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Old December 15th, 2003, 02:05 PM   #1
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Quick Question About Running Electrical Cords

I need to AC-power some equipment at an event
I'm covering. Normally, batteries get me by.
These cords will be run in an area where persons
attending the event will be walking on them.
What tape would you suggest I use to cover
the cords so that no one trips on them?
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Old December 15th, 2003, 02:50 PM   #2
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Dave,

Gaffers tape is commonly used for the purpose you described. It's by design, both tough and sticky BUT when removed, usually doesn't leave any adhesive behind.
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Old December 15th, 2003, 03:04 PM   #3
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Maybe about 2" wide?
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Old December 15th, 2003, 03:14 PM   #4
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I would use something wider or a single 2" over the cord with additonal runs of 2" on either side to help hold it down. They also make rubber/plastic cord hiders/protectors. They are available in most office supply stores. Basically a small speed bump that is split on the bottom so you can insert cords. If this is something you will be doing often, it's probably worth the cost.
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Old December 15th, 2003, 04:30 PM   #5
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I've done this many times and my method is SAFETY FIRST!

I use velco straps to bundle everything together, then I lay out a piece of gaffers tape on either side of the cords from appliance to outlet(s) then I go over the cords with a piece of gaffers on each side half covering the cords then over the center then another layer of tape the same way.
A lot of work, on my very bad knees (I use pads from the home improvement center) BUT I know the cords won't come up, and by using the grey tape its visible and sturdy. I also try not to bundle the cords in a bundle but more flat. I hope that makes sense. So far, knock on wood, no one has tripped but I also try to keep the runs as short as possible and if at all possible behind me.
Don
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Old December 15th, 2003, 05:34 PM   #6
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If it's just one cord I'm running how many layers of tape would you recommend? Still the 5 to 6 that you described?
And maybe like 3" wide tape?
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Old December 15th, 2003, 07:08 PM   #7
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Yeah, personally I'll use a lot of tape only because I know someone will try to trip or something dumb so for 1 cord I'll still use 3-5 pieces to cover. One over the top won't be enough but maybe the 3" with be OK with just 3 strips.
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Old December 15th, 2003, 09:42 PM   #8
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I use duct tape and the colour depends on what i can get free. I usually use a series of 6" strips accross the cordset to hold it in place and then one down the centre followed by one on each side.

I had some really nice 3 conductor flat rubber #12 stranded. About 200 ft was donated to the cause. I think I only have about 50 ft left. Everyone loves it.
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Old December 16th, 2003, 12:25 AM   #9
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I wish I had a dollar for every mile of cable I taped in my life. Rule one is to take the shortest distance from the device to the nearest wall in a symmetrical line. Now run enough cable to go all of the way to your destination following walls and avoiding doorways if possible. Use at least 3, 3Ē strips of tape on all cable that may be stepped on and more in high traffic areas. All cable tucked into the corner of the floor and wall can be stretched tight and just tacked down with small pieces at appropriate intervals. Do not run XLR or other audio cable next to your AC. Silver duct tape screams armature. Use gaff tape or black or brown duct tape.

The most important tip of all is taking the tape up. Stand on the cables and walk along them as you pull the tape up first. If you pull a cable up with tape still on it the tape will wrap around it and seal it in duct tape, you will hate trying to remove it.
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Old December 16th, 2003, 12:13 PM   #10
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There's an art and science to everything, I guess.
Even laying tape.
I'm about ready to buy. I see the tape comes in
either vinyl or cloth. Any preferences here from you all?
Is one significantly better?
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Old December 16th, 2003, 01:59 PM   #11
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Well for patching fake leather vinyl is fine but I prefer cloth for most other applications. Plus it comes in all the pretty colors, black,grey,brown...perfect for any wardrobe!
BTW, back in 1965 I had a car that I raced at the local drag strip and even then we used duct tape to hold it together, literally.
Grey cloth 2 inch wide duct tape, only it was and I think still is called 100 mile an hour tape because it would stick on anything upto about a hundred miles an hour.
Little bit of useless trivia ;-0
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Old December 16th, 2003, 08:18 PM   #12
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As you might imagine, we use massive quantities of gaffer's tape for a variety of purposes here at the opera. I won't weigh in on the advisability of taping down cables, but would just point out that you can buy it in a variety of widths and colors if you go to one of the larger theatrical supply houses. We routinely use 4" wide gaf tape to lay down both cables and our canvas groundcloths. Once you have a few rolls of the 4" stuff around you'll start to find all sorts of uses for it. Saves a lot of time as compared to multiple strips of 2" tape and gives much neater results.

One of our favorite suppliers for this sort of stuff is Production Advantage. 4" wide black gaffer's tape lists for $22.05/roll and 3" lists for $15.25 - see http://www.productionadvantageonline...GAFFER%20TAPES. There are also quantity discounts.
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Old December 17th, 2003, 05:30 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Don Bloom : Well for patching fake leather vinyl is fine but I prefer cloth for most other applications. Plus it comes in all the pretty colors, black,grey,brown...perfect for any wardrobe!
BTW, back in 1965 I had a car that I raced at the local drag strip and even then we used duct tape to hold it together, literally.
Grey cloth 2 inch wide duct tape, only it was and I think still is called 100 mile an hour tape because it would stick on anything upto about a hundred miles an hour.
Little bit of useless trivia ;-0
Don -->>>

"100 MPH tape" Wow, thatís a blast from the past, having drag raced myself for a dozen years in that era. I must be an Ďamateurí because I have been taping down cords with the 'silver' duct tape for 15 years. One strip right, one left and one centered, I have done 3 day events with thousands of people walking over the cords and have only had to reinforce the tape on 2 occasions. I take a rag to clean the dust off the floor as I tape down to make sure it sticks well to the surface and as mentioned be certain to pull the tape up while standing on the cord or you will be throwing the cord away. I buy good quality silver duct tape a case at a time for under 2 bucks a roll as compared to $15 to $20 a roll for gaffers tape
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Old December 17th, 2003, 06:44 PM   #14
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For $15 a roll, colour cordination flies right out the window. Besides i get Grey, green and Black free. I have a roll of 6" hidden away.
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Old December 17th, 2003, 07:20 PM   #15
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Yeah, I use mostly grey but happened to get my hands on some black and brown. Frankly I don't really care about the color just so long as it sticks, which I know the grey does really well because last spring I did a seminar type job, tripod, focus on the podium, follow speaker no biggie right!? Well it was an all day job so I ran AC power to the camera and had to run an extention cord about 25 feet over a tile floor. You know the kind, lunch room look tiles. At the end of the day about 10 hours later I started to pull the tape up and I was talking to someone without really paying attention, I mean come on, I'm pulling up tape in an almost empty room. Yes, of course, I pulled up 3 floor tiles before I even noticed it. They were stuck right to the cord just like I had tape it down except the tiles were 2 feet off the floor. OOOOPS!
I quickly set the cord and tiles down, peeled them off the tape and set them back into place. I packed up and got out of there quick and quiet.
100 mile an hour tape sticks where you put it-and sticks and sticks and sticks!
Don
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