Some Pointers about Cables
Sometimes it seems that half of our job involves managing cables in some way or another. Here are some important things we all need to know about.
Cable should always be coiled as indicated by the road person or department head.
Knots in the middle should always be removed, and some sort of tie or velcro should be attached to keep it neat.
The most commonly desired fashion is the "over-under" coil either in hand, onto the floor or into a road case as the situation calls for.
The over-under is when you do one normal coil followed by a coil that flips under. This reverses the direction that the rubber insulator goes and keeps the cable from kinking up. If not other-wise indicated, coil the cable how it naturally wants to coil, even if that means going over-over-under-under-under-over-under...
A group of cables taped together is called a Loom. When cables connections are taped together or cables are loomed, always assume they do not come apart on the load-out.
If you are running or coiling fiber-optic cable, know that it is the most delicate type of cable we use and all handling of it should be very careful to prevent damage.
When a road person asks you to "cinnamon roll" a cable into the box, they are indicating that there is a limited amount of space in the box. Therefore you should make small coils inside of larger coils in order to save space in the box.
Some microphone and other small cables require careful over-under coiling in order to keep them neat and protected.
Sometimes you will encounter cables that come off of a reel, they will likely coil back onto the reel on the load out.
It is important to keep cable paths on the floor clean and safe. Cable ramps or yellow jackets help to provide a ramp for cases and vehicles to run over the cables. If the situation doesn't call for a ramp, try using a carpet or tape to make sure the cable won't be a tripping hazard.
Be sure to cut corners at neat 90 degree angles when possible, and tape as needed to keep it that way.
When cables need to fly out of the way, Cable Picks will be pulled up by the riggers using ropes and pulleys. Whenever cables are going out or coming in from elevated places, be sure to watch the coils to prevent the cables from becoming a MESS!