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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm new here and new to the whole HT experience too, so forgive me if this sounds a little stupid.

I bought a house with an ancient sharp projector in the ceiling, probably 3 times the size of modern ones. It's already installed in the ceiling and its only cable (component) runs through the ceiling (in-wall) to the back of the projector screen where I have access through a crawling space masked by a wooden shelf door. I want to replace the old projector by a new one and wondering if I can do so without calling a contractor to break my ceiling apart by running the cables from the new projector (2 HDMI and 1 component) through the existing conduit. My question is, can this be accomplished and how? :help:
 

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If the conduit is big enough - sure. Certainly you could probably pull 2 HDMI - that and the component might be a bit dicey. Just tie/tape a pull wire to the existing component cables and pull them from the other end. Then tie/tape the new HDMI to the pull wire and go back through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, so is there a specific pull wire I should use for this? Also, should I try to pull one HDMI cable at a time (in this case I would have to attach another pull wire to the HDMI head) or should I use the same wire to pull both cables at ounce?
 

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Pull both at once definitely.

For the wire, just something thin. Telephone wire is kind of borderline but might work depending on how tight the pull is and how many curves. You could also just use fiberglass pull rods like electricians use for this exact purpose.
 

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nylon string is your best option to tie the old component cables to the new HDMI cables. You may also want to run an Ethernet (cat6) cable as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Can you tie on to the old ones and pull from the projector back through?
That was my first thought but I wonder if pulling 2 HDMI's plus maybe a component and/or Ethernet cable tied to the existing component would be too heavy to pull, no?
 

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A piece of Cat 6 is pretty small - shouldn't be a problem. Certainly much less than component cables. They make a 'lube' to put on the cables that will make the pull smoother.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A piece of Cat 6 is pretty small - shouldn't be a problem. Certainly much less than component cables. They make a 'lube' to put on the cables that will make the pull smoother.
I'm going with a budget projector, which does not have Ethernet port (BenQ W1070), seems like a good upgrade from what I have right now and until I can afford a better machine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone, very helpful!

I'm going to pull the old cable a little bit (it has about 3 feet of excess cable in one end) to see how much resistance I get. If it is moving freely, I think I'm going to tie it directly to the HDMI cables and give it a chance. I still have to decide if I want to pull a component along with the 2 HDMIs as well.

If pulling the old one is offering some resistance, this is what I'm thinking of using tied to it.

http://www.harborfreight.com/50-ft-nylon-fish-tape-66505.html
 

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That will work perfectly. Tape the ends and the first few inches with electrical tape.
 

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IMO:
- Tie several (say, six) lengths of string/wire to the original cable.
- Pull the original cable out and now you've got six chances to pull your new cables into position.
- Use however many strings you need for now, leave the rest for another time (or remove them).

Regardless of how you get it done, I hope it goes smoothly. :)
 

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I would also tie a string on the other end too. This way if you get stuck you can pull it back inside a little to unstuck it and start pulling it out again.
 

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How easy it is to pull will depend on how many 90-degree bends there are. One shouldn’t be a problem, two will be more of a challenge, three is pretty much DOA.

I’d suggest using electrician’s jet line or a nylon weed eater line like Tony recommended. The reason is that you need to be able to tie your new pull line to the HDMI cables being pulled through the conduit. You won’t be able to do that with the nylon fish tape you’re considering. See Post #2 of my article on in-wall wiring to see how to prep the pull line and cables. The same techniques will apply for pulls through a conduit.

As far as “how to do it,” on one end of the conduit tie and tape your new pull line (i.e. jet line or weed eater line) to one of your existing cables. Then from the other end of the conduit, pull all the cables out, which will leave your new pull line inside the conduit.

Please note, don’t try to pull out just the cable you have the pull line taped to and leave the rest in place. You will need to pull all the existing cables all out. The reason is that they are not laying in the conduit in a linear fashion but are all twisted and wrapped around each other. Thus your new pull line will merely replace the cable you pulled out of that twisted bundle. When you go to pull in the new cables they will be snaking their way through all that. At the very least it will make pulling in the new cables much more difficult. At worst it’ll all jam up in a nasty ball inside the conduit, and that will be end of that; it will not pull beyond that point. For the same reason I don’t recommend pulling through a whole slew of new pull lines like eljay suggested. It won’t work, you’ll just end up with a snarled ball of pull lines somewhere inside the conduit. You might pull in two new pull lines, to have one for a back-up, but no more than that.

Once you have your new pull line in place, prep them as outlined in the link above, with the pull line tied and taped to one of the HDMI cables, and the second cable attached to the first. As mentioned above, how difficult the pull is will depend on the number of 90s. Your first clue will be how it goes pulling out the existing cables: If they come out easily, then it’ll be easy pulling in the new ones. If it’s hard getting them out, then it will be hard pulling in the new ones.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

Regards,
Wayne
 

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If the three component cables are separate from the others you could pull two out to make space for the bundled pull. It should also make the actual pulling easier.

Have you poked your head up into the crawl space and seen if the conduit runs the whole length or if it is just a port to the void space above the room? You may be dealing with two short pieces of conduit. If you can't tell then use fish tape to feed from one end. If it doesn't come out the other you'll know ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi all, thanks for all the feedback, sorry I could not check the forum for a while.

OK, after another more detailed look, it looks like the only narrow spaces are the entry and exits by which the cable travels, then it just hang loose over the drywall ceiling as rab-byte pointed out. Hard to say even with a flashlight but I think it's not really running on a conduit. The old component cable that is there right now has only 1 video plug, the other cable running into the same outer jacket has a wire for the 12V screen trigger in the projector.

I have a clear picture of the projector end of things but not in the other end located in a cramped dark room behind the screen. In that space, there must be a hundred different cables from the house speaker system, cable company, receiver, dvd, etc... Right now I can't figure out exactly where the projector cable is coming from but it looks like it was just squeezed through a box exit along with the house speaker cables. That will make the job much more difficult. I will let you know when I find out.
 
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