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  • Zachary Carlson

Katapult Pro Annotations, Tracing, & Hardware Details Manual

Updated: Jul 7

Annotations are used to mark up the heights of attachments on poles and Tracing is how we carry their connections throughout the job. We do both steps at once using "Cable Tracing View."

To turn this on, click on the “Cable Trace View” button at the top of the map page. When the view is on, the button icon will turn blue, and there will be a highlight behind the connections on the map.

Now you are able to click on the connections (not the nodes or sections) to open up cable trace view in Katapult Pro Photos. Start at the first connection at one end of the job.

Clicking on this reference span will open Photos in a new tab. Here you will see a multi-panel view. In the above case, a midspan and pole would be displayed.

If you need to switch the order of the photos in this view, you can click on the “Swap Photos” button located at the top middle of the page. Choose a photo order that makes sense to you and simplifies the annotation and tracing process.

At this first span, start on the pole photo, and left click on the photo to place a "dummy" marker. Then, if you have the option, click on the black square icon and make sure you are using the Measure (your pole loading integration) picklist.

*Not all clients will have the black square icon—for some users the attachment options are contained in the same list as the classification list. Also, some clients will have their measure option labeled as the PLA software they use.

Once you have your picklist set up, you will see a list with different assemblies, equipment, and wires. Some of them might also have a letter or number in parenthesis to show the keyboard shortcut associated with the option.

*This list can be configured in the Model Editor and customized specifically for you. You can set up routines of commonly used builds, equipment, and wires, and can set up desired shortcuts. If you have any questions, please reach out to your client manager or

Start at the top of the pole and work your way down when annotating attachments.

To add a marker, select the correct or closest option from the dropdown. You can filter out the options in the picklist by typing in the search bar.

Once you find the correct option, click it. If it is a routine, the software will run you through the entire routine. If ridge pin and 2 on an arm was selected, the top pin would be placed first, and the next click on the photo would place the arm with 2 pins nested in the arm.

When you place a marker on the photo, you want to make sure you click where the bolt goes through the pole face you are measuring for consistency.

Now that the markers are placed, you can move them by clicking on the handle for the marker (not the circle). Simply left click and hold, then move the marker to where you need it and release the click.

If you right click on a marker, it will open up the details window for that marker. When items are nested, right click on the item you need to edit. For example, in the above image, you could right click on the brownish 8’ arm marker to edit the spec of the arm. If you want to edit the insulator, you should right click on the greenish portion of the handle. Lastly, if you have to make edits to the wire, right click on the bluish purple marker.

For wires, you will have two tab options, Marker and Trace. Marker attributes pertain to any data that should just exist on that specific marker in the job. Trace attributes will contain any data that should be updated throughout the wires' trace in the job (company, wire type,etc).

Under the trace tab, you will find Cable Type and Company attributes. You can change the cable type at any time by clicking in the textbox and searching for the appropriate option from the picklists. You are able to do the same thing with "Company." Look through the picklist to find the correct company.

*If you do not see an option needed from your picklist, go to the Model Editor to add the option. Please refer to the Model Editor Documentation for more instruction.

For the Utility company, you may want to check the box to set it as the default. This will allow you to quickly place utility wires and equipment. With the default box checked the company name will autofill.

Up at the top of the wire menu will be 4 symbols. Clicking the arrow will collapse or expand the wire menu. The reverse arrow will remove the item from where it is nested.

You can remove a wire from an insulator and you can also remove an insulator with a nested wire from an arm. So just make sure you are at the correct item when you click the button.

The wire or insulator + wire bundle will be placed at the same height when the button is clicked. If you need to nest a wire or bundle into an arm, just left click and hold on the bundle you want to move into the arm. Make sure the cursor is over the marker you want to add to, and once you see the “Drop to Add” text, you can release the click. Again, you are going off the cursor position, not the circle or dot that marks the height of attachment.

*If you need to nest a wire to an insulator, you would first need to also remove the insulator (greenish handle) from the arm (brown colored handle). You can not just nest the wire like the above picture. First remove the insulator from the arm. Then drag the wire to add it to the insulator. Then drag that bundle to the arm to add it correctly.

Clicking the three dot menu will open more options. Under the Marker tab, you will be able to add or remove attributes if needed.

The available options under the trace tab deal with the trace of the wire. Clicking the proposed option will mark the wire as proposed. Doing this will add a proposed checkbox to the wire. You can click on the box to remove the proposed from the wire if needed.

Under these options, you can also add an attachment to a trace, remove a marker from the trace, split the trace of the wire (used when wires are incorrectly traced in a job), and you can just delete the trace.

The last button in the top right of the marker is the trashcan icon or delete button. This will delete the marker and anything nested in the marker as well.

Once the top assembly is marked up, just keep moving down the pole. Look for any equipment or other attachers you need to mark. In the above image, the next wire is a neutral at 27’-2.” You can click on the photo to place a dummy marker, then search for a neutral option.

*The picklist will come from the pole loading analysis platform you are using. If you are not doing PLA you will be able to just use a “wire” and select the cable type after the wire is placed. You will not need an insulator.

Because you set the Power company as the default, you will not need to go into the trace options of the wire to enter the company. If you do need to change anything, you can right click on the insulator or wire.

Now keep moving down the pole and marking all attachments.

If you need to, you can click on the “Photo Chooser” button at the bottom left of the photo to see all reference photos for that pole location. Use these photos to ID communication owners, check for equipment, and see other angles of the pole.

If your field crews did take multiple pole height shots, you can also set which one is best and should be used as the main photo by clicking the star icon at the top right of the photo. To exit the Photo Chooser view, just click the gray space on the photo. This will take you back to your main photo for trace view.

When you get to the communication space, find your wire option. For those who don’t have PLA or don’t have communication bundles it will just be “wire” and for those who have bundles, find the "insulator, messenger, and wire" option so that you can build the communication bundles properly.

Again, click on where the bolt goes through the pole. Once you click the wire option, the software will automatically go into the trace routine (it will want you to trace that wire to where it is at the midspan).

*If you are just starting out, just hit the Escape key on the keyboard to cancel out the trace routine.

Then you can fill in the cable type and company. If you can’t identify the company yet, you can list them as “Unknown” until you are able to find a comm ID photo.

Because the wires are traced through the job, anything you update or change in the trace tab of the wire will propagate throughout the entire trace. So once you update the Company name at a single location, the company will update through the job as long as the wire was traced properly.

If communication wires are boxed and run through the same span, include both attachments. In the above example one is a fiber optic cable, and the other is a telco attachment. The wires are placed at the same height of 19’-9”.

If you have multiple wires from the same company, you can use a copy and paste shortcut so that you don’t need to click on the photo and add a wire for each one.

Just left click on the wire, equipment, or bundle you want to copy (you should see a yellow box around the item), then hit control then “c” on the keyboard. This will copy the marker, and you will see a notification pop up at the bottom left letting you know you successfully copied the marker.

Now left click on the photo again to remove the yellow border around the marker. You can now hover your mouse cursor over the photo where you need to paste the marker. You do not need to click the mouse again. If you press control then “v” on the keyboard, the marker will be pasted to the height of the cursor.

*You can use the copy and paste shortcut even if the wires, bundles, or equipment are not exactly the same. Often, copying then changing a spec or a company is quicker then just clicking and adding a new marker.

Once the pole is all marked up, you can now start tracing the wires across to the midspan(s).

You will have 2 options for tracing the wires to the midspan. You can do a wire or bundle at a time by just hitting “~” on the keyboard. This is the key to the left of the “1” key. Or you can hit Alt then “~” to initiate a trace routine that will start at the top of the pole and work down automatically.

If you press just “~” you will see a notification at the bottom left of the screen to “Click on the markers to connect.” You will now be able to click a marker on the pole (make sure to click the outermost portion of the handle if you are clicking on a bundle).

Once you have your marker selected, you will see a yellow border around the marker. You can now move your mouse cursor to the midspan photo and zoom in on that wire in the midspan. When the tip of the cursor is placed correctly, left click to place the wire.

*As soon as you start the trace, a quick left click will place the wire, so be intentional about where you click. You can always left click and hold to move the photo around, but a quick left click will place the marker. Also, make use of the wheel on your mouse to zoom in on the photo to accurately place the wire.

Now that that wire is placed, the trace action will end. You can see how the wire is traced because a yellow border will be around the wire in the midspan as well as the pole.

If you change anything in the trace tab of the marker, it will update throughout the entire trace. You can also delete the marker in the midspan if needed; especially helpful if you accidentally traced the wrong wire.

Repeat this process until all appropriate wires have been traced to the midspan.

*This method is good for one off wires or for taps coming off a pole line, but generally you should use the extraction loop routine.

If you hit Alt then “~”, the extraction loop will start. Use Option then “~” if you are using a Mac. The loop will start at the top marker and work down. You will know you are in the routine if you see the notification pop up at the bottom left of the screen.

You can also see that you can hit escape to go to the next item if you don’t need to trace the wire to that midspan.

As you click to place the wire in the midspan, the routine will automatically go to the next marker in the photo based off of height. So again, make sure you only left click on the midspan photo to place the correct marker. If you do need to move the photo around to have a better field of view just long click and move the photo, then release the click once the photo is in a good position.

When you get to the communication space, as you place markers in the midspan you can use the diameter arrows to set the diameter of the wire. You will see a green square fill in the wire as you adjust. The adjustments will be made in 0.25” increments, but you can click in the text line to manually enter a number.

*Diameters are typically only needed for PLA workflows. Katapult Pro uses these diameters to match up the wire to the appropriate spec found in the catalog or client file.

When you get to wires that are boxed, the software will first go to the marker that is higher up on the photo (even if they are at the same height). So just make sure you are aware of which the software is selected when tracing to the midspan.

When you get done with the last marker, the extraction loop will stop. You can now reposition wires if needed or right click on a wire to add data or attributes.

Once the pole and midspan are set, keep the Photos page tab open, but return to the Map page and click on the next connection. In the above photo, this will be the first aerial connection. Clicking the connection will open up that span’s photos. In the above instance, the pole-midspan-midspan-pole photos.

*Having dual screens is helpful because you don’t need to keep switching between the Photos tab and the Map tab.

Now, because the pole is already done, you can use the extraction loop routine to trace the wires to the midspan(s) and to the next pole.

Again, use Alt then the “~” key to start the loop. Now you will need to click on the first midspan, then next midspan, and finally the location the marker should be at the pole to completely trace the marker. Once that is done, the routine will go to the next marker to trace through.

Remember, whichever photo your cursor is over, that is the photo you are currently interacting with. You can zoom in and out of each photo independently.

When you get to the communication wires, because the diameter was already set, you do not need to set it again, but you can adjust the diameter if the wire size does change.

*It is helpful to position the photos in a way that makes marking the communication wires easier. Try framing the midspan(s) and next pole photo in a way where you are zoomed in enough to accurately place the wire but aren’t too far in that you need to keep zooming out or in for each wire.

Also, during this step, you should just be worried about tracing the wires to the next pole. Even if new attachments are on the next pole, you are only worried about placing the markers correctly on the pole. Once the extraction loop is finished, you can then go to the new pole and fix any specs or add equipment or wires if there are any.

*It is best to completely mark up this pole before moving on in the cable tracing process.

Now that each pole on the screen is marked up, you can add your proposed wire if this is new aerial build.

If you hit the “+” (or "=") key or click the scroll wheel of the mouse, the software will automatically place a proposed wire on the photos displayed. The placement will be based on the ruleset you have in your MR Clearance section of your Model Editor.

Once placed, you can right click on one of the markers to fill in the trace details (cable type and company). Also, if doing a PLA workflow, enter the correct diameter for the proposed wire.

Hardware Details

Once you have traced all connections around a pole, that pole has been fully extracted. It is best to now run hardware details on that pole.

*Hardware details is typically only run for PLA workflows, but sometimes is used to help link downguys.

The hardware details button is the wrench icon, which is located under the Photo Chooser button at the bottom left of the pole photo.

When you click this, return to the Map page and a window will now be displayed.

In this window, you can choose which details of the pole you want to enter. For PLA workflows, typically the only box left unchecked is the “Enter Power Cable Spec” because the software has another quick button for this, which is covered in the Prep for PLA Documentation, coming soon!

*For non-PLA users, the only options that should be selected are “Link Downguys to Anchors” and “Skip Completed Items.”

Once the options are selected click “Enter Hardware Details.”

If the pole has downguys, the routine will first prompt you to enter the height for the specified downguy.

If the pole contains multiple anchors, the software will highlight the current anchor and downguy that needs specified.

Back on Photos, you will see the notification to select where the downguy is attaching on the pole. Just click on the correct bolt based on the downguy highlighted.

Once you click on the pole, it will place the downguy marker, and now you can fill in the company.

*If the downguy is backing a wire at the same height, just click that wire when placing the downguy. The marker for the downguy will be placed at the exact same height as the wire and the company will autofill based on the wire you selected.

If there are multiple downguys, work through each one paying close attention to which anchor and downguy the software is asking to link.

You can also just click on the anchor in Maps to open up the node info for the anchor. At the bottom will be a button to link downguys. This will take you through the same routine mentioned above.

If the pole has equipment or you have a workflow where you need to set the direction of insulators and arms, the hardware routine will also prompt you to set the bearing for these markers.

Again, the routine will start at the top of the pole and work down. When setting the bearing, you are looking for the direction the insulator, arm, or equipment is facing. In the above photo, the cutout is facing the field side, so the dropper is placed to show what direction it is facing.

When setting bearings, he distance of the yellow line does not matter, you are only concerned with the direction. You can be really precise and manually enter bearing, click a best estimate, or use the bisecting tool, or the inline tool in the details window.

When you have the direction set, just click on the map, and the bearing will be set on the marker. The software will then select the next available marker to enter. If you are not using two screens you will need to go back and forth between Maps and Photos.

*When clicking on the map to enter the bearing, you do not want to click when the cursor turns in a pointing finger. This will open up the node or section info window and cancel out the hardware routine. Instead, you want an open hand or just a dropper icon when you click for the bearing.

When you finish all available downguys, bearings, and specs, the “Done Entering Hardware Details” notification will pop up at the bottom left of the screen.

Now, if you right click on a marker that you ran hardware details on, you will see a bearing attribute contained in the Marker tab. You can change this anytime by just deleting out the value and manually changing it or you can delete out the value and run the hardware details button again.

*This bearing attribute is what builds the 3D model of the pole in PLA software. Having these correct will ensure an accurate representation of the pole.

Once you are done running hardware details for a pole, you can return to the map and mark it "done" in the Node Info.

Then click on the next connection needed to trace. Then follow the same trace routine. Run the extraction loop using Alt then “~” and trace everything to the new pole. Once the loop ends, don’t forget to click the proposed shortcut to trace the proposed wire across. Then go to the new pole photo and mark any remaining markers, or new equipment, and then adjust insulators or wires as needed.

Once the new pole is all annotated, return to the pole photo that has now been traced fully and run hardware details. Mark that pole done then rinse and repeat!

*Essentially you are working on two poles at once.

Helpful Tips

  • If you don’t see an equipment type or cable type in your picklist, either add them to your catalog or client and add them to the Model Editor.

  • When tracing, most times the extraction loop will be quicker, but if you have just one or two taps coming off the pole to a reference, it may be quicker just to use “~” and select the correct wires to trace.

  • You can add the attribute Wire Tension to a wire, and you can select the appropriate tension for that wire. Full tension is the default, so you only need to adjust the tension when appropriate.

  • Holding the Control key on the keyboard and left clicking on markers will allow you to multi select markers. This is a good way to add attributes to multiple markers at once.

  • If you miss-click when trying to trace and a "dummy" marker pops up, just hit escape, delete the bad marker, and run the trace routine again.

When you finish a trace for a wire, that wire will become grayed out when you trace again so that you can’t accidentally trace the same wire twice. Equipment and anchor calibration points will also be grayed out so those can not be affected.

  • As you need to mark up equipment on the pole that contains a routine, the step of the routine will be displayed at the top left of the page. Look for what measurement you should be clicking on. In the above example, the next click will place the top bolt of a transformer. Once you left click on the photo to place that marker, the routine will then advance to the next measurement you need to mark for that equipment.

*This is typically the case for transformers and street lights.

  • Two people can perform cable tracing on a job together. Each should start at a different end of the job. Once you get to the point where you meet up, you will need to join the traces together. For this, you will just need to run “~” to trace and select the wire only even in bundles. You can then select what wire on the other pole you want to join to. Be sure to select the correct wire, because splitting the trace after the fact can be tricky. Do this for each wire.

  • If you get to a wire that was marked differently (in the above example the CATV was Unknown on the left pole and the CATV was identified as Comcast on the right pole), you will have the option of which value you want to keep. Here, Comcast would be selected since it was identified. Once you select “Join,” the company of the trace would be updated through the entire job.

  • If you need to split a tracing error where wires were joined incorrectly, go into the trace tab of the wire, and click “Split.” This will open up a window to split the trace. Click “Okay” and return to Maps.

The wire’s trace will be highlighted blue on the map. You can now draw a polygon around the poles and sections you want to remove from the trace.

  • If you have a vertical transition, mark each bolt on the pole, but do not trace the wires together on the pole. Just trace the appropriate wire to its corresponding midspan.

  • If you are doing a workflow that uses communication bundles, overhead guys will not use the bundle. You will just enter them as wires, and select the cable type as a guy (power guys will be labeled as cable type power guys).

  • If you have a stub pole, where the communication wires have not transferred yet, typically we place them on the new pole so that we can call a transfer height during the Make Ready step.

*Only trace the wires that are found in a connection. If you have a crossover, and only some communication wires hit the crossover, just trace those wires to the crossover. The power and other communication wires that do not hit the crossover should be joined using a separate connection.

  • If a midspan was not collected, you can always use the “Insert Blank Photo” button at the bottom to insert a dummy photo to trace the wires. This should only be used if the midspan contains no violation, and is typically used as a last resort to help build the 3D model of the pole. Most often, you should have your crews recollect sections or poles that were missed.

Thanks for reading! For a more visual guide of Cable Tracing and Hardware Details, check out our Cable Tracing and Hardware Details Webinar, coming soon!

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