Maintenance Tip #3

Cables are are the central nervous system of a theatre. without them nothing would function. So it is worthwhile to always spend a bit of time looking after them. Lets start with power cables. Now these can become extremely dangerous if you do not look after them. They also start to look pretty messy after having gaffa tape used on them to hold them in place. So at regular intervals you should check the cables. What you need to do is check the plug and socket ends for any damage. you need to make sure the cable is not pulling out of the clamp ends. You should not be able to see the inner cables. Make sure that the pins on the male plug are straight. Make sure there is no trace of arcing on the female socket or male plug. Make sure that the plug and sockets have no cracks or bits missing. Next the check the whole length of the cable for any damage., this is also a good time to clean and gunk of the cables with a good cleaner. If the cable is damaged you can either discard it or get it repaired.

Behringer CT-100 Cable Tester

Behringer CT-100 Cable Tester

Mic cables also need to be looked after. Again check both ends for any damage. Get yourself a good cable tester, it will pay for itself in no time. These are a great way to check out if the cable is wired correctly etc. An example of a cable tester is the Behringer Cable tester CT-100 as shown here. As you can see it can test a variety of cable types.  One thing to look for is on the female cannon type socket there is a rubber o-ring. Now this rubber ring will eventually break. And once broken sometimes affects the connection to mics etc. Also on female xlr connectors make sure the locking mechanism is intact. If not the make xlr’s or mics will become disconnected rather easily.

XLR male and female

XLR male and female

You also need to check the whole length of the cable to make sure there is no damage. If there is any sign of damage you can repair the cable. Also this is a good time to give the cable a clean. It is also a good idea to identify your cables with a label or engrave the xlr bodies. A velcro cable tie is also a handy addition, this allows you to store the cable neatly when it is rolled up. Nothing worse than a tangled mess of mic cables when you are in a rush.

Cable maintenance is one of those things that needs to be done at regular intervals. It then will not take long. And you can then be confident that all you cables will be in top condition and should all work for all of those important gigs.


One thought on “Maintenance Tip #3

  1. better than behrigner (yuck) being a lighting tech working at an AV company i know how bad that brand truly can be!

    go to gig gadgets on ebay(i am in no way assosciated with this user or anyone he knows) but they sell some sick shit including a cable tester that does 3 pin XLR,jack, NL4 RCA about $30 tests all pins+ ground

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