Fiber Optic Cable Installation

20160520-135517This employee of Coastal Power and Electric, contracted by Santee Cooper, is suspended from a helicopter as he is moved from one utility pole to another as he and a coworker replace existing wires with fiber optic cable on Friday, May 20, along Bluffton Parkway in Bluffton.  Moving the workmen by helicopter allows them to replace the cables without having to take the line out of service, according to newspaper reports.  The workmen will be replacing a little more than 7 miles of cable.

20160520-134910 20160520-135107The first step in the process, after the linemen are secured to the poles, involves delivering the hardware they install which enables installation of the fiber optic cable.  These two pieces of hardware, a bracket (shown being installed in the picture to the left) which is bolted to the pole and a pulley which attaches to the bracket, will be used to pull the cable and then secure it permanently to the poles.

20160520-135311After the pulley is secured to the bracket, this workman’s job is done on this pole, and he will be moved down the line to repeat the process.  After installing a number of brackets and pulleys along the line, a cable will be pulled through the pulley system and secured to the poles.  At this point the pulleys are removed and reused further down the line.

20160520-135449 20160520-135504The helicopter returns to the pole, dropping a line which the lineman grabs and attaches to his harness.  Then it’s “Up, Up and Away!” as the helicopter moves the men on down the line.

I could definitely NOT do this job!


About Tom

Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, Appalachian State University.
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