Grants, Investment, Openreach, Volunteers, Routers, Construction, The Hub, Chambers, Splicing, Fibre Blowing,

Major Progress
We have now completed about 40% (nearly 10 km) of the digging and duct laying required for the project. This allows us to connect about 95 properties. These lucky people now only need to lay the duct from their boundary to their home so that we can connect their router for them. As soon as this is completed and we receive our connection they will then have 1000Mbs internet.
Please let us know as soon as you have dug your trench and we will come along and install your router to connect you.

Update on Grants
May we remind you all that once you have a live connection, there is some paperwork to be completed. When you returned your Grant Offer Acceptance, there was a form in the envelope called “Elective Funding Claim Form” On this form is your Application Reference No. This form needs to be signed and given to a member of the Installation Team along with a certified copy of a “Speed Test”. We will organise the speed test for you. This is then sent back to the Welsh Government along with an invoice which enables the grant to be paid.

As luck would have it, or maybe it was a premonition, or just plain old foresight, on Thursday morning Dave Phillips, with the assistance of Julie Taylor operating the tractor and bucket, (Dave in the bucket), using a chainsaw, removed all of the tree branches and foliage that might impinge on the erection of the pole.
On Friday 1st June, at around 2.30pm, two guys by the name of Peter and Andrew arrived at the Hub and began digging a hole and erecting our nice new pole ready for the fibre feed.
The excitement was unreal!!! Another hurdle cleared. The next stage is for Openreach to send an Engineer to bring the fibre from the pole, across the road from the Cefn Mably Arms to our pole, into the chamber alongside and to install their equipment.

Pole erection
Arrival of contractors to erect our BT Pole
BT pole erection
Peter and Andrew  putting our pole in position



Construction, Progress, Splice Bullets and Fibre Blowing
During the past two weeks, two more splice bullets have been prepared, installing the ducting and in some cases blowing fibre to the end of the ducts or into the router if it has been installed. The two splice bullets are in the Horse field (which we did under H Frames and tarpaulin due to the constant drizzle!) and at Cae Gwynn. After modifying our methods and processes, we have gone from taking half a day, down to one and half hours to get 26 ducts into a Splice Bullet. The fibre blowing took a little longer. The longest distance that we have blown fibre to date is 1036m with everyone breathing a sigh of relief as this is around the maximum distance expected with our kit. (fortunately the majority of fibre blowing is less than 1000m) Great work everyone and we were kept lubricated with tea, coffee and biscuits by Carol Evans and Niki Schofield. Thank you ladies, this is thirsty work and it was very much appreciated. Mark Graveston as usual has been an absolutely fantastic mentor and has guided us through this and we think we are now at a point where we can do it unsupervised! This means that when Mark is away from home we can carry on with the remaining splice bullets and fibre blowing.

Splice bullet at the Horsefield
Splice Bullet at Car Gwynn with 26 ducts inserted into rubber seals


Splicing under a tarpaulin
Inserting  23 ducts into the Splice Bullet in the Horse Field under a tarpaulin.


Blowing fibres
Blowing fibres in the Horse Field. The longest one was 1035m



Splice Fusion
Carina Dunk completed the first of the fusion of splices in the Splice Bullet at the Horse Field on Friday, with the assistance of Jim Dunk, Richard Raybould and Mark Graveston. The most complex part of the process was getting 3 metres of fibre plus splice back into the fibre trays! But with gentle hands on delicate fibres it was a successful job done. To test one of the fibres we spliced a pigtail (lead) onto the fibre in the Hub, and Mark and Dave Schofield went to the other end ~ 1.5 kms away over Penylan and looked for the red laser light that was sent through the fibre from the Hub and sure enough there it was, a great connection from Hub to end of fibre. Approximately 500 more splices to be carried out! ! ! !

Spliced and stored fibres
Fibres spliced and stored  in the Splice Bullet in the Horse Field



 Twin fibres, one end showing a fibre bullet used when blowing and the other end showing two fibres next to a pencil 
for size comparison



Lilian Richards is assisting Jim Dunk with the co-ordinating of volunteers for the tasks and activities that happen on a daily basis. Jim is often out in the field doing one task or another, or inside someone’s house installing routers.
Lilian is doing her utmost to try to get more volunteers on the list so that we are not always relying on the same core group, and to allow them to take a break now and then.
Lilian suggested that to save both time and wasted effort, we put together a small team of around 4 volunteers to visit properties prior to the work being done and assess where the best route for the trench and duct is for their property, the best site for the router, whether they require a Geo Ripper appointment, and to put dates in the diary for certain works to be carried out. They will leave a calling card if the residents are out with a telephone number to call and make arrangements for a visit. We plan also to send a text reminder that an appointment has been made to ensure that someone is in when works are planned to be carried out.
This is because a great deal of time is wasted visiting properties repeatedly and no one is home. As volunteers are doing this work it is both frustrating for them and a waste of their valuable time.

Chamber Installations
These are being installed as the trenches are being dug thanks to the Thomas Bros. and to Chris and David Walford. They are ploughing on with the trenching and it is estimated that they have achieved 40% of the target trenches to be done. Great work guys, and now the Summer is finally here, there should be less weather interruptions.

Router installations
Jim Dunk along with Glyn Williams have so far installed 17 Routers and Barry Dixon is working on the router installations at Druidstone House.

Duct installation
This continues as trenches are being dug. The routes currently under construction are Began Road, along to Haygrove, and in the opposite direction towards Cefn Mably Park, and up to Penylan.

Slab Laying
Now the pole has been erected next to The Hub, the slab laying can be done. BT Openreach will still need to dig a small trench into our chamber for the fibre feed but the majority of the slabs can be laid. This will give a clear pathway and access to the Hub. Jim, Glyn and maybe some others will get on with this next week.

The Hub IT
We are having weekly technical meetings to make the decisions on the best kit and equipment for the Hub, that best suit our needs. Mark Sainsbury, Duncan Law and Phil Barry are working on the software for the routers. A fibre Splice Panel has been ordered for the Hub and we will start to splice fibres onto pigtails (leads that will plug into the server/router) ready for when HNS install their equipment.



Cable drum 1
Cable drum , I sanded the spindle to be stained and given 3 coats of Danish oil

As you are all aware, in the course of laying the ducting, we are left with a number of Cable Drums. I have taken one of these with the idea of recycling into something useful for the garden.
With the aid of my husband Jim, who cut a disc of plywood, and attached 4 heavy duty castors on the base of the drum, the rest, he left to me. MORE INFORMATION CAN BE PROVIDED ON REQUEST, JUST EMAIL ME..
This is so easy, if I can do it, I am sure anyone can. If you want a cable drum to make a garden table for yourselves, please contact who will arrange to get one delivered to you at an arranged date/time as soon as they are available. Perhaps we could have a cable drum recycled competition ? ?  Let me have your views.


Cable drum 2
Cable drum fitted with a ply wood disc on top
Cable drum 3
The beginning of laying out ceramic tiles on top


Cable drum 4
A combination of ceramic and porcelain tiles cemented ready for grouting


Cable drum 6
The finished table on castors for easy manoevering around the garden




Next Meeting
The next meeting will be on Thursday 14th June 2018 in The Village Hall at 7.30pm.
Come along and get involved, ask questions, or simply get to know the people who are actually installing your broadband.
Everyone is welcome to attend