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#475031 01/27/11 08:14 PM
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Sorry for such a neophyte question, but what is that thick black overhead cable with the hundreds of twisted pairs in it called?

I remember when I was a kid, I found a four foot piece of it, and the hide on that thing was tougher than nails and it was like skinning a rhinoceros to remove it... then only to find a sheath of lead, followed by plastic like sheeting then the wires themselves. I remember how moldy smelling the wires were when I finally got to them. The other unusual thing was that on one end of this thing, there was a fitting that almost looked like a plumbing fitting with a cap on it that was soldered to the lead sheath.

I know that this was a phone cable, but I am curious what this stuff is called.

Thanks,

Joe


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#475032 01/28/11 04:02 AM
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Joe,

One of the most common names was "Alpath". I think the fitting you found on the end was a compression pulling eye and typically the end was cut off after pulling the cable.


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#475033 01/28/11 07:53 AM
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"ALPETH" is ALuminum sheath, PolyETHelene jacket cable.

I believe that the cable with a lead inner jacket was referred to at "STALPETH" or something like that.

There were several "caps" that may have been used, though pulling eyes weren't typically soldered onto the sheath. Most soldered capping was done to either provide a dead-end to prevent water entry or to introduce an air fitting to allow pressurization.


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#475034 01/28/11 01:08 PM
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.....okay, twenty questions....but....sounds like a lead stub to a terminal/load coil that would connect to pic or stalpath.....the plumbers fitting, if the interior cable was pic, could have been the isolated dead end terminator. If not, just a lead cap to make it air/water tight until use....my guess. :shrug:


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#475035 02/02/11 04:20 PM
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Scroll down to Universal Load Coil Cases. Any thing like that?


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#475036 02/02/11 05:05 PM
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Now that I've re-read Joe's original post, I'm thinking that we really are just talking about a four foot piece of ALPETH with a pulling eye or factory cap on the end. Here's why:

1. It was back when Joe was a kid and he is probably almost as old as we are, so that "lead" was likely aluminum.

2. Many people try to peel the sheath and the aluminum (A.K.A: Ternplate) separately, which is nearly impossible to do.

3. That "cap" that appeared to be soldered on probably was just a crimped pulling eye. Those things were so perfectly-molded that they probably did look like they were soldered. If not a pulling eye, it probably was just a cap to seal the end and prevent moisture entry as Ken said.

4. The smell would likely be due to the fact that a piece of ALPETH that was found was likely full of water at some point. The residual mildew would certainly smell rotten after a while.

That's my final answer, Regis.


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#475037 02/02/11 05:31 PM
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That's probably a pretty good bet, just cut it off to do their splice. The hide wasn't all that bad, all I every used was a hooked blade stanley to remove the sheath. Factory cap is a pretty good bet too.


Retired phone dude

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