Letters to the Editor

May 1, 2011
I like your take on the Social Security Administration at the National Computer Center (“It takes an act of Congress ...

Social insecurity

I like your take on the Social Security Administration at the National Computer Center (“It takes an act of Congress …” March 2011, p. 4). But you should see what’s in their field offices. They are running Voice over IP on Type 1a cabling, with baluns. In the locations that don’t quite make it, we replace the cabling with Category 6. They have us test the existing Type 1a for Category 5e performance. If they show good continuity on conductors 1, 2, 3 and 6 they will reuse it. If not, the cable gets replaced. I have been involved with five sites and they are all the same.

Wait until they have to upgrade their cabling in the future. Talk about stepping over the twenties to pick up the dollars.

Another reason for us not to count on them for our retirement.

(received via the Internet)

On a swivel

The tip you published in April (“Use braided rope to make a pulling grip,” page 32) was a good one. However, most swivels of the type you illustrated do not perform very well. It is best to go to a “name” sporting goods store and purchase a ball-bearing swivel. They actually do swivel. SAMPO brand swivels are the best.

W.F. Potts
(received via the Internet)

Our editor replies:

While we usually discourage the direct promotion of brand names in our pages, we found this recommendation for SAMPO brand swivels harmless enough. Also, as we noted within the tip, it was republished from a number of years ago. In the time since that tip and others like it were published, we have had the opportunity to be involved in a number of discussions about the actual value of swivels used for cable pulls. Some have sworn by them and others have scoffed at the idea. Perhaps it has always just been a matter of the swivel’s quality.

And please allow me this opportunity to remind you that if you have an idea of how to make a cable-pull easier, or to perform any task in the realm of installation, routing, termination, management or removal, please let us know. We’d like to publish your tips in our magazine.

We’ll continue to publish tips in step-by-step format, but encourage you to send us your ideas in any way, shape or form. Please include photos if you have them too. You can email your tip to our editor, Patrick McLaughlin: [email protected].

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