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dexman Offline OP
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While on my daily walk along a route I haven't taken before, I noticed what looks like lead conduit strung along between utility poles.

If that is what was actually up there (I do have a few pictures that I took and can try to post if so requested), was that a common practice of the Bell System ponder


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If I remember correctly outside plant was 620's-650's range in BSP's...gimme a minute...

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I've never seen aerial conduit of any kind. You sure it wasn't just lead cable?


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Aerial conduit isn't strange, you havent noticed it because it's usually black. It is usually for fiber though. It's almost the same product as the orange subduct used in burial for the same application.

I've seen lead cable and lead cable hanging from staples/rings instead of being lashed, but never lead conduit, at least not aerial. I was at a customer house once that had a lead conduit sealed in the wall the drop came out if, but that might have just been the jacket of the ancient drop.

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I've seen aerial fiber but not in conduit


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I'll either post or link pictures that I took. smile


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Picture #1
Picture #2
Picture #3

Picture #4

The first three links are for pictures of the overhead cable.
The fourth picture.....is the 101B a Western Electric product? Google associates that code with a telephone ringing unit.


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Get out your gaffs and lineman boots then climb the utility pole and lick the metal. Does it actually taste like lead?


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101B is just a terminal box with two binding posts with a nut and multiple washers. It was used for connecting an incoming drop wire to one or more block wires, or inserting a piece of block wire used as a fusible link between open wire and drop wire.

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That's just a lead cable. Your first picture shows a lead cable splice with characteristic dome tapers.

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I'm not accustomed to seeing lead cable hung overhead. I've only seen it coming into basements from underground. smile

Thank you for the clarification Noobed2336 & ugly1! thumbsup


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Originally Posted by Professor Shadow
Get out your gaffs and lineman boots then climb the utility pole and lick the metal. Does it actually taste like lead?

Kinda reads like "Lick the third rail". eek


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Originally Posted by dexman
Kinda reads like "Lick the third rail". eek

Knock yourself out! âš¡


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Originally Posted by Professor Shadow
Originally Posted by dexman
Kinda reads like "Lick the third rail". eek

Knock yourself out! âš¡

laugh


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Originally Posted by Noobed2336
That's just a lead cable. Your first picture shows a lead cable splice with characteristic dome tapers.

Correct! Used to be very common and squirrels loved to chew on it. (That's why they were so stupid!) I remember a big push to install squirrel guard over the miles and miles of lead cables. Squirrel guard is a "V" shaped plastic product that is made with something squirrels don't like to chew on. It was ty-rapped on top of the lead cables.

Eventually the lead cables were all replaced, probably not because of the lead content but because they were paper insulated and a maintenance problem.

I think California banned lead covered cables because it was causing brain damage to squirrels. What was it, Prop what? popcorn

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Originally Posted by hbiss
I think California banned lead covered cables because it was causing brain damage to squirrels. What was it, Prop what? popcorn

-Hal

I think it was Proposition 4 (1911). California has been going down hill since then.


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I saw a brave soul insist on using an oscillating multitool to cut a splice open instead of the authorized chipping knife. He was wearing coveralls and a dust mask at least but I still thought it was sketchy. Unfortunately I had to get in there after him so I had coveralls and a mask too.

And I dont doubt that it was significantly faster, we would have been there all day chipping it, I'm sure.

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Use of lead above ground isn't common around here. This is the first time I've seen it used in this manner. It might have been prevalent decades ago. I'd be curious to find out if it's still in use, or, if it has been abandoned in place like so much of Verizon's copper OSP. ponder


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Here it was abandoned in place for awhile, then they came around and removed it, probably for the scrap value.

-Hal


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Around here, Verizon is using the old OSP copper to support FiOS fiber. ponder So double lashing isn't unusual.


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No, the copper doesn't support anything. They are just to cheap to remove it.

-Hal


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AT&T still has quite a bit of large lead cable in the air along N. Tryon Street in Charlotte. It's apparently working because many of the splices have been upgraded to pressurized '2 type' splice closures (waffle closures). In my last trip, I saw that a 100 pair going to a fairly new office building was feeding from one of them. Just because it's old doesn't mean it doesn't work.

Verizon also has quite a bit of it still in the air in Hampton, VA and Alexandria, VA.


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I suppose Verizon might still have lead in parts of Boston, Cambridge and Somerville...as well as other older cities in Massachusetts. Just not common in suburbia...at least in these parts.


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I still see some aerial lead cable in rural parts of Maine. I also still see a lot of lead closures on pic. Most of the lead cable appears to be abandoned-in-place; newer pic was lashed over top of it, and now fiber lashed on top of that. The weight of that extra cable must be massive. hbiss is right, too cheap to remove the AIP lead cable. It's kind of an eyesore for those of us who know what we're looking at.

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The cable here could still have DT in it. Verizon won't force existing customers over to fiber unless they have repeating service quality issues.


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It's lead cable, and it's still in use everywhere, even out here in the sticks. Next question.

May I interject yet another example of management stupidity? (Gee, I guess I will wind up writing more than one volume on this subject...)

Back in about 1995, we were treated to a 4-hour safety session in the garage, where some suits came out, brought cold coffee and stale pastries, and proceeded to tell us about the dangers of lead poisoning. As if we didn't already know.

They had the Buildings and Maintenance guys hang signs in the supply rooms and bathrooms that warned about the symptoms of lead poisoning, (my favorite was "black and tarry stools") and how important it was to wear protective clothing and to wash the hands after disturbing the lead dust that naturally occurs on lead surfaces.

"I say, Alphonse, my good man, would you kindly step in here for just a moment, and tell me, before I flush, if you think that my stools look black and tarry?" "Well, Gaston, far be it from me to criticize another gentleman's stools, old boy."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphonse_and_Gaston#/media/File:Alphonsegaston.jpg

I won't bore you with ALL the stupid remarks (of which there was a metric plethora) just the highlights. The NEW RULE was going to be that should a splicer need to enter a manhole where, during the previous 30 days, another worker had disturbed the lead dust, he was required to dress in a Tyvek suit, don a respirator, and wipe off any exposed skin with a special ointment when the job was finished.

Mr. Trouble Maker (me) then asked what is known as the "show stopper" questions. It actually, in this case, DID stop the show, and caused the Suits to fold up their tent and dog-n-pony show, and high-tail it out of town. The simple questions that I asked were "How will I know if a particular manhole has been entered during the last 30 days? Will a record be kept somewhere? Will a placard or other document be left in the manhole by the previous guy? Did you bring an example of such a placard?"

To this day, 25 years later, I still haven't heard the answers.


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laugh

Touché'!


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I will always remember my one experience with lead sheath 25 pr.Was doing a hotel in Williamsburg Va and the brain dead truck driver just rolled the reel off the back of his truck, busted the reel up real good. I had to pull it off the reel from the top. It was like pulling a coil spring with all the loops in the cable.Think it was this job where most of my hair was pulled out, thus my current baldness.

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