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Old May 20th, 2004, 03:34 PM   #1
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Any harm in cables bending inside audio/mixer bags?

XLR cables seem made to bend, but that said, does it do any harm to have them sharply bend inside the mixer/audio bag? Everything I want to haul around fits in the Kata bag I bought (headphones, wireless, etc.), but the cables come out of the mixer and make a right angle on their journey out the side holes. Will bending that way cause degradation of any kind (they're good cables, if that matters... Canare/Neutek)? That right angle the cable makes is now pressed against the side of the bag, but not jammed into it. The model which is the next size up is considerably bigger, and in addition to my stuff swimming in it, the whole set up would be a lot more cumbersome.

Any thoughts?
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Old May 20th, 2004, 10:31 PM   #2
 
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You are *generally* fine with this, but you want to be cautious of forcing the cables to have too sharp a bend under pressure. Loose coils are the best option. If they are exposed to sunlight for long periods of time, the rubber will break down more quickly, but since they are Canare, they should not wear out in any near time.
Sharp angles are always less than ideal, particularly if there is pressure on them. But it's not terribly critical. You might consider a second bag.
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Old May 20th, 2004, 10:38 PM   #3
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I always thought that this type of setup is a good reason to use 90 degree XLR connectors if you have panel space for them.

The bend isn't so bad as long as you don't hit the cable on something with the weight of the mixer behind it. Good shock absorber for the mixer, bad on the cable.

As Douglass say's, Canare is quite rugged.
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Old May 20th, 2004, 11:39 PM   #4
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Okay, thanks guys. What it seems like you're saying is that this isn't the optimal long term way to go, but for now, this set-up will take me through my shoot... from roughly the middle of June to the middle of August. (I'm in the last frantic two weeks of prep, I'm I'm waaaay past tired of shopping for/buying/thinking about equipment.) I was primarily worried about anything that might immediately impact my audio quality, i.e. bonehead things I've inadvertantly brought on myself (not that it will no doubt be a long list in hindsight). And since this entire project is the proverbial Hail Mary pass anyway... well, let's just say, I'm doing the best I can with what I've got. ;-)

Guess I can live with another bag for the next time out. Heck, my wish list for the next round has been growing for some time. :-)

Thanks again for taking the time to respond,
Marcia

P.S. Douglas, am really looking forward to your LA Vegas seminar... it's going to be a pleasant break from my prep!
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Old May 21st, 2004, 04:35 PM   #5
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It's hard to beieve that kata made a case where the cables didn't exit the case "properly" and under no stress. Kata is pro gear, have you shown the setup to anyone else?
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Old May 21st, 2004, 05:09 PM   #6
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The PortaBrace bag for my FP32 is a tight fit and there is no room for the cables to coil inside but the case has velcro-closed exit sleeves left and right for the cables. It has a companion bag on the front for cable storage.

I've not seen the Kata. Is it similar or?
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Old May 21st, 2004, 08:09 PM   #7
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Thing is, what I got was the Sundo 1 bag (their "audio" bag) instead of their Koala line that is just for the mixer. The Koala's are completely open on the sides (sleeves) like Mike mentions, whereas the Sundo has little arches cut into the foam on the sides, which lead out the external sleeves. (IMO the foam hole should be bigger.) The Sundo fits the mixer, headphones, and has room for a few other things, like a wireless, my ENG mic, plus a wallet and car keys. We'll be doing so much run and gun, and man-on-the-street stuff places like San Francisco, I wanted a bag I could have everything crammed into and be totally mobile. And I like the foam padding in case of knocks and such.

I did fool around with it some more and reconfigured it in a way that will work better. Not optimal, and not like what's pictured in their ad shots (removed the raised floor compartment among other things), but it'll do. The Sundo 2 is four inches longer, and I probably just should've just gone with that or a plain mixer bag. Live and learn. This'll work I think. Two of the three channels fit through the holes now without bending. And I'll only use a third channel on occasion anyway, so that won't always have an XLR plugged in. The way it was before (as they have the mixer pictured) all of them were bent. And according to Kata, the Alphamix fits the Sundo 1 and it's an inch longer than mine. So I dunno how that works either. But that's why I figured this one would be fine.
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Old May 21st, 2004, 11:03 PM   #8
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Coiling multistrand cables loosely as much as possible is definitely important, but you should be careful about the way you coil them too. There is a technique known as the "over-under" method that prevents the twisting that happens when you wrap the cable around your hand, or some other object. The twisting that results will make the cable tend to kink when it is unrolled, and it tends to permanently make the individual conductors get wrapped tightly around each other if done repeatedly, eventually affecting performance.

It is easy to demonstrate how to do it, and practically impossible to explain in an email what is involved in wrapping cables this way, but the following can help...

http://stagecraft.theprices.net/gallery/cablewrap/

Once you learn this, its a great way to impress others too!

Do you really need to leave all the connectors plugged into the mixer for transport? If everything is well labelled, it shouldn't be too hard to set up the rig in no time at all.
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Old May 23rd, 2004, 12:21 PM   #9
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I know the sundo's well. There should be plenty of room for your cables to enter & exit the mixer. Some things to keep in mid:

1. Thinner cables bend easier than thicker cables. Thinner cables should used for interconnects that stay inside the bag (wireless to mixer, etc.)

2. Utilize the internal wire access holes between the compartments in the bag.

3. These cables are made to bend, as you say. A bend radius of say, 1.5 inches should be fine. But positioning a connector up against a barrier like the wall of the bag will put a lot of stress on the shield of the wire.

4. Some people use short XLR jumpers to extend the mixer inputs to just outside the bag (and label them).
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Old May 23rd, 2004, 01:23 PM   #10
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"4. Some people use short XLR jumpers to extend the mixer inputs to just outside the bag (and label them)."

Marty, do you have a link for these? Dunno what you mean by XLR jumpers.

Do you like the Sundo bags? I keep debating about exchanging it for the next size up, but I'm so darn short on time, and it's already huge to me, so an even bigger bag is not appealing.

Have spent the last two days (of prep time I couldn't aford to lose) seam sealing the tent I'll be living in (among the bears) for over six weeks. What a pain. Back to work...
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Old May 23rd, 2004, 02:51 PM   #11
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The jumpers I refer to are just 6" XLR male to XLR female cables. They simply make it more convenient to plug mics and such into the mixer because they hang just outside the bag. This way you don't have to push the mic's XLR connector all the way through the bag's opening to reach the mixer's inputs.

Yes, I like the Sundo's I like the way they can be arranged. I wouldn't get the bigger one unless you really need the room.

Sounds like you're in for an advernture. Have fun
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