6 Tips on How to Properly Care For Your Cables

Posted by: on Jun 12, 2017

As a photographer, you invest in the best tools available to help get the finest results.  As you may already know, for equipment to last and  work properly, special care is always needed.  There is nothing worse than setting up for a photo shoot and discovering a piece of equipment was damaged in transport or not working properly.

Your tethering cable is no different.  A quality tethering cable is an investment and proper care and storage will help you get the most life out of it.  Inside your USB, FireWire or Cat cable are sensitive wires and shielding designed for fast transmission speed and noise-reduction.  Although fairly durable, if folded, bent or pinched you could experience communication errors.

Here are 6 tips on how to properly care for your tethering cables.

Tip #1: Proper Coil

cu3017-tether-tools-tetherpro-usb-3-superspeed-active-extension-cable-16ft-orange-MAINThrowing cables in a bag or just bundling them up in a case is a big ‘no-no’ in the tethering world. When storing your tethering cable always try to lightly roll your cables into a loose coil going with the natural curve of the wire.  When not in use, try storing your tethering cable in a protective case where dust and impurities will not get lodged into the connector ends.

Tip #2: Store in case

cable-organization-case-black“How do you store your cables?” – this is one of those common questions we hear on a regular basis. The best answer we can give is to always store cables away in a Cable Case. Depending if you need a Large Cable Case (holding 3 or more cables) or a Standard Cable Case (holding 1-2 cables), find the right bag or case for your cables keeping them safe when packed away.

Tip #3: Don’t step on it

cable-comparison-tether-tools
Left: Regular tethering cable (black)
Right: Tether Tools TetherPro High-Visibility Orange Tethering Cable

Because cables are made of of tiny little fibers, any impact or stress that is put on a cable can cause the fibers inside to slowly breakdown. So this tip is plain and  simple – try to NOT step on the cable while in the studio. If there are people walking around in the studio where this is hard to avoid, try looking at using Gaffer Tape to secure the cable to the floor making it much more apparent so people avoid stepping on the cable.

Tip #4: Don’t roll over it

Same rules apply here. Again, the fibers in tethering cables will slowly breakdown if not properly cared for. As you can see in the photo above with the TetherPro High-Visibility Orange Tethering Cable, the padding around the cable is thick, but the insulation inside will help protect the cable fibers. As Tether Tools puts it:

We stand behind them and you now can see for yourself. Quality Matters. Insulation, Shielding, Braiding. It all matters. Period. – Tether Tools

Tip #5: JerkStopper it

This is a simple one – secure it with a JerkStopper.

For anyone who has ever damaged a port on a camera from ripping the tethering cable out or packed away cables improperly, the damage can add up into some big money. So one way to keep things from going south – add a JerkStopper.

There are a few options here to help keep cables safe.

The JerkStopper Camera Support removes the stress and strain from a cable or cord ensuring the plug stays in and protects it from damage.
1: The JerkStopper Camera Support removes the stress and strain from a cable or cord ensuring the plug stays in and protects it from damage.
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2: Anchoring the JerkStopper to any available USB Port on laptop, desktop or any device with a USB port, removes the stress and strain from a cable or cord ensuring the plug stays in and protects it from damage.
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3: JerkStopper ProTab™ Cable Ties are designed for durability and convenience. Keeping cables organized and well maintained increases a cable’s lifespan and saves time trying to locate or untangle mismanaged cords.
5. JerkStopper Extension Lock. Protects sensitive ends of cables and cords from damage and disconnection, and weather-proof for outdoor use.
4. JerkStopper Extension Lock. Protects sensitive ends of cables and cords from damage and disconnection, and weather-proof for outdoor use.

Tip #6: Give it some sun

Laying your cables out in the sun for an hour or two will relax your cable, allow it to be retrained and rolled smoothly.

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