Pro Tips

If you are familiar with me or a former student you hear me give out pro tips. Here is a list of those tips. If you would like to add to this collection email me for it to be included!

  1. Document, ,Document, Document
  2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
  3. Knowledge is power!
  4. You can’t listen if you are talking
  5. Pay it forward…teach, mentor, inspire
  6. Learn one new thing every day
  7. Icky Pic is called Icky for a reason, clean it off your tools!
  8. Attach pull string to kevlar (aramid yarn) when pulling ISP fiber
  9. Use velcro on category rated cable
  10. Baby power is for more than babies….use them for break out kits!
  11. Set your punch tool to low while terminating jacks and patch panels
  12. Store the blade in your punch tool to protect the cutting edge
  13. If you borrow it return it (and clean it)
  14. Verify the color code before you punch the jack/patch panel
  15. Put a trash can or paper under the hole you will cut for your faceplate
  16. You don’t leave knowledge in the ceiling!
  17. Use same wiring scheme on both sides of the cable (T568A/T568B)
  18. Color Code Browns Over Green Bay on Sunday
  19. Explain to customers how their decision will cost them money!
  20. Use 1/4 rule to set up ladders
  21. Don’t use drywall screws to mount plywood to a wall
  22. Never talk bad about other installations or installers, they might be from your company!
  23. Use a level to mount your faceplates straight
  24. Check both sides of a wall before drilling through it
  25. Wash hands frequently when installing ceiling speakers, don’t leave finger prints
  26. Don’t leave finger prints on the wall while mounting face plates
  27. Know who manufactures the modular furniture before you buy face plates
  28. Don’t attach cable to grid wire, install your own independent wire
  29. Marking holes: Use a pencil not a sharpie
  30. Mount your MUTOA so its not blocked by a file cabinet!
  31. Secure your work area (caution tape, cones, ladders, apprentices)
  32. Tywraps: Cinch it don’t crimp it
  33. Never have more than 6 floor tiles open in a data center when its used as air distribution
  34. Place racks so that there is 36 inches of clearance from wall to back of equipment
  35. Label both sides of a patch cord for MUTOAs!
  36. Scratch paint on the rack when attaching bonding connectors
  37. Never mount termination blocks (110, BIX, etc) closer than 12 inches to a corner
  38. Always allow for growth (cable pathways, wire managers, etc)
  39. Every fiber connector, patch cord, and bulk head is dirty..clean it
  40. Use flooded cable for wet locations
  41. Don’t leave tools on top of a ladder!
  42. Don’t mount MUTOAs in modular furniture (unless 1st piece is permanently attached to wall)
  43. Never velcro/tywrap a patch cord to an electrical cable
  44. A F150 is not a cable pulling device, neither is a forklift
  45. Never tywrap/velcro a cable to an electrical conduit
  46. Always choose the clearest path possible when installing cables
  47. Don’t use a lift if you are not trained (better yet certified)
  48. Always check in-slab conduits, under slab conduits, and floor boxes for water prior to installing cable
  49. Use antioxidant when attaching bonding conductors to busbars
  50. Use construction adhesive (liquid nails) with galvanized screws/toggle bolts to mount plywood
  51. If you have to cross electrical cable, cross at a 90
  52. Match your patch cord rating to your horizontal cabling (i.e. cat 5e,6,6A)
  53. Never leave cables laying on ceiling tiles or grid
  54. Never drill directly over your head
  55. Don’t let your cables touch any fire sprinkler pipes
  56. Maintain minimum of 3 inches clearance above ceiling tiles!
  57. Never look into a live fiber strand!
  58. When installing independent wire to support cable, attach both sides
  59. Use a carpenters square (or long level min 3 feet) to verify your rack is plum
  60. Don’t over fill J-hooks (see rule 68)
  61. Installing cavity box (MPLS): Always cut horizontally first
  62. Always put end closing kits or rubber boots on ladder rack that is not butted into a wall
  63. When installing a WAO, match other faceplates height
  64. Conduit installed by Electrician? Don’t install your cable until they install the bushing
  65. Ladder Rack: Use drop outs to ensure cables are not crushed (see rule 68)
  66. Place rubber grommets around any hole in metal you drill to pass cable
  67. Never use a sharpie as a finish label
  68. Bonding/Grounding Inspection: Check connectors for looseness, corrosion, and labels
  69. Never allow your cables to get crushed, kinked, bent, stepped on, burnt, or torn
  70. Always follow the UL drawing while installing firestop systems
  71. Never mount a bonding conductor to the backside of a busbar
  72. Color Code: Big Ole Gorilla Breath Stinks
  73. Make sure your ladder rack/cable tray is level!
  74. Never splice a horizontal cable
  75. Buy factory patch cords, your time is valuable
  76. Always maintain the bend radius on your cabling
  77. Electricians are your friend not your enemy
  78. Always try to mount a fiber enclosure above eye level
  79. Never mix firestop materials from different manufactures, follow UL drawing/instructions
  80. Mount stamp outwards on fire rated plywood
  81. Don’t use a torpedo level to ensure your rack is plum
  82. Bring the cable jacket to back of jack to ensure you dont exceed utwist recommendations
  83. Never argue with the AHJ, you will loose even if your are right
  84. Never use plastic anchors to mount wire mesh protectors for firestop systems
  85. Put a label on the MUTOA telling maximum patch cords length
  86. Removing Abandoned Cable: You will knock someones phone or computer down, be prepared.
  87. Mount busbars where it will keep your conductors as short as possible
  88. Always leave pull string
  89. Labels shall be machine generated
  90. Color Code: While Running Backward You Vomit
  91. Mount paint piercing washers between rack and connector
  92. Codes are for safety, standards are for performance
  93. Don’t use cold water pipe as primary grounding/bonding attachment
  94. Don’t pull cable that is still frozen!
  95. Never paint over a stamp on fire rated plywood
  96. Use an approved scraps container for fiber (don’t use tape, bottles, cups, etc)
  97. Don’t use soap from the bathroom as pulling lubricant!
  98. Sunglasses are not PPE (unless rated as such)
  99. Always put protective caps (dust caps) on when you are done
  100. Color Code: Winchester Rifles Bring You Venison
  101. Stay minimum of 5 inches away from fluorescent lights!, (if you can’t use shielded cable)
  102. Clean up after yourself, even if there are night janitors
  103. Take digital pictures of your firestops and include in as built package (see rule 1)
  104. Maintain 3 points of contact while climbing ladders
  105. Get firestop installation training
  106. MUTOA and CPs should be 50 cable feet away from HC!
  107. Label both sides of bonding conductors
  108. Dont push hard on the drywall saw, you will poke through the other side
  109. Keep your bonding conductors as short and straight as possible (min 8X times diameter of conductor)
  110. Never drill through a busbar to add additional connectors (unless allowed by manufacture)
  111. Protect your cable from getting painted
  112. Use pulling lubricant designed for high performance cable
  113. Plenum ceiling: installed plenum fiber in plenum innerduct
  114. If you suspect issues with your OLTS – recalibrate
  115. Have a kick off meeting with your PM/Estimator to discuss a project before you start
  116. Praise in public, criticize in private
  117. Clean your fiber and inspect before you connect it! (avoid cross contamination)
  118. Terminate fiber over a dark (preferably black) mat. (find scraps easier)
  119. Paint all surfaces of plywood, including edges and any cut outs and follow rule 94
  120. Cable Tray: Measure twice, cut once
  121. Check both sides of a wall before drilling through it
  122. Cut tywraps flush! (use velrco on category rated cable)
  123. Label backbone cables within 12 inches each side
  124. Use a kellems grip with rated break away head for OSP fiber
  125. Monitor the confined space prior to, and during, entry
  126. Never daisy chain your bonding conductors for relay racks
  127. If it is to be it is up me
  128. Color Code: Washington Redskins Bring You Victory
  129. Its better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it
  130. Label horizontal cables within 6 inches each side
  131. Pulling lubricant: A little dab will do ya!
  132. Keep your batteries fresh. A dead toner or VFL can be a show-stopper
  133. When doing a service loop for a camera or AP bring the cable down to the floor and back up to chest height so you can test and terminate from the ground at a comfortable level
  134. Always take a good look above ceiling tiles, the tools up there are cheaper than at the store!
  135. When pulling through under ground or outside conduit make sure you cap or plug the ends with foam or tape to keep debris from falling in
  136. Avoid small loops when storing slack (figure 8, extended loops)
  137. OSP Conduit: blow the pipe make sure the other end is open
  138. Always leave a drip loop (and silicone when done) when penetrating from outside of a building to inside
  139. Save bags of the plenum cable tywraps and velcro to prove to AHJ you used correct materials
  140. Ceiling Speaker Installation: Put tile on top of trash can, let debris fall into can
  141. Don’t use Isopropyl Alcohol from CVS/Walgreens (must be above 90 percent)
  142. Use cable strain relieve bars on back of patch panels when possible (especially Cat 6A)
  143. Always terminate fiber in a well lit area (bring light if necessary)
  144. Wash your hands after terminating fiber before you do anything else
  145. Inspect your cable certifier for all parts and defects if you are picking up from warehouse/other crew
  146. Protect your fiber termination area from curious on lookers

Don’t forget if you would like to add to this collection email me for it to be included!

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