Arlyn S. Powell, Jr.
Sometimes an idea is so simple, and yet so elegant, that it is difficult to believe it hasn`t been around for years. Data Connections Inc. (Greensboro, NC), has come up with such an idea and has applied for a patent. Rody Gibbs, the company president, says the new product, the 2nd Man Cable Pulley, is now shipping.
These pulleys can be hung in dropped ceilings, walls or raised floors to ease cable pulls and reduce the labor required. A technician working alone can now execute a straight pull, change elevations or turn corners by using combinations of pulleys.
"Depending on the creativity and ingenuity of the technician who is planning out a cable run," claims Gibbs, "use of the pulleys may result in a savings of 33% to 60% in the overall time to pull. A second technician is no longer required to feed cable up through the ceiling or around turns; thus, the name `2nd Man.` "
In a preliminary test using five machined models, six 4-pair Category 5 cables were pulled approximately 250 feet in a run involving straight segments, an elevation change and a 90-degree turn. "We were elated over how well the pulleys performed," says Gibbs, who adds that production models of the device will accommodate bundles of up to eight 4-pair Category 5 or similar-sized cables. The load capacity of the pulley is 75 pounds.
Gibbs points out that the pulley devices "help ensure the overall integrity of the cable by protecting it--maintaining the proper bend radius, eliminating drag around turns, reducing friction and eliminating excessive pulling force." They can also double as cable hangers if left in place after the installation.
Shipping began in June. These first pulleys are made of injection-molded nylon. Gibbs says, "As of today, we have not received a ruling on whether a plenum-rated version will be required."
For more information on the 2nd Man Cable Pulley, call Data Connections at (800) 225-1855.