Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tuesday Was NOT A Good Day.......

Just about finished with completely rebuilding the CCTV system where I work.

It was a royal mess!

Honeywell was the prime contractor, and did a beautiful job on the fire and intrusion alarms, but I think they farmed out the CCTV system to "Larry The Cable Guy"!

First, they were using RG-59 cable everywhere, which might be OK in your home (I won't touch the stuff!), but really shouldn't be used in a "Production Environment". It has a copper-plated center conductor, and if moisture is around (and it is in spades where this gear is located) the steel will start to rust, popping off the copper-plating. It's also not shielded very well, and this stuff looked like it was maybe 80~85% braid coverage, which means our signal can leak out, and other signals can leak in, degrading overall system performance.

Second, they used "twist-on" F-Type connectors and BNC connectors which start to degrade the minute you turn your back on them.

Third, even the crimped on connectors they used were of very poor quality, and some of them were rusted! ALL of them had been poorly crimped, in some case nearly crushing the coax. And the coax wasn't even properly stripped to install the crappy connectors. The outer jacket was split way back, the shield braid was hanging out, and the center conductor, which Type-F connectors use instead of a separate center pin in the connector, was way too long on some connectors, and barely long enough on others.

ALL the cable in this rack has now been replaced with Belden 7916A RG-6QS, which has a solid copper center conductor, two braid shields, and two foil shields. Connectors have all been replaced with Thomas & Betts (division sold to Belden) "Snap-N-Seal" outdoor-rated connectors, with O-Rings to keep them sealed.

BUT....the real downer to yesterday is that I sliced my left index finger with my knife while I was preparing a cable for the new connectors I was installing. No stitches were required, and I washed it out right away, but still, I try and be careful around sharp things.

Then 10 minutes later I jabbed my left thumb with my side cutters.....

OUCH! Yell, shout, and bled all over the place. Again, I went to the rest room, washed it out, dumped some H2O2 on it, and bandaged it up.

Now I've bandages on my left index finger and thumb. No sign of infection, but I never realized how much I used those two fingers.

And I'm still not finished with the equipment rack......


  1. I hear you. I sliced the whee out of my left thumb the other day, and with all the blood thinners I take, it took several bandages before the flood was stemmed. Sheesh.

    1. The only anticoagulant I'm on is Plavix, and some low-dose aspirin.

      I don't seem to bleed more than I used to, but I sure do bruise easier.

  2. The worst part is that you get to look forward to banging them against something at least twice a day until they heal.

    I hate that.

  3. It's bound to get better, now that you've covered all the bad things on the first day. Or so we fondly hope ...

  4. Second Monday in a row Eh??? And you bled on the job, so the rest should go fairly well (knocking on wood)...

    1. Yeah, all I have to do is cry on the job, and I'll have ALL the bases covered!

  5. Replies
    1. The knife cut was more of an annoyance. I keep my knife really sharp, so the cut sealed up pretty fast.

      Jabbing my thumb with the side cutters........OUCH! OWIIIEEE!!

  6. You must have been using that knife in some creative manner considering we all have a collection of strippers to prepare the cable ends.

    Have a pair of really small "Snap-On" dikes and jabbed myself thatsame way. Takes forever to heal.

  7. The coax that was used has some kind of outer "skin" on it, making it very difficult to slide on the crimp sleeve for the connector I'm using.

    I was peeling the "skin" off when I slipped with the knife. The cable still has some of the pulling lube on it, and it's slippery, and between a slippery cable, a knife that got slippery from the cable pulling lube, and slippery hands, I wasn't being as careful as I should have been, and sliced the finger.

    It's just about healed, and the thumb is coming along nicely, too....


Keep it civil, please....