Textiles: spinning – twisting – and twining – Apparatus and processes – Covering or wrapping
57 18, 2424413, D02G 336
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to an apparatus for wrapping fiber optic cable around an overhead line. The term "overhead line" is intended to be a general reference to phase and earth conductors of overhead power lines and messenger cables strung between power lines and other such lines which pass overhead.
Fiber optic cables are now a well known and developed art and are increasingly replacing older forms of cabling in the field of communication.
Fiber optic cables can be employed to provide communication links based on power distribution networks. Conveniently, the fiber optic cable is wound directly onto the already established overhead line, thus utilising the networks which already exist thereby linking control centres and sub-stations etc.
It is already known to use a suitable apparatus which can move along an overhead line and simultaneously wrap the fiber optic cable around the overhead line. However, there is now a demand for an apparatus which is capable of applying the fiber optic cable to the overhead lines at a substantially constant tension thereby ensuring that the cable remains stable with respect to the conductor over a range of environmental conditions. In addition, the apparatus must necessarily come to a halt upon completing a span and while being manhandled may even be pushed backwards over a limited travel. It is essential under all these conditions that the applied tension is maintained.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention provides an apparatus for wrapping fiber optic cable around an overhead line, comprising a carriage which sits on the overhead line and is moveable along the overhead line, a supply of fiber optic cable located on one side of the carriage and a counterbalance for the cable supply located on the other side of the carriage, gear means arranged to cause rotation of the carriage around the overhead line when the carriage moves along the overhead line thereby wrapping the fiber optic cable around the overhead line wherein tensioning means are provided which apply a substantially constant tension to the fiber optic cable during all modes of operation of the apparatus.
Preferably, the tensioning means comprises a pulley arrangement around which the fiber optic cable passes after leaving the supply and before being wrapped onto the overhead line.
Preferably, the pulley arrangement comprises a pulley around which the cable passes and a substantially constant biasing means acting on the pulley wherein, as the cable is installed, the opposing forces of the biasing means and the tension in the cable are substantially balanced.
Preferably, the pulley arrangement includes a brake means acting on the drum which is released after a predetermined length of cable has been paid out.
Preferably, over a limited backward travel of the carriage, the predetermined length of cable is taken back under the substantially constant cable tension.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an apparatus according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 shows details of the tensioning means in the apparatus in FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
In FIG. 1, an apparatus is depicted for wrapping fiber optic cable around an overhead line. The apparatus comprises a carriage 1 which sits on the overhead line A and is moveable along the overhead line. On one side of the carriage 1 a supply of fiber optic cable B is located on a drum 2. On the other side of the carriage 1 there is a counterbalance 3 for the drum 2 which tracks inwardly as the fiber optic cable B is applied to the overhead line A. A gear means 4 is also provided which causes rotation of the carriage 1 around the overhead line A when the carriage I moves along the overhead line which enables the fiber optic cable B to be wrapped around the overhead line A. The apparatus also includes a tensioning means (5,6,7,8,9,10,11) which applies a substantially constant tension to the fiber optic cable B as it is wrapped around the overhead line A.
FIG. 2 shows further detai
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International Conference of Large High Voltage Electric Systems, 1988 Session- Aug. 28th-Sept. 3rd, CIGRE', Paris- The development of wrap-on optical cables for use on the earthwires of high voltage power line, by C.N. Carter et al, 22-08, p. 1 Aug. 1988.
Appleford David Dale
Baker James Charles
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