Author Topic: TV Broadcasting: Knots to Know on Set???  (Read 978 times)


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TV Broadcasting: Knots to Know on Set???
« on: April 09, 2019, 04:48:37 PM »
In tying off a 500ft piece of coiled Triax Cable, is there a standard knot to know so that said piece of cable doesn't come undone when put back into a TV truck?

Thanks in advance for recommendations!


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Re: TV Broadcasting: Knots to Know on Set???
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2019, 02:22:50 PM »
Back when I did professional sound, coiling the cable correctly was very important.  We called this "torque wrapping", or "over under wrapping".  You and/or your team members are probably already doing this.  For flexible cables like microphone cables and things like that, we would tie an overhand knot around the coil to secure it.  Then, if possible, we would connect the opposite ends of the cable together, using their connectors.  For mic cables this is very easy because they have mating connectors at opposite ends.

For stiff or large cables, we generally had a short length of rope permanently attached at one end so that when you finished coiling it up, you just used the included rope to make a reef knot around the coil to secure it.  I imagine velcro is used for this application in a lot of places now.

Interestingly, when I tried to do this same thing with paracord, I made a GIANT mess!  Because paracord doesn't have enough "body" to keep it neatly aligned after it's coiled.  One little overhand knot around the coil isn't nearly enough to hold it either. 

Thus I learned to do both the Alpine Coil, and a couple different variations of the "figure 8 coil around two fixed points" and secured it with many wraps around the bundle and a final under tuck to secure it.  These "bundles" are awesome for rope because you can just pull on the free end and it comes out nice and straight without any tangles.

I guess this is off topic now so I'll stop.



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Re: TV Broadcasting: Knots to Know on Set???
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2019, 08:26:12 PM »
In theatre, cables typically have a 36" length of sash cord (or something similar) tied to the cable somewhere near one end with a Lark's Head. A longer/larger cable might have second tie some distance away from the first, so that the two ties end up across from each other on the finished coil. As mentioned above, over/under coiling is recommended over straight coiling for most things, though as I tell my stagehands, it's ultimately up to the owner. A double-slipped reef knot (shoelace knot) is what's tied around the coil. For something that long, a reel would be best, of course!

Hope that helps.