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How to find hidden wires?

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Anonymous
July 7, 2004 12:24:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

I have a friend who just moved into a house and his living room is wired for
surround sound, however, the builders left the wires above the ceiling
(incase you don't want to install surround speakers) and left no clue as to
how to locate them. His house is a townhouse so he apparently doesn't have
access to the attic to go hunting for the wires. My question is, how do you
go about finding the wires? I imagine it's something inductive like a fox
and hound they use in telephone circuits but I haven't found anything that
would work. Anyone have any ideas on how to find them without punching a
hole through the ceiling to go look?

-Bruce

More about : find hidden wires

Anonymous
July 7, 2004 4:02:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Bruce Chang" <bechang@swspambegonebell.net> wrote in message
news:2UDGc.11646$7E1.10142@newssvr24.news.prodigy.com...
> I have a friend who just moved into a house and his living room is wired
for
> surround sound, however, the builders left the wires above the ceiling
> (incase you don't want to install surround speakers) and left no clue as
to
> how to locate them. His house is a townhouse so he apparently doesn't
have
> access to the attic to go hunting for the wires. My question is, how do
you
> go about finding the wires? I imagine it's something inductive like a fox
> and hound they use in telephone circuits but I haven't found anything that
> would work. Anyone have any ideas on how to find them without punching a
> hole through the ceiling to go look?

get a wire detector.
Get access to the roof.
cb
Anonymous
July 7, 2004 4:03:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Chris Berry" <christoforos@Notmail.com> wrote in message
news:ccf7fd$8pv$01$1@news.t-online.com...

> Get access to the roof.
i.e. claim someone might be electrocuted unless you check the wiring (grin
holding self-defense electrocution stun gun)
cb
Related resources
Anonymous
July 7, 2004 10:41:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Chris Berry" <christoforos@Notmail.com> wrote in message
news:ccf7fd$8pv$01$1@news.t-online.com...

> get a wire detector.

Can you explain how a wire detector can detect wires that are not connected
and therefore have no current flowing through them?
And how would you tell which wires are which?

> Get access to the roof.

That seems like the only solution to me.

TonyP.
Anonymous
July 7, 2004 10:41:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Are you saying that the builder put wires in the wall and ceiling and has left neither of the
two ends exposed? If so I have some beachfront property in New Mexico I will sell you cheap.
Phil Abbate.
"TonyP" <TonyP@optus.net.com.au> wrote in message
news:40ebb753$0$18666$afc38c87@news.optusnet.com.au...
:
: "Chris Berry" <christoforos@Notmail.com> wrote in message
: news:ccf7fd$8pv$01$1@news.t-online.com...
:
: > get a wire detector.
:
: Can you explain how a wire detector can detect wires that are not connected
: and therefore have no current flowing through them?
: And how would you tell which wires are which?
:
: > Get access to the roof.
:
: That seems like the only solution to me.
:
: TonyP.
:
:
July 7, 2004 10:41:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

TonyP wrote:

> "Chris Berry" <christoforos@Notmail.com> wrote in message
> news:ccf7fd$8pv$01$1@news.t-online.com...
>
>
>>get a wire detector.
>
>
> Can you explain how a wire detector can detect wires that are not connected
> and therefore have no current flowing through them?
> And how would you tell which wires are which?
>

So you don't know where EITHER end is? You almost might as well run new
wires.

>
>>Get access to the roof.
>
>
> That seems like the only solution to me.
>
> TonyP.
>
>


--
The e-mail address in our reply-to line is reversed in an attempt to
minimize spam. Our true address is of the form che...@prodigy.net.
Anonymous
July 7, 2004 10:41:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"anybody-but-bush" <Anybody But Bu$h@YAHOO.com> wrote in message
news:o QTGc.5023$sD4.2851@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net...
> Are you saying that the builder put wires in the wall and ceiling and has
left neither of the
> two ends exposed? If so I have some beachfront property in New Mexico I
will sell you cheap.

I'm not the chump that bought the house.. The builder left the receiver
side exposed but not the speaker side. The speaker side is the side I'm
seeking.
July 7, 2004 10:41:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

CJT wrote:

> TonyP wrote:
>
>> "Chris Berry" <christoforos@Notmail.com> wrote in message
>> news:ccf7fd$8pv$01$1@news.t-online.com...
>>
>>
>>> get a wire detector.
>>
>>
>>
>> Can you explain how a wire detector can detect wires that are not
>> connected
>> and therefore have no current flowing through them?
>> And how would you tell which wires are which?
>>
>
> So you don't know where EITHER end is? You almost might as well run new
> wires.
>
>>
>>> Get access to the roof.
>>
>>
>>
>> That seems like the only solution to me.
>>
>> TonyP.
>>
>>
>
>

I see from later posts that you answered my query. If you have one end,
connect it to a low-level source of RF as an antenna and map the field
strength.

--
The e-mail address in our reply-to line is reversed in an attempt to
minimize spam. Our true address is of the form che...@prodigy.net.
Anonymous
July 7, 2004 10:41:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Bruce Chang" <bechang@swspambegonebell.net> wrote in message
news:xBUGc.351$Q%1.41@newssvr22.news.prodigy.com
> "anybody-but-bush" <Anybody But Bu$h@YAHOO.com> wrote in message
> news:o QTGc.5023$sD4.2851@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net...
>> Are you saying that the builder put wires in the wall and ceiling
>> and has left neither of the two ends exposed? If so I have some
>> beachfront property in New Mexico I will sell you cheap.
>
> I'm not the chump that bought the house.. The builder left the
> receiver side exposed but not the speaker side. The speaker side is
> the side I'm seeking.

Well, they are metal and they are conductive. Other than nails and the like,
most of your house is probably neither. I used a stud finder to map the
power wiring in a concrete slab. Someone routed the wiring for almost every
circuit for my house through that slab, and I needed to attach a subfloor to
it. The plan worked.

I don't know if a $20 stud finder would give you a clue, but it might. I
know that I pick up lots of things besides nails with mine.

If you could form a conductive loop, then an inductive pickup loop might
help. As things stand, you might be able to do something based on
capacitance.
Anonymous
July 7, 2004 10:41:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"CJT" <abujlehc@prodigy.net> wrote in message
news:40EC2E16.20001@prodigy.net...
> CJT wrote:
>
> > TonyP wrote:
> >
> >> "Chris Berry" <christoforos@Notmail.com> wrote in message
> >> news:ccf7fd$8pv$01$1@news.t-online.com...
> >>
> >>
> >>> get a wire detector.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Can you explain how a wire detector can detect wires that are not
> >> connected
> >> and therefore have no current flowing through them?
> >> And how would you tell which wires are which?
> >>
> >
> > So you don't know where EITHER end is? You almost might as well run new
> > wires.
> >
> >>
> >>> Get access to the roof.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> That seems like the only solution to me.
> >>
> >> TonyP.
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
>
> I see from later posts that you answered my query. If you have one end,
> connect it to a low-level source of RF as an antenna and map the field
> strength.
>
> --
> The e-mail address in our reply-to line is reversed in an attempt to
> minimize spam. Our true address is of the form che...@prodigy.net.

Ah! That's not a bad idea.. Now if I could convince my boss to let me take
the signal generator and power meter home.. =oD
Anonymous
July 7, 2004 10:41:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote in message
news:2pednaL9k7AQhHHdRVn-ug@comcast.com...
> "Bruce Chang" <bechang@swspambegonebell.net> wrote in message
> news:xBUGc.351$Q%1.41@newssvr22.news.prodigy.com
> > "anybody-but-bush" <Anybody But Bu$h@YAHOO.com> wrote in message
> > news:o QTGc.5023$sD4.2851@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net...
> >> Are you saying that the builder put wires in the wall and ceiling
> >> and has left neither of the two ends exposed? If so I have some
> >> beachfront property in New Mexico I will sell you cheap.
> >
> > I'm not the chump that bought the house.. The builder left the
> > receiver side exposed but not the speaker side. The speaker side is
> > the side I'm seeking.
>
> Well, they are metal and they are conductive. Other than nails and the
like,
> most of your house is probably neither. I used a stud finder to map the
> power wiring in a concrete slab. Someone routed the wiring for almost
every
> circuit for my house through that slab, and I needed to attach a subfloor
to
> it. The plan worked.
>
> I don't know if a $20 stud finder would give you a clue, but it might. I
> know that I pick up lots of things besides nails with mine.
>
> If you could form a conductive loop, then an inductive pickup loop might
> help. As things stand, you might be able to do something based on
> capacitance.
>
>

Well, i"m thinking of connecting it to 110 AC and then using a inductive
voltage finder to trace it but I'm not sure being 1/2" away from the wires
will be close enough to pick up the field. I can't get to one end of the
wires so making a loop will not be possible.

A stud finder might pick up wires but I'm not sure it'll give me any clue as
to which run is the speaker wires as opposed to power runs, telephone,
cable, etc.

Thanks for the suggestion.
Anonymous
July 7, 2004 10:41:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Bruce Chang" <bechang@swspambegonebell.net> wrote in message
news:e_UGc.353$j52.280@newssvr22.news.prodigy.com
> "Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote in message
> news:2pednaL9k7AQhHHdRVn-ug@comcast.com...

>
> Well, i"m thinking of connecting it to 110 AC and then using a
> inductive voltage finder to trace it but I'm not sure being 1/2" away
> from the wires will be close enough to pick up the field. I can't
> get to one end of the wires so making a loop will not be possible.

Induction doesn't work unless there is actual current flow.

> A stud finder might pick up wires but I'm not sure it'll give me any
> clue as to which run is the speaker wires as opposed to power runs,
> telephone, cable, etc.

You start from where you know what the wire is, based on visual or other
means.

In the case of the slab, I actually penciled in every cable from start to
finish. There were a lot of them, but it didn't take that long.
Anonymous
July 7, 2004 10:41:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote in message
news:MZCdnUsiR8Vyg3HdRVn_iw@comcast.com...
> "Bruce Chang" <bechang@swspambegonebell.net> wrote in message
> news:e_UGc.353$j52.280@newssvr22.news.prodigy.com
> > "Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote in message
> > news:2pednaL9k7AQhHHdRVn-ug@comcast.com...
>
> >
> > Well, i"m thinking of connecting it to 110 AC and then using a
> > inductive voltage finder to trace it but I'm not sure being 1/2" away
> > from the wires will be close enough to pick up the field. I can't
> > get to one end of the wires so making a loop will not be possible.
>
> Induction doesn't work unless there is actual current flow.

Hmm.. Maybe I chose the wrong word but I think induction is correct. I used
a fluke circuit tester that was inductive and all you did was get it close
to a hot wire and it started singing to you. The wire wasn't connected to
anything but a hot source. There was no closed loop and as I could tell, no
current flow yet this thing could tell you if it was a hot circuit or not.

> You start from where you know what the wire is, based on visual or other
> means.
>
> In the case of the slab, I actually penciled in every cable from start to
> finish. There were a lot of them, but it didn't take that long.
>

Another problem that just came to me is that the wires will be run on top of
the ceiling joists. Do you think the stud finder would be able to locate
them even if they're 3 1/2 (2x4) inches or 5 1/4 (2x6) inches away from it?
I'm thinking slim to no chance.

-Bruce
Anonymous
July 8, 2004 2:01:14 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

So all is not hopeless. I would use one of these.
www.mouser.com PN 615-262.

Put the source signal into the receiver side and use the sensor to find the other end.
Experiment with exposed wire to get a feeling on what to listen for.

Don't go looking for 110 volts AC with an inductor probe unless you want to cut into the AC
powering wiring for the house. Use some beeping sound that will not be confused with anything
else legitimately in the house. We call this the Beepe-ba-de- beep and the banana cause our
sensor is yellow. Ours also troubleshoots RJ45 LAN wiring.

Good luck and find a nice plasterer before you go cutting up the ceiling.

Phil



:
: "anybody-but-bush" <Anybody But Bu$h@YAHOO.com> wrote in message
: news:o QTGc.5023$sD4.2851@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net...
: > Are you saying that the builder put wires in the wall and ceiling and has
: left neither of the
: > two ends exposed? If so I have some beachfront property in New Mexico I
: will sell you cheap.
:
: I'm not the chump that bought the house.. The builder left the receiver
: side exposed but not the speaker side. The speaker side is the side I'm
: seeking.
:
:
Anonymous
July 8, 2004 3:01:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"TonyP" <TonyP@optus.net.com.au> wrote in message
news:40ebb753$0$18666$afc38c87@news.optusnet.com.au...
>
> "Chris Berry" <christoforos@Notmail.com> wrote in message
> news:ccf7fd$8pv$01$1@news.t-online.com...
>
> > get a wire detector.
>
> Can you explain how a wire detector can detect wires that are not
connected
> and therefore have no current flowing through them?
> And how would you tell which wires are which?

Easy. test for open circuit, then apply power to wires. You also get
different types of detector. One actually pings RF down the wire.
Having located which wire is which... just use a neon screwdriver and
bingo - even the colour blind can tell which wire's which.

>
> > Get access to the roof.
>
> That seems like the only solution to me.

For the uunimaginative maybe.
cb
Anonymous
July 11, 2004 12:43:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

I've done this with a TI100 TIC Tracer (Tif instruments) by connecting the
available end of the wires to AC voltage (make sure they aren't connected
together at the other end ...duh). Your best bet is to start at the free
(powered) end and trace through to the buried end. If you can de-energize
all the circuits in the room, it will be much easier (no interference).
Check the TIC Tracer and various other voltage detectors here:
http://www.inspectortools.com/voldetprob.html
I would avoid the simple volt "pens", they don't have the sensitivity.

"Bruce Chang" <bechang@swspambegonebell.net> wrote in message
news:2UDGc.11646$7E1.10142@newssvr24.news.prodigy.com...
> I have a friend who just moved into a house and his living room is wired
for
> surround sound, however, the builders left the wires above the ceiling
> (incase you don't want to install surround speakers) and left no clue as
to
> how to locate them. His house is a townhouse so he apparently doesn't
have
> access to the attic to go hunting for the wires. My question is, how do
you
> go about finding the wires? I imagine it's something inductive like a fox
> and hound they use in telephone circuits but I haven't found anything that
> would work. Anyone have any ideas on how to find them without punching a
> hole through the ceiling to go look?
>
> -Bruce
>
>
Anonymous
July 11, 2004 6:06:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

The easiest way is with a toner, otherwise known as a Fox and Hound. Radio
Shack sells a usable one. It consists of a transmitter and receiver, and has
1000's of uses.

EK
"StewieGriffin" <Stewie@nospam.net> wrote in message
news:GL-dnY5szJTJEG3dRVn-gw@adelphia.com...
> I've done this with a TI100 TIC Tracer (Tif instruments) by connecting the
> available end of the wires to AC voltage (make sure they aren't connected
> together at the other end ...duh). Your best bet is to start at the free
> (powered) end and trace through to the buried end. If you can de-energize
> all the circuits in the room, it will be much easier (no interference).
> Check the TIC Tracer and various other voltage detectors here:
> http://www.inspectortools.com/voldetprob.html
> I would avoid the simple volt "pens", they don't have the sensitivity.
>
> "Bruce Chang" <bechang@swspambegonebell.net> wrote in message
> news:2UDGc.11646$7E1.10142@newssvr24.news.prodigy.com...
> > I have a friend who just moved into a house and his living room is wired
> for
> > surround sound, however, the builders left the wires above the ceiling
> > (incase you don't want to install surround speakers) and left no clue as
> to
> > how to locate them. His house is a townhouse so he apparently doesn't
> have
> > access to the attic to go hunting for the wires. My question is, how do
> you
> > go about finding the wires? I imagine it's something inductive like a
fox
> > and hound they use in telephone circuits but I haven't found anything
that
> > would work. Anyone have any ideas on how to find them without punching
a
> > hole through the ceiling to go look?
> >
> > -Bruce
> >
> >
>
>
July 23, 2004 11:32:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

In article
<2UDGc.11646$7E1.10142@newssvr24.news.prodigy.com>,
bechang@swspambegonebell.net says...
> I have a friend who just moved into a house and his living room is wired for
> surround sound, however, the builders left the wires above the ceiling
> (incase you don't want to install surround speakers) and left no clue as to
> how to locate them. His house is a townhouse so he apparently doesn't have
> access to the attic to go hunting for the wires. My question is, how do you
> go about finding the wires? I imagine it's something inductive like a fox
> and hound they use in telephone circuits but I haven't found anything that
> would work. Anyone have any ideas on how to find them without punching a
> hole through the ceiling to go look?
>
> -Bruce
>
>
>
You're on the right track.

Use a Fox & Hound BUT....

Connect one side of the toner to one conductor (or both, it
doesn't matter) of the speaker cable as you normally would.
Connect the other side of the toner to the ground pin
(Only!) of the nearest outlet.

Use the wand as normal to trace.

It'll work. Guaranteed.
--
Mark

The truth as I perceive it to be.
Your perception may be different.

Triple Z is spam control.
!