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Do you REALLY know how to wrap/coil a cable?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by charlie chitlin, Oct 25, 2020.

  1. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Another thread brought this to my attention.
    VERY FEW people know how to do this properly.
    I learned it in the film industry where you will NOT get hired again if you do it wrong.
    Done correctly, you can hold the end of a 100' cable in one hand, the coil in the other, and throw the entire 100' out straight in one shot.
    Very handy when you need another mic or speaker in a hurry, setting up for a press conference, etc.
    This also preserves your cables.
    If you've ever seen an extension chord where the inside seems twisted inside the outer sheath, this is from improper wrapping around the forearm and shoulder.
    This is a good video without a bunch of blabber.
     
  2. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    The trick to a good over/under wrap is to give the cable a slight twist between your thumb and forefinger as you go- alternating the direction depending on if you're going over or under. This way, you don't have to swing your wrist to do the under, you just twist the cable and it'll go right where it's supposed to.

    Cables do eventually get a "memory" though- a cable that's been repeatedly wrapped poorly will resist attempts to coil it correctly. In that case, you just have to do what the cable wants to do.
     
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  3. johnny k

    johnny k Poster Extraordinaire

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    [​IMG]
     
  4. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    I wrap 'em into round coils with no twists. I do the same thing with garden hoses.

    Good enough!

    (Forearm and shoulder are for my clothesline.)
     
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  5. galaxiex

    galaxiex Tele-Afflicted

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    I knew that...
     
  6. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    Yes and No.

    Having been in multiple studio and pro-audio gigs different owners can have different equally absolute views. Oof, good luck when you do it the "wrong" way and get the ear lashing, been there.

    I personally prefer the method of letting the cable decide which way to coil as you put no stress on the cable itself.
     
  7. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yes..
     
  8. TheDams

    TheDams Tele-Holic

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    As a sailor...yes !
     
  9. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Meister

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    Yes, indeed. I worked in video production for a while back in the 80s and all those multi-connector camera cables needed to be coiled correctly or you're looking at expensive replacements and failures during operations. I coil guitar cables the same way and still use cables I made at the shop in 1986.
     
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  10. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    As a lefty , I can almost immediately determine if a cable or cord has been coiled by righties . I have undone so many twisted cables , extension cords and general wire than I can recall .
     
  11. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    the only difference I did with XLRs is I would connect the ends together to prevent damage to the connectors
     
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  12. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    I know nothing about boats, but I've long suspected that sailors do the same thing with ropes/lines. Is this a confirmation of that suspicion?
     
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  13. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Yes, but one question: How best to then unwind a long (20 to 50 foot) XLR cable without the dreaded string of overhand knots if one end went through the middle? I usually take time to figure out which way to do it and let the outer coils fall off or come off first. But some of my bandmates seem to end up with a mess unwinding a properly over/under wrapped cable. One technique that works 90% of the time for me is to hold both ends and throw the coil across the stage, usually leading to nearly perfect unwinding, no knots, etc. Perhaps connecting the ends takes care of that just fine; I haven't been doing that. Same issue with guitar cables, though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2020
  14. Saxonbowman

    Saxonbowman Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, I also spent decades in the film/video/theatre industry and that’s how I do it. I also worked with a sound guy who just did straight coils. He always started on the same end and wrapped the same way. The cables got a memory that way. He never accepted help from us video guys.
     
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  15. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, it’s one of the few things I remember from music production school.

    Needless to say, I did not get a job in that field.
     
  16. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Called the 'roadie wrap' in most places in the music biz.
     
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  17. edvard

    edvard Tele-Afflicted

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    Interesting, he does one normal loop, then one twist-under; I was taught to do just the twist-under part over and over. Same results, but the cable tends to pull itself into a tighter and tighter loops if it's really long.

    When using my hand and elbow, I wrap in a figure 8 to keep the coils straight. Seems like this technique is the "flat" way of doing the same thing.
     
  18. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Yup...when you toss that anchor or life preserver, you don't want it to go 6' and stop :p
     
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  19. TheDams

    TheDams Tele-Holic

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    Yep, as Charlie chitin said, tossing a life line, raising a sail, anchoring, etc., need a really well coiled line !
    Now, I cannot help doing it for everything ! Extension cords, guitar cables, even my garden hose :D
     
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  20. Junkyard Dog

    Junkyard Dog Friend of Leo's

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    We just had a big spool mounted in the front of the van. You backed right up to the stage and one guy cranked the spool while the other guys fed cables in one at a time, connecting one to the next. After cables were all wrapped then we loaded in speakers and amps.
     
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