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Another Secret to Tangle-Free Cables


Keeping cables securely coiled during transport and storage is important if you wish to keep them from turning into a rat's nest before the next use. There are a number of ways to accomplish this simple task.

Cloth-backed hook-and-loop fasteners which are permanently attached to one end of the cable are easy to use but can be expensive. Inexpensive alternatives to the ever-popular Rip-Tie, such as VELCRO brand ONE-WRAP can be purchased from computer supply houses; they are used to bundle cables at network hubs.

Cheaper still are ties made of black stage cord and ordinary clothesline. Secured to the cable end with a simple half hitch and tied around the coil with a bow-knot, this rugged wrap will keep even heavy power and coaxial cables tidy. By the way, attaching any of these ties 6- to 12-inches from the connector instead of right at the end prevents overstressing the most fragile part of the cable.

Tape is a quick and easy but less-favored option because the adhesive tends, over time, to transfer to the cable jacket. Stick to cloth-backed electricians tape, which seems to leave less residue than vinyl tape, and avoid gaffers tape for anything other than short-term storage for the same reason.

Nylon tie-wraps are another effective but less-desirable option owing to the fact that they must be cut off before the cable can be used again. The jackets of tie-wrapped cables can be damaged if the tie is secured too tightly or if care is not taken when cutting off the nylon tie.

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