March 29, 2008

Land Line

It has come to my attention that many people are relying on Cell Phones and disconnecting their Land Line -- BAD IDEA!!

Central Office Battery
Central Office FuseIn the event of a disaster such as the power failure that took out New York or a large earthquake, tornado, huricane, flood, whatever it is very possible that Cell Service will fail.

Your Land Line, on the other hand, will likely continue to work. The Central Offices were built to last indefinitely, no matter what. The telephone system runs on battery power, sort of like a giant UPS. We have rectifiers connected to commercial power to float a charge on the batteries, but the equipment is all powered off of batteries. BIG Batteries. LOTSA Big Batteries. Enough so that the whole office can continue running for a least a day on unassisted battery power. Blackouts? We laugh at blackouts. HaHaHa!

But it would be unusual for an office to run more than a few minutes on unassisted battery power. If commercial power dies we have backup generators, diesels or gas turbines, and at least a week's worth of fuel in an underground tank.

I don't know about you, but I kind of LIKE the idea that I will be able to call for help in an emergency -- no matter what. I use my Cell Phone for nearly everything. The Land Line is mostly ignored -- we haven't even changed the pre-recorded message on the answering machine. But that phone will continue to work without power. The cables are physically very tough and unlikely to break. (I was doing storm trouble one year, gentleman's phone was working, but the telephone line was on the ground. Seems this tree-sized branch fell off a really huge hundred year old tree and smacked the telephone line to the ground. The "branch" nearly filled his whole back yard -- and this was an old house with a large yard. "Phone works?" "yes" "Call us when the yard is cleared and we'll come back to put the phone line back up.") It takes a lot to knock out POTS -- plain old telephone service. I figure the $10-20 a month to be cheap insurance.

Posted by Paladin at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2008

Hanging around

Today I remounted the support for the cable tray in TE1. Original position (1) bumped the equipment rack and (2) groaned as weight was applied -- the plywood backboard was not fastened to the wall stud. I added two more screws through the plywood and into the stud and it is now much better. It'll hold a 200 pound load with nary a complaint -- so it should handle the 20-40 pounds of cable it'll be getting without a problem.

As of end of day today, end of week, the carpeting is still on the pallets and the racks are free to wander. They ARE getting the printer cabinets installed.... with the cabinets covering up the electric and LAN outlets. *SIGH* I'm going to assume that they know what they are doing and will make suitable cut-outs in the back and top to allow connecting the printers that will be sitting on top of the printer cabinets to power and LAN. But I'll be checking and will complain if they get bolted to the wall without the cuts.

Posted by Paladin at 03:46 PM | Comments (0)

March 27, 2008

More work stuff

At the new call center we have the whole 2nd floor, 3/4ths of the 1st floor, nothing on the third floor. Early meetings working up the layout.... "I need two terminal rooms" First draft had my two terminal rooms, both on the first floor. We like to feed each floor from equipment on that floor -- saves running up and down stairs on a case of trouble. "I need two terminal rooms, one on each floor."

Since the majority of people are on the second floor, that's where I placed the main terminal room. I assumed the same equipment that exists at the old call center... five relay racks, the server cabinet, the Avaya media gateways, and the Verint Ultra . I asked for 240 square feet. Second set of plans came out. No measurements on it, but I paced out pillar spacing and figured my room to be closer to 220 sq.ft.. There was a small storeroom next to my room. "If you delete this wall you can expand my terminal room...." Never hurts to ask! "NO!!" Sheesh! However, on the final plans, my roughly 15'x16' room had the storeroom added as an alcove. See! It never hurts to ask!.

This was cool, as it allowed the row of five racks to exist with walk-around on both ends. At the old call center the racks have one side against the wall and it is tough working on that side of the rack. Not so for the new location, thanks to the extra space. Then I find out that the two relay racks with the OC-12 termination will not be in my room. This is a shared facility, so the fiber termination goes into common area. So I ended up with room to spare, room for storing spares, room for future growth, room to get past someone working:

Main Equipment Room Plan

They start building, I plan what I need. Can't order until I know I'll have a room to put it in, as in "the flooring is installed" so people don't have to move several hundred pounds out of the room to lay the floor covering. Eventually get there:

As you can see, I have my unequal flange seismic level four equipment racks, the four-post server rack, the floor marked for the Avaya and the Verint, marked for where I'll need my floor anchors.

You'll note, no anchors.....

EVERY building I've worked has had substantial floors -- three inches or so of concrete. The Central Offices are more like six inches, with the support pillars on sixteen foot centers -- C.O.s do not fall down! This place? Looks like 1" plywood with a inch or so of concrete-like material on top. No inches of solid concrete to anchor my equipment. So they're trying to figure how to bolt my racks down. I figure just drill 1.25" holes and use 1/2" spring-toggle bolts. Any earthquake that has the racks ripping the floor up will have the buildings flattened anyhow. But I'm not an engineer, I don't know material strengths and the math involved -- told them that from the start.

Also, if you look out the door of my equipment room you'll see the pallets of carpetting. They been there for over three weeks. They were ready to lay the carpet down when it rained and water came in through the windows. I can't run my cables and leave them on the floor for the carpet people to smear glue on.... Until I have the racks and carpet in I cannot run cable. If I start Monday I might make the scheduled move in date. Not looking good.

Posted by Paladin at 09:35 PM | Comments (0)

March 26, 2008

Back at work....

Cat-5e Bundle-4I've noticed I haven't posted much about what's happening at work. We are moving the roughly 200 people from a building we own into leased space. (It's a tax thing.) Today I had our spare cables trucked over, so we can start running once they get the carpet down. (Don't want carpet glue on my cables!)

Also had them bring over the unequal flange seismic-4 relay rack that we had:
Equipment Rack
With the newer equipment I can fit everything into a single rack. Top to bottom in the rack:

Patch Panel, 4 duplex-lc connectors, fiber to the main equipment room, and a dozen cat-5 cables just in case.
2w patch to backboard, 1-24
four rows of jacks to floor positions 1-24
48 port Ethernet switch
four rows of jacks to floor positions 25-48
2w patch to backboard, 25-48
2w patch to backboard, 49-72
four rows of jacks to floor positions 49-72
48 port Ethernet switch
four rows of jacks to floor positions 73-96
2w patch to backboard, 72-96
8w patch to backboard, 1-24
four rows of jacks to floor positions 97+

15 amp UPS
48 volt backup battery

The backboard consists of a half green and a half blue. 50 pair from the 1.1, 150 pairs from TE2, and the above mentioned jacks. Analog dial tone will be from the 1.1 to either a 2w or an 8w jack (single line or multiline phone.) The workerbees get their phones from the Avaya system in TE2, hence the larger cable, all 2w.

95+% of patching will be 12" cables from switch or patch to a floor jack immediately above or below.

Posted by Paladin at 02:55 PM | Comments (0)

March 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Wendy

You'll never guess how old Wendy is.... And just think, she was half of that when I married her. She still is. As far as I can tell she hasn't aged a day.

Posted by Paladin at 11:15 PM | Comments (0)

March 09, 2008

Jack Russell

Owners of will understand why I am forced to type one-handed on the Laptop:
Violet and her Rope

Closeup of Violet at Play. Aren't those pretty teeth?:

Violet and her Rope

Posted by Paladin at 12:12 PM | Comments (0)

March 05, 2008


600 meter Fiberglass RodThe project at 21061 is delayed due to a lack of fiber. The fiber is on the other side of Western Ave, the conduit is blocked. They tried "rodding" it but failed -- so they have to dig to clear the blockage, which means getting a permit from Caltrans as Western is a State Highway.

Didn't understand 'rodding' until I stumbled upon this over at Birch:

It is a fiberglass "rod", about a half inch diameter, 600 meters (1968 feet)(0.37 miles) long. Basically the same as the 100 foot 1/8" rod I use to snake conduits, just a bit bigger.

Posted by Paladin at 09:12 PM | Comments (0)

March 02, 2008

The Beasts

Wendy has had The Beauty for four years, three months, and a few days. She's had The Beast for about a quarter century. It's a '72, over 180,000 miles and still mostly original. Had new front sheet metal circa 1980, a rebuilt 4-bolt 350 circa 1990. Recently replaced seat belts as the dog had chewed the originals. Yeah, that's her checking out the cameraman. Pepper Anne. Loves riding in the Camaro, harnessed in the back seat, hanging out the window.

I am quite impressed with the paint job. It has been about 15 years since Wendy covered the car with several rattlecans of Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer. That stuff has held up better than a lot of factory paint jobs.

Posted by Paladin at 05:16 AM | Comments (0)