May 29, 2008 by Simon Scotland
Q. If I moved into a home which is pre-wired for home theater and I want to install my own speakers, what device can I purchase to detect the wires? - Kevin
A. Finding cables in ceilings and walls is a common, yet relatively simple problem to overcome. First, you need a tone generator. My company uses ones made by Tempo. You can also find cheaper versions on eBay. However, they might not be as reliable which means you could end up with more holes in your ceiling than intended.
Clip the transmitter onto the visable portion of the cable. This will send a warbling sound down the wire. Use the probe to hunt down the other end of the cable. As long as you have a general idea of where the cable is, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find. Hopefully the location is somewhere close to where you want to put the speaker. If it’s not quite in the right place, you might be able to move the cable assuming there’s enough slack. Before you start cutting, remember the speaker cables are not the only things in the ceiling. Be very careful to avoid sawing through the cables to your lights, water pipes or gas!
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Simon spent eight years in the feature film production. Upon leaving the industry he formed Beyond the Invisible in London UK which specializes in high end whole house entertainment systems, home theaters and lighting control and currently has a staff on ten. He is a certified CEDIA designer and avid collector of Citroen automobiles.
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