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News archive: "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley"

January 16th, 2013
Author: Chris Conder
Tags: b4rn community digitalbritain fusion jfdi Lessons learnt men of grit mice problems solutions
Posted In: Archive News

The first connections at Arkholme were due to go live before Christmas, but nature had other ideas.

As the title of this post suggests, things did not go to plan but many lessons have been learnt and solutions found. We hope others can benefit from these experiences and this is the start of our ‘Lessons Learnt’ section. We will post here each time we come up against a problem to share our findings. This was a particularly hard lesson for us. We had all worked so hard to get live for Christmas, and to fall at the last hurdle was gutting.

We soon realised that this was in fact a fantastic lesson for us, and has saved us many thousands of pounds as this won’t be replicated elsewhere. (We will make sure of that) .We also realised that no customers were on this link, so we didn’t have to deal with hundreds of people wondering why their connection had stopped working, we had a breathing space to find the problem and fix it before anyone was inconvenienced. We also had to find a way to stop it ever happening to us again. We soon bucked up and got cracking.

The story:

We had got all the duct laid to the village hall, and all the fibre blown. All the fusion was done, and theoretically the hall would have been online on the Friday before Christmas. Tests showed there was a break in the fibre around the 3 Km mark, near to an access chamber. We assumed it was there. We went and tested there, but in actual fact it was 55 metres from the chamber. We put a marker on the spot. We could see no damage whatsoever. No animals had been in the field, no digging near it, the secondary duct it had run through was undamaged.

Marker where the alleged damage was

Orange marks the spot where the damage is. Can’t see any damage…

So we had to find out what it could possibly be. The video shows what happened next…










Another good tip we had from Lee from Core precision was to first of all make sure the duct was intact and rodent free prior to putting our duct through it, then seal the ends with wire wool, then builders foam. Apparently mice chew the foam but stop when they reach the wire wool. Its because it scratches their gums.

Rodents need to chew to file their incisors down, and will chew anything really. If our duct was laid on the surface they would probably have left it alone, but in the secondary duct they had warmth and shelter and could chew in peace. They probably had got nests in there.

Gavin And Belinda Second Nature Smallban

Stories from out in the field from our very happy customers

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