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Old 02-14-2009, 11:14 AM   #1
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Rigid Seesnake for electrical use?


Hi;
I would love to have a way to look inside walls before I cut a large hole.
I found the Rigid Seesnake, and thought it might work, but it seems that the tool is designed mainly for plumbing applications.
For electrical work, we would want a right-angle camera so we can shove the snake through a hole and look up or down.

The Seesnake is not cheap. I found it for $225 (with just the 3ft cable), and on Ebay for less, but I don't know what the ending bid will be.

I was thinking that perhaps I could even buy an inexpensive webcam, take it apart, put the camera on the end of a long cable, affix it to my Greenlee Fish Stix along with an LED for illumination, and have myself a very inexpensive inspection camera.

I just want to be able to see if there are obstacles in the wall where I want to install receptacles and lights, and try to find the route old cables take to existing fixtures.

The Seesnake is expensive because it incorporates a viewing screen. I could use my laptop computer, so I don't need the screen.
If a similar device were available as a USB accessory, it would most likely be much less expensive, and even more usable, since you would have the power of a much larger screen, and software that might help to enhance the image.

Any ideas?

FW

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Old 02-14-2009, 12:03 PM   #2
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Rigid Seesnake for electrical use?


I have the Milwaukee version (bought from Home Depot), it works pretty well, I use it maybe once a month. The screen is a little small, approx. 3", but it still works for what I need.

I typically only get it out of the truck when I am having difficulty snaking a wall and would like to see if there is a route around whatever obstacle I'm hitting, like I said not really an every day tool, but can be useful in a pinch.

Your idea of a home made contraption, IMO, wouldn't be as rugged. These inspection cameras take a bit of a beating getting shoved inside walls and a home made device would probably not last too long.

Just my $0.02!

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Old 02-14-2009, 12:05 PM   #3
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Rigid Seesnake for electrical use?


I have one and use it all the time.

A laptop would not be very useful as you need to have the screen right there in front of you as you move the camera wand around.
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Old 02-14-2009, 12:43 PM   #4
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Rigid Seesnake for electrical use?


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Originally Posted by EBFD6 View Post
Your idea of a home made contraption, IMO, wouldn't be as rugged. These inspection cameras take a bit of a beating getting shoved inside walls and a home made device would probably not last too long.

Just my $0.02!
That's actually my main concerin in designing my own. I cannot imagine the tiny fragile camera from a webcam surviving the plunge into, and out of the wall.
The Milwaukee or Rigid cameras are a nice idea, and could be very useful, but for a DIY, probably not a justifiable expense, unless the alternative is more expensive. That would be ripping open sections of wall to get around obstacles.

FW
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Old 02-14-2009, 12:44 PM   #5
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Rigid Seesnake for electrical use?


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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
I have one and use it all the time.

A laptop would not be very useful as you need to have the screen right there in front of you as you move the camera wand around.
You're right. A lot of the situations I get into are in tight spaces. The laptop idea was kind of crude<g>

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Old 02-14-2009, 01:04 PM   #6
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Rigid Seesnake for electrical use?


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Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
The Milwaukee or Rigid cameras are a nice idea, and could be very useful, but for a DIY, probably not a justifiable expense, unless the alternative is more expensive. That would be ripping open sections of wall to get around obstacles.
This is a good point. As an electrician doing this everyday I think I have gotten my money's worth out of it. As a diy, I don't know if it would be a worth while investment. I guess it would depend on how much difficult snaking you need to do, and what the cost would be to do things the old fashion way (cut and patch).
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Old 02-14-2009, 01:14 PM   #7
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Rigid Seesnake for electrical use?


You have to remember, this is not an "electrician's" tool. It can have many uses around the home, shop, garage, bedroom .......well, maybe not the bedroom.
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Old 02-14-2009, 02:20 PM   #8
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Rigid Seesnake for electrical use?


I've used the sea snake a couple times, my brother in law loves it for inspection. On that note, I just did this last month, had my cut out for new work box, couldn't find the wire coming down from the attic, I used a mirror on telescoping wand, and flashlight, works great, both options don't fare too well in a wall that is insulated.
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:30 PM   #9
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Rigid Seesnake for electrical use?


Here is the milwaukee for 100 bucks. Been wanting to buy it just haven't pulled the trigger yet. Just bought a new paslode framing nailer and bosch flush cut saw so this will have to wait a little while!

http://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-2300...4654054&sr=8-1
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:39 PM   #10
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Rigid Seesnake for electrical use?


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Here is the milwaukee for 100 bucks. Been wanting to buy it just haven't pulled the trigger yet. Just bought a new paslode framing nailer and bosch flush cut saw so this will have to wait a little while!

http://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-2300...4654054&sr=8-1
Be careful, that is the AA battery version.

Now THIS is a smokin' deal:
http://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-2310...131EVVCXHN18WK
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:48 PM   #11
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Rigid Seesnake for electrical use?


That is a good deal but from what I read the AA is just as good for the homeowner that doesn't want to spend the extra 100 bucks. All depends on how much they want to spend.
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:50 PM   #12
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Rigid Seesnake for electrical use?


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That is a good deal but from what I read the AA is just as good for the homeowner that doesn't want to spend the extra 100 bucks.
That's actually a very good point I didn't consider.
Sometimes I forget which site I am on.
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Old 02-14-2009, 08:20 PM   #13
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Rigid Seesnake for electrical use?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
Be careful, that is the AA battery version.

Now THIS is a smokin' deal:
http://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-2310...131EVVCXHN18WK
That's exactly the set I have. That Amazon ad is a little misleading though. They give a list price of over $500 and tell you what a super deal they're giving at $232. I bought mine as a set at Home Depot for around $250, and according to the HD website you could buy them separately for around $380, not really my point though I just found that a little funny.

Point being, still a good set at a good price. I use the drill daily (might not be the case for a home owner).

Last edited by EBFD6; 02-14-2009 at 08:23 PM. Reason: fix typo
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Old 02-15-2009, 08:34 AM   #14
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Rigid Seesnake for electrical use?


Santa bought me See Snake at Habitat for Humanity for $90 with 3' bonus extension all new in the box courtesy of Home Depot. I saw one last year and ponderred it then it was gone. It takes a bit of getting used to but the concept is great.
I often run central vac lines in finshed homes. My initial thinking was I can use to see obstructions in pipe and fish it into blind areas before I drill 2 1/4/" holes from below for central vac pipes and also in walls before I cut oy 2.25x4.25" inlet plate holes.
Then I started to think of home projects, like scoping my furnace ducts,
viewing my frozen vent stacks, down the toilet lines when blocked (cable is water proof but I wrapped it in saran wrap). How about finding a dropped wrench or hidden bolt under the hood of the car? I still resort to the mirror and flashlight but hey, my very generous Mother in Law sends me Christmas cash every year so this was the perfect gift to me.
So put one on the bithday list or fathers day list and see what happens...
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Old 02-15-2009, 12:57 PM   #15
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Rigid Seesnake for electrical use?


I bought one about 2 years ago and it has paid for itself. I takes a little getting used to, as sometimes you are looking upside down.
Where I get the best use is looking at motor data plates on the conveyors I work on. Some of them are mounted on the backside, upside down, but the see snake allows me to get the info I need.

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