Home: Electricity
Spring-loaded home wiring system   (+7, -1)  [vote for, against]
It's dangerous, it's got sharp objects, and it could definitely poke your eye out.

...If not for the fact that it were contained in a tube.

I envision that for all non-critical wiring systems, there could be a way of passing extended cables and wires through the walls if you would like to place an item on a different wall than the one with the appropriate socket. For example, the cable output is on one wall, but you want to put the TV on the other wall. So you connect an extension to the cable slot, and then insert the cord into a tube built into the wall, push a button, and the cord is launched toward the end of the wall (provided that it is long enough; if not, the launch ends). Do this for the next wall and then pick up the cord where you need it at a pre-placed grab bay, and then use it on your TV.

Basically, insert launching tubes (similar to the spring-loaded ball guns that kids play with) into walls and allow people a way to launch cords through walls one at a time. Have bays at various locations on all walls that can accept cord entry. Each individual cord tube must run at the same height throughout, unless you are willing to shoot the cord vertically up a wall. There also must be several cord tubes (one per cord) but they can all be driven by the same spring launch bay. It's cheaper than pneumatics (which I think could also serve this purpose in a home framework- this would be the Gold option for the wiring) and I think it would work.

Or to retrofit the house, if you can't rewire the whole shamoozle, attach a few tubes to the walls running through the house, and you can inconspicuously ship wires around through various areas of the home. The goal is primarily ease of transport, with a more professional appearance than exposed wires or covered wires.

Besides cable or external antenna inputs, this would also allow people to wire in a nice home network. And it would save some drilling through the walls by doing it ahead of time in a new house.
-- polartomato, Jul 18 2002

Sling-A-Line Slingshot http://www.lsdinc.c...oolswire3.htm#sling
[phoenix, Jul 18 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Pullcord http://www.lsdinc.c...swire3.htm#pullcord
[phoenix, Jul 18 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Cable blowing http://www.polywater.com/teleto11.pdf
Note: This link is to a .PDF file. [phoenix, Jul 18 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

FutureFlex Air-blown fibre http://www.futurefl...product/product.htm
[phoenix, Jul 18 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Ferret electricians http://www.petventu.../ferret/History.htm
Nothing to do with springs, but worth knowing all the same. [timo, Jul 19 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Have a croissant. I didn't need eyes anyway
-- Mr Burns, Jul 18 2002

Hey, PVC is cheap in my neighborhood.
Gives me an idea for how to work around corners.
-- reensure, Jul 19 2002

An alternative method, which allows for corners, is to include a length of string when you install PVC trunking. To run a cable, you attach it (and another length of string) to one end of the string and pull the other end.
-- angel, Jul 19 2002

I'm in the process of retrofitting structured cabling to my house, and as it's of tradtional construction it has proved a bit tiresome. Many many holes in walls, much lifting of floorboards, etc.

The wall conduits idea is OK as far as it goes, but I much prefer the specialised skirting used in many offices which has 3 levels, and allows you to install power outlets, network drops, and phone service drops at any point with ease.

I think it would be better if this were fitted as standard in all new dwellings, at least for power distribution. Of course, for domestic data systems, we'll soon all be using Bluetooth, Ha Ha ...... <dives into Fort Sofa for protection against incoming fire>.
-- 8th of 7, Jul 19 2002

I'd like to see it working, but a croissant for the idea. The less I have to employ handy-men to cut holes in my house, the better.
-- timo, Jul 19 2002

I just remembered something interesting (or possibly not). Ferrets have been used to lay cables but I can't remember where I saw this. I'm sure it wasn't a dream I had, it's far too plausible...
-- timo, Jul 19 2002

timo: They are used to pull cables on oil rigs and other large structures. They are also used to pull cables in ducting in buildings. It is a well used and honoured technique and no man-made system has yet matched the amazing versatility of a ferret. They actually enjoy the work, too, jumping up and down in their box in their eagerness. They get fed when they get to the "other end" (I think that's how they are attracted) but I don't think that's actually why they do it - they enjoy the scurrying around in the "tunnels". They don't actually pull the cable - they pull a very fine, smooth linme, which is then used to pull through a stronger line, then the main cable.

For domestic use, I would suggest something smaller, like a hamster.
-- 8th of 7, Jul 19 2002

A friend of mine used a radio-controlled model car to lay cables under his floorboards.
-- angel, Jul 19 2002

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