How to Look After Cables
Cables (AKA leads, cords) and connectors are often the most neglected components of audio-visual systems. However, any system is only as good as the weakest connection or most damaged cable.
We have devoted a page to cable care for two simple reasons:
- It is so vitally important.
- It is so badly misunderstood, yet so incredibly easy.
Save yourself grief and money by obeying a few simple rules...
- Always unplug cables by holding the connector, not the cable itself.
- If a cable doesn't unplug easily, look to see if it has a locking mechanism.
- Be careful to plug up multi-pin connectors correctly. If it doesn't want to go in, don't force it - you're probably doing something wrong. Many connectors have indicators to show which way to plug them in.
- Avoid stepping on, driving over, or putting heavy objects on cables.
- Where possible, don't run cables across high-traffic pathways (eg. where people will be walking).
- Avoid getting kinks in cables, eg. by shutting them in doors, or folding them.
- Always wind cables up correctly for storage. Most cables should be "back-wound".
Very long cables can be rolled onto a specially-designed cable drum. This makes winding much easier, and protects the cable from kinking etc.
This cable drum was made by adding some reinforcement to a standard garden hose drum. One end protrudes from the drum's axis, so that the entire cable doesn't have to be unwound to use it.