Coiled Cable Woes: Techniques for Conquering the Cable Beast

Coiled Cable Woes

Coiling cable might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you are thinking of ways to help your crew work with greater speed and safety, but almost everyone has dealt with the problems that come from tangled, damaged, or just sloppily stored cables.

Large gauge audio cable, and shielded (video, DMX, or HDMI) cable can be expensive, and the equipment dependent on them is even more valuable. It’s important to protect your investment by making sure you are handling these tools correctly during set up, tear down, inventory, and transport.

Whether you are setting out on your first tour, or are a seasoned pro, Roger Lattin, an ETCP Trainer and Certified Stage Electrician, has a wealth of expert cable coiling tips and techniques that will help you work more efficiently, and avoid costly injuries or damage. Here are six videos produced by Lex Products that will give you new approaches to handling and storing your cables.


How to Properly Coil Large Gauge Cable – Method #1 of 2

In this first video, you will learn the essentials for handling any type of cable safely, plus the basic feeder cable wrap using the hand-over-hand method. See how to use your hands, feet, and the cable ties with step-by step-lessons from Roger Lattin.

Roger will also explain how make your cables easier to handle, store, and transport by wrapping them in certain sizes, as well as:

  • How to inspect your cable for any damage during the coiling process
  • Ways to protect yourself from injury when coiling cable
  • Which knots to use with cable ties and why




How to Properly Coil Large Gauge Cable – Method #2 of 2

Looking for another option aside from the hand-over-hand method for coiling large gauge cable? This second technique will help you avoid injuries and conserve energy on long days or in challenging situations. Cable can weigh up to a pound per foot – make sure that you know how to use your entire body to safely handle hundreds of pounds of equipment.




How To Properly Handle And Coil Twisted Cable

Twisted and tangled cable is common issue. In this video, Roger demonstrates several different methods to work the twists and turns out of the cable before you coil it, avoiding a time-consuming and equipment-damaging mess. In addition, he explains why it is important to inspect your cable during the un-twisting and coiling process.




How to Properly Coil Shielded Cable using the Over-Under Technique

Shielded cable, also known as video, DMX, or HDMI cable, requires a different type of coiling technique, the over under method. In this video, Roger is joined by Pat O’Keefe, Market Manager for Lex Products, to demonstrate the proper method for coiling shielded cable. This coiling method provides easier uncoiling, and protects these valuable pieces of equipment.




How to Properly Coil Medium Gauge Cable

Do you have medium gauge cable to handle as well? Learn one simple tip that will help you avoid getting shocked and prevent damage to expensive equipment. In this video, Roger explains how to find the inherent twist to your cable, and twist it in a way that results in a flat coil that is easy to handle and store.




How to Properly Pack And Organize Cabling for Inventory

Ready to hit the road? In this video, you will learn how to make your coiled cable easy to inventory. With Roger’s tips, you can eliminate annoying hunting and sorting by coiling and storing your cables in a way that will make them easy to see and count. This video is not just for large operations! Even if you only have one milk crate full of smaller cables, Roger has advice for you, too.

If you do have a large operation and will moving a lot of cable, you may be palletizing. Learn how evenly coiled and tied cable is easier to stack, and how to stack it in a way that will eliminate confusion, even in dark or otherwise challenging conditions.



What is your best cable-handling tip? Do you have a special method that we missed? Let us know in the comments.

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