Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Replace "light" with "sausages" and this may work...

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Dip-Dah Wire Snake Navigation

"Stay on target... stay on target..."
  [vote for,

In the 30's and 40's, airplanes relied upon low-frequency radio signals, called the four-course radio range to determine if they were on course or not. The system would provide audio dip- dahs, or dah-dips depending on which side of the beam the plane was on in a radio frequency that pilots tuned in to. This way they could tell if they were on or off course. It's actually much more complicated than that but that's not relevant for our purposes.

When adding wires to already-finished houses, an electrician or DIY-er uses a semi-stiff "fishline" or Wire Snake to feed the wire from one open hole in attempts to guide it to another. This is not so easy nor is it fun, as walls and ceilings have dumb things like boards and insulation and other wires and plumbing in the way from one side of the room to the other.

What would be helpful would be a navigation beacon that you could poke into the target hole that could sense where the tip of the fish line was at, whether it were to the right of the hole, left, and roughly how far away it was. Simply insert the beacon into the target hole and align its pointer to the insertion hole and off you go. The device could pipe out dip- dah if the snake tip were to the left and dah-dip if it were to the right, with of course increasing intensity the closer to the hole.

Skull-crusher headphones optional.

RayfordSteele, Feb 04 2021



       Smaller species of Mustelid are available for very confined spaces, but they are neither as docile* nor as trainable as ferrets.   

       Ferrets are used to help install** the cable runs in oil platforms.   

       *Even tame ferrets bite their handlers sometimes. This may merely be in play, or as a gesture of affection, but is still exquisitely painful, as they have needle-sharp teeth.   

       **This consists of pulling a leader cord from one aperture to another, often through a complex route. The ferrets do not, however, get involved in making terminations, as they cannot read the wiring diagrams, and have great difficulty grasping screwdrivers. Worst of all, they are notoriously lackadaisical about updating the "as-built" drawings, causing endless problems for subsequent maintenance operations.
8th of 7, Feb 04 2021

       Oh, [+] for adapting the Lorenz blind-landing system for simplifying the running of cables.
8th of 7, Feb 04 2021

       Not a Hissing Sid shoutout in sight..
not_morrison_rm, Feb 04 2021

       // they cannot read the wiring diagrams, and have great difficulty grasping screwdrivers //   

       Shhh! If word gets out Biden will set his hand to yet another Presidential Decree, this one to educate, train and improve manual dexterity and tool handing capability of ferrets, to the tune of another $billion or so.
whatrock, Feb 04 2021

       He's already got a congress packed with skunks and weasels, so that'll at least be consistent ...
8th of 7, Feb 04 2021

       Of course a signal emitter on the snake tip would be easier in that an "x-ray app" could be developed to show its position. Or maybe a bit of an active isotope...   

       //Shhh! If word gets out Biden will set his hand to yet another Presidential Decree, this one to educate, train and improve manual dexterity and tool handing capability of ferrets, to the tune of another $billion or so.//   

       Of course the Republicans wouldn't want that sort of competition for their seats...
RayfordSteele, Feb 05 2021

       // a bit of an active isotope... //   

       An intense gamma emitter, so it can be tracked through floorboards and drywall with compact, lightweight equipment. Cheap, simple, easy to use, lethally dangerous if used correctly. What's not to like ?
8th of 7, Feb 05 2021

       [+] for the idea.... There's a hidden benefit, a strong potential workforce derived from unemployed air crew will mesh well with this idea. "So you ran a new cable to the outlet in the corner" "Oh yeah, bit tricky that one, had to start it from a pole in the garden in order to make a constant 3 degree glide slope... first time in I thought the plasterer had left a contaminated surface so I ran the cable around the perimeter of the whole room and slotted her in nicely second time around, I'll get to the other one after mandated rest and if you want the coax doing, well, I'm not type-rated."
bs0u0155, Feb 05 2021

       //What's not to like ?//   

       Balancing the retail shelf life with the optimal amount of radioactive matter for best effectivity without a big warehouse worker healthcare bill, and getting it all shipped through customs could be challenging. I trust Sturton's Specialty Imports can handle the job though?
RayfordSteele, Feb 05 2021

       Our legal* advisors have suggested that we politely but firmly decline to answer that question.   

       *No known outstanding warrants - amazing.
8th of 7, Feb 05 2021

       No warrants? They're clearly not experienced in the field.
RayfordSteele, Feb 05 2021

       // Ferrets.   

       I thought this was an obscure British exclamation.
tatterdemalion, Feb 05 2021

       It can be, and indeed on occasion, has been.   

       No doubt it will be again.For example, it is far from unlikely that an electrical installation engineer working on an oil platform might open an access panel, and say "Ferrets !"   

       This might be an expression of mild surprise on finding unexpected ferrets, or could simply be a call for his or her furry co-workers to complete their task and come out of the hole, dragging their pull-cords behind them.
8th of 7, Feb 05 2021


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