Isaac Tucker

Field Services Manager

Hey!

Welcome, thanks for visiting our site! As the OSP Field Manager here at Katapult, I would like to get you equipped to try out PhotoHeight.com for yourself in the real world. No need to sink thousands of dollars into a new system with proprietary hardware and a steep learning curve to boot! Everything you need for a reasonable price, and no software to download. Contact me to get started.

Ph: 717-502-4508

Email: itucker@katapultengineering.com


Connect with me on LinkedIn!

https://www.linkedin.com/pub/isaac-tucker/10/218/573

Height Measuring Technology

Photo-documentation for utility poles - with built-in height measurements



Be confident that your data is correct

Everybody wants to be sure that they didn’t miss a crucial measurement in the field. We wanted to create a system that gives you that confidence. Whether we feared recording the wrong number from a height stick, or accidentally measuring a tree branch with a laser, at the end of the day, we want to be confident that our data will hold-up under the scrutiny of the industry - we want our data to be credible - we want to be credible. When we receive that phone call or e-mail questioning our measurements, that’s when we wished we had a data insurance policy or the ability to teleport back to the field. We want to be able to answer any question, on the spot. PhotoHeight.com was built upon the principle that photo documentation is currently superior to other data collection methods. It is the compromise between only collecting the discrete data you need right now (such as writing down a pole number) and doing a full 3d scan of the pole which provides too much data to filter through to even find the piece you need. Minimally a photograph stores a snapshot of the pole conditions and surroundings and provides the credibility that the data collected is even for the correct pole. Since the height measurement technology is also built into the photograph, the uncertainty of measurements is removed. If you’d like to see how the software works, you can try the beta version here. OR you might find it more informative to contact Isaac and pick his brain.

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Accomplish real work instead of sitting behind your windshield

With photo-documentation, your height data will nearly eliminate the need to do a revisit in the field. But, the real savings of windshield time is realized by designers. Because designers can measure heights and evaluate field conditions from their desk. Your field crews won’t need the expertise of an OSP or distribution designer, they just need the tools to collect safely and efficiently. We have always tried to make sure our designers spend the majority of their time designing and assessing make-ready, not sitting behind a windshield, or walking through the unkind weather, pole after pole dealing with the daily obstacles of the field. Our designers make the calls from the office and can measure any additional heights they may need by simply clicking their mouse on the desired cable. Our designers then use the luxury of being indoors to mentor up-and-coming greenhorns by taking some time and looking over their shoulders while the greenhorns call make-ready on real jobs. You can get a basic feel of the web based application by clicking here. You can also contact Isaac directly and have him answer your questions.

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Safe to Operate

Utility firms preach safety like it is a religion... and for good reason. The power space must be respected, and even with strict safety policies and practices, accidents still happen. Katapult technology provides an alternative to clean hot sticks, safety gloves, and certifications for sticking energized cables. Like lasers rangefinders and ultrasonic cable height meters, our technology keeps you out of the power space. But unlike remote sensing devices, we still use a fiberglass height stick touching the ground so that you will get accurate height from ground measurements. Crew safety is important to us, and often you will find yourself in danger, such as along a busy road, so while it isn’t required, we rely on a two person team: one holding the height stick, and one holding the camera. Since they work across from one another , they are able to closely watch each other’s back. And, unlike the little cartoon guy on the left (that we’ve named Lenny), we wear class 3 safety vests, hard hats and safety glasses where applicable. Much of our work is done directly for utilities, and we have become an overall more safe company because of it. If you are interested to talk with someone about how we keep our crews safer, reach out to Isaac. If you just want to see how the technology works in your browser (designed for modern browsers: try Google Chrome), you can click here.

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Accurate to the Inch

Often, the aerial cable route you want to take is the route everyone is on too. The poles are crowded and the midspan measurements can be tricky to get. One inch can be the difference between a little make-ready and a very expensive and time consuming pole replacement. Katapult technology provides for measurements in the communications space to be accurate to +/- 1” relative to the ground. This assures you that your road clearances meet spec. Probably more importantly is the accuracy of bolt to bolt spacing. The spacing between cables is accurate to the fraction of an inch. If measuring power facilities, you can rely upon +/- 3” for the distance between a 50’ height and the ground (and again, a sub inch relative accuracy between bolts, such as from a primary to a neutral). We have been collecting field data with this technology since 2010. The decade prior to that we relied upon laser range finders with inclinometers, and 3d scanners. We could regularly get accurate relative measurements, but typically had poor measurements to the ground and often got bad returns from trees and brush (calling our relative heights into question). If you’d like to chat with someone who has spent the last couple of years shooting hundreds of miles of poles, contact Isaac. If you just want to try out the technology for yourself, you can click here (please use a modern browser like Google Chrome).

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Simple to Use

Follow these easy steps:

1. Strap a stick to the pole (or have someone hold it)

2. Take a photo.


Then, to measure your heights, you have 4 even easier steps to do in the office:

1. Drag, drop your photo into photoheight.com

2. Click at least 4 control points

3. Measure heights by clicking

4. Save your work as a picture (.jpg)


The process is so simple, we have had clients use PhotoHeight.com to capture all of their heights and save as a clean report, and then manually type the heights into another photo based system for make-ready and pole loading. When asked why they don’t just work in the other system the whole time, they said PhotoHeight.com is so much faster and simple to use, it’s worth working in two systems. You can try out the 4 office steps and see how easy it is by clicking here. You will see a sample photo on the screen that shows you the height values you should use for the anchors (the control points). If you have questions or want someone to help you step through the process, just contact Isaac.

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Affordable to Purchase

Solving the uncertainty of height measurements has companies justifying significant dollars for various technologies. What is frustrating about the technologies out there is that you can quickly spend $2000 for something that only solves 80% of your project (you can also spend a whole lot more, but you still find a significant percentage of poles where you are back to manually sticking and/or guessing).


The Katapult system has 3 components:

1. 17’ height stick

2. Ruggedized camera

3. User license to PhotoHeight.com


If you would like to get started right away, you can purchase an equipment package from us for $685, we will ship a 17’ Crain SVR height stick with custom targets on it, a calibrated Ricoh WG-4 GPS ruggedized camera, a spare battery, SanDisk SD card, and (as silly as it might sound) a bungee cord that our guys have field tested to be the best in every scenario. This price also includes a 12 month subscription to the online software. Contact Isaac and he will answer your questions.


If you want to purchase the camera and stick yourself, then you can contact Isaac, and he’ll make sure you buy the correct gear and suggest the best places to buy.


In the case that you have your own equipment that meets our specs, all you would need is a little starter package we send you at no cost to you that includes targets and a manual.

Isaac will also help you sign up for a license. We’ve been offering user licenses for $10/month as a special introductory rate in exchange for users being willing to share their experience with us.


If you haven’t tried it out online, then try it now. You will see a sample photo on the screen that you can enter control points (at the heights shown in the help arrows on the photo) and then measure heights, etc.

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A Field Guide for PhotoHeight.com

In order to maintain a standard data set of photo documentation with height photos, we transformed what you might call a field checklist into a handy 20 page booklet of best practices that each member of our crew keeps in their vehicle.We have found that checklists are only effective if the information can be consumed and retained by the field tech. So, by translating it into a fun and visual medium, they now have a more tangible and comprehensive field guide to their workflow.

"Field Notes" Booklet Request

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We want to give you one of these Katapult Field Notes Booklets, not only because we are proud of our culture, but because we want you to see the possibilities of what you can produce using this software. Please fill out your information so that our super friendly Field Services manager, Isaac, can contact you and give you an opportunity to try out our product. We promise not to misuse or abuse your contact information. Thanks for stopping by!

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