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Old 11-01-2013, 08:52   #1
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Lost Radar Cable Inside Mast



I made the mistake of trying to pull the new cable in using the old one. Jammed against something and the wires broke I didn't feel it happening because there was quite a bit of resistance from the old, thick cable.

So what now, skipper? There are about 10 meters of mast between the step and the radar dome to get through.

It's Selden mast with two round conduits for cables inside. I bought some stiff galvanized wire and I'm trying to snake that wire up the conduit. Patiently poking it little by little.

If that fails, I'm thinking about pulling a mouse line up with the cable for the masthead light, which is just a little below the radar.

The only thing is I think the empty conduit is specially for the radar cable, and I don't know whether or not it will be good to have the radar cable in the other conduit.

I don't quite know how the conduit runs -- the empty one is right in the very front of the mast down below, but higher up (I can peek in where the halyards come out) it's not there. Apparently it bends over and runs in the middle of the mast. It's a Selden.

Grateful for any tips!
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:25   #2
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Re: Lost Radar Cable Inside Mast

You probably dont have this kit, or you would have tried it already
10 x 1M Cable Access Rod Kit - QVS Electrical Supplies | Electrical Wholesaler
but worth asking around, someone in the yard or the surrounds may lend you one.
I used this to get from one of the boat to the other behind the paneling, worked a treat.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:29   #3
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Re: Lost Radar Cable Inside Mast

If you are able to access both ends of the dedicated radar conduit, you may be able to use a powerful vacumn cleaner to pull a styrofoam ball with a line attached along the conduit length. Have seen it done. Good luck
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:33   #4
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Re: Lost Radar Cable Inside Mast

I don't know about electrical RF or magnetic interference (vhf+all of the other electrical goodies sitting at the top of the stick) , but I certainly would try myself to run the radar cable in the dedicated conduit.... That being said, buy yourself an electricians fish tape Fish Tape - Save on this 100 Ft. Fish Tape at Harbor Freight .... you will be a million times better off than galvanized wire for your "fishing adventure"....
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:45   #5
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Re: Lost Radar Cable Inside Mast

Do you have a mast plug or seal to keep water from entering the mast? Maybe that is why you had to pull so hard. Also are you using cable lube (dish liquid)?
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:09   #6
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Re: Lost Radar Cable Inside Mast

If you can put a vacuum cleaner (any good shop vacuum will do) on one end of the conduit, do what the electricians do, get yourself 75 feet of this:

Greenlee 435 Conduit Measuring Tape 3000 ft x 3/16"

then you don't even need a ball/rag/mouse. The tape is designed to flutter in the breeze created by the vacuum and will pretty much fly up the conduit. Works well with small obstructions that might cause a ball/rag to get hung up on things in the conduit. I love these flutter tapes. One caution, really easy to suck a whole spool up into your vacuum if you're not careful, tie off the bitter end about 5-10 feet beyond the length you expect to pull
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:23   #7
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Re: Lost Radar Cable Inside Mast

I have used a metal wire fish for this. I don't think that stiff wire will work over a few feet, as it flexes in two directions. The fish is a flat piece of metal, so it really only flexes in one direction.

BTW, if you know where the wire is, it is lost?

Chris
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:33   #8
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Re: Lost Radar Cable Inside Mast

Are you asking how to get a messenger through? or is your wire stuck in there somewhere? to get a messenger through use a big 4-6 oz lead fishing weight lowered down from the top. or as mentioned, an electricians fish tape.
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Old 11-01-2013, 12:07   #9
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Re: Lost Radar Cable Inside Mast

Quote:
By Cheechako: to get a messenger through use a big 4-6 oz lead fishing weight lowered down from the top.
I'd like to see you do that on a horizontal mast.
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Old 11-01-2013, 16:38   #10
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Re: Lost Radar Cable Inside Mast

DeepFrz.... Isn't the horizontal tube thingy called a boom????
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Old 11-01-2013, 16:49   #11
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Re: Lost Radar Cable Inside Mast

Not if the mast is off the boat and its laying horizontally on supports. Well the boom is off the boat too but the OP is referring to his mast.
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Old 11-01-2013, 16:58   #12
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Re: Lost Radar Cable Inside Mast

I guess I dont understand english! :
"There are about 10 meters of mast between the step and the radar dome to get through..."
"If that fails, I'm thinking about pulling a mouse line up with the cable ...."
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Old 11-01-2013, 17:12   #13
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Re: Lost Radar Cable Inside Mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I guess I dont understand english! :
"There are about 10 meters of mast between the step and the radar dome to get through..."
"If that fails, I'm thinking about pulling a mouse line up with the cable ...."
The disputed terms are merely for point of reference. F'rinstance, is North down on your GPS still the correct compass point? Yes it is for it continues to be a point of reference. That said, I like you had assumed the mast was still upright on the boat.

I am more concerned of why the masthead light is below the radome, which itself is only half way up the mast.
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Old 11-01-2013, 17:27   #14
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Re: Lost Radar Cable Inside Mast

Not if the mast is off the boat and its laying horizontally on supports. Well the boom is off the boat too but the OP is referring to his mast.


I WAS KIDDING!!!!
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Old 11-01-2013, 17:57   #15
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Re: Lost Radar Cable Inside Mast

evidently Deep Feeze is at location. Not sure how the rest of us are supposed to know the mast is down.... but anyway... if it's down.. It ought to be simple...?
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