Offering electricians the capability to reach, and view, those parts of an installation that would usually be a pain to access, Norman Bradshaw discovers why the Ferret WiFi from Super Rod could be the ideal new pet for your tool-kit.
Before I go into the results of this particular product test, let me tell you a little bit about this little tool – known as the Ferret WiFi Inspection Camera.
Firstly, it comes from the Super Rod stable of products, so you immediately know it’s going to be innovative (even quirky) and something that electricians will find useful on a regular basis.
The camera comes in a hi-vis yellow pouch which will fit easily in the palm of your hand or work trouser pockets. The camera itself is very small and is activated by flicking a switch which is neatly housed under a screw-on cap at the rear end of the unit. Also housed in this compartment is the USB charging adapter.
The camera unit is very compact but extremely sturdy, featuring two threaded parts on the top which are designed to fit neatly onto your standard Super Rod attachments. In the pouch you also get a plethora of attachments, including two short rods (one which is flexible), a magnet and a hook.
All of the aforementioned can then be connected to the camera. The section that houses these small attachments is held in place with Velcro and is detachable, ensuring you can easily take all the attachments with you on-site – another good example of the thought that has gone into this product.
Down to business
One thing that the user does need to do is to sync the camera up to their mobile phone by Wi-Fi. The quick guide that came with the tool includes the QR Code for Android and iOS users, or you can visit your chosen store and download the Ferret WiFi App yourself. Once downloaded, you simply go to the Wi-Fi setting on your phone and you’ll see an option for the Ferret WiFi listed. Select this icon and the Ferret will then switch on – hey presto, you’re ready to roll!
The six segment LED light really helps to give crystal clear vision under things like floor boards or when you’re in the loft, and if lighting is a problem you have the ability to change the light intensity. Additionally, there are a number of features which you can adjust from your phone’s screen, such as whether to save your photos in JPG or PNG format. The camera also handles recordings, as the App includes a Gallery section where you can save your camera or video uploads by placing them either in the Pictures or Videos folder. You can even record with sounds, take pictures, zoom in/out and, just to make sure that it won’t fail on you at a critical time, it even comes with a built-in battery indicator.
The Wi-Fi coverage is also reassuringly reliable. Inquisitive to see how far the Wi-Fi would stretch, I got up to over 5m and still hadn’t lost the connection, which I think is pretty good going. Another nice feature to this product is that when you attach the hook, magnet or any of the other handy accessories to the front end, it becomes a great installing or retrieval tool. I’ve not seen another product that can do this to the same standard and accuracy.
The only drawback that I found was that I was a little scared of scratching or damaging the unit as it seems like too nice a product to use it in the way that you’re supposed to. I soon got over this, however, and also found a nice method of further protecting the camera by placing it inside an old Super Rod black whisk that I had in the toolbag – perfect for passing the camera under/through sleeper walls or floor boards.
In addition to the Ferret Wi-Fi tool, Super Rod very kindly sent me a set of one of its original products – the CRMX Mega Set 10 Year Anniversary edition of the rods. The set comes with the now infamous cable socks, in two sizes suitable for T&E cables up to 6.0mm, and included 15 different attachments in total – some of which ended up housed in the Ferret WiFi case and others with this set.
The whole kit could easily be carried in the very practical Super Rod Tube Shoulder Holster which has a long strap and outside/inside pockets which can comfortably house everything in the kit. This, for me, was excellent as it meant that I could just hang the tube of rods on my shoulder, leaving my hands free to carry any other hand tools. If it’s one less trip to the van per day, it’s always worth it.
Some of the more familiar metal Super Rod attachments have been given a reworked ribbed surface and others now come in plastic versions, making this kit a really good all-rounder. During the review one of the plastic end adaptors broke, which did surprise me, but the rest have certainly passed the test.
If you’ve not used the original Super Rods before, you don’t know what you’re missing as they have to go down as one of the best time-saving inventions of the last 20 years in our industry. If you work on your own a lot, try to imagine that these are more like having another pair of hands – a simple concept, but so effective.
If rewires, testing/inspection or fault finding is your bag then you’ll find the Ferret WiFi (and any accompanying Super Rods) to be a trusty companion that will save you time, headaches and money. The Ferret has deservedly won a number of prestigious awards, and I can now fully understand from first hand use why it is so worthy of the accolades.
Get more details about the Super Rod Ferret WiFi inspection camera by clicking here