Inventory Checks

Alongside the B2 training, all three cable stations are completing their final inventory checks with the Tyco C&A staff.  This involves going through the inventory records and sighting and cross-checking the items, quantities and serial numbers – right down to every last washer, nut and bolt.

In the picture above, Matt is checking off the keys that are used to control the PFE to ensure that none are missing.

The successful completion of the inventory reports at all three cable landing stations is just one of the documents that need to be completed before PIPE and Tyco can close out the project.

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  • Fernley J Harris
    CHIEF ENGINEER. FI diag E. [CABLE SHIPS Retired.] Awsome cabling achievment undertaken by an exceptional team, belonging to a company of ...

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More on Seismic Zone 4 Installation Methods


It is also important to note that in some instances, a rack or bay must be tied into overhead racking. If this is required, we install what we call in layman’s term “Isolation Apples”, which is because they are red in color and look somewhat like an apple! These are made from a non-conductive ceramic type material, and during a seismic event, these will break and allow overhead racking and equipment racks and bays to still sway independently. They also help to isolate the bay from the overhead racking electrically, which we will be discussed in a later post.

In addition to the installation method used by installing the racks / bays as free floating, we also need to look at “how” they are secured to the floor. For the bolts, we use Hilti bolts that are also rated for seismic zone 4. Basically, they are a sturdier bolt, and they also are drilled deeper into the concrete, thus giving us more holding power at the bottom of the racks / bays which is what we need for the high seismic zones.

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Seismic Zone 4 Installation Methods

As discussed in a previous blog entry on 18 June, an important engineering requirement for us on our network is installing racks that are NEBS seismic zone 4 compliant.  To explain this further, it is important to understand that while having racks that are rated for seismic zone 4 is crucial, if they are not installed correctly they will still fail in their purpose!  Thus, in addition to the engineering of the racks, we must also insure that the proper installation methods are followed.

On PPC1, the standard that we follow for seismic 4 installations is that the racks / bays are all installed as “Free Floating.”  What this means is that our installed equipment racks and bays are not bolted into the overhead iron work or ceilings and are secured to the floor only so that they can “Sway” during seismic activity.

So the next question on everyone’s mind is why not brace the racks from both the bottom and the top to make them more secure?  To answer this, it is first important to understand that during seismic activity, structures tend to sway independently and in different directions.  In a cable station, our overhead iron work in most instances is installed as an independent free floating structure (see above photo.)  This is done by installing the racking and hanging it from the concrete ceiling only and not tying it into any side walls.  The entire structure is then free to “sway” during any seismic activity.  So, in regards to overhead racking and equipment racks, we want to keep them separated so that the racking can continue to sway independently, as well as allow our bays to sway independently.  If we were to secure the racks both at the bottom to the floor as well as at the top to the overhead racking, we have the potential for failure of one structure or the other when they start trying to sway in different directions.

5 comments – Latest by:
  • Chad Leverington
    "She then continues her way north until Madang" "We have people on her who report back to us daily" so ...
  • Brett Worrall
    Sorry guys, we are all spread out over the place at the moment and the blog has suffered. The Durable ...

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PPC-1 is launched in Sydney

PPC-1 was winched up through the beach manhole yesterday as VIPs and press gathered for a launch in Plateau Park in Collaroy, where the beach manhole is located.  VIP Members of the IT community and broadcast, print and internet press were there to witness PPC-1 as it came up through the bore pipe into the beach manhole.

CEO Bevan Slattery said at the launch that the arrival of the cable signals cheaper, more competitive broadband for the country, “Once the cable was pretty much a certainly, some of the existing cable operators started reducing their costs, and quite significantly,” he said, “It’s really important for the country to realise, and I don’t think the country realises it right now, but whilst we have spare capacity on existing cable systems, this cable was actually about creating competition, reducing the cost of bandwidth to consumers and re-invigorating the Australian marketplace.  And what that translates to if you’re a consumer your broadband will either a) get cheaper or b) get a lot more content on downloads for the same dollar, and that’s very important.”

The contingent was transported on a convoy of buses and GMCs from the site of the beach manhole, to McLeans Lookout (a reserve atop the Plateau, with a perfect view of the ship), to the Cable Landing Station for a tour and over to lunch at the seaside Long Reef Golf Club.  Some VIPs were taken on helicopters for a flyover of the Tyco Durable and PPC-1.

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Matt’s Diary – Guam Landing (Part 2)

Part two of Matt’s diary on the cable landing in Guam.

Thursday 30th April

Following the excitement of seeing PPC-1 finally get wet, day 2 arrived with a bump. During lay operations the ship works around the clock. As a result PIPE’s 2 reps, John and Matt, are splitting their time in to 12-hour shifts. John is working days and Matt is working nights. Adjusting to the night-time schedule takes some effort as well as learning to sleep during the day!

During the day, the Decisive laid 2 cable transitions between cable types and deployed the first repeater body. Everything is going smoothly and the lay is going according to plan.

(Pictured: Matt Whitlock with Lars Tjernagel)

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  • mike
    ye I know it's a figure of speech , but it seemed like it referred to a more serious problem ...
  • Karina Roberts
    Mike, Matt tells me that the 'bump' is a figure of speech. It was in relation to the fact that ...

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Sinking the cable in Guam

This video shows the sinking of the PPC-1 cable in Guam during the cable landing.

During deployment, the cable was suspended by buoys and pulled to the bore pipe by a smaller vessel. Once it is in place, a diver cuts the ropes and the cable sinks to the bottom. The freed buoys are then picked up by a jetski rider.

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Matt’s Diary – Guam Landing (Part 1)

Our Manager of Network Operations, Matt Whitlock, is currently on the Decisive making its way to Papua New Guinea. Here is the first part of his diary entry of the cable landing in Guam.

Wednesday 29th April

The CS Tyco Decisive moved into position at approximately 0645, 800m away from the bore pipe entrance to the Beach Manhole. By 0715, the small support boat Pot Luck has collected the 25m lead rope and started to pull the cable ashore using inflatable yellow floats.

The cable entered the Beach Manhole at 1141. 

Once in the manhole, the armour wires were anchored and the divers started to cut the floats away, letting the cable sink into position on the seabed. By 1730, the Decisive was able to start sailing away whilst the ship conducted a test to make sure the cable hadn’t been damaged on the pull in.

The Tyco Shore End team were given the all clear to start the jointing works around 1830. The joint was finally completed in the early hours of Thursday morning, by which time the Decisive was almost 20km away.

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PPC-1 entry into undersea duct

This is the PPC-1 cable entering the undersea duct in Guam. More photos of the operation have been posted on the gallery under Guam – Guam Landing.

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  • Bevan Slattery
    Hi Stevie B, We actually attached the bellmouth for the installation. I think they're going to upload some photo's and ...
  • Lars Tjernagel
    Good questions everyone! For the protection of the cable on the shore end until is passed out of the reef, ...

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