What It’s Like to do a “Pots in a Box” install (PIAB). Example Service Calls

In this video I show an example service call where I installed a “POTS in a Box”. This was a call where all the equipment was pre-installed on a backboard and all I had to do was physically mount the board and cut over all the cables from the old system. This is something you can do as an freelance information technology field tech.

Tools and supplies referenced in the video:
Magnetic stud finder: https://amzn.to/49qnshb
Zip ties with screw holes: https://amzn.to/3w5uIR9
Screw in drywall anchors: https://amzn.to/3SpEx3F

I have been in the freelance IT tech industry since 2000, on Field Nation since 2010, and on Work Market since 2011. Field Tech Academy wants to give you the secrets of 20+ years of experience how you can succeed as an Independent IT Field Tech.

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Video Transcript:

Hello, this is Michael with Field Tech Academy. In today’s job, we’re going to be doing a

“POTS in a Box” install, which basically means it is an all inclusive setup.

They ship out all their equipment on a pre-configured backboard and all we have to do is mount that backboard to the wall and cross connect the equipment. Let’s get into it.

here is our equipment that we’re going to install. And as you can see, it is already all pre mounted on a backboard. So all that I should have to do is place that backboard on the wall.

In this particular situation, it looks to me like our best shot is going to be to place it in between these two racks because we don’t have any space between the rack and the door.

We really don’t have any good space here. So if I can stick it in between here then that’s really going to be our best shot. We’ve got power available down here. We also have power available under here, so that’s what I’m going to shoot for. So the

first thing we do is look for studs.

if you’re not familiar with this, it’s a little magnetized stud finder.

I hate the electronic ones. So these are really awesome.

I’ll put a link to it in the description.

All right, so my stud finders grabbing pretty hard all down

This. So I think I can feel pretty confident that that’s a stud.

I’m curious if there’s another stud. And I have another stud here, so I’m going to mark these off

and we’re going to check the width of our backboard to see if it’ll, you know, span that gap.


Looks like we’ve got 24 inch studs.


don’t think that board is that wide.

All right, so my board is 18 inches,

so what I’m going to probably do is focus on getting into one set of the studs and I’ll try to use Togglers on the other side.

But as long as I’m in the studs on one side, the board isn’t super heavy. That should be good.

All right. What I’m gonna try to do first is

put in some long screws, wood screws, so I can mark my holes.


I’ll have to put in my drywall anchors after the fact.

Since this is a one man job,

I’m going to stick a screw in the drywall to try to help me to have something to hold it up while I’m drilling the other screws.

All right, my marks put me right in here.

I got lucky. It’s totally level that never happens.

I don’t want to actually take this all the way down because I don’t want to have to find those holes.

So I’m just going to pivot it off of this one that is in the stud.

So now I have access to the two holes that I made for my drywall anchors

There’s my hole.

I got these two in the studs so now I’m going to attach to my drywall anchors with these.

All right. Let’s check and see what the client wants us to do now.

take a quick picture.

They prepared for a very long possible power run.

But fortunately, I’ve got power right here and right here.

Tidy that up later.

All right, see what he says.

“POTS in a Box” CDS 1990 WAN to VeloCloud GE3, white cable.

Put our power cable in.

LAN1 to Velo GE6-red cable.

A little bag of goodies.

 Let’s see

 what all we got in here.

Patch Cables.

So it looks like these are the SIM cards that are in already. Patch cables. We got our phone cables, got our antennas.

Okay. Looks like we got a little antenna.

So I have to undo this bolt.

Oh that’s interesting. The bolt has an opening on it so you can get it off the cable.

So I guess we’ll pull this bolt off, which will allow us to run this up and over. I’ll have to mount this on the wall.

They said they wanted it as high as possible.

What I think I’m going to

do is mount it up on the backboard board that’s up here on the left side, because it’s higher.

Get this leveled off.

There we go, got it to bite.

on both of these, they’ve got to pass through to come off the wire.

Okay. Got those off to allow us to slide this up and over. Stick this back through.

Let’s get this ladder out of the way and we’ll finish up.

putting in some of these little cable management zip ties.

You can see there’s a hole there for a screw so you can screw it to the wall or to back boards and you can zip tie cables with it.

Welcome to WebEx. Enter your access code or meeting number followed by pound.

Enter your attendee ID number followed by pound. If you do not know your attendee number. Press pound to continue.

Michael, is that you? It’s Frank.

Yep, it’s me.

Yeah. We have Damian on from United Rentals. He’s going to walk you through a couple other connections

that need to be made to

complete this.

All right. Thanks, Damian. All yours.

Hey Michael, can you check with the site

to make sure they’re okay with going off-line for 10 to 15 minutes?

We’re about to do the cut over,

good time to do it?

Good time to do it. All right.

Good to go?


I’m going to do some configurations to the Cisco equipment so stand by for me.

All right.

right now I’m on a conference bridge,

they are configuring


and they’re going to start cross connecting everything over

All right Michael, first cable looking for…

do you see the Cisco 2901 Router?

2901 Yes,

You see the fiber connection that’s on it?

I do.

Go ahead and unplug that fiber from the 2901 for me along with the SFP module.


Fibers out, SFP is out.

And we’re going to swing that

 fiber over to SFP 1.

okay. There we go.

on the 2960 switch

do you

 see a green cable on port one?

Port one, green, yes.

Go ahead and unplug that green cable from the switch for me.

So we’re going to swing that

 green cable over to GE 5 on the Velo.


Alright. That should be in


And then next cable we’re looking for is going back to the 2901

on GE00

 can you trace that cable for me?


Yeah. It looks like it’s going to port

the fiber port three.

Go ahead and unplug that cable from fiber port three for me.

All right. We’re

going to swing

that cable over to

Port one on that same switch.

Because if I use a different cable, I can cable manage it better. The one that was in it was super short.

Nah It doesn’t matter as long as it goes from GE00 to port one

of that switch.

Okay, perfect.

Okay, that is in.

And the next cable looking for

 is the yellow cable that’s on the Velo.

That’s going to go on to the 2960 switch

fiber port three.


that’s in.

So that should pull an IP address. Let me see.

It The branch should actually

be back online

 now if you want to go ahead and check with them.

Are you all back on line? You’ve been on-line the last five minutes?

Hey Damian, no fiber connection?

 I’m only seeing six and five.

I had to configure that port.

 Let me see here, I’m going to give it a few minutes. So they should come online soon hopefully.

All right. She said they’re back on line.

I’m just going to verify to make sure I can see that fiber.

All right, cool. I do see that fiber starting to come online. So we’re all good here.

Okay, Now, there was a blue cable, which would be six, five, four would be number four on the VeloCloud.

No, that blue cable is..is nothing.

 You don’t have to worry about that Michael.

So just leave that hanging.

If you could just send me pictures

 of all the connections you made for Damian, and if you have a printout of your work order,

just send me a screenshot of that, All right?

I will do that. I’ll get everything cable managed, finished up, and take some pictures and get that over to you.

Alright perfect. Thanks, guys. Have a great weekend

You too Frank.

I’ll just try to get all of our cables managed and get our last final photos and then we’ll get cleared from site.

Another successful install. Pretty simple.

most of the stuff is not overly technical. I mean, really it’s about mounting a board to the wall, listening to tech support, understanding, you know, what port six on particular device is.

and then you want to make your cable management as clean as possible.

If you get value out of this, please like the video and subscribe to the channel so that you’re informed every time I upload something new. Check out my website at fieldtechacademy.com. I have a lot of downloads available for those of you who are on Field Nation and WorkMarket to help you flesh out your profile and make them stronger.

I also offer one on one coaching if you need a little bit of help to kind of get to the next level in your independent field tech journey. Then I’m here to help. I also have a client list on my website that is available. Most everybody knows about Field Nation and WorkMarket, but there are a lot of clients out there with whom you can go direct.

They will call you and email you before anybody else to give you an opportunity to do service calls. As always, let’s get you out in the field making money. I’ll see you in the next video.

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