Tying it all together

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Brenden, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. Brenden

    Brenden Extra

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    i was reading from one of the posts here, and the person who wrote it said to stay away from twist ties. why? will this cause a problem when organizing the mess behind the TV?
     
  2. JamesGL

    JamesGL Stunt Coordinator

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    Just use a couple of wire looms.

    I use a 1 1 1/4" diameter loom for all video/audio cables and another 1/2 loom for all the electrical cords.
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Twist-Ties are a piece of wire with a cardboard/plastic coating to make them "flat". They are designed to hold plastic bags closed for a few days.

    The metal wire in the twist ties will cut it's way out of the cardboard/plastic over time. The more stress on the wires (based on the weight of what it is wrapped around) the sooner it will cut it's way out.

    Your cables produce a lot more weight/stress than a plastic bag. Several months or a year after using a twist tie you will find the wire cutting into the insulation on your cables.

    The same problem happens with nylon zip-ties: the edges are sharp and cut into the soft rubber sheath that coats most interconnects.

    (Cable TV coax and even network wires have a much stronger/stiffer outer jacket. This is why zip ties work for these types of cables).

    You can buy the velcro ties, or the wide/loose nylon "cable guides" at your local hardware store. The 1" wide velcro from a fabric store also works great.

    Note: You want LOOSE bundles of cables for behind your rack, not tight bundles. Pick a few places where cables join/leave the bundle and put the ties here. If you want a 'better' look: buy the split plastic tubing sold at Radio Shack/ Bed Bath and Beyond and shove you wires in the side-slit. Wires can enter/leave at any point along the length.

    Does that help?
     
  4. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    I've used regular computer cable ties - they sell them in any computer accessory type store - with no problems to tie Svideo cables together. They shouldn't cut into the cable but I guess they could if you really over tightened it.

    cheers,


    --tom
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    bob, what do you think of clamping down hard on the zip tie, but ensuring that there is no tension on the rca connection itself?

    kinda like "pushing up" the wire a touch first, then ziptying it?

    some of my cables are so heavy, it almost seems like the lesser of two evils...
     
  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Strain relief on the plugs is a good thing to have, but the zip-tie will cut into the soft cable. (And Murphy's law says that as soon as you do all this, a week later something will go wrong and you have to go cut all the ties to change 1 cable - usually in the middle of the bundle.)

    Check your local hardware store. My local Ace store had a whole rack of nylon guides including 1/2, 3/4, 1" nylon loops that had sticky or screw holes, but had a large ratchet closure. These things have a big 'thumb' lever which releases the strap for maintance.

    Mount a small metal plate (these are called "Mending" or "Strapping" plates) on the shelf behind your stressed-out cables. (You are making a small shelf that sticks out the back of one of your rack shelves.)

    Lay the cables along the plate and bundle with one of the loops. Attach the loop to the mending plate and run the cables through the loop. Grab the cables BELOW the loop and push up about 1/4 inch (to provide relief) and close/tighten the loop to secure.

    You can even put the mending plate on the middle rack so it strain-reliefs all the cables coming from above.

    Note that the split-loom tubing actually provides very nice relief because it clamps onto all the cables going in and out.
     
  7. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hmm...that's a neat idea bob. i've seen similar loop/clamp things at office depot.

    i never thought about how to "integrate" those things into a ht setup though - those strapping plates (i assume you mean the similar kind used to mount garage door openers) may work well!

    it may make for an interesting weekend project. [​IMG]
     
  8. Johnny Ayala

    Johnny Ayala Stunt Coordinator

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    I use zip ties and then put all the wires into wire looms, works great and looks neat. Just remember not to place any speaker wire and cable TV coax in the same loom. It caused a very loud hum in mine when I did, Good Luck, Johnny...[​IMG][​IMG]
     

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