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Old 07-08-2013
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Running wire down a mast...

In my attempt to upgrade my wind transducer vane, using the old existing cable as a guide line, the existing cable came apart and broke. The cable appeared to be strong enough but as I pulled the cable up, there was a splice that the previous owner installed and it pulled apart there.

Either case, I need to figure out a way to run the new cable down the mast besides removing the mast.
My mast has internal halyards and I was thinking of attaching the cable to one of the halyards to help guide it down until it reached the halyards exit slots just a few feet above the cabin top and then try to fish it down through the mast down to the cabin floor. (Mast is keel step). The problem is that the cable may end up rubbing on a line inside the mast as it will be outside the internal conduit.
Any thoughts or creative ideas are surely welcomed....

Patrick
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Last edited by patrscoe; 07-08-2013 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 07-08-2013
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Re: Running wire down a mast...

use bicycle chain as a weight on some strong fishing line.
if you do have a conduit then you can use a electrician's wire pulling snake
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Last edited by overbored; 07-08-2013 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 07-08-2013
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Re: Running wire down a mast...

You can use a plumb bob tied to a nylon string. You may have to make several attempts to get it through, but it should eventually get through. Just make sure whatever weight you use can exit through the opening at the keel step.

Once it's through, get a heavier rope and pull that through with the string. That way you have a strong pull line that won't break.

Strip the insulation off the wire about 6 in. and bend that over the pulling eye. This keeps the head small and less likely to get caught. When making up the head, use electrical tape and stretch it tightly as you wrap the head and make sure there is nothing to snag. Leave a tail in the tape so it's easier to remove. Also add a pull line to it so so you have something in the event you want to fish something through later.

If there was a lot of tension pulling up, you could feed the new cable down from the top. It's a bit tricky (I've done it) but it takes a lot of tension off the pulling rope. It's also easier to tell when you've hit a snag.
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Old 07-08-2013
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Re: Running wire down a mast...

Julie, I REALLY like the idea of running the extra line for next time.
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Old 07-08-2013
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Re: Running wire down a mast...

Thanks.
I will need to run the cable through the mast head down. It is a ST70 Wind transducer which as the mounting base connected to the new cable. It's not a problem climbing the mast and dealing with this.
Sounds like drilling out a little bit larger hole at the mast head and running some kind of weight. I like the small bike chain, maybe a few links or perhaps fishing sinkers.
Worth a try.
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Re: Running wire down a mast...

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Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
Julie, I REALLY like the idea of running the extra line for next time.
One of the many things you learn as an electrician.
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Re: Running wire down a mast...

I done this down the conduit with a spool of fishing line and a sinker. Once you get it out the bottom of the conduit in and out of the mast, tape the wind transducer cable to it at the top of the mast and pull it through. After you are finished go back up and cut the fishing line and attach it at the head of the conduit with some slack. And cut the llne at the base of the mast and attach it also.

Now you have a permanent messenger line for the next escapade ( Coax cable probably ). Fishing line wont break with weight.
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Re: Running wire down a mast...

I had the same issue recently and used my "electrician" fish tape. Well worth the money and very handy around the boat. I was able to squeeze it down the internal conduit. I did spray the wire with some silicone as well.
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Re: Running wire down a mast...

You may have a different route if you are working wintin a conduit, but if your traveling down the open interior of the mast, the best technique is to drop a lead fishing weight from a small line down from the mast head. First prepare an 18" piece of dental floss tied to the wegtht with a cotton ball on the bitter end. When the fishing weight hits the bilge ceiling apply a hand vacuum to the access hole at the base of the mast in order to suck in the cotton ball and your access to the messenger line. Of course. it's best to have a weight that will pass through your access hole at the mast step.
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Re: Running wire down a mast...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainForce View Post
You may have a different route if you are working wintin a conduit, but if your traveling down the open interior of the mast, the best technique is to drop a lead fishing weight from a small line down from the mast head. First prepare an 18" piece of dental floss tied to the wegtht with a cotton ball on the bitter end. When the fishing weight hits the bilge ceiling apply a hand vacuum to the access hole at the base of the mast in order to suck in the cotton ball and your access to the messenger line. Of course. it's best to have a weight that will pass through your access hole at the mast step.
Great tip with the cotton ball and vacuum.....I had to use a pair of surgeons hemostats to get mine " captured" through the opening
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