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I'm out of ideas how to route a cable - Any thoughts?

Tempest

Distinguished Member
I have made a couple of holes to mount security camera's, however, I'm finding it impossible so far to be able to get a cable from this hole and into the loft space.

I've poked various items into the hole! Extendable metal tape measures, bendy rods etc, then up into the loft space, and can't see/find anything.
And I've done the reverse poking things down from the loft space, and can't find anything from outside.

I have even used long bendy inspection camera's at both ends, trying to see the ends of something poked in from the other end, and done this from outdoors looking up, and from in the loft looking down, and still can't find/see the other "thing" poked in from the other direction.

It's one of those, had to go in, bend, along, then up kinda cable routes.
On the verge of giving up as I can't even see it with a camera as I said, let alone get hold of it.

A trained tiny rodent with string attached would do this easy, but I don't have one of those :(

Anyone have any ideas I can try?

Last idea I have is to drill a hole in the soffet about half way along, which may act as an access point for both ends to find.

It should be simple and take 5 mins, but it's just no playing ball and I'm not sure what else to try.





 

nvingo

Well-known Member
We've a really awkward roof and we've managed 240v power to a security light and a signal/power/sensor cable for a motorised satellite dish (many years ago).
something like a straightened wire coathanger bent with a hook on the end, should be able to latch and pull a loop of cable (or stiff string), remember once you've threaded something between the roof space and outside, you can use it to pull your cable through.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
I think all that soffit space may be outside your walls, hence why nothing is coming up into the loft. I'm wondering if you could make an access "port" either above or behind the guttering or under the tiles that can access both the loft and the camera point, so you sort of loop through that until the cable is attached to both ends, then pull the loop through and seal off that access point, if that makes sense?
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
Can’t you pull it all the way out from the loft space through the eaves. Then once it is out bring it back in through that hole in the soffit?
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
if I'm in the loft, I can see the outer wall, with wood on top, and then a gap of about 4" ish, which leads into the soffit cavity.
So I can drop down into the actual cavity itself.
If I'm in the loft with my left side towards the end/front of the home, I can see a roof beam coming down in this gap.

Basically I need to drop down into the soffit space (from the loft) then once in there, have the cable move to the left for about 18" (wild guess)
Then curve back towards the house, and up a bit to reach that hole.

It's simply in theory, and I did it years ago, when that panel (where the hole is) was totally removed, as you could stick your arm in, and feel for something dropped down from the loft.

I really don't want to remove that whole panel again.
It's one of those things that you COULD get lucky. The rods etc just bend the right way, and you find it, or you could be there days and never do it.
Ideally 2 people one either end I guess

It's why I don't want to start hacking things about as it COULD be easy if I got lucky!
 

The Dreamer

Distinguished Member
If you can get a piece of string with some ferrous washers/nuts tied to the end somewhere close, would it be possible to use a magnet to 'drag' the string towards the hole?

I've done this a couple of times when fishing wires through stud walls.

Or, using a rodding kit, stick the hook on the end of the rod going in from that soffit, and drop a loop of string to roughly where you can get to with the rods, and 'fish' for the loop with your rod/hook combo?
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Agree with @IronGiant, that space may be outside your loft.

One thing to try, you go up into the loft while someone shines a torch into the hole and see if you can see any torchlight in the roof.

If you can then there is a chance.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

ldoodle

Distinguished Member
I was going to say either:

get a set of cable rods that have a "bullet" style, screw-on light so you can see where it's going (but similar light finding has been suggested)
remove some of the roof tiles
 

stiv674

Well-known Member
Agree with @IronGiant, that space may be outside your loft.

One thing to try, you go up into the loft while someone shines a torch into the hole and see if you can see any torchlight in the roof.

If you can then there is a chance.

Cheers,

Nigel
This is one of the first things that I try if I'm struggling, if you can see light as suggested you know that it is possible...

One thing I also do is use something like phone cable or cat 5 and push loads up in the void so it creates loops etc, which then gives you more of a chance of hooking it from the other side.
 

aVdub

Distinguished Member
Hole where I've coloured Red and black splash should be easier and with a drip loop and a dob of mastic would be fine.

soff.jpg
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
Just to clarify.
I did 1st try the magnet route as that worked around the back.
I taped a couple of really long cable ties together and taped a small very strong magnet to the end.
Poked one of the sets I made up from the outside, and in the loft went fishing, and with luck managed to get them to connect, and pulled it thru.
That was my hope and 1st test with this, but could not make the connection.
What I thought SHOULD work was a normal metal extendable rule, either in from outside or drop down from the loft, and the rod/magnet to find it, but no joy in either direction.

I borrowed this from work:



And was sure I'd get lucky, but shockingly still no.
Poked things in from outside and took this into the loft.
Then poked the steel extendable tape measure down from the loft and poked this into the hole outside, and not once did I see the rule. Which was surprising.

Annoying as I dam well know this SHOULD work, esp with the camera, I must just be missing it.

Yes, I can drill a wire hole, or remove the panel, those are options, but this will just be neat, and I know it's just a silly annoyance.
X-Ray vision would help a lot :)
 

Wahreo

Distinguished Member
I’d drill up through your soffit on the adjacent wall, at an angle and also angled more towards the inside of the loft. Keep in mind you’ve got a set of bricks then a cavity and then a set of blocks. There will be a timber wall plate on top of the blocks but enough space to get a cable through there easily.

difficult one to explain. Sometimes getting a second pair of hand/eyes/thoughts might help.
 

mcbainne

Well-known Member
I bought one of these when i was fishing for cables in the house a couple of years ago, it's a bit longer than the one you were trying so might get you closer. I'd try it in from the loft while getting someone to shine a torch in from the hole at the bottom as @nheather suggested which will at least let you know if you're in the right area. Other than that it's always the faithful fiberglass rods that i've used, if someones at the hole you can usually hear them scraping down and you know you're close


 
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nheather

Distinguished Member
Hole where I've coloured Red and black splash should be easier and with a drip loop and a dob of mastic would be fine.

View attachment 1249835
Even that red blob might be in the wall. The hole for the camera is outside the boundaries of both the front and side walls. That red blob may even be in the side wall depending on build (brick plus cavity plus breeze block) if not it is extremely close.

Hard to explain what I mean without a picture.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
After yesterdays failure (and thank you all for your suggestions) and the forecast for today said rain, I was at the point of having to put this off till perhaps better weather came.

However after a Sunday long lay in bed :)
I decided I'd try again.

Plan was using the bendy-ish rods I bought, and tape a small LED torch to the end of it, together with small neodymium magnets.
Go into loft, poke this down and sideways so I was fully into the soffit cavity, and hopefully pointing towards the front of the building/facia

So, in loft, poked the light in a long way, (balancing on narrow beams on knee's never a fun task! esp when mixed with rockwool insulation)

Back outdoors, looking into the hole shown in yesterdays photo's
Yayyy, I can just see the tip of the torch.

So....................

Used two extra bendy rods, and two more magnets, tied string to the magnets and taped all together.

Also being clever! so that the stiff rod whilst attached to the magnets would pull away from them without much pressure.

Waggling, multiple tries, and "CLINK" magnets found each other. Carefully pulled rod away, leaving string hanging.
Back up into loft to very carefully pull it back, hoping not to get caught and magnets separate.
Yes, got it :)

One side done, then to try the other side, which pretty much went the same, though I could not see the torch this time, but multiple fishing attempts from outside and I just got lucky and caught onto the torch.

So, with the new method (Torch) on the end of rods, and magnets, job done!

Thanks for the suggestion of a torch as that made all the difference, esp on the 1st side.
Being able to see the beam and then the front of the torch really helped.

Thanks also to Lady Luck, as it always helps to have a bit of luck no matter how good your plan/idea.

String in place now on both sides to pull cable/s thru in the near future :)



 

aVdub

Distinguished Member
Having Looked again, I’d probably just drill straight through the grey cladding.

Exactly what I have done many a time when a customer has requested it (they've always run the cable in the loft)
Done a couple soffits and have been really lucky for the cable to be found, as it is not exactly the most open and easy to get to part of the roof/loft.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
Whilst I was kinda joking, and the hole would have to be a bit bigger.
A Ferret would be amazing at this task. Having had a few gorgeous pet home ferrets in the past, then love to get into any narrow places, and bend in any direction ;)
If you poked a ferret with string attached into a hole outside, and up in the loft called it, it would fine it's way to be with you in seconds :)
 

mikes48

Well-known Member
Well done indeed :smashin: - but I think I'd pull a bit, or indeed a lot more string through and tie it to something solid after all that work- you never know :eek:
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
Well done indeed :smashin: - but I think I'd pull a bit, or indeed a lot more string through and tie it to something solid after all that work- you never know :eek:
There is about 3ft of that strong old fashioned string up in the loft, and I poked about 2ft back up into the hole on the outside before jamming the scrunched up bit of tin foil back in the hole to trap it.
Indeed, some git could come along, stand on something and pull it all out.
I'd have them on my Nest door bell ;)
But to be honest, I think I'm pretty safe in reality from that actually happening.
 

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