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Over and Under: How Pros Wrap Cables, Cords, and Rope

Mark Vargo, ASC

Learn how to protect your video production gear and safeguard your set with this video tutorial.

Professional audio and video technicians have been using this tried-and-true coiling method for years. When you have to move fast, a tangled cable can be costly, embarrassing, and (frankly) inexcusable. This video cites two true stories that relate directly to tangled cable and rope. Spend a little time perfecting the “Over and Under” method, and you can respond to any urgent cable request with confidence!

Have a tangled mess of cords, cables, and rope? Avoid potentially dangerous situations by properly wrapping your cables.

If you need to retrain your cables to properly wrap them, try setting them out in the sun for a few hours. You can also soak rope then lay it in the sun. Now your cables and rope are ready to coil.

Wrapping Cables (XLR, BNC, etc) and Extension Cords

This technique works both clockwise and counterclockwise — perfect for both right-handed or left-handed crew members.

Step 1: Grab your cable and start with an overhand loop.

Step 2: Flip the cable, and roll it underhand to create the second loop.

Step 3: Repeat overhand and underhand until the cable coils entirely in a circle.

Step 4: Use a velcro tie or string to tie the cable in place. It’s best to keep the tie attached to the male end of the cable so it doesn’t interfere with any microphones or equipment you may plug into.

Do not wrap the cable around itself and connect the ends. That is an improper technique that can shorten the lifespan of you audio and video cables.

Have tips for protecting your video gear? Let us know in the comments.

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