Running Cables Through Bridal Rings or J-Hooks | Service Call Example | Make Money as an Onsite Tech

In this video I show an example service call where I ran cables through an existing bridal ring and J-Hook setup. This is something you can do as an freelance information technology field tech.

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Video Transcript:

the reason for this whole ticket

is

AT&T came in and installed that white box underneath my drill there.

We already had a cable run going to the office,

but they decided

to steal our cable run

to feed this box.

I recently got a service call to go out and run a new data cable in in O’Reilly’s.

You know, sometimes cable runs can be a pain in the butt, but this one was really nice.

I used a couple of tactics that I thought might benefit some newer technicians

and

give you some new ideas of how to run cables

in this particular site. I’m in the back of the O’Reilly’s in the parts area, the part storage area. So there are shelves with very little space, getting a ladder through that area and moving from spot to spot running the cable was going to be very difficult.

when I looked at the ceiling, I saw that there was an existing cable run

with bridle rings.

I’ve seen J hooks, but I haven’t really seen a lot of these bridle ring setups.

Now, J Hook

setup would probably work pretty similarly,

but

thought you might get a kick out of seeing how I went about

getting this cable ran at this site,

so I’ve got my ladder setup and with these situations, whether you’re running in a drop ceiling or running in this situation, you want to try to avoid moving your ladder any more than you have to.

You want to get the cable pushed out as far as you can before you have to move your ladder. In this case, I’ve got the bridle rings and I’m using my fish sticks and I’ve threaded several of them together, and I’m actually reaching out from a distance and trying to shoot that bridle ring right in the middle. So there I’ve got it.

Now, moving on to the next one. And what’s nice is with fish sticks, you know, you can angle them. You see how I’m kind of angling it there to get to that third bridle ring? And then, of course, you just got to be really steady and slow, and then you can stab that next bridal ring and move on.

I just did three fish sticks and I used the orange ones like, you get these from Home Depot. They’ve got some thinner ones that are more flexible and they have these orange ones that are stiffer. So I use the orange ones that are stiffer so that I could really get the distance further out there.

So now I did have to move my ladder to get to the next spot here.

But those fish sticks are about five feet apiece. So this enabled me to get 15 feet before I had to move my ladder again. So the same principle I just went through and stabbed the center of each bridle ring with the fish sticks.

Now, notice the other thing is I’ve got the cable on the end of the fish sticks, not on the front of the fish sticks.

Now, this is a principle that I use. It is a lot easier to pull the cable than it is to push the cable with your fish sticks and the cable at the end of it. So when you’ve got the cable all the way at the end of the fish sticks and you’re trying to do these pushes, you’ve got the cable pulling against you and it makes it harder to direct the end of those fish sticks.

So even if you’re doing this in a drop ceiling, you’re going to run into this. It’s a lot easier to just send the fish sticks ahead and pull your cable from behind. When you’re in a drop ceiling, you’ve got your fish sticks. If they’re loose, then you can sit there and bounce them and get them over the ceiling tile grid and any obstacles.

Now, this point

I’m making a 90 degree turn. This is a first 90 degree turn. I’m pulling slack here in the back because, again, you want everything to be free flowing and you don’t want tension on anything. So I’ve got the slack pulled so that as I’m fighting with the fish stick, then I’m not having to fight the cable behind me.

Obviously, in this area we’ve got J-Hooks, so I’m using the same principle to push the cable through, to push my fish sticks through the J-Hooks. These are obviously a lot more full. The previous section, there was only one cable, so it was super easy. This one is obviously a little more difficult because I’ve got a bundle of cable that I’m pushing through and of course I’m hugging the light makes it fun,

reposition the ladder again and make another 90 degree. Again, pulling slack. That way, I’m not fighting the cable. Because, you know, going around 90 degree turns.

The more 90’s you have, the less easy it’s going to be to get that cable to come with you. I’m going to go through that last J-Hook and I’m going to turn the corner and go

another 90 degree and go towards the office.

All right. Now, I’m about to pull through and go to the right and you can see that cable path going across.

And I’m going to go into this

area here, this little office that they’ve got in that O’Reilly’s. Again, I’m pulling slack because now I’m going through a second 90 degree turn. So I don’t want to have to fight the cable. Going through these J-Hooks as far as I can reach.

And then I’ve got a challenge after this.

There’s shelving right by this office, so I can’t get my ladder on the same side where I’m at now. The only way to do this was to literally climb on top of this office, which is tricky because it’s covered with drywall over studs. And when I went into this, I climbed up on top of that office. A lot of people had already stepped through the drywall and there’s a lot of holes.

Of course, the benefit then for me was, I could see where the studs were. So I was able to carefully walk over the studs. I don’t know if this is OSHA compliant or not, but I’m on top of the office. Making my last pull through the last j-hook, and then I’m going to pull down and do a wall fish down into the office.

I’m trying to use the existing cable path, so everything is as neat and tidy as it can be. I mean, as you can see, this is an existing side. There’s a lot of raw cable that’s, you know, not tidy, but I’m going to make sure that my stuff is clean and tidy. I always try to make my cable runs look as clean as I can in an existing site.

And then if I can, I try to clean up existing cabling, assuming it doesn’t take a lot of time because the client may or may not want to pay for that extra time.

So now I’m down in the office, I’m going to try to fish down into this box. I did make one error in this is I kept the orange fish sticks, which are very, very stiff.

They don’t like to make this kind of turn. When I did the fish from overhead, I should have used my thinner fish sticks, which make a pull and a turn much easier. In this case, there was a conduit, so I could have used fish tape as well, and that would have turned a lot easier. I did get the orange sticks through. You see, I’m getting all those pulled through and I’m un-threading them as I go because I’m in a small office.

I couldn’t really have the space and I’m not going to need them again. This last pull was a little difficult. It didn’t want to come out of the box. So I had to go pull myself some slack because again, I got those two 90’s up in the ceiling and I had ran out of my slack. So I had to pull more slack.

Now I’ve got it down and un-tape this and I’m going to look and compare where I’m going inside the office to make sure I’ve got enough slack before I make any cuts. You know, and cable’s cheap. I always teach my guys pull an extra 20, 30 feet because cable stretchers don’t work. You know, and cables cheap. If I have to throw away 20 feet of cable, it’s not a big deal.

Now, at this point, I’m going back to the starting point. I was trying to avoid extra 90 degree turns, so I ran that first run as straight as I could and I left my box at the backside and I’m going to pull the back part and I already kind of pulled my cable through and left myself a lot of slack so I would know exactly how far I could go.

So now I’m attaching my fish sticks back and we’re going to go all the way to the D-mark at this point. Again, we got to stab that bridle ring going up and down and bam! We got it! So got that. And then we’re going to bring that end of my cable up through that last bridle ring. And, you know, the silly little things you don’t want to forget to run the cable through the last spot and make sure there’s no knots that you haven’t created a knot after you run the cable all the way through.

You don’t want to have to rerun it.

Good old trusty electrical tape. We’re going to tape this off.

Not pulling a lot of tension so it doesn’t have to be an incredible tape wrap. But I do like to tape back to where the end of the stick and the cable are not separated. Because if I do end up having to pull it backwards, I don’t want that to catch.

So I try to tape it off so that is just one solid piece. So again, I’ve skipped 15 feet. I’m making it all the way over to the wall, which is where my Dmark is going to be. Get those last brittle rings threaded.

And the end of the stick is sitting there shaking but I got it to stab.

Kind of reminds me of that scene in Up where the old man’s hands are shaking until he starts threading and then it goes right through.

All right. My last spot is too close to the wall, so I can’t really send the sticks through just straight. So I’m going to pull down and get myself some slack and then I can change the angle of my fish sticks.

And I don’t even need all of them at this point, so I’m just going to take it down to, I think, one here

So I’ve got all of my bridle rings done. Now I’m just going to go down to the bottom of the wall and I’m actually using my fish stick to go behind that conduit so that everything, all my cabling, is behind the existing conduit and following the same cable path as the old cable.

I’m going to pull all my slack up so that this cable is tight so I don’t have any droops and that way I can terminate it and, you know, cut off the excess cable. Coming up to the end here and now that cable’s going to get pulled up tight. All right. And that should prevent any drooping of my cable.

Now we’re at the Dmark the backboard. You know, and these are the kind of things that aren’t really defined in a scope of work. You’re just trying to make your best assessment of where something should go. So there’s already a biscuit up in the top left quadrant of that board. So I’m going to put my biscuit there.

And what’s funny is the reason for this whole ticket is AT&T came in and installed that white box underneath my drill there. We already had a cable run going to the office, but they decided to steal our cable run to feed this box.

And so it took away our connection to the office. So I don’t know why AT&T thought that that was a good idea, but whatever, right?

We just solve problems, not our job to ask why we just do it. But anyway, so I put up a new biscuit and I’m bringing my cable path down. Obviously OSHA hopefully is not watching. And I was grabbing that cable because my hope was that I could pull it into the bundle, but it’s too tight. It didn’t have any slack.

I’m going to bring mine down and I’m using Velcro instead of zip ties to make my cable bundles. Then I’m also going to leave myself a little service loop. I do that for future use and for myself in case I make a mistake and miscalculate something. I want to make sure I’ve got spare cable. Plus I think it’s just good practice to leave a service loop in case somebody else needs to move that biscuit or make a change.

So I try to judge where I’m going to go, cut my cable off. Then I’m going to do my service loop.

I’m going to terminate my cable to a Keystone. Got my handy dandy Klein cable strippers. I do pick up my trash. I’m throwing it into a pile. Got all my pairs unwrapped.

I use KwikJack Keystones and I use those because I can use a tool that will terminate all eight conductors at the same time.

Instead of having to punch down every single one individually. And Levitan makes them almost every brand has their own one-punch tool. I just use KwikJack, because they give me the tool for free when I buy their keystones and their keystones are affordable and I like the layout. You know, the angle is good. So there’s my KwikJack tool and I’ll put a link to that in the description.

If you buy, I think $100 worth of keystones, they give you the tool for free. Now I’ve got my keystone on. I’m going to put my cable tester because before I go to the trouble of like attaching this and doing all the crazy work, I want to make sure that I’ve got it terminated and that it tests right. All right. So I ran my test.

I’m back ready to put it in the biscuit, label it and hook up the equipment. I’m going to connect to the switch and the tech support people told me what port they wanted it on this device. Trying to manage my cables again. Oh, this was a Velo Cloud. I don’t know why I was saying switch but it’s a Velo Cloud. So you can see that keystone right beside the one that I created.

That’s the one that AT&T stole from us. All right, so I’ve got my equipment in. That connects back to the office so that now the office switch will have connectivity.

I try to follow the existing cabling set up, just do a little bit of cable management.

If I can get the stupid cable to turn right.

Label peeled. And to be a true tech, you have to hold things in your mouth.

I always label both ends, that way future techs or myself can find out, okay, this is identified on this end, on this biscuit as data cable “A” or whatever. Same thing on the other end.

But these stores use biscuits a lot of times for these kinds of runs. Did a little bit more cable management.

It’s not perfect, but it’s at least not worse than it was.

And of course, you’ve got to take pictures. Got to prove your work. Your deliverables and all that kind of stuff, you’re going to be doing that if you’re doing Field Nation, WorkMarket,

well, any client is going to require deliverables.

And here is the cable run at the end. J-Hooks from the office going backwards. There’s our 90 degree turn, and here’s the other side of the 90 degree going up into the bridal rings all the way down to the 90 degree turn there.

The purpose of showing you example service calls like this is so that you can see what working as an I.T. field tech looks like. I want to remove the fear of the unknown for you. My goal with Field Tech Academy is to help aspiring technicians see what they can do and to help experienced technicians have higher performance. If you got value today from what I shared, please, like the video and subscribe to the channel so that you can learn more about how to be an independent field tech.

Don’t forget to check out our website at fieldtechacademy.com. I offer one on one coaching as well as some other products that can accelerate your quest to become self-employed as a technician. As always, let’s get you out in the field making money. I’ll see you in the next video.

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