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Thread: FAQ: How to Properly Coil Cables

  1. #1
    Maximum Bitrate Megalomaniac's Avatar
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    FAQ: How to Properly Coil Cables

    How-To “Over-Under” Looping Cables

    The most common mistake I see almost everyone make is coiling a cable. I will be showing an easy How-To on how to coil a cable (any cable) properly. I will explain and demonstrate the wrong way of coiling, right way of coiling, and why it is important to keep them cabled properly. Coiling a cable properly will keep the cable in shape, fresher, easy to dispense, and lasts longer.


    The wrong way to coil but yet the most common way of coiling is over and over looping. By holding cable in one hand, and wrapping around elbow. This method is wrong for several reasons.

    1. It creates a Kinks and Twists resulting in a deformed shape and a damaged cable, it can create signal loss from resistance
    2. It gets tangled easier
    3. When you get ready to use this cable its all out of wack and you waste time trying to untangle it and straighten it properly.





    This is the proper way to coil a cable correctly:

    Step 1 to properly coiling is to hold one end of the cable in your hand (doesn’t matter which hand, usually if a male and female end such as an XLR cable you would hold Male end in hand)



    Step 2 is to make an Over loop going clockwise with the cable making about a 1 foot diameter



    Step 3 make an Under loop by grabbing the cable about 2 feet from your right hand and bring the cable (left hand) towards your right hand and twist your hand 180 degrees clockwise as you are bringing it in.





    It should look like this when you look at it profile style:

    screen name here use to be MegaloRESE15"

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    Maximum Bitrate Megalomaniac's Avatar
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    Step 4 Make an Over loop, grab cable about 2 feet from right hand with your left hand and loop it over your hand like normal, no twisting ( same as step 2).



    Step 5 repeat step 3 and 4 until cable is completely coiled

    Step 6 Tie cables tie to it and hang the cable up or store it safe. Cable ties are cheap, buy them.










    Step 7
    when you are ready to use simply untie the cable tie and hold one end and throw the rest of the cable, your cable should stay straight and tangle free.



    Comparison cable throw demo




    Coiling a cable properly is easy to do and can be somewhat time consuming at first. But once you get the hang of it you will make it a habit to coil it like so. Your cables will last longer (saves money), stay in shape, tangle free, and it is easy to dispense when you need it for the next time.
    screen name here use to be MegaloRESE15"

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    What you posted about cable...

    ... is also true for rope.
    (Hint to the bondage crowd)

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    Same theory for power cords... Only longer loops.
    Play with it, 'til it's broke.

  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate Megalomaniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thekl0wn View Post
    Same theory for power cords... Only longer loops.
    yeah should have made it clear. its not just for audio cables, its for any type of cable it applies too. even with power cords 1ft is sufficient unless you are wounding those big ccu cables hehe
    screen name here use to be MegaloRESE15"

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    So, Thumb-out, Thumb-in

    Nice. I have been looking for these instructions for some time.

    To clarify, the key seems to be "Thumb-out, Thumb-in" : first coil, make with the thumb towards the other hand, and bring your hands together palm to palm, then make the next coil with the thumb away from the other hand, and bring the back of your hand to the coil, turning your hand 'normally', as if you were tightening a bolt. (Yes, it does look like you are tying a knot in the cable, and no, you are not. Thumb-in, thumb-out, thumb-in, thumb-out, until you are finished.

    Neat trick - plug the cable to itself, drop all the other coils, and it flops into a straight, knot free loop with, at most, one half-twist. Neato!

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate techy101's Avatar
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    I learned on 100 foot mic cables. The guy who was teaching me kept tossing them to see if I got it right. Got so frustrating, but I got quite good at it.

    Skill well worth having and practicing.

  8. #8
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    Listen to the man!



    I am an audio technician for live pro audio and this will save you countless hours of frusteration. A general rule of thumb is if you can coil it, use this technique. Any audio cables (NL4, RCA, XLR, 1/4", 1/8"), power, even as simple as video game controllers. Make sure you uncoil it the same way though, if you accidentally pull one end through the loop, which i've done on many tours, you'll get overhand knots throughout the entire cable. With a lot of cables though the best way is to just let the cable tell you how it wants to be coiled.

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