wanted to move up to a PBX job any senior person could take it. Of course you would have older lineman afer years of climbing would take some of the bids. They mostly went for Cable splicers since they had a good knowledge of that type work. Sure can't blame them for that. Several years later. They were hiring splicers,switchmen and pbx men off the street. They got a basis training for the job and I guess you could say they were journeymen of a sort.To be fair it wasn't much different if a splicer took a swithwman or pbx job or one of those types took a splicers job they were making top pay if they had the years to be on top pay in their job wth reallynot much experience for it.I was kind of glad it was like that so I could have gone to a different job just using my seniority if I wanted to. I really never thought it wasn't really fair for people in the lower paid jobs that worked hard to try to get the higher paying job in the type work they were doing. For myself like I said I started as a cable helper and worked mostly on shift work in the underground working what ever hrs my seniority allowed me to. After about 3 yrs they had opening for splicers and most of the senior Helpers took these jobs. This made me be one of the senior helpers and I could get anyshift I wanted. in another couple of years they had bids for splicers and I got the job and was back on the bottom of the seniority list for a while until they opened a new workcenter that everyone wanted to go to. I had the seniority to take the last position there but turned it down to stay where I was and i was thenalmost the senior splicer there instead of being the jr one at the new workcenter. Two or three yrs later I got promoted to Cable splicing foreman but it really wasn't my cup of tea and took my tools back and transfer to Nashville for 8 yrs and when came back to Miami where I worked  as a splicer until I retired. They did change the title to Facility tech later on and combined splicers and cable repaiman 's title. They were pretty much interchangable
  6. Google, AT&T, Eye Austin for 1 Gig Service

    Hopefully this will take you to the link with the chart http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Fiber
  7. Google, AT&T, Eye Austin for 1 Gig Service

    Here are the plans that Google Fiber is offering in KC (from Wikipedia) I read an article stating that Google was buying dark fiber all over the USA for pennies on the dollar or the leases for it,however it works l   Sorry the chart did not copy correctly so I hope I deleted what I did post ]
  8. The Old CATV Equipment Museum

       Mobile telephones for automobiles became available from some telephone companies in the 1940s. Early devices were bulky and consumed high power and the network supported only a few simultaneous conversations. Modern cellular networks allow automatic and pervasive use of mobile phones for voice and data communications. In the United States, engineers from Bell Labs began work on a system to allow mobile users to place and receive telephone calls from automobiles, leading to the inauguration of mobile service on 17 June 1946 in St. Louis, Missouri. Shortly after, AT&T offered Mobile Telephone Service. A wide range of mostly incompatible mobile telephone services offered limited coverage area and only a few available channels in urban areas.    We had these Motorola Mobile units in our supervisors trucks when I started at Bell in 1960. They were advailable to anyone that wanted one. I think this is the same thing that were in boats and ships. Ours went through the Miami Marine Operator. Working the night shifts in the manholes we would have to call the operator and tell her if our crew moved to a mew location since we reported to the job in our private auto. You would call her before going to work to find out where your crew was unless you were sure they would not have moved. Later they wired them to the horn,so nif you were out of the truck the horn woulod blow until you got to the truck or the caller hung up. At night you might be out of the truck in a residental area and would turn it off so you didn't wake people up. Also your horn could start blowing when you were behind someome at a traffic light. If I remember right if you had it turned off you could call the Miami Mobiloe Op to see if you got any calls. I don't know if everyone who had one could or just the compamy employees. We had then way up until beepers and cell phones were out I guess. When I worked in Nashville in the 70's and was working out away fro town in a seclided area, I like to take my shirt of and sometimes put on my shorts to get some sun. I would have to wait until the foreman came by . One he did and left he wouldn't drive back out there. I had one come out to my job and decided to sit out there and read the paper. He went down to this little creek and got all spread out on a big rock and was reading the paper. I called him on the mobile phone and he tried to grab the other sections and the on he had open and run to the truck to answer. As so as he got there I disconnected and he waited by the truck for a few minutes then went babk to the creek and got all settled agin then I called him again and he went through it all again then the next time He said someone must need something and that he'd better go check the crews . I had been a foreman before in Miami and had all kins of stuff pulled on me or at least tried a lot of times,so I though I kind of had the right. He was kind of a jerk any way Fladuhcracker
  9. Cool Ladder

    What a nice ladder. I spent a good deal of my time as a cable splicer with The Bell System working off ladders. The earlier years were solid wood ladders,then wood rails with Al. rungs then Fiberglass ladders. Installers carried a 24 ft ex ladder and splicers a 28 ft ladder. When I worked in Nashville Splicers had both a 28 ft and a 32 ft on their trucks. In Nashville we also had 36,42 and 46 ft ex ladders. These ladders were all solid wood at that time. Even the 32 ft ladder was considered a two man ladder (two men to put it up) it wasn't a problem for most splicers to put it up by their selves. Some men could put up a 36 ft by their selves. I never tried it my self. Now those 42 and 46 ft solid wood ladders were a pain. Some times you would have to put one up on the bank of the side of a road and the pole line would be  at the bottom.  So there would be 2 men standing on the bank ,one holding and balancing the ladder the other pulling the extension up. You really couldn't judge how high you need to raise the ladder or sometimes if it would even reach the strand. Most of the time we would just raise it to the max height allowed. Then start to let it go to the strand. Before it was anywhere close it would be at the point of no return,you just had to let it go and hope for the best. Even with the 46 ft some times you would have the 2 rugs above the strand , sometime not. There were plenty of times there were only a few inches above the strand and one guy would hold the ladder to keep it from sliding and the other guy cat climb the ladder to tie it off. Them there were the times that it missed the strand completly and usually the ladder  would hit the ground and be damaged quite a bit. There weren't many bucket trucks around back then. I think we did have one but mabe for some reason it would't reach because we we usually out there with those ladders. We never put up the ladders the properr way with a hand line over the strand then testing the strand with our weight and then putting the ladder on the ground and pulling it up with the rope over the strand. At least thats what they use to sayThen with the ladders we would use the items mention you were suspose to do. Most of the time you would not have the space to do it that way. Then with the ladders we would use the items mention several times inthe telco forum Ladder slings,Ladder seats(I alway stood on them instead of sitting) and platforms or boards or what ever other name you might have for them . Those were the good old days I guess.   
  10. Uverse Field Manager Trainee

    Never heard of the Bucksqueeze. I have been gone from Bell 16 yrs at the end of this month. I looked it up and found their web site plus some videos on youtube of both the Bucksqueeze and the Cynch lok. I had imagined a simlar thing years ago and I suspect many others could say the same. When I started thith Bell and I guess to this day , Hoboing or Hitchhicking wasn't allowed. Another thing that wasn't allowed but lots of people did it was sneak climbing. I kind of favored that method myself. Being a cable splicer,I didn't have to climb all that often. I was never a lineman or held the title. I was sent to work in the line crew for a few days every now and again when I was a cable helper. Most of the time it wasn't cause the was short handed it was because I was talking when I sould have been listening and that was my punishment a few days in the line crew for a litte attitude adjustment. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87n7yDviBAo      Bucksqueeze  there's a part 2 also Fladuhcracker
  11. This is what I always thought a johnny ball was. Was what I always heard them called.   Low voltage "egg" type strain insulator, used in utility pole guy cables to prevent any voltage on the guy caused by an electrical fault on the pole from reaching the lower sections accessible to the public            
  12. Honest we thought it was Abandon??

          I know this is not an abondoned cable.      .Years ago the Bell System quite abandoning cables. If the cable was abondoned ,they gave up any claim to it and anyone could dig it up to salvage the lead or copper and possibly damage a working cable in the process. So we started  RIP'ing them. Retired In Place/ not physically removed. That is how they showed up on platts. I don't know if we still had to pay taxes on one that was RIP'ed
  13. SONG OF THE OPEN WIRE

    http://www.the-electric-orphanage.org/the-boomer-lineman/   This site I guess would tell you everything you never needed to know about open wire. It will open to boomer lineman if you scroll down. There are lots of pictures of old Bell  lineman and open wire pole lines. Even tells you how to set a pole, that was recently mention on another thread. Lots of info about climbers. I'don't remember the exact  difference between Bell climber's and power co. climber's in the 60's but the Bell lineman were always swapping Bell stuff for FP&L climber's.   There is also a littloe info about tools. They show a little stick and ask what it is and give you a hint. The only reason I am mention it,is that bon another thread someone mention it or asked what it was. It is an Orange Stick,not orange in color but kind of natural wood colored. It was called an Orange stick because it was made out of orange wood. Switchmen used them but cable splicers always had one handy for working in Tight splices or just seperating wires. Great for working in layer cable if some of you remember it. It was not in bibders but just layer after layer of wires wrapping around the cable. Just a little story about orange sticks. I stopped by a manhole to go to lunch with another splicer. I was standing there and the splicer in the manhole asked his brand new helper for an orange stick. Of course the helper didn't know what is was for and asked the splice what it looked like. He told him it was a little wood stick,mabe a little orange looking. The helper went rummanging through the truck and came back to the manhole with a big smile on his face he was so proud of hisself that he found it and handed the splice a 3 foot piece of a broom handle painted bright orange. I guess it was a dog stick or something. The splicer asked him what the blank is this,and the helper handed it to him with a still  a big smile and said it was the orange stick he asked for. Fladuhcracker
  14. Americans at Work Film Series - Telephone - 1950's

            Lot of familar things in that movie. I spent many a day on a platform when I worked in Nashville. I think the plarform with the hole in the center and the place to put your feet was basically a one man platform. The solid one was a two man board. Up there they call it the dance floor board. Thats all we used up there. You could tie the platform off either to the pole or to your ladder. I perfered the ladder because after you tied it off you could raise the strand a little by moving the ladder in and make your ropes a little tighter. To PO the foreman sometimes wewould only tie off the opposite side's rope. Worked fine upless you leaned ove the strand and the board could flip. We never went by the practice and hung even the solid platform by pulling it up with a handline. Also if working on the back side of platform as with two men,instead of stepping over the strand  especially if ther was two strands and you had to crawl between them ,we would just climb up and down the backside of the ladder . 
  15. That was interesting. I noticed a good picture not too far from the begining showing those cable rings that were placed using the cable carts,buggies or what ever your co. called them