Wiring issues

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Lenp
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Wiring issues

Post by Lenp » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:40 am

I am getting involved installing a PA system in a three floor 60,000 square ft building
All ceilings are hard plaster with limited access. There is a wireless system available but it is way out of budget. I have done lots of wire pulling and have the commonly used tools like fish tapes, push poles and the new Magnetic pullers.
Anyone have a fresh idea or technique?
Thanks
Len
Len

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sghioto
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Re: Wiring issues

Post by sghioto » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:13 pm

Len,
I wouldn't call this new or fancy and depends on how much access you have , but when I worked for a sound company years ago we would shoot pull string above the ceiling down long corridors and hallways using a homemade "blow gun". Just a bottle of compressed air and a two or three foot piece of 1/2" conduit. A lot of times we would cut the speaker holes first to allow additional access. Worked pretty good for the most part.

Steve G

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Lenp
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Re: Wiring issues

Post by Lenp » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:12 pm

Hi Steve
That might work if we can see from hole to hole. I used that method years ago with a CO2 extinguisher for the blast. The problem was what we shot would bounce and the pull line would snag. Maybe a longer rod, arrow like, would fly more predictably.
We have used a sling shot with a fishing reel attached but snagged line was the downfall.
Since the ceiling is plaster over wire lath we will try to use wall mounted speakers if possible unless we really need the holes for access. Biggest hold up now is drawings so we can try to find risers to get to the floors.
Len

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a big pile of junk.” (T. Edison)
"I must be on the way to success since I already have the junk". (Me)

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Janitor Tzap
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Re: Wiring issues

Post by Janitor Tzap » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:31 pm

Maybe a trained ferret?

Have one guy put the ferret in the starting hole with a string tied to the ferret.
Have another person at the exit hole calling for the ferret.
When the ferret gets to the exit hole, take the string and tie it to wire you need to pull, and pull it through.


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gerty
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Re: Wiring issues

Post by gerty » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:53 pm

We were doing a house rehab once and the alarm people used a RC car to pull wires in tight places under the house.

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Re: Wiring issues

Post by sghioto » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:04 am

Lets see here, we have:
blow guns
RC cars
slingshots
ferrets.
I vote the ferret :smile:

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dacflyer
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Re: Wiring issues

Post by dacflyer » Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:02 am

i read a article once about a school used a trained rat.. he was 1st trained to go thru mazes ( a treat at the end )
and later he graduated to pulling string thru the ceiling..

running the wire thru the ceiling might not be too hard, but to get it from there to running it down the wall might be another challenge.

as for the rc car, i have seen it done with a rc truck..it was able to crawl over small obstacles. depends on how much crap is in the ceiling already too.and how tight the area is.

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Lenp
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Re: Wiring issues

Post by Lenp » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:00 am

Also add to the list...
A subcontractor! :grin:
Len

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a big pile of junk.” (T. Edison)
"I must be on the way to success since I already have the junk". (Me)

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Janitor Tzap
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Re: Wiring issues

Post by Janitor Tzap » Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:46 am

Lenp wrote:Also add to the list...
A subcontractor! :grin:
Cheater!
Making some one else do the work for you.

That just cheating!


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Lenp
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Re: Wiring issues

Post by Lenp » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:17 am

Thanks for all the input guys,

If a wired system gets unmanageable, I am considering the following....

Using Motorola GMRS radios, lashed up to an amplifier module and a wall baffle speaker.
I would connect the amp module to the headset jack and use a line powered adapter instead of batteries.
Really, a plug and play!

Since they are 22 UHF channels with 120 codes available interference should be no problem.
As a plus, they are widely available, inexpensive and have alert signals and other features that might be used.
The 'paging point' would be a unit used as is, or modified to use audio input from another source like their (telco system)

I have used these radios in the past with excellent coverage in buildings so a coverage test next week might tell it all!
Opinions?!
Len
Len

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a big pile of junk.” (T. Edison)
"I must be on the way to success since I already have the junk". (Me)

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jwax
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Re: Wiring issues

Post by jwax » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:21 pm

Surprised nobody mentioned drones.
A camera-equipped drone helicopter may drag a line from point to point.
Hard to beat a trained ferret though! :grin:

Or, perhaps a Norwegian swallow, or two, with a line between them that could drag a line?

Speaking of lines, I think I just crossed the sanity one. Been a long day.
Just commissioned my home 4.2KW solar array today! :razz:

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Re: Wiring issues

Post by avionicsmaster1958 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:37 pm

Our guys have a telescoping pole that resembles a fishing rod. They can attach a cable or pull string and telescope out to about 20 feet. It's sturdy enough to push some ducting out of the way but it's pretty light and easy to use.

Other than using the plastic channel stuff that sticks to the room side of the wall to connect speakers is about all I can think of. Well, you could cut channels in the ceiling/wall then have it patched but that could get a tad on the expensive side.

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Lenp
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Re: Wiring issues

Post by Lenp » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:39 pm

Other wire pulling ideas...

I made a bag full of 3/4" PVC conduit, cut into 5' lengths with a male/female connectors glued onto each end. I worked over the threads some so they were not tapered and fit together without binding. There is an 'eggbeater' or 'whisk' like spring on the front that hops over cross tees and obstructions plus a MiniMag can be taped to the leading end as a headlight. The end section has a cap with an eye bolt to pull the wire. In use you go as far as possible, attach the wire, go to the end then go again.

I have a 'hole locator'. It is a 2 foot piece of stiff 3/8" polyethylene tubing with a bright flashing LED in one end and a battery box with a switch at the other end. Drill a hole, push the tube in and go look for it on the other side of the ceiling or floor. We did a lot of drops to crawl spaces and it works great. Just use a a golf tee as a wedge to hold the tube it in a ceiling hole!

Flat 1 inch wide carton strapping steel works well as a wire tool in some cases. Just make a loop to hook the wire on at the end with a strap clamp, and bend the leading end into a lazy letter 'Z'. Hold it flat on the ceiling tile and will slide over cross tees and pipes in many cases.

An 18 inch piece of 1" PVC pipe slit down it's length with a table saw slips over the ceiling tee at the feed hole and lets the wire feed without getting caught. If you add a horn at each end of the pipe, like a bolt sticking up, the wire won't slip off the end and pinch in the corner. Somebody makes a gizmo like that but I'm not sure who!

Still looking at my wireless idea and plan a test next week....

Len
Len

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a big pile of junk.” (T. Edison)
"I must be on the way to success since I already have the junk". (Me)

gerty
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Re: Wiring issues

Post by gerty » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:26 pm

[quote="Lenp"]Thanks for all the input guys,

If a wired system gets unmanageable, I am considering the following....

[b]Using Motorola GMRS radios, lashed up to an amplifier module and a wall baffle speaker.
I would connect the amp module to the headset jack and use a line powered adapter instead of batteries.
Really, a plug and play![/b]Since they are 22 UHF channels with 120 codes available interference should be no problem.
As a plus, they are widely available, inexpensive and have alert signals and other features that might be used.
The 'paging point' would be a unit used as is, or modified to use audio input from another source like their (telco system)

I have used these radios in the past with excellent coverage in buildings so a coverage test next week might tell it all!
Opinions?!
Len[/quote]

Make sure the radios don't have a Time Out Timer programmed in.It's an option on commercial radios, to keep broadcasting to a minimum if you accidently keep the radio keyed up ..I don't know a thing about the radios you mention, so this may not apply.

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Lenp
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Re: Wiring issues

Post by Lenp » Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:46 am

Hi gerty,
I don't think these radios have that feature. The units I am looking into are small handheld units with PTT.
All the units will be used as receivers except the unit that initiates the page. I may need to get a base unit with higher output but the tests should tell that. I have designed an interface that uses touch tone phones to control the system. That way I can place the transmitter in an optimum location without too much concern about where the paging point is located.
More to follow...
Len
Len

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a big pile of junk.” (T. Edison)
"I must be on the way to success since I already have the junk". (Me)

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