How to wrap a cable. Over under vs. Over Over
by Carlos de Varona
Back when I first started my internship in video production, a fellow Camera Assistant taught me a good lesson by having me empty the company grip truck, as well as unwrapping all stingers, just to have me put it all back together again. Organization was key, but it was the cable wrapping that stood out to me the most. To me it was the most fundamental lesson, it marked the beginning of a list of rules and ways of the trade. From that day forward I became a stickler with making sure my cables were always wrapped properly. There is no excuse for a crew member to mess this one up, and for that reason we are going to show you exactly how to wrap a cable (video below):
The wrong way
First, lets start with what you’re not supposed to do. Probably the most common mistake everyone makes is twisting the cable under and over your elbow as pictured:
The copper inside the cable will become twisted and esentially ruined. You will never be able to wrap it perfectly again. If this is how you wrap your cables, do yourself and everyone a favor, never coil another cable until reading through this!
This method of wrapping a cable is most used in film production, as power cables are usually coiled this way. With this method you will hold the edison plug with your left hand and with your right hand you will pick up and pinch and twist the cable over itself in a circle. The trick here is pinching and twisting.
This technique is best used with all other types of cables including audio cables, anything transmitting data, and even rope. The reason this method is very popular is because when the cabled is pulled from the coil, it will come out straight and without tangles. Many musicians use this method due to the fact their instrument is sometimes pulled away from the coil. Same with production sound mixers and their XLR’s.
The video (how to):
In the end you should end up with a perfect coil. This will greatly extend the life of your cables.