Any tricks for using fish tape?

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Old 01-25-04, 07:07 PM
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Any tricks for using fish tape?

I've run circuits before using fish tape, etc. When I've run these lines from my basement up into my open attic and then down into my second floor room I've always ended up needing to make a hole somewhere between the first & second floors to help aid in running the line. Despite finding a supposed "clear path" from the basement to the attic (two floors total) by running it alongside some stack I'm never able to simply pull the cable through. I can't really visualize the path well because my attic is a crawl space & trying to look down the path is difficult at best. When I send the fish tape through it never goes straight down because it has some bend in it & it always ends up curling somewhere despite my best efforts to straighten it. It works Ok enough for a one story run but not so for the two story runs. The reason I ask is that I'm trying to run an ethernet (Cat 6) cable and I'd like to avoid cutting a hole between the first & second floors to help guide the line properly. Are there any "tricks" that you pros use to help run these lines a two plus story distance? Using fish tape or otherwise?

In my experience I've been less than impressed with fish tape.
 
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Old 01-25-04, 08:11 PM
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Running a fish tape down 2 floors is never easy, I am not a pro but did a lot of fishing as an early teen because I was the smallest one working for my dads company and I got stuck in all the attics and crawl spaces.

If you are using the metal tapes it is impossible to get all the bend out of it, There are some good fiberglass tapes that come off the roll fairly straight and keep it but I dont know if its worth it for your application, they are very expensive and still might not work for your use,

I have never tried this but if you are dropping the tape down a straight cavity might you try a light rope or fishing line etc with a fairly heavy weight on the end and just lower it through the cavity, or maybe I am missunderstanding the area you are trying to fish.
 
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Old 01-26-04, 12:53 PM
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Drop sash-chain into the vertical void and the Law of Gravity will assist the chain in "finding it's way" to the bottom, or a "sinker" knotted to either a cord or a "sinker-line". ( Another way of "fishing"?)

Good Luck & Enjoy the Experience!!!!!!!!!
 
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Old 01-26-04, 01:08 PM
mostwanted
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when doing a 2 story fish, it is easier to use a six foot drill bit with extension. These can be found at electrical supply stores. Or ask about glow rods. I never use a tape. I use the chain trick as well on a single story wall.
 
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Old 01-26-04, 02:27 PM
masterjoe
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Talking WAN

Why not considering to go with WAN??
You can eliminate the headache of running LAN cables once and for all.
I had a similar scenario and ended up installing 811b WAN router in the living room and installed WAN cards to all CPUs around the house.
H/W prices have gone down so much, that it's very affordable now.
Good WAN home-networking system will cost less than $200.

Signal strength is surprisingly good that I don't know why people still struggle to run wires through walls.

Something to think about...........
 
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Old 01-26-04, 03:13 PM
hotarc
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Re: WAN

Originally posted by masterjoe
Why not considering to go with WAN??
...........

That's a real good idea, but I think you are referring to WLAN. WAN is Wide-Area-Network. What he needs is a WLAN. Wireless-Local-Area-Network. I love mine. Great for laptops!

Just seems to interfere with my 2.4 Ghz phone sometimes.
 
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Old 01-26-04, 09:02 PM
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I use a combo of the WLAN and regular LAN, wlan is great for laptops and I would never go back but it cant compare to speed and reliablity of good old cable

Actually in my old apartment building I set up a WLAN router and shared my internet bill a few neighbours, 3 apartments away and they just got reception
 
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Old 01-27-04, 05:45 AM
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Hey unique, I wouldn't admit to breaking the law here. Nothing you type here is anonymous.
 
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Old 01-27-04, 08:45 AM
masterjoe
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Talking Thanks, Hotarc

Thanks for the correction Hotarc; I was typing it really fast, constantly watching for boss's eyes........

For the speed, I recommend Netgear's 54Mbps wireless access point as your WLAN router. Of course there's no way you could get a full 54Mbps out of it, I could get 11Mbps from my family room.
With the newest technology in WLAN, conventional wired LAN is becoming obsolete. Don't waste your time & money on it, along with busted knuckles.........it ain't worth it.

Hotarc, you should change your 2.4 GHz phone to the one with another frequency. As you know, 2.4 GHz is what 802.11b & g both use.

Go with WLAN..........LAN is going obsolete.
 
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Old 01-27-04, 09:27 PM
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Where I lived there was nothing illegal about sharing internet connection between numerous computers. If I can do it with my 2 roommates and split the bill 3 ways I can also do it with my friends that live on the same floor as me, we just split the bill 5 ways instead.

I had it checked out and I wasent breaking any law, even if the DSL company didn't like it. Thanks for the concern though.
 
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Old 01-28-04, 01:35 AM
noxx
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Sash chain is definitely the winner for straight vertical fishing. Go into you basement and pop the hole where you want to come out, measure it's approx distance from a stud. Set a flashlight below this hole pointing up and leave it on. From there, find the spot above it in the attic (close enough will do) and drill TWO holes, one for dropping the chain, the other for looking through. Now it's a simple matter of watching the chain fall via your spotter hole, and guiding it into the light.

Extended 6 footer, or Greenlee fiberglass fishing sticks are also options here, albeit a bit pricy as a 6ft bit with extension can run over $100 total. If it's a one-time project that's a lot of change. The cheap out, should you decide to use a solid fishing instrument, is a 12' length of T-bar support wire from your local building supply.

Best luck with your project.
 
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Old 01-28-04, 05:42 AM
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Not trying to start an argument, but in most areas of the country it is illegal to share cable, internet or phone between different apartments. Not only is that a concern (or not), but the lack of security should be a big concern for you.
 
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Old 01-28-04, 07:40 AM
masterjoe
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Talking Sharing WLAN to save a few $$$

To add my 2 cents in sharing WLAN with your neighbors.....
Along with Racraft's concerns, there's also an imminent threat of virus infilrtration from other computers in your network.
Some people do not realize this, but virus can spread through wireless network as well as wired network.
DSL isn't that expensive anymore; it ain't worth taking that kind of risk, just to save a few $$$.

Do yourself a favor and do not share your network with strangers or even people you only know superficially.
 
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Old 01-28-04, 09:57 AM
hotarc
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More on Internet Connection Sharing

Most ISP's have a clause in their contract limiting the internet content to 1 single PC at a time.
 
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Old 01-28-04, 12:39 PM
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We are drifting off topic here but whatever.
Anyways all the big highspeed companys where I used to live had a 5 gigs a month cap and that clause for only 1 pc.
Then a smaller DSL company started up with a flexable 25 gig a month cap (they only charge if you consistantly go over, not if one month you use 10 and the next 35)

They also didn't have that clause. In the first year they had taken over 10% of the DSL market share for the area and showed no signs of slowing down. It just proves that a smaller operation can take on the big boys. I just wish there was a small company where I moved to so I am not stuck with the crappy service I get now.
 
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Old 02-07-04, 05:05 PM
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Sorry for the delay in responding but I was unaware anyone had replied to my post because I didn't get the usual email notification that someone has replied to my post. I was surprised to see all the responses.

The idea of a wireless network is fine - in fact I've had one set up for months. I currently use a combination of wired & wireless networking to share my internet connection, files, printers, etc. It works great - however a Hard wired connection is still better & more consistently reliable. With that in mind I'd like to have a hard wired point in the basement that if I want to access I could hook into.

So back to the fish tape business. I can't seem to find a straight shoot with enough room to visualize from the attic to the basement. I know the path is open but its a tight squeeze. Trying the chain idea might work though I'm skeptical in there being enough room for this method to work. I'll give it a try and see if it works. Thanks for the feedback.
 
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Old 02-07-04, 05:30 PM
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Another possibility is a set of fiberglass "push sticks" They are stiff, but flexible, come in ~6" sections that screw together to give you the length you need. Much easier to work with that fish tape.
 
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Old 02-12-04, 09:13 AM
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Where would one get these fiberglass push sticks?
 
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Old 02-12-04, 09:44 AM
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My local HD carries them in the electrical tools section.
 
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Old 02-12-04, 10:19 AM
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Lightbulb

Ok, bvgas. I've had to do the same thing as you. Nothing I did seemed to work. Fiberglass fish tape, rope with a weight on it, metal tape, etc. What I finally tried was 3/8" flexible coduit (wire free). I think I used a 75' length which was more than enough to get from the 2nd floor to my basement. What's good about the flexible conduit is it's cheap, it's very flexible, and gravity works well with it. But here's the key, if it get's stuck on a corner or something you can't see, just start twisting the conduit and you'll get past the problem with ease.

Good luck. BTW, I can feel your frustration.

Kurt
 
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Old 02-12-04, 08:14 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. I'll give them a try & let you know.
 
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Old 02-15-04, 02:59 AM
lagunavolts
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fishing wire or tape is a talent
 

Last edited by John Nelson; 02-15-04 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 02-15-04, 03:00 AM
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think of the mechanics involved.... you can do it
 
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Old 02-15-04, 03:07 AM
lagunavolts
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didn't mean to come off ass "pissed off", but fishing tape is an art form. You need to understand whats in the wall, where you are trying to go. Fish from the smallest hole to the largest hole.
 
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Old 02-21-04, 07:28 PM
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I'm happy to report mission accomplished.

I'm also embarrassed to admit that I solved my problem by simply tying a small weight to a string and gently working it up & down like a fishing line until it made it all the way through(Makes me feel kind of stupid that such a simple idea solved my dilemma). Once through the rest was easy. I tied the Cat 6 cable to the string & simply pulled it through. I used fish tape to run it from the attic down about seven feet into the room where I placed the outlet. For the short run the fish tape worked fine but for the long run the simple string with a weight was much better.

Anyway thanks to all for their suggestions.
 
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Old 02-21-04, 07:41 PM
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Sash Chain

Someone else said this here but it bears repeating. Use a sash chain. If you need to go to a hardware store you can purchase some cheap. I have been an electrician over 25 years, this can save you so much time. Just move the chain up and down as you drop it and you can feel by the weight wether it stopped or is going smoothly.
Good luck
 
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