Arlin S. Powell, Jr.
We at Cabling Installation & Maintenance are not cabling installers ourselves, so sometimes we wonder if our collective leg is being pulled, especially when it comes to Installer Tips. The first time we suspected this was when a tip was submitted that suggested that a battery-powered, remote-controlled car could be used to carry pullstrings in cable trays or across dropped ceilings. Could a toy really be used effectively in this way? we asked ourselves. After some head-scratching (and some expert advice to the contrary), we ran the tip in April 1996 (see "Toy truck eases cable installation in cable tray or ceiling," page 52).
Since then we`ve touted plastic buckets, slingshots, fishing reels, periscopes, and poles with hooks on the end in the Installer Tips column, but these ingenious homemade devices are by no means the only cable-pulling solutions we`ve come across. My colleague Barbara Thompson, for instance, recently attended an installer training session in Boston. Among the methods mentioned there by installers for getting pullstrings from one side of a room to another were crossbows, air rifles and, from a Coast Guard technician, a rifle used to shoot a line across to another ship.
Perhaps the most inventive cable-pulling solution, though, was Honey. Honey is a small dog with a liking for cookies who was put to work by her enterprising master. A confederate would place Honey on a dropped ceiling with a pullstring tied to her. Her master, at the other side of the room, would signal Honey with a flashlight, showing her the cookie he held in his hand. Honey was a very effective cable-puller for several months, and considered herself well-paid for her efforts. However, eventually she started falling through ceilings--too many cookies!
We enjoy hearing your installation stories. Keep them coming.