Threading cables safely

Can you come up with a method of getting a power cable through voids?

From telecommunication wires to IT and entertainment systems, more and more wires are being fed from the outside of a house or building, through cavity walls and voids, to the inside where they can be connected. Standard electrical white cable has memory, so when it is unravelled from a tightly bound reel it is difficult to thread as it tends to curl and does not line up with the holes drilled through a wall. It becomes even more of a problem if the hole is unintentionally drilled off centre or is slightly skewed in any way. It is a time consuming and tricky process that requires a knack and a fair bit of luck. And, locating the cable on the inside, particularly in a roof or dark building can be a job in itself. The same problem can also be seen in industrial applications where threading wires from through an assembly can be just as tricky. The challenge The aim is to come up with as simple a solution as possible for threading cables through cavity walls, or voids, with minimal disruption. It should be able to be used by a single person, use standard cables, not be over complicated and be a relatively unskilled process. It should require absolutely no stripping of the cables. Although lasers can be cheap and are commonly used to assist in alignment, they should not be used in this case. The solution should also stop the cable from pulling itself out under its own weight, a particular problem if threading cables at any kind of height. It should also be just as easy to use in adverse or wet conditions. Some of you might have already had a sneak preview of the solution to this month's coffee time challenge on a well know primetime BBC show. For our inventor, the eureka moment came when a service engineer said he had just the tool for the job in the van - and promptly returned with a tatty coat hanger. Not only does this pose a significant risk, especially when threading through power cables, it is far from being a practical solution. Whether or not you are familiar with the product, the challenge is to come up with something better or improve the existing design. Solution Sharon Wright has devised an ingenious way of threading cables safely and efficiently through wall cavities. Her invention, MagnaMole, is a two-piece kit that consists of a rod and threading magnet. Once a hole is drilled through a cavity wall, the rod, which has a magnet on the end, is stuck through. The second piece in the kit, a threading magnet, is a small magnet that easily attaches around the end of any cable. The threading magnet, with cable attached, is then magnetically connected to the rod. This is then pulled through the hole taking the cable with it. The tool is fully reusable and is also fluorescent making it easy to spot, even in the dark.