How to Properly Coil Any Cable, Cord or Rope | Cable Wrapping Using Over Under Technique

How to Properly Coil Any Cable, Cord or Rope | Cable Wrapping Using Over Under Technique


How do you wind your cables used in audio
and video production or filmmaking or just those cables that you have around
the house? Well, there’s the old wrap it around your elbow technique. The loop the
cable around your hand technique and the ever popular for the filmmakers is to
wrap the Lavalier around the body pack technique and, of course, everyone’s
favorite: crafting and impossibly tangled rat’s nest of wires, spaghetti style, and
simply tossing it in the back of your shop or in your garage. All of these
techniques will shorten the life of your microphone cables and make other AV
Tech’s want to tightly wrap you in about a hundred feet of coax cable. Hang on to
the end of this video because I’m going to show you step-by-step why the
over-under cable coiling technique is the best way to extend the life of your
cables, ropes and more and keep the next person to use them from having an
aneurysm. Hi, I’m Jim Costa. I’m a videography, photography and
technology guru, but you can call me a #dadographer. I’ve created many other
videos on improving your photography, videography, filmmaking, video editing,
audio recording and technology skills and I’ll link to those in the description
below and both during and at the end of this video, so stay tuned. If you want to
learn more, remember to subscribe to my channel and hit that bell to be notified
when I upload new videos. I upload every week and I’ll be uploading many more
explanations of film, video, photo, editing and technology topics. Stay tuned to the
end to find out how to get my F-R-E-E DSLR, mirrorless or interchangeable lens video
camera cheat sheet they’ll have you shooting photos and videos like a pro in
no time. Best of all, my cheat sheet specializes in shooting video with your
camera, not just photos. You’ll find all the information you need on important
video techniques such as white balance, color temperature, frame rates and more
whether you use a regular video camera, a DSLR or mirrorless camera. Now I am a
full-time working video producer, photographer and technology pro. That’s
the small business that I own and it’s how I make a living.
You’ll find my contact info in the description below. Contact me if you need
photography or video production for your business. You may be asking. “Why did I
make this video?” Well, the answer is simple that did a job, a video job, just
recently and I worked with an assistant and he took my equipment and went off
shooting and when he came back, this is what I got. He did that. Look at that. And
frankly, I find this really super annoying because I would expect a
professional to know better and because I don’t want this happening with my
equipment because it’ll break. So now that I’ve got to vent, let me tell you
why “Straight Coiling” of cables is bad
before we get into the over-under technique that I want you to use. Let’s
look at why winding the cable around your elbow, like this person did
doesn’t work. When you wind the cable in the same direction, coil after coil, known
as straight coiling, you’re actually causing the cable to twist with every
loop that you make. That’s why when you unwind it, it instantly wants to twist
itself up and it ties itself up into other knots. It also won’t lay flat. This
isn’t just frustrating. Constantly twisting a multi-strand cable like an
XLR or an AC cord or just about any, almost any cable you use, in the same direction, puts
a lot of strain on the outermost cables that are inside. Those outermost cables
have to travel further than the inner wires do. Over time this will cause the
wires to break prematurely. The solution to this, to avoid tangling your cables or
to break them or have them break inside prematurely, is to use the Over/Under
cable coiling technique. This is also known as “over-under wrapping,” “counter
coiling” or “flip coiling.” All those terms mean the same thing. The over-under
technique helps relieve stress on the cables, makes them easy to unwind, makes
them last longer and it will make you a hero to every AV pro who sees you
doing it. To do the over-under technique, twist the cable in one direction to make
the first coil, then untwist it to make the next and keep repeating this until
the cable is neatly coiled. Yes, it takes some practice to perfect and a
little more time to wind it up completely, but you make up for it when
you use it the next time because it unwinds much faster. Don’t worry if you
don’t understand what I just said because I’m going to move outside in
just a minute and show you step by step how to a coil a few different types of
cables. Also, if you miss something, check out the description below because I’m
going to list the steps in the description below as well. Now let’s head
outside. I’m going to show you the technique to coil. Before I do that, I
mentioned to you that you can break the inside of your cables
if you don’t coil them properly because they’ll wear out over time. Another reason
not to do that is they do not lay out flat and most of the time you want your
coils to be flat so that no one trips over them. Let me take this messed up cable
that I got back from my assistant and show you what happens when it’s not coiled
properly. This was done around the elbow. When I try and throw it out, this
is what happens. Notice that it would not go out straight
because it’s all tangled in knots. So part of it did. A few feet did here, but
most of it is still in a tangled mess that I have to fix. So that was an AC cord,
an electrical cord. This is an XLR cable which is basically a mic cord and it is
properly wrapped in the over-and-under technique so now watch what happens with
this one that I personally, properly wrapped. Watch how it shoots out nice and
flat when I throw it. Now then, let me zoom in and just show you
that. Notice how it’s relatively flat and it’s nice and straight all the way out;
25 foot cable went all the way straight. Now I’ll usually tape these down while
I’m working, but that should give you an idea of how important it is the
over-and-under your cables so it won’t come out all tangled like that AC cord I
just had. Now it’s important to remember this technique works on every kind of
cable. I have a different one here. This is another AC cord; it’s a red one. It’s a
different one that I coiled so let me just throw this one out real quick
before I show you the technique, just to show you how it will fly out nice and
flat, super easy, when it’s time to use it. As you can see, it went all the way out.
Now it’s kind of cold out here today and setting up my Christmas lights so it’s a
little bit, it’s not perfectly flat, but that’s because the cables are super cold,
but you can see how it goes. So let me zoom in and show you the technique; how
to do it very simply. You start with with whatever end you want to be on the
inside. In this case, an AC cord, I’m going to use
the female end, normally, because you plug it in to an outlet, so I’m gonna want to
have the male end where I can get to it. I’m going to hold it with my left hand and make
a loop over with my right, then you flip underneath, come like this and flip, this
is the under part because my hand is under this a little bit. Then the next
loop is over. See my hand is over the cable. Then the next loop, my hand will be
under the cable and try to keep the coils roughly the same size. Then you go
over, then under over, then under. Remember, my hand,
the over-under is my hand. Each loop, over, this loop under, over, under, over. This loop under, over, under, over. And finally, we’ll do under. Now, the one
mistake you don’t want to do is with the end here. You don’t want to wrap it
around like this because this, when you wrap it around the cable and connect it to
the other end, you’ll go ahead and you’ll end up breaking the connections right
here, where they meet, right here, so you don’t want to do that.
This cable, I have to get some Velcro. It’s a new one. I just bought it for my
Christmas lights. We have to get a cable tie that or string that wraps around and
holds it just like this, and they’ll hold it permanently when you’re storing it and
not actually using it. Let me try the same technique on the XLR cable I just
showed you. So here’s an XLR cable, a mic cable, so I’ll start the same way. I’m
going to start coiling with the male end because the female end is the one that I
use to plug into a microphone. So your first loop is over, then under my hand
just like that. And can keep the loops roughly the same size. Then over, then
under. Grab the end. Over, under again, over, under, my hand over, my hand under the
cable. My hand over the cable, under the cable. let’s get to the end here. Over, under, over and under. It’s a little
bit cold out here today. It’s about about 35 degrees (F) right now so the cables aren’t
super flat. Again, you use a cable tie, a Velcro or even a string will work. Hold it closed like this. Personally, I like to keep the end on the outside that
I’m always going to use, so in this case, this is the female end of the XLR and
that’s what plugs into a microphone. All microphones, handheld mics, have a
male connector at the end so I like to keep the female end of the XLR out, but
it’s usually the other way around with AC cords because I, you know ,you plug
them into the wall; you run them to where you want and then
the female end on the inside of the cable because that’s what you plug your
lamp or whatever into, but it’s up to you. which way. It doesn’t matter which way you
work. Again, the over-under technique works whether you’re right-handed or
left-handed so it doesn’t matter. So now that I have coiled this one right in
front of you let’s toss it out one time just so you can see, once again, how nice
and smooth it shoots out when you’re ready to start using it the next time. So
if you’re ready let’s toss it. And there you go. Professional audio and
video technicians have been using this tried-and-true coiling method for many
years. When you have to move fast, a tangled cable can be costly, embarrassing
and frankly inexcusable. Spend a little time perfecting the over-under method
and you can respond to any urgent cable requests quickly. If you need to retrain
your cables to properly wrap them because you’ve been doing it wrong, try
setting them out flat in the sun for a few hours, nice and straight, and the heat
will take the kinks out. After you’ve laid it in the sun, you can start coiling it
over and under. This technique works on any kind of cable you have. If
you’re using AC cords on the job for your video or film or even at home.
Whether you’re using mic cables. It works on other things that we use everyday
like the cables you use to charge your phone or Christmas lights or any cables
that you have at home. This technique will work on every single kind of cable.
It even works on ropes as well. Now if this is all making sense to you put, “I’ve
got it!” in a comment section below. My question of the day is, H”ave you ever
spent hours trying to untangle a huge pile of cords?” If so, leave have a comment
below and let us know. Do you want to learn more about your camera settings to get you
shooting photos and videos like a pro? I’ve created an absolutely F-R-E-E cheat
sheet for you and all the best camera settings for your DSLR, mirrorless or
video camera that will allow your photos and especially your videos to compete
with the pros. The link to get that cheat sheet is just below in the video
description. I’ve also create cheat sheets on other
topics such as video editing in even now offer training courses on editing video
using Adobe Premiere Pro and soon I’ll have other courses as well. I’ll link to those
cheat sheets and training courses below as well. Do you want to see more videos
like this? Follow my YouTube channel, Jim Costa Films, for more. Do you think what you
saw was great? Like it. Do you have an opinion? Then comment
below. Do you know someone who could benefit from the info that I provided?
Please share the video. Do you want to learn even more?
If so, then connect with Jim Costa Films on social media and online on Facebook,
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videos for great tips and suggestions. If you’ve followed me for a while, you may know
that I have a community of photographers and videographers and filmmakers, just
like you, on Facebook where I share pro tips and tricks. It’s called Video
Producers and Content Creators. I love new members who want to share
their work and learn from others. You’ll find the link to that group in the
description below so feel free to join it where you will learn even more!

3 thoughts on “How to Properly Coil Any Cable, Cord or Rope | Cable Wrapping Using Over Under Technique”

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    Want to see more videos like this? Follow my YouTube channel, Jim Costa Films, for more! Think what you saw was great? Like it! Have an opinion? Comment below! Know someone who could benefit from the info I provided? Share the video. Do you want to learn even more? Connect with Jim Costa Films on social media and online!

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