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storage of cables

Discussion in 'Accessories / Connections' started by silent_nick, May 25, 2003.

  1. silent_nick

    silent_nick Guest

    Is there a "proper" way of rolling up and storing microphone or instrument cables? I've heard/seen a bunch of different ways. I've seen the way where you twist it around your thumb and pinky and create a loop that goes through that you can hang on a peg, etc. But I've heard that it's bad to keep the cable so tightly wound. What about the good old elbow technique? How about the twist one way, then the other, then back way?

  2. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    :) Hi! I got a few tips, but I can be sloppy at times. For mic cables, fold them in half, then half again, and just make a large loop around bow, and done. Hang it. For patch cables I have pegs, in a row with the different lengths, I just drap them on the pegs. For long permenant connections, I feed, bottom to top, a large figure 8 on the floor away from traffic, that way you can just pull them out as needed.

    Hope this helps,
  3. Chae Ham

    Chae Ham Active Member

    Whoa, slow down Rick! You're killing your cables there. The best way to ensure the long life of your cables is to avoid any sharp folds/bends/twists. Folding your cables in halves is a very bad idea. Over time, folding those cables in the same half, half, places will destroy them. The "elbow technique" is almost as bad.

    Take one end of the cable in one hand and gently loop them into that hand, avoiding any sharp creases(or pressure like when you pull it over the elbow). Make sure the loop is a good size, and not stressful on the cable. Its not very conveinient, but if you take the time to do this everytime, your cables will almost never crap out on you in the middle of a gig.

    Hope that helps
  4. Chae Ham

    Chae Ham Active Member

    accidental double post.
  5. Well, here it is. Great advice including homemade velcro doo-dads: cable management
  6. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    :) Good point! I don't bend anything too much, and I do loop multicore. Never thought of the repetitious effect of doing this. I guess I never had enough fail to cause me to think otherwise. But, that first time can be a bad one. Learn more everyday. Thanks!

  7. jdsdj98

    jdsdj98 Active Member

    Did a quick search for instructions on this, but couldn't find anything. Working in remote broadcast, especially when it comes to longer cables, we use a dolly wrap, informally called over/under. I've tried to think of a good way to explain it here, but it escapes me. It's just one of those things you pick up. Anyway, it places no stress on the cable in terms of bends or twists, and it is foolproof, if done correctly, in preventing knots and tangles in the middle of a cable. It sounds like you've researched some different approaches for cable management, and I'd say this method definitely gets my thumbs up if you can find anything about it. It simply involves making one coil of any size overhanded, and then pulling the next coil up to the inside of itself, and alternating these two throughout the length of the cable. Again, sorry I can't verbally explain it. Easier to demonstrate.
  8. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    I just curl them over... most not-factory-new cable have this natural curve to them after being rolled that way a couple of times. That's what I follow.

    Of course, if there isn't any natural curl yet, I just wind it up without any noticable corners, then I put tape right next to the lead on one end, then another tape on the adjacent coil, making sure the two tapes line up. This way, I have a guide to how big to roll the cable in future - winding it exactly the same way every time prolongs life.

    Oh, and I usually write IDs on the tape. ;) Makes it easy to remember which cables are good and which are on the verge of kicking the bucket if (like me) you have a bunch of cheap but identical-looking cables.
  9. Magic Genie

    Magic Genie Guest

    Making little velcro-wraps has really helped cut studio clutter around here.
    I can elaborate if anybody cares.
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    What Jamie said!!
    Hi Genie, welcome to RO Kurt
  11. Axeman32

    Axeman32 Guest

    I was told by an old pro that you should wind cords the same way they were shipped. They are not wound like a garden hose. I'd really have to show you but I will make an attempt to put it in words.

    (Dolly Wrap - Over Under Step by Step)

    1) Make your fist wrap the same size as the original packing hold in your right hand.

    2) The second wrap take left hand and grab the cord 8 to 12 inches from the loop and bring towards the first wrap. As you do this pay attention to where the cord wants to go. It will prefer to wrap away from your body or towards it.

    3) Wrap in the direction it wants to go. (The next wrap is either the next closest wrap to your body or the next wrap futhest from your body.

    4) Repeat step 2 and you will notice it will now want to alternate between being close or far from your body. So continue alternating between close and far.

    Basically wrap the cord the way it wants to. . .

    If you ever had to wrap a large snake it will "demand" to be wrapped in this manner. I also like the homemade velco ties.
  12. Yup. "Where the cord wants to go". But I never let a cable "have it's way with me". :D I noticed that when I practice my "wrapping religion", I often give a gentle, slight turn (sometimes 360 degrees) to the cord as I loop it, thus letting the cord sit right against the loop that preceeded it. You can "feel" when it needs that little turn, or attitude adjustment as I call it. No stress, no muss, and the cord is real nice to me at set-up time. I have about 30 lbs of cables for a one-man act, man! Weird subject here, but really important if you are not into the pretzel thingie.
  13. jdsdj98

    jdsdj98 Active Member

    I love that a topic as simple as cable storage/management can spark this much conversation.

    Anyway, just to reiterate, learning how to dolly wrap solves all the problems mentioned here. Try to find someone that knows it, and have them show you. By its very nature, it eliminates the need to throw that twist in the cable as you wrap it. If you find yourself having to twist your cables as you coil, you'll find that that problem only gets worse as you get further in.

    It's super fast to coil and release once you get the hang of it. When my hand-held camera guy takes off running across a football field or basketball court and I'm handling his cable, I have to be able to feed him a tangle/snag free line, and pull it back in as fast as he returns, and do it all without any hiccups anywhere in the cable. Using this method allows me to do that. And if you ever wind up working in broadcast, this is one of those things that you'll catch a lot of $*^t over, sometimes funny, sometimes not, if you don't already know how to do it.

    Trust me, I speak from much experience here. Coiling 500 ft. of video triax cable is a B*TCH. That stuff's stubborn. I know I've only referenced this issue to video, but it applies to any kind of cable, and everyone in that world uses it. Dolly wrap's the only way to go wrapping ANY kind of cable in ANY situation.
  14. A "Dolly Wrap" video might be in order here. :( A trip to the local TV broadcast station to speak with the remote crew might be worth a future road trip! Thanks, Jamie!!
  15. SHHHHHHHHHHITE!!!! I got close. Reallllllll close. The dang video is out of date I guess! LOL :s: DOH!!!

  16. jdsdj98

    jdsdj98 Active Member

    Great link, Lee. Thanks. I want to check that out tomorrow at work on a high speed connection. A dolly wrap is also called over/under. Folks, check out this link for something so mundane (coiling of cables) that we sometimes forget it's a pretty important thing to do correctly.
  17. It gets better! Here's more mental masturbation. Great info from the PROS!


  18. Yes folks, I DO have a life!!

    OY VEY!!!
  19. omegaarts

    omegaarts Member

    What Jamie has been saying! DOLLY WRAP!
    If your cables begin to take on a life of their own it's to late. What makes a cable take on a life of it's own is the shielding has begun to separate.
    If you feel or see a cable with curvatures of it's own the shielding is beginning to open up.
    Bad news, bad interference on the way.
    I wrap all cords, electrical, mic, MIDI, even optical with this over under method. Be careful not to wrap optical to tight. It also works for coax, but not to tight.
  20. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    :) Hi Jamie: We are in the process of retro to 4 new HD Sony cams, one handheld, in the large studio. It's all triax, I have had no experience with it, except some permanent runs. They will be 100 meter runs, and always be connected up to the CCU's. We store the cams, at idle, in the rear of the studio (camera coral), how would you suggest gathering the triax?


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