Hunter Preliminary Introduction


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Hunter Training Curriculum Preliminary Introduction March 4, 2010

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What is Hunter? Hunter is a tool that uses radar technology to quickly and efficiently pinpoint the location of certain problems in the network It is different from any other tools you may have previously used, because it tells you EXACTLY where the problem is located It uses a scientific approach to lead you to the precise source of the network impairment so it can be quickly repaired, often before the problem is network affecting This training will first go into some light background so you can better understand how the system functions, and then it will get into more detail about the components and how it is used

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What does it find? At the core of Hunter is its ability to see distortions, including a particular type of distortion called Common Path Distortion – or CPD. CPD is a nonlinear distortion because beats (or intermodulation products) are created at new frequencies when signals pass by the source. These beats can be disruptive to other channels or the return path – which is why CPD causes problems. CPD is caused when mechanical contacts become oxidized and corrode. The corrosion causes the connection to act as a rough diode and mix the forward signals such that they produce beats at their sum and difference frequencies. Many of these beats fall within the return spectrum.

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How it works Hunter uses radar technology to find the distortions The radar works like any radar: a probing signal is sent out – and then an echo signal is received. Then the round trip time is divided in two to give the travel time to the problem. The radar probing signal that we use are the forward QAM channels. The return signal is not an actual echo that bounces off the source like an airplane radar or in a speed trap – Hunter uses the beats that are created at the CPD source, which travel back over the return path and are detected. Hunter can see problems down to -80dB, way below the system noise floor.

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How does it work – cont. The radar tells you how far away from the problem you are – but it tells you in units of time distance Hunter always displays the impairment in a way that is a little different – on a scale that shows amplitude vs. time delay (not frequency like a spectrum analyzer uses).

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How does it work – cont. Time distance doesn’t really translate well and is sometimes hard to visualize (how far away in feet is 5µs?). Because of this, we have some map and database tools to help translate the time distance into something meaningful – a software package called Quiver Navigator. We use existing system maps that contain information on linear distance between devices – but we have added new information about time distance. This information is contained in our Hunter databases. We make use of these maps in our system – and simply enter the measured time distance into some software – and it flags possible locations where the problem could be

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Field tools

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At a high level there are five steps required to quickly locate the impairment How we do it Determine which node that you need to work on – this is accomplished with the Client. Physically go to the selected node, connect to the network using Quiver – and measure the time distance to the problem (simultaneously determining which leg the problem is on). Using Quiver Navigator software, compare this exact measured result determined by Quiver, to a database containing time distances to all the network devices – in order to identify candidate devices. Troubleshoot to the exact device by going to split-points deeper in the network and repeating process #’s 2 and 3 until a single exact device is identified. Confirm fix using headend view.

Summary: This presentation provides a preliminary introduction to the Hunter system, it is intended for any system users and should be the first presentation that is viewed

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