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Author Topic: Over-under cable question.  (Read 18311 times)

Scott Holtzman

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Re: Over-under cable question.
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2017, 06:20:51 pm »

I have three "reels"LINK
that I use for my xlr's; 2 reels for 25/30 foot cables and one reel for 50 footers.  I fit about seven 25/30's per reel on two reels and have four 50's on the 3rd reel.    All of my mic cables have the length written (25, 30, 50) on the male jack.
They work well for me however, if you are tech'ing an outdoor gig in the cold weather, they do become brittle..

What does he do if he needs a different length cable?

Not exactly preparing you for work "at the next level", if you don't aspire to climb the ladder and it works for you that's good enough.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Over-under cable question.
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2017, 06:42:17 pm »

What does he do if he needs a different length cable?

Not exactly preparing you for work "at the next level", if you don't aspire to climb the ladder and it works for you that's good enough.

We keep 25' mic cables on a fire hose reel, about 80 cables per.  We have a half dozen 50' cables with tie line and a bigger hand full of 10' mic cables in each work box.  That's a standard gig pack, along with sub snakes and i/o looms.

And yes, it's possible to screw up reeling mic cables.  A small amount of tension needs to be applied or it becomes a big floppy mess of PVC spaghetti.  On a spit.  It pains me to say that there are stage hands incapable of this task, so we don't try to teach them over/under.
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Jeremy Young

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Re: Over-under cable question.
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2017, 07:50:44 pm »

I was taught over/under by my first boss who was an industry vet.  He seemed to think it was the best way to have your cables lay neatly on a stage and he worked with a number of Bands You've Heard Of touring the world. 

His demonstration involved holding the roll in one hand and throwing the cable across the stage with your hand firmly on the male end of the xlr (if that's where you started rolling from).  Every time, it landed flatter than the over/over ones, which meant less messing around later straightening and twisting cables.  He had it down to a science to the point that he could stand at one end of the stage where the snake was, and "toss" the cables out to where they needed to be.  He somehow knew how many "rolls" to keep in his hand so the cables with further reach went further and the ones nearest him just went as far as they needed to and he'd tuck away the leftover cable. Once you've seen it... it's hard to argue.  Just don't walk out onto the stage or you might end up in the crossfire.  He said less time mic'ing the stage meant more time sleeping.

What I've noticed to be more important is to use the same coiling method for the same cable for it's life.  Nothing messes up a cable better than doing over/under one day and over/over the next.  Rinse and repeat.  I prefer the over/under, but the odd time I open it wrong I notice fast and can reverse things before I EVER have knots.  Then again, I'm a one-person show so it's my hands on my cables, and mine alone which likely helps consistency.

For velcros, I keep them on the male ends of XLR, powercon and edisons, and roll them back up on the cable so the loose velcro ends don't stick together at the snake or distro.  This keeps the velcros off the "action" end of the stage so they are out of sight.  I use velcros on speakon cables too, but as mentioned they don't have a male or female end.

I always roll starting at the male end (where the velcro is) and unroll in reverse so extra cable is left in a neat pile off stage at the snake or distro. 

My vote is for over/under, but I'm not sure there will ever be a clear winner in this debate.  Just thought I'd share my experiences and perspective. 
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Mike Monte

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Re: Over-under cable question.
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2017, 09:38:40 pm »

Do those plastic reels hold up well Mike?

They actually do, for what they are.  The only thing is that when winding the reel you shouldn't wind too tight as in doing so it would eventually compromise the connectors, however, too loose and it will become a rat nest.


 
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Luke Geis

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Re: Over-under cable question.
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2017, 09:50:19 pm »

I go for the empirical evidence and for me with shorter length cables, I can deal with them better and easier if they are over / over.  The over under way only takes one little oopsie and you have at least one knot, which you then have to stop and unravel. Now for longer lengths such as 50' and up I do use the over / under wrap more because it does make it easier to wrap it when you can't twist the cable to work with over / over.

Here is the real challenge though. I am goofy handed I guess? I hold the cable in my right hand and coil it with my left hand. I am pretty sure most practice coiling by using their left hand to hold the cable and actually coiling it with their right hand. Have you ever had to unravel and or re-coil a longer cable that was wrapped by someone who did it the other way? If so now which way of coiling is faster? Over / over doesn't " have a direction " in which it prefers. Over / under can be an effort in futility if you can't wrap goofy handed. Luckily for me I am ambidextrous at most things and can wrap a cable just about as fast either way. This is another con to the over / under method.

So for those keeping track.....

over under pro's: Easier for long cables, no need to twist the cable to wrap or lay it out and is the leading cause of carpal tunnel syndrom in our industry.

Over under con's: Mess it up and you get a knot ( usually more than one ), if your not ambidextrous good luck and you have a 50% chance of messing it up.

Over / over pro's: Easier for short cables lengths, doesn't cause carpal tunnel syndrome, can wrap the same in either direction and you don't really have to teach someone how to do it.

over under con's: Not very effective for long and large cables, you may have to a twist every now and then ( the chicks dig it though ) and heaven forbid you have a kink and not a knot.

Weigh it out and they are 6 of 1 and half a dozen the other. Most houses have adopted the over / under thing for some reason. I think it is because our industry needs a reason for workers comp when you go psycho because you get a damn knot ever other cable and you get carpal tunnel syndrome trying to wrap cables all day.

I honestly believe it is a fisherman's way of dealing with a true problem. It has its place for us for sure, but it is not what people make it out to be.
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John Sulek

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Re: Over-under cable question.
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2017, 11:40:08 pm »

Most houses have adopted the over / under thing for some reason. I think it is because our industry needs a reason for workers comp when you go psycho because you get a damn knot ever other cable and you get carpal tunnel syndrome trying to wrap cables all day.

I honestly believe it is a fisherman's way of dealing with a true problem. It has its place for us for sure, but it is not what people make it out to be.

Perhaps because an over/under wrap is just a figure of eight folded over on itself which is the gentlest way to deal with cables especially longer lengths and multicores.
There is a reason the cable pullers for camera do it this way...lays flat and no kinks.

to each their own, but there is a reason people use it.
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Corey Scogin

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Re: Over-under cable question.
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2017, 11:51:00 pm »

I'm just a small-time operator but if anyone volunteers to help clean up, I ask "Do you know how to over/under a cable?". If the answer is silence or "no", I say no thanks.

I also manage volunteers at a church and if someone is interested in helping out, I send them a YouTube video with over/under instructions and tell them it's the most important thing they'll ever learn working in production. While that may not be exactly true, it's high on the list and gets the point across.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Over-under cable question.
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2017, 12:30:31 am »

I can over-under 4/0 feeder.  I don't like to, but I can do it.  I can over-under Clair HD speaker cable bundles.  Your little 10' mic cable, Luke?  We eat those for brunch... ;)

I'm firmly in the over-under method.  They lay flatter and develop fewer kinks over the life of the cable.  In our shop we have 30 year old multi conductor speaker cables that lay perfectly flat, hang straight, etc and 2 year old cables that look like corkscrews.  Guess which ones were not over-undered?
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Rob Spence

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Re: Over-under cable question.
« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2017, 12:50:40 am »

I over under all my cables longer than about 10’. For xlr cables, the B rig cables are mostly 20’ and have Velcro on the male end. The A rig is mostly 25-30’ with tie line at the male end. Most xlr cables get their ends mated after coiling. Either rig may get some 50’ or 100’ cables if needed for the venue.  Both rigs use speakon cables for stage monitors.



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brian maddox

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Re: Over-under cable question.
« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2017, 07:58:51 am »

I'm having a very hard time understanding how wrapping cables of ANY length over/under would lead to more knots in the wire.  Others here seem to agree, but i just don't get it.

The number of times i've had to waste 10 minutes removing all the freakin' twists from a 100' over/over cable VASTLY exceeds the times i have ever had knots with properly wrapped over/under cables.  The only real key is just taking an extra second when you're deploying it to ensure that you are taking the end from the proper side and not accidentally passing it through the middle of the coil.

As to what hand or direction you over/under, it totally makes no difference.  If it's done properly, it'll deploy and lay flat just fine either way.  At this point i can over/under in both directions using either hand with any cables ranging from the hair sized cable on a DPA headset mic to 4/0 AWG bundled feeder.  Although i'll grant that the feeder would be done with both hands, hopefully coiling directly into a box....   :)
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Re: Over-under cable question.
ยซ Reply #29 on: December 20, 2017, 07:58:51 am ยป


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