Originally Posted by imagic
Cables are the glue that binds a system together. There's no need to spend a fortune, but it's a good idea to plan out your installation.
1. Make sure you know exactly how long each cable needs to be. That goes for speaker cables, interconnects, and power cables. Measure twice, cut once.
4. Practice good cable management; avoid creating a tangled mess of technospaghetti.
10. Are you building your room from scratch? Consider running all the cables you need in the walls or soffits.
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1. Good point if your setup is stable and going to be in use for 5 years without changes, I make changes about every 6 months or even more often when in that mode so I stopped cutting my cables to length a long time ago and I use standard lengths like 1' patch, 3' patch, 6' patch, 10' shorty, 25' run, 50' run, 100' run, 200' run, etc.. And as has already been mentioned I leave a courtesy loop at each end usually handy but not close to the gear.
4. Yes I do try to make the back of my equipment rack look like the example. And a part of good cable management would be:
Label your cables. For short term lables of less than a week I use white gaff tape written on a tab that can be flipped over and written on both sides what the input or output is. For long term labels I put a nylon zip tie on the cable and put the tape on the zip tie since the tape will leave sticky goo on the cable if left on for a month. Goo Gone (or other citrus cleaner) takes tape goo off nice, then use rubbing alc to take off the goo gone.
. Velcro ties. Nylon zip ties are useful but I don't use them directly to organize cable bundles, instead I use Velcro ties since they can be redone a lot easier and use a zip tie to tie the velcro if it's needed.
Label the length of the cable. I use a permanent maker and mark the cable connector with the length as I unwrap/re-wrap a new cable for the first time. It makes setup go so much faster if you know the length of your cables.
. Unwrap new
cable as if you were rolling it off a spool, I put the cable on my two wrists and roll my arms one over the other until the cable is sitting in a nice pile on the floor, then I re-wrap the cable over-under so that I can pull it off the end and it will lay flat with no kinks. Along the same lines don't pull cable off a spool by letting it slip off an end, put it on a dowel or large screw driver and let it spool/roll off otherwise it will have twists in it.
. Colored cables are great if they're out of site, it makes it easier to trace, no I don't label the middle of my cables only the ends
. D-plug power cables come in 1', 3'...many different lengths, it helps a lot if gear is close to the power distro to have short D-plug cable. And I get 10', 12', 15' etc. so I don't have to use an extension cord on powered speakers.
. Service loop. In addition to a courtesy loop I leave a service loop if my equipment is on sliding rails. Racking on sliders is great when you have space constraints and can't access the back of the rack from behind but you can't pull out the equipment without that service loop on all cables.
10. Soffits!, Yeah, I'm just about to leave to get parts for building them.
Wow...I think I'm cable obsessed. Dr. am I cable obsessed?