Cable Storage/Inventory Management

jeffmoss26

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Joined
Dec 14, 2008
Location
Toledo, OH
We have a large piece of plywood mounted on the wall in our shop. All the cables are on hooks which are labeled as to what goes where. We have another small storage room with other equipment, it has pegboard on the wall, again labeled with what goes where. Of course, nobody knows what anything is, so it's usually a) placed on the wrong hook or b) left in a tangled mess for me to clean up :)
 

manders11

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Jun 16, 2010
Location
Long Island,NY
Hello Everyone,
I need to come up with a way of storing cables in our auditorium. Seriously, they are just thrown in a box now and it causes a huge hassel does anyone have any tips on storage ideas? And also I am trying to design a new storage part to a room we have off stage which holds paint, tools, lights, and other things its pretty much a mess... do you think drawers or cabinets or just open shelves would be best? Any ideas are appreciated. Thanks in advance
Amanda
 

cdub260

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Aug 4, 2008
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Southern California
What storage ideas are going to work best for you depend a great deal on the space you have available for storage. For my lighting cable storage I installed several large hooks along the stage right wall of my stage. I purchased several work bench height cabinets which line the same wall just below my cable hooks for storing gel frames, adapters, twofers, threefers, dmx cable, and lense tubes. In my office, I have several 18 inch deep steel shelves along with a number of wall mount cabinets. In other storage areas I've got custom built shelving and racks because nothing comercially available would meet my needs.

Basically what I'm getting at here, is that in order to figure out what storage solutions will best meet your needs, you first need to figure out what your specific needs are. This coupled with the limitations of the space available to you will determine the best course of action. I know this all sounds rather vague, and it is, but without more specifics from you on what you have available to you, I really can't get any more specific.

Consider the following questions.:

Are you storing lighting or audio cables? 12/3 SOOW cable requires stronger hooks than mic cables.

Where could they store other than a box?

How big is the room where you store your paint, tools, lights and other things?

Is there anyplace else where some of this stuff could store?

How much paint are you storing? There's a big difference between a few 1 gallon cans and 5 gallon buckets of every color under the sun.

Same question for your tools and lights.

Answer these questions, and we might be able to provide better answers to your storage issues.
 
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mstaylor

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Jun 4, 2009
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Salisbury,MD
Storing cables in a box isn't terrible as long as you retain each with something, string, velcro or some other device. If you don't isolate each cable no matter how you store them they will have cable sex and become one. It's best to try and keep similar lengths together unless it isn't a huge amount.
 

derekleffew

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"...have cable sex..."? :naughty::shock:
Plugging ends together after coiling promotes celibacy of sorts and protects the pins, but yes, tieline, velcro, etc. does go a long way in keeping cable neat and tidy. Only problem is one can't tell an XLR3 cable from an XLR4, or an L5-20 from an L6-20 without unplugging, but similar types should never get mixed up in the first place, or be otherwise color-coded/identified.

Hooks/pegs on a wall work fine, unless the wall is a distance away from where the cable is used.

The Engine Whisperer

If the storage area is a distance from the stage, I prefer road boxes, with drawers or dividers.

Roadtrunk with removable dividers
 

DuckJordan

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Oct 7, 2009
Location
Doesnt matter
We actually have a meat rack in our theater specificaly for lighting cables, sound cables being less used are up in a small office like room on hooks (seperated by length and type) I will take pictures tomorrow of our meat rack as its recently full from todays strike.
 

mstaylor

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Jun 4, 2009
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Salisbury,MD
The only downside to hanging from hooks is if you hang it in the same spot each time it will break the cable. I prefer to lay them flat and stack them, whether that is in a road case, flat cart or shelf.
 

jstroming

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Jun 23, 2009
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Take A Look Here:
image_8665.jpg

WALL MOUNT HANGER

I bought a few to test out on a huge concrete wall in my shop, and they are very heavy duty, with a 220lb load rating. One of my guys did pull-ups on them (he's real bright) and he survived (unfortunately). I'm about to buy 100 more for exactly your reason (hanging cables) and at $10 a piece they can't be beat.


And for Lumber, Pipes, etc...

image_8779.jpg

Set of 2 Heavy Duty 12" Shelf Brackets
 

len

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Oct 23, 2004
Location
Chicagoland
Most of our cable is either 3 pin data, or a/c cable (what most around here call jumpers). It all sits on shelves sorted by length until it is put in trunks and taken to show site. Why not leave it in the trunks? Because every show is in a different venue, with a different rig, requiring different cable runs. So we bring only what we need +10%. We considered pegs like were posted above, but even though the weight capacity is as high, the volume of cable we could put on a shelf is higher.
 
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gafftaper

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I have 5, 10, and 20 foot cables. They are all color coded with spike tape so it's easy to know what you are looking for. I permanently tie two cubits worth of tie line on the female end of all my cables. Coil the cable, connect the ends and tie a bow. No problems. Just grab a cable from the right bin.

Note the tie line on the female end is really useful for making sure the connector stays exactly where you want it when you run the cable or for connecting two cables together.
 

ptero

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Sep 2, 2009
Location
THE Great Lakes State
I permanently tie two cubits worth of tie line on the female end of all my cables.
And that's the difference between us! All of my cable has the tie line at the male end. Maybe this is a new thread. Along with one brad, two brads or none? What's your flavor!

Oh, are those Egyptian Royal cubits? Sumerian Nippur cubits?
 

gafftapegreenia

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Sep 24, 2005
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Michigan
For electrical cable, I put the tie line on the female end. Sound/video cable gets its ties on the male end.
 

ccm1495

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Aug 8, 2010
Location
Massachusetts
We have a storage closet in our school that we put all of our cables in on hooks. I find that it is the best way for us because cables stay off the floor and out of the way. We also always use bead ties removable zip ties or regular zip ties to secure cables.
 
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NickVon

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Sep 4, 2009
Location
07003
my mic cables get stored on two shelves in a closet. with longer cables being in different piles from the shorter cables.


Mic cables all have ties or velcro on hte mail end. So that it's at theoreticaly the non visible end :). or at least not dangling right next to the singers face :).

My electrics cables are on a little Meat rackish type dolley with pegs that they are hung on. Electrics cables have ties at both ends and one in the middle.
 

shiben

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Jun 25, 2009
Location
Chicago, IL
Yeah, I tend to go ties on the male end for everything, LX cables might get two if they are very long.
 

derekleffew

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Las Vegas, NV, USA
Okay, three (I think) have noted a preference for the male end. I can understand this for mic cables, but not for power cable. The male plugs into a receptacle or other fixed point. It's the female that's loose on the pipe, batten or truss at the instrument. Why a tie not on the female end?
 

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