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Over Under vs Regular twist Modular Synthesizers
Old 27th December 2016
  #1
Gear Head
 

Over Under vs Regular twist

I HATE cables wrapped over/under. I find they knot up, you get a knot every 4 feet, it takes longer, a newbie can't do it, you have to start from a particular end, and I can see absolutely no reason that over/under is better than a regular twist cable. In a big pile they knot up as bad as anything.

Here are my points for over/under cable wrapping.
1. There is no benefit.
2. They knot easily.
3. It takes training to learn.
4. You have to start at a particular end.
5. They get as tangled as any cable.

My points for regular twist cable.
1. It is not better nor worse than over/under.
2. I can teach somebody in 2 minutes how to wrap a cable.
3. Any end will do.
4. It is quicker.
5. I can teach somebody to wrap cables in 2 minutes - yes, this is important.

What say the community? Is there any physics that could explain if there is a benefit or not to over/under? What do you do?

I work closely with another sound tech friend of mine and we have been arguing for 10 years over this.....;-)
Old 27th December 2016
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Wyllys's Avatar
 

There are these great things called wireless mics. Problem solved...
Old 27th December 2016
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Well as you probably realise, the idea of over/under is that one loop cancels out the other, so when you throw a long cable across a stage it will unfold in a pretty straight, flat line.

Ideally you velcro or LX the cable just below the connectors, so that each end stays on the correct side of the coil. You get a knot every other loop if you start uncoiling with one end passed through the coil to the wrong side by mistake.

I take your point about it being easier to explain to a newbie, but there is definitely a benefit, and it's just as quick once you're used to it.
Old 27th December 2016
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikekay View Post
I find they knot up, you get a knot every 4 feet,
And when you see this start to happen in the first four feet, pull the end back through the middle, and it'll fix it.

Some cables are much more twist-tolerant than others, and if this is the case for a shorter mic cable, then I kinda get the over-over approach. But i.e. Belden 8412 is a wonderful product that if coiled correctly, will sit perfectly flat on stage and last a lifetime . . . or turn into a complete mess if twisted up. And for any decent-length analog snake . . . an over-over wrap will render it trashed in a fraction of the lifetime of one that's coiled over-under.
Old 27th December 2016
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Oh boy, you've brought up one of my biggies, and I feel a bit of a rant coming on....

About the only thing I can agree with you on is that newbies...for some completely inexplicable reason....often have a hard time learning over/under. But THEY are the problem, not the method.

Honestly, I don't get what's so hard to learn....over/under technique is really quite easy to do, and it is by the way much faster once you get the hang of it. And done right, and consistently, it is extremely rare for the cables to get tangled and knotted. I have no idea what you are talking about when you say one has to start at a particular end...never been an issue with me or my cables.

"Regular" coiled cables, especially ones that are done by newbies, pretty much always end up in knots and tangles. I really hate it when other people coil my cables the wrong way, and don't even start doing the "wrapping it around your elbow" thing...sheesh!

If you've got a "newbie" who won't take the time to properly learn ANY technique...especially one as simple and EASY as over/under coiling...they are bound to make a mess of pretty much whatever task they take on. It's laziness or ineptitude, and it should not be encouraged by saying, "oh well, just continue doing it the wrong way if that's easier for you". If someone can't learn it in 2 minutes, fine then, go ahead and take 5 to learn it properly. If it takes you longer than that, or you simply can't get the hang of it, perhaps this isn't the right job for you?

Over/under is easy to learn (just takes a bit of actual practice), quicker and more efficient, does NOT result in tangled knots, is much better for the cables themselves, and is simply the proper method to use.

Ok, rant off.
please treat your cables (or at least mine) with some respect,
dz
Old 27th December 2016
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikekay View Post

Here are my points for over/under cable wrapping.
1. There is no benefit. They store under neutral tension, develop less kinks in the long term. Huge benefit.
2. They knot easily. Only if you unravel incorrectly. Also there an easy un-knot method.
3. It takes training to learn. Which is worth learning
4. You have to start at a particular end. Nope
5. They get as tangled as any cable. An over/under cable *may knot with itself more easily, but a cable with a built in twist tangles with other cables far more easily.

My points for regular twist cable.
1. It is not better nor worse than over/under. I hate a twisted cable more than a knotted cable.
2. I can teach somebody in 2 minutes how to wrap a cable. Not important to me
3. Any end will do. As will over/under
4. It is quicker. You should see me over/under
5. I can teach somebody to wrap cables in 2 minutes - yes, this is important. To you, maybe. To me, better method > newbie convenience

I work closely with another sound tech friend of mine and we have been arguing for 10 years over this.....;-) your friend is right!
Old 27th December 2016
  #7
Gear Head
 

None of you have stated ONE real benefit of over under. My cables lie flat. They stretch out easily, even the 100 footers. So, again, is there any real physics that can be quoted stating the over under is better? Some of my cables are getting to be 18 years old and still work. When a cable comes off the the machine making them, they are not coiled and stored over under. I can over under fine, no issues. I hate it. And unless there is some physics to prove me wrong, then there are NO benefits to over under and I will not use it on my own equipment.

I will allow one point - in large areas over under works well when throwing, but I never throw cable. I run it unlooping as I go. And since I work mostly small venues, no benefit. To have cables 18 years old and still working states clearly I respect my cables.

Interesting how thus far, only over/under wrappers have responded....
Old 27th December 2016
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Cable machines comparison isn't relevant here. Machines don't "wrap" cables in the same way we do after a show. The machine roll is parallel to and in-line with the cable direction ie no twist is needed. Wrapping cables after a show, the cable is coming in at a right angle to the roll, so you'll need to twist one way or another. Over/under counteracts one "positive" twist with a "negative" so the net twist is zero - be it in storage or then next time you lay it out. That IS the main benefit, and to me a significant one.

Unless you have a particular unique unrolling technique, over/over when straightened out puts an inherent twist in the cable, even if its laying flat. Twist in the cable = more likely to tangle. Whenever someone over/over wraps my cables its a PITA to layout at the next show.
Old 27th December 2016
  #9
Lives for gear
 

My cables are 25ft. with two 50 footers for my speaker stacks. When the show is over I streach out the cables to make certain there are no kinks and then bring each cable's XLR ends together, the next step is to walk the ends back to the center point, then stabilize the process by tiying a very loose loop (at least 6 in.) to maintain continuity. For the 50 footers I double them another time. I have used this protocol for 15 years with out any kinking or knoting problems. I will never coil any cable in any fashion.
Hugh
Old 27th December 2016
  #10
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And then there are cable reels....for those who find coiling cables a tedious task.
Old 27th December 2016
  #11
Gear Addict
 

To the OP - you obviously don't know how to over/under properly. Please leave this forum.
Old 27th December 2016
  #12
KEL
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If I'm wrapping my own cables, to be used by me the next time, I use my own wrap coil system. If it's for other jobs or my regular day job TV production work, it's over/under. In fact, nobody can work on those jobs unless they do over/under. Both methods are the same speed for me

I have a good friend who puts all his cables on reels, all connected. On tear down he hooks all the 20' together and reels them up like landing a Marlin.. Setting up:.You just peel off what you need. Works for him. They are very unkinked
Old 27th December 2016
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KEL View Post
I have a good friend who puts all his cables on reels, all connected. On tear down he hooks all the 20' together and reels them up like landing a Marlin.. Setting up:.You just peel off what you need. Works for him. They are very unkinked
I think this is the fastest, most efficient method especially on big production jobs where hundreds of cables are used, with each reel carrying a specific length, but I also understand that some people don't want to carry reels for smaller gigs.
Old 27th December 2016
  #14
KEL
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If it's a team approach, it is faster. By yourself, it's not really. The best metal reels are expensive but really do work well. I only put my 50, 100 and larger on reels.
Old 27th December 2016
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KEL View Post
If it's a team approach, it is faster. By yourself, it's not really. The best metal reels are expensive but really do work well. I only put my 50, 100 and larger on reels.
Don't you think the amount of cables also matter? I once watched a lone stage-hand reel away almost twice the cables as his two counterparts for a case of beer...he had a really cool system, but this was about 150 cable lengths, not 10 and hands and arms get tired...just saying.
Old 27th December 2016
  #16
KEL
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No, I don't. And your anecdotal story doesn't tell me much. I don't know the parties involved. Sure, the final process of reeling all the cables is impressive, but my experience is that prepping the cables, lining up M&F ends, connecting, fixing an occasional tangle on the reel method comes out to a very similar elapsed time. And I've done both.
Old 27th December 2016
  #17
S21
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Any system where the way you twist the cable coiling it is cancelled out by the way you untwist the cable when uncoiling it will work.

If the twists/untwists don't cancel out, then you are leaving twists in the cable.

Over-under is an industry standard where the next person who picks up the cable will uncoil it in a compatible way.

.

Get a roll of toilet paper and see what happens if you pull the paper off the end (in the same direction as the axis of the cylinder). Horrible spiral twists!

.

A favorite non-over-under method for me for really big cables (eg 100m 4mm2 power, ~40kg) is to lap coil over the back of my neck. I can coil as fast as I can walk.
Old 28th December 2016
  #18
Over under when done correctly:
Avoids twists (which likely extends cable life)
Allows you to throw cable in a straight line (MUCH straighter than spiral coiling).

These are real benefits. If you can't achieve them when you are over/under coiling your cables, then you are doing it wrong.
Old 28th December 2016
  #19
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Aisle 6's Avatar
Over/under...it works. As folks have already responded. If you coil my cables, you do not work for me any longer. Simple.
Old 28th December 2016
  #20
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Here's a neat little tool.

Old 28th December 2016
  #21
Gear Nut
 
Lazerface's Avatar
I work for a national AV company and we've had this exact argument many times over in the last 20 years. We settled on quarter twist-over/over in an official stance about 10+ years ago. Major reason was tangled cables on return from show.

In reality, I know how to wrap both ways and can wrap with either hand, as do many of our techs out of necessity. When you have union hands that only go over/under, old company guys that stick to the books and over over it, and freelancers/new techs just want to get out of there and collect a paycheck as fast as possible doing whatever, you make it work.
Old 28th December 2016
  #22
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Aisle 6's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Here's a neat little tool.

That does look pretty cool. I could see me using these in my studio, but on the road...I don't know. I can see me walking the stage and picking an empty one up under a riser before sound check. That would be enough for me to say no. : P
Old 29th December 2016
  #23
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

The answer since '66...

https://youtu.be/5tBSDFwVyss
Old 29th December 2016
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Here's a neat little tool.

I like the concept, but most of my cables are too long for them.
Old 29th December 2016
  #25
Lives for gear
I don't know how many reels are going to sell at $15 each to hold one XLR cable each when a $10 electric cord reel will hold multiple XLR cables.
Old 29th December 2016
  #26
True. Get it down to $6 per reel and it starts to make sense.
Old 29th December 2016
  #27
Gear Addict
 

I over/under long and/or thick cables. For short XLRs and such I don't find it to be worthwhile, but for the others mentioned there's no contest - much easier to work with and lies much more straight when unrolled.
Old 29th December 2016
  #28
Lives for gear
 

More neat Ideas:
Attached Thumbnails
Over Under vs Regular twist-images-1.jpeg   Over Under vs Regular twist-sn-scw-125.jpg   Over Under vs Regular twist-streetwize-lwacc38-cable-reel-25-m-black_5024429.jpg  
Old 30th December 2016
  #29
S21
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S21's Avatar
 

How many of those can I get in a trunk?
Old 30th December 2016
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S21 View Post
How many of those can I get in a trunk?
Don't know...how many cables can you fit into any trunk?
Topic:
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