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Title: Cable Management
Post by: Dustin Campbell on January 25, 2019, 07:18:20 pm
Hello All,
Wish I was at Namm but I have been wrestling with cable management issues, differentiating lenths, separating power, I have been using egg crates and would like to switch t something else- basically I want to fully audit and organize and change the paradigm of my cable system or lack there of.  Any ideas welcome show pics too please of your cable storage -This is for live band sound-- Thanks All
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Brian Jojade on January 25, 2019, 09:57:49 pm
I typically carry cables using the Audio Pile medium trunk.  This trunk is sized perfectly so that you can stack 4 rectangle milk crates inside, making it very easy to organize.  If you've got the ability to put your stuff in a case like this and transport it, it works great.

https://www.audiopile.net/C006DC

As far as keeping track of and organizing cables, having less lengths is a good thing.

My cables are 3 lengths.  5 feet, 10 feet and 25 feet.  If I need longer lengths, I can always daisy chain the cables to get the job done.  Keeping it to only 3 lengths makes it much easier to keep track of things.  Yes, different lengths may be more convenient and result in less coils on the floor, but at the end of the day, not having to keep track of different cables is quite a bit easier.  I look back when I had many cables in varying lengths and wonder how I stayed sane.

Depending on the size of the show, I'll either bring 1 trunk of cables or 2.  Using the crates, I can separate speaker, power, and mic cables.  When I bring 2 trunks, each length of cable can get it's own crate.  I have crates that are color coded as well, so I can very easily see the length of cable by crate color.  If I pare down to one, then the crates are sorted by cable type. It's pretty easy to tell the cables apart just by looking at them, but they are also color coded for their lengths as well. 

When loading for the show, I have a trunk inventory sheet that I fill out that has the quantity of each cable that's supposed to be in the trunk. The sheet is taped to the inside of the lid.That way, I can do a quick count to make sure I've gotten everything back where it belongs at the end of the night.
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Mark Cadwallader on January 25, 2019, 11:00:53 pm
My setup (small time guy)

NEMA 5-15 (12/3 SO): 12.5', 25', 50', 100'
powerCon (12/3 SO): 5.5', 12.5', 25'
XLR: 15', 25', 50', 100'; 5' and 10' patch lengths
DMX/data:  3', 5', 15', 25', 50', 100'

50' and 100' are rarely used

Audiopile D006 cases
Audiopile M040 and M 28-040 cases

The Audiopile M series can be hauled in many cars.

XLR and DMX cables are always in separate cases.  My XLR cables have silver ends and green rings; DMX/data have black ends and white/cream rings.  Green rings or green tape quickly identify things as mine.
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Lyle Williams on January 26, 2019, 01:22:04 am
I sort types and lengths and put them into thrift-shop pillowcases.

The pillowcases are in every colour and pattern.  They also have the type/length written on them in 6" high letters.

The pillowcases stop cables from tangling into a big mess.

Many pillowcases get thrown into a trunk.
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Steve-White on January 26, 2019, 05:57:37 am
Hello All,
Wish I was at Namm but I have been wrestling with cable management issues, differentiating lenths, separating power, I have been using egg crates and would like to switch t something else- basically I want to fully audit and organize and change the paradigm of my cable system or lack there of.  Any ideas welcome show pics too please of your cable storage -This is for live band sound-- Thanks All

For my smaller systems I use tool bags - came out of the milk crate era as well.  Depending upon the size of the setup, one bag for the mic/line audio signal cables, one for power cables and one for speaker cables.  Sometimes I combine speaker and power cables.  They work well - much preferred over milk crates for smaller setups.

Another thing I started doing, instead of wrapping a cable around itself is to use the Velcro straps - one on each cable - keeps things nice and tidy in the bags.  I actually use the Velcro cable straps in my shop as well now - for all power cables and air hoses, etc.
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Ken Braziel on January 26, 2019, 03:15:10 pm
I've been using storage bins for years, various manufacturers. Lately I've really been liking the Rubbermaid Brute ones: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001HTGD36/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 the 14-gallon fits a small-stage setup's worth of XLR's, another one carries all my power distro gear.

Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Mike Caldwell on January 26, 2019, 04:03:05 pm
I use bins like these in a couple different sizes for speakon and power cables. Fine for local regional use.

https://www.amazon.com/Quantum-QDC2115-12-Storage-Container-Attached/dp/B0019UXN0E/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1548536335&sr=8-4&keywords=akro+mills+tote (https://www.amazon.com/Quantum-QDC2115-12-Storage-Container-Attached/dp/B0019UXN0E/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1548536335&sr=8-4&keywords=akro+mills+tote)

Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Mark Cadwallader on January 26, 2019, 04:22:26 pm
The other thing I do is maximze the use of subsnakes, which lets me use fewer and shorter individual cables.  Since you know your band's needs, that lets you pare things down even more, compared to a provider who has to be ready for all sorts of contingencies.
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Dave Scarlett on January 27, 2019, 08:09:02 am
My problem is the standard IEC cables supplied buy most every manufacturer, especially when they're cold. They're like snakes mating! I'm thinking of making some now myself with SJOOW or are they available somewhere? All I can find so far are those silly and expensive "audiophile" female ends though.
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Jay Barracato on January 27, 2019, 10:06:38 am
My problem is the standard IEC cables supplied buy most every manufacturer, especially when they're cold. They're like snakes mating! I'm thinking of making some now myself with SJOOW or are they available somewhere? All I can find so far are those silly and expensive "audiophile" female ends though.
Dave, the longer tripplite iec cables are fairly flexible. I have used both iec/Edison and iec/iec. Some are loomed with dmx for up lights and lay out and coil fine.

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Dustin Campbell on January 27, 2019, 03:37:53 pm
Thanks Everybody - great suggestions - I like the audiophile cases, this will be the ticket also I will be using color tape to differentiate lenths also I will separate power and cables for signal to power - I also like the idea of sub snakes like one for drums.  Keep the ideas coming - I am trying to make set up and tear down as efficient as possible - like a military drill :)
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Helge A Bentsen on January 27, 2019, 05:07:52 pm
I have XLR cables in 3 different lengths. 3/6/9m bundled together with straps in bundles of 10 and 5(9m). BXX color coded for length and my name/email under a XXCR clear ring in the male end. 30x3/5m + 20x9m.

All my LK37-cables are 7.5m long, bundled together with straps with my logo.
I find that 5m is too short and 10m too long for most stages I frequent with my own cables.
I have a small road case for XLR and 6 LK37 stage boxes, four of them have feedthrough connectors so I can link them, 10x 7.5m LK37 cables and 4x LK37->12 XLRM fanouts 7.5m long.

With this system I can do a reasonable sized stage and festival setup with one 12 ch drop for drums, one 12ch drop with two boxes in parallel on USL/USR for amps and stuff, doesn't matter with side of the stage the bass player want his amp, I can plug in on both.
One 12ch drop with two boxes in parallel along the front for vocals/DI-boxes/stuff and a box in spare if anyone brings a lot of channels somewhere.

My M32 has XLR inputs so I patch this manually, my SD8 has LK37 connectors permanently wired with passive split out for FOH/monitors if needed.

Built the whole system during a 3-week gig where I had a LOT of paid waiting time, we were doing rehearsals for days without audio so I brought my tools and parts on the gig.
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Tim McCulloch on January 28, 2019, 01:53:27 am
Thanks Everybody - great suggestions - I like the audiophile cases, this will be the ticket also I will be using color tape to differentiate lenths also I will separate power and cables for signal to power - I also like the idea of sub snakes like one for drums.  Keep the ideas coming - I am trying to make set up and tear down as efficient as possible - like a military drill :)

The military bands and entertainment units DO drill.  BTW, most of their cases lack wheels (the Air Force, anyway).

Sub snakes help in that you don't need to deal with longer cables or add cables to make the full run to side stage or where ever your input box is.  For a lot of basic rock/blues/country bands I drop a 12 channel subsnake at the drum kit and a 6 or 8 channel down front center.  The 12 covers the drum kit, bass, couple of GTR inputs, maybe a keyboard or acoustic gtr.  The down front subby handles my front line vocals, acoustic DI or horn mics, etc. that's why it's 6 or 8 channels.

I have a saved scene/snapshot on our consoles labeled "Band in 16".  I don't pre-eq the inputs except to engage the HPF on vocal inputs, have Subs aux send engaged but turned down, signal routing done, that kind of thing.  It saves at least 15 minutes over starting with a blank desk.
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Sam Costa on January 28, 2019, 01:52:11 pm
Hello All,
Wish I was at Namm but I have been wrestling with cable management issues, differentiating lenths, separating power, I have been using egg crates and would like to switch t something else- basically I want to fully audit and organize and change the paradigm of my cable system or lack there of.  Any ideas welcome show pics too please of your cable storage -This is for live band sound-- Thanks All

I've always used the 8" velcro straps on all my cables (if you need longer ones you can always join two straps for larger cables)
They work great, easy to install and replace if needed and extremely inexpensive on eBay/Amazon. :)

(https://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a136/fullforcesound/Cables%20cleaned_zpsfvizcox8.jpg) (https://s10.photobucket.com/user/fullforcesound/media/Cables%20cleaned_zpsfvizcox8.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Rob Spence on January 28, 2019, 05:26:53 pm
For my B rig (smaller one), I mostly only use 10’ & 20’ XLR cables. 10’ ones have black Velcro & the 20’ have gray. If I know there may be some longer runs I may pack some 50’ (orange) or 100’ (white).

The A rig uses a few 10’ and a couple of right angle 20’ marked as above. The majority are 30’ and are tied with trik line.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: David Smeaton on January 29, 2019, 09:00:15 am
A friend of mine keeps all his XLR cables on a garden hose reel and just daisy chains them together.  He then just pulls a cable off one at a time as he needs them.  Packing away, he just joins them together and then winds them on to the drum, one at a time.  I think he only uses a couple of different lengths, but I couldn't swear to that. 
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: W. Mark Hellinger on January 29, 2019, 11:08:04 am
For my standard band project system I pack two cases for XLR and Speakon cables.  One case is our "primary cable trunk", which gets loaded into the venue, and the other is our "supplement cable trunk", which typically stays in the Sprinter van.  We generally set-up basically the same, and all 5 band members pitch-in on set-up and tear-down with assigned tasks.  We generally utilize our own stage rug, which is a Persian style... we know where everything sets-up on the pattern of the rug.  We generally use the gear show to show with the exception of varying lengths of AC power feed cables to the stage, and with the exception of venues where the production gear is in-house, but even then we supply our own mics, stands, and DI's.  Back to the trunks:  When we're set-up the primary cable trunk should be empty... because it contains everything we should need and nothing we don't need.

Also, I'm a big fan of colored rings on the XLR cables.  For instance, our lead singer gal knows an XLR cable with a red ring (signifying 20ft. length) is appropriate for her mic.  I've even labeled the mic stands for consistency (so that everybody's stands are just the way "they" left it).  All our Speakon cables are 4 pole 13ga. even though some of the applications only require 2 pole and could likely run on lighter gauge cable, but keeping it all same-same minimizes mis-patches.

Generally our set-up or tear-down time is nominally 25 - 30 minutes from or to the van... including backline, instruments, everything mic-ed or DI-ed, bi-amped 3-way FOH stacks, 4 monitors, a couple of 4-bar PAR-56 trees, and some stage accoutrements and a bit of merch display.

I won't suggest our method is how it ought to be, but it works for us.
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Dave Garoutte on January 29, 2019, 01:08:08 pm
Wow, excellent cat-herding!
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Jeffrey l jones on January 30, 2019, 10:19:47 am
(http://)I use a heavy duty tote type bin from Lowe’s. I use color Velcro straps from amazon to distinguish lengths.
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Lyle Williams on January 30, 2019, 01:58:06 pm
My lengths are always such that you can tell what the length is by size and weight.  Eg 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 metres.  When you oick up any of these it is obvious what the length is and you couldn't mistake it for any other length I have.

Ownership of power cables is marked on the test-n-tag tags.  Other cables are marked with blue paint on the connectors.  I have nearly 300 cables.
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Christopher Irwin on January 30, 2019, 03:03:46 pm
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the smaller Audiopile M016A case yet.  While designed for mics, if you pull out the top foam piece it works perfectly to stack coiled mic cables in.  I have a case each for 10', 25', and 50' - they are small enough and light enough to grab and drop where needed on stage, but not too small to use with a standard sized coil (about a 1' square).  I can't say exactly how many cables fit, but probably (7) 50', (15) 25', and (20+) 10' cables per case, of course using velcro on each cable as well (I use colored velcro to differentiate different buildings I work in, but it can also be used for different sizes).
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Tim McCulloch on January 30, 2019, 03:14:30 pm
Back when I was a guy with an Econoline FULL of PA I had 2 mic cable lengths, 30ft and something shorter (10-ish, IIRC).  It all fit in a salesman's catalog case.  Speaker, AC and misc cables, and an 8 channel subsnake to run to the "far side" of the stage got milk crates that were stacked and bungee-strapped to a hand truck for transport.

K&M 3 section tripod mic stands with booms fit 8 in a small duffle bag, so I had 2 and they packed over the driver side rear wheel well.  Wasn't much air space left in the van...

I also got good at replacing rear axle assemblies with the loaded van hoisted by the tow truck.  On the side of the road.  I mean I've only got 2500 lbs in a half ton van, what's up with this?  ??? ???  :-[
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Chris Hindle on January 31, 2019, 08:17:23 am
I also got good at replacing rear axle assemblies with the loaded van hoisted by the tow truck.  On the side of the road.  I mean I've only got 2500 lbs in a half ton van, what's up with this?  ??? ???  :-[
Ha !
Memories.
With my 1/2 Ton Chevyvan, I had to replace a rear wheel bearing at the side of the road.
I knew it was coming, i had the bearing and the tools with me. Called up a garage I used to work at, and had them send me a "jack".... (1-ton wrecker)
Nice to work standing up, and not hunched over........
Chris.
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Dan Richardson on January 31, 2019, 12:59:43 pm
My problem is the standard IEC cables supplied buy most every manufacturer, especially when they're cold. They're like snakes mating! I'm thinking of making some now myself with SJOOW or are they available somewhere? All I can find so far are those silly and expensive "audiophile" female ends though.

I buy Webber locking IECs on Amazon, both loose connectors and decent prebuilts.

For some reason they sell this little cable cheaper than the loose plug.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01G91ZBTI/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01G91ZBTI/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

My XLR cables all go in a Pelican. Mostly either 15' or 25', a handful shorter and longer. Color tagged at the male end.

This wire is decent. Not as flexible as I wish, but way better than any OEM cable I've seen.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GVQDB3E/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GVQDB3E/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1)
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Scott Harris on January 31, 2019, 05:53:01 pm
I'm a creepy white van guy and I also use totes.  I typically have 6 in the van.  Mic cables, speaker cables, power cables, FOH gear, stage gear, 50 ft power cables.  (There's also a larger tote holding my old snake.)

I used to buy the Home Depot/Lowes totes until they both switched to cheaper "equivalents" that are junk.  The only reliable models I've found (that don't require a commercial purchase order) are from Zoro.

https://www.zoro.com/quantum-storage-systems-attached-lid-container-167-cu-ft-gray-qdc2115-12/i/G4217717/
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Rob Spence on January 31, 2019, 06:46:13 pm
I find that having few sizes speeds up things. I used to have 3, 5, 10, 20, 30 and I noticed that too much time was spent choosing the optimal length. Reducing the stage cables to two lengths sped it up a lot.

Of course the mix position kit has some shorter ones for patching things as well as long ones for active speakers sometimes.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Doug Johnson on January 31, 2019, 07:07:14 pm
A couple of years ago, I standardized my xlr cables.  Aside for various short patch cables, I went with 15, 30, and 60 foot.  I made them myself using neutrik  xx series and used a different color coding ring for each length.  Also after a combination of downsizing and moving to two space amps, I found myself with a number of extra 8 space amp rack.  I converted them into cable cases by mounting a caster board to one of the lids and hinging the other.  They are about the prefect size for me, not too big and, except for the AC case, not to heavy.
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: W. Mark Hellinger on February 01, 2019, 09:40:29 am
I don't believe it's been mentioned yet in this thread, and maybe it's a given, but:

Another detail of my cable management that's paying off is mentoring my band mates and stage crew on over-under and figure-8 cable coiling/stowing.  Especially over-under coiling per getting the coils relatively the same diameter.  A few weeks ago while I was delivering one of my band mate's personal gear to their house after a show... it warmed my heart to notice my band mate's garden hose was figure-8 stowed.

Another:  Minimizing patches and the stowing of cables per application when practical.  1)  If a cable can be sensibly left plugged in, leave it plugged in.  Example:  The mixer we commonly use, we utilize a smartphone to play some break tunes... so I rigged up the smartphone patch cable so the mixer side of the cable stays plugged in and nicely stowed with the mixer.  2)  We typically use a pair of SRX-712M's for mid-highs, which require a couple 5ft. Speakon cables to patch from their associated subs.  The cases we use for our 712's have space in the case to stow those short Speakons with the speakers, so that's where those cables are kept.

Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Patrick Campbell on February 01, 2019, 10:57:17 am
I know I have been railed for this before but I still use this -  all 20 ft cables and I do keep a separate drum look

https://www.lowes.com/pd/suncast-plastic-225-ft-hideaway-hose-reel/4363427?cm_mmc=shp-_-c-_-prd-_-lwn-_-google-_-lia-_-179-_-watering-_-4363427-_-0&kpid&store_code=3284&k_clickID=go_625853898_43247594620_195634919967_pla-312545530239_c_9021743&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI252x5PKa4AIVEVYMCh2ADwiREAQYBCABEgKU6PD_BwE
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Mal Brown on February 01, 2019, 11:32:47 am
I'm a creepy white van guy and I also use totes.  I typically have 6 in the van.  Mic cables, speaker cables, power cables, FOH gear, stage gear, 50 ft power cables.  (There's also a larger tote holding my old snake.)

I used to buy the Home Depot/Lowes totes until they both switched to cheaper "equivalents" that are junk.  The only reliable models I've found (that don't require a commercial purchase order) are from Zoro.

https://www.zoro.com/quantum-storage-systems-attached-lid-container-167-cu-ft-gray-qdc2115-12/i/G4217717/

I have  of those on the truck for various NEC plus cables.  1 for longs and drop snakes, 1 for shorts, 1 for DMX and various lighting Gizmodia, 1 has a couple o small movers in it while I figure out transport options for lighting fixtures, 1 for quad boxes, and so on...

I stack them de by side3 or 4 tall on  a pallet I cut down to depth belt strap over the stack to the pallet snug and then a couple of strategic buggies to the wall of the truck.

Those AudioPile cases look nice but each represents a lighting fixture or two... not this year
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Lyle Williams on February 01, 2019, 01:21:41 pm
if you are dropping 40 lights on a stage, the power and DMX cables better be about the right length.  Using 20' when you need 2' gets out of hand quickly.  Hiding an extra 1000' of cable in a truss is hard.  :-)

Buf for a few mics?  I have a habit of just grabbing a bag of the same length cables too.
Title: Re: Cable Management
Post by: Craig Leerman on February 01, 2019, 07:46:14 pm
When I relocated to Reno a few years ago I decided to clean up my years of cable mess and standardize everything as much as possible. Since I build all my own cables it was fairly easy. Here is what I did.

Looking at my mess I realized that I used 3 pin XLR audio cables, 3 pin XLR AES and DMX cables and 5 pin XLR DMX cables.

I standardized all my cables to 3 pin XLR 110 ohm cables so they work with audio, AES and DMX. Now the only difference between all my signal cables are the length. For lighting fixtures, consoles and dimmers that have 5 pin connections I keep short 5 pin to 3 pin jumpers with them and I also have a bunch of jumpers and adapters in my work box.

I also standardized my lengths to 5', 15', 30', 50' and 100'. The 5 footers work great for hooking up stuff at FOH and for jumping fixtures along a truss. The 15' and 30' are my standard stage cables. I also use a lot of stage snakes if I can. The 50' come in handy hooking up powered speakers and sending feeds and the 100 footers are mainly used to send feeds to video folks at gigs.

To tell the difference between lengths I color code my signal cables and put the actual length in numbers on SpeakOn and power cables.

When building the cables I put a 6" length of colored shrink tubing  around the soldered connections and the shrink sticks out of the connector boot and helps with strain relief as well as providing length ID. I only color shrink the male ends now as I found the colors to be distracting at the mic end. At the female "mic" end I just use clear shrink for strain relief.

Around the color shrink I place a piece of green electrical tape and I use clear shrink to keep the electrical tape in place. This is my company color and all of my cables get a piece of green tape.

A few inched past the shrink on the male end I secure a piece of "Trick" aka "Tie" Line with a knot covered by silicone tape. The silicone tape sticks to itself and keeps the Trick Line secure to the cable.

Recently I have begun dipping the ends of the Trick Line in a liquid rubber coating called PLASTI DIP that keeps the ends of the trick line from fraying.

While the above may seem like overkill, cables are the lifelines on a system and one bad cable can screw up a show.

For IEC, Powercon and Edison AC cords I label the cable with the actual length next to my green tape and cover the numbers and tape with clear heat shrink. I build my own longer IEC and PowerCon cables so I can reach an outlet with a single cable. My longer ones are in 10' and 25' lengths. I buy import IEC female connectors on eBay. I wish Hubbell or Leviton would make them.

For AC cables I use white Hubbell ends on SJO cables and Black Hubbell ends on my SO power cables (that are required by the NEC for hard use areas). That way freelancers  and house techs can easily identify the AC cords.

I also made up some DUEL cables for systems that use a loudspeaker atop a sub. I got tired of plugging in two separate cables and having to find a quad or cube tap plus extension cord to get a loudspeaker and subwoofer plugged in so I invented a dual cable. It consists of two PowerCon or IEC cables that terminate in an outdoor metal box and a 25' 12/3 SJO power cord with Hubbell 5266 male end. Some of the dual cables also feature a pigtail with outlet for plugging in an additional powered speaker, 2nd subwoofer or even some LED fixtures.

For storage, on large gigs I have big wooden road trunk for cables but on smaller gig I use the MO24 trunks from Audiopile.

I like the fact that I can stack 3 or 4 of the MO24 trunks on a hand truck and roll them through any doorway.