Cable Storage/Inventory Management

mstaylor

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Good point, I usually do the male end out of habit but it does make better sense to double as a tiedown on the truss. For that very reason I always do the male end on motor control cables. They have the strain relief clip on the female end so the tie goes on the male end, then it can be used to tie on the run-off truss or on the cable drop.
 

church

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Feb 3, 2007
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Canada
Good point, I usually do the male end out of habit but it does make better sense to double as a tiedown on the truss. For that very reason I always do the male end on motor control cables. They have the strain relief clip on the female end so the tie goes on the male end, then it can be used to tie on the run-off truss or on the cable drop.
All my DMX and power cables have the tieline at the female end. 100 foot cables have an extra tieline in the middle. Cable lengths are colour coded at each end.

I store the cable in milk crates that are also colour coded. The milk crates work really weel becuase I can put them on a dolly or a sack cart to move them around. I also have more than one crate for each length and I can stack them: I have three crates full of 5 foot cables and four of ten foot cables etc. I buy them for $1 at the local Value Village thrift store.
 

DuckJordan

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Doesnt matter
All my DMX and power cables have the tieline at the female end. 100 foot cables have an extra tieline in the middle. Cable lengths are colour coded at each end.

I store the cable in milk crates that are also colour coded. The milk crates work really weel becuase I can put them on a dolly or a sack cart to move them around. I also have more than one crate for each length and I can stack them: I have three crates full of 5 foot cables and four of ten foot cables etc. I buy them for $1 at the local Value Village thrift store.
The crates I'm hoping, since power cables from a value store are not going to stand up to the code.
 

venuetech

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AK,

This is something that the welding class made up years ago for us. I did have to upgrade the castors as it holds a lot of cable. it's about 5.5' tall 6' long. the hangers can be flat bar 1x1/4"
find a place to keep the rack and then build it to fit that space.
 

Spectre7

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Dec 31, 2010
Location
Morgantown, West Virginia
Kinda a late chime in, but heres my $0.02.

To store cables, we have always used peg board with long hangers. We group like cables and lengths together to make it easier to pick what is needed. We also use spike tape on the male end of the cable to mark it as our cable. Obviously, someone could use the same color spike tape or just take our spike tape off... But when doing a tear down, all the crew knows to look for the deep blue spike tape on the cable to separate ours.

I always place the tie cord on the male end of audio cables. I do this so that the tie is our of the way and never on the end that will be attached to a mic or other input device that the public can see. I feel like that looks unprofessional. I always wrap cables from the female end of the cable.

I have seen people try to use velcro ties, but there are many downfalls to them. They tend to pick up lint, fabric, and other dirt/debris. They tend to cost more also. You can't go wrong with cloth tieline. Its cheap, durable, and effective.. And best of all if its lost or falls off, you always have a ton more to replace it.
 

MarshallPope

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Nov 10, 2009
Location
Auburn, New York
I have seen people try to use velcro ties, but there are many downfalls to them. They tend to pick up lint, fabric, and other dirt/debris. They tend to cost more also. You can't go wrong with cloth tieline. Its cheap, durable, and effective.. And best of all if its lost or falls off, you always have a ton more to replace it.
Our PAC uses velcro ties. since it is a university with weekly chapel services in addition to everything else we do, they seem to help speed up our changeovers, as they can be quickly and easily tied off with one hand in one motion. Honestly, from what I have seen, they seem to hold up fairly well for us.
 

len

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Oct 23, 2004
Location
Chicagoland
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?
I have to agree. We always keep the excess near the fixture, in case the fixture has to be moved a little. Therefore, the velcro (in our case) stays with it to make it easier to do that.
 

len

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Oct 23, 2004
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Chicagoland
Our PAC uses velcro ties. since it is a university with weekly chapel services in addition to everything else we do, they seem to help speed up our changeovers, as they can be quickly and easily tied off with one hand in one motion. Honestly, from what I have seen, they seem to hold up fairly well for us.
For power, we use Cordlox brand, which are only slightly more expensive than generic products, but work way better. Data/mic/dmx cables, especially the 10 - 25' range we use cheap ones found on ebay. They work well enough. The decision is if you buy ones that are long enough to wrap around a pipe, they are too long for a short data cable, but if you buy a 6" velcro strap, it's too short to wrap around excess cable AND a 2" pipe.
 

Ryan5443

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Jan 13, 2011
Location
Irvington NY Westchester
When we got fed up with our storage solution for cables (which just happened to be an old wooden crate) we decided to build two (more like three) wall mounted racks to support the cables.

I do not know how much cable you are trying to store nor do I know the various lengths that you have but we built two separate racks (photos attached).

One rack holds 3' cables, 5' cables, and 2-fers (y-splitters). Another rack holds 25' and 50' cables (each cable has tie line on the male end to keep them separate and organized). Our last "rack" (more like ledger with hooks) holds 10' cables.

Hopefully this will spark some ideas. Again, you may not have enough (or too much) equipment to justify racks like these but something very flat and wall mounted will help to free up floor space especially if that closet is storage for various things .

photo1.JPG photo2.JPG photo3.JPG
 

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Grog12

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I do not know how much cable you are trying to store nor do I know the various lengths that you have but we built two separate racks (photos attached).
Nor will you since the OP was 2 years ago ;)

That being said I really dig your 5'/2fer rack. I may have too look into building something similar.

Though I'm curious as to why your cable inventory jumps from 5' to 25'.
 

derekleffew

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...Another rack holds 25' and 50' cables (each cable has tie line on the male end to keep them separate and organized). ...
(I'm curious as to why the male end?) I constantly preach that the male end is going to plug into something permanent, the female end will be loose on the pipe.

... That being said I really dig your 5'/2fer rack. I may have too look into building something similar. ...
I can't tell from the photo. Is it an over-sized version of
C-RK.JPG
Fluke Electronics Pomona Patch Cable Racks & Test Lead Holders for RG59 and Bantam Cables Cable Racks at Markertek.com
 

Grog12

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JimHaver

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Sep 7, 2011
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Golden, CO USA
All cables get trickline, I don't really care which end.
If it ends up on the female end of a mic cable, I'm fully authorized to remove it for aesthetic reasons.
2 cubits of trickline seems an awful lot for a 50' mic cable.

Color-coding your cable lengths?
That's nice, but pointless for everyone but you.
I've been in lots of places with lots of gear from lots of vendors.
Company A uses red to mean 100'.
Company B uses red to mean 50'.
Company C uses red to mark ALL cables as theirs.

Generally, I can look at a coil and have a fair idea of it's length.

I remember working with an electrician on a shoot 1 time; he said all cables EXCEPT power cables should be "over/under" wrap, power cables should be "regular" coil.
I'm pretty sure it was because he didn't know how to do it, and, being an electrician, he'd cut his hands off before helping strike anyone else's stuff.
 

Ryan5443

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Jan 13, 2011
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Irvington NY Westchester
(I'm curious as to why the male end?) I constantly preach that the male end is going to plug into something permanent, the female end will be loose on the pipe.
To be honest it was not my choice so I am not sure why that side was chosen except to make the side with the cord uniform.

I can't tell from the photo. Is it an over-sized version of...
Well, yes, in terms of the design concept but significantly stronger and has custom top and bottom sections.

Nor will you since the OP was 2 years ago
Wow... I'm stupid. For whatever reason I just saw the thread and decided I had something to say, never really thought about a date.

Though I'm curious as to why your cable inventory jumps from 5' to 25'.
It doesn't we have 3', 5', 10', 25', 50', and 2-fers, along with some other misc. adapters. I thought I had included those details in my post.
 

ruinexplorer

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Wow... I'm stupid. For whatever reason I just saw the thread and decided I had something to say, never really thought about a date.
No need to feel stupid. Your post is beneficial to the community as a whole, probably not to the OP though. It is always good to look and see when the first and last posts were on a topic to see how you might better phrase your response. As in this one. Many of the old dead posts can use a little revival as long as you understand that the help will probably not be that for the person originally seeking it, but future searches may find the post helpful. Our wonderful webmaster is looking into means to help us notice when we are posting on a dormant thread before continuing with the reply.
 

Grog12

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Yeah don't feel stupid you've given me a new idea for my cable storage!
 

JohnD

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north central OK
Someone either in this thread or the other cable storage thread mentioned using 55 gal barrels for storage, how about comercial trash cans instead:
Continental Standard Round Trash Cans - The WEBstaurant Store
The dolly fits the 20, 32, 44 and 55 gallon trash cans, they come in colors and have lids available. They also have smooth, flexible edges to avoid abrading cable, unlike plywood boxes.
The downside is the PHA(person having authority) will no doubt soon be heard screaming "Who is the nimrod who used our new trashcans for TRashcans"
EDIT: From back in the early days or rock and roll touring, the standard was the Dandux laundry cart:
http://www.crdaniels.com/
400200-200.jpg
 
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65535

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Feb 17, 2011
Location
SoCal
Hell we keep cable on a cart as long as it's wrapped right and stacked even half neatly it doesn't get tangled, having a tie is icing on the cake.

The first step to proper cable storage is proper wrapping.

As for mic cable, a quick wrap then a velcro tie makes life easy.
 

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