PSA: If you're helping to tear down a field

There’s a life skill everyone should have. It’s a skill that will serve you well, making you the envy of your friends and colleagues.

Can you properly coil a cord? Or are you one of those who wrap it round your elbow leaving a knotted mess?

It’s really important this year because there are so many cords. Each airship has 4 rotor sensor cords, 4 rotor motor codes, 5 lighting controller cords, 2 auton rotor light cords, 3 Ethernet cables and 3 power cables. Each boiler has boiler power, 2 cables for fuel counter sensors a control cable for the sequencer and Ethernet.

These are in addition to the 70+ cables that are part of a base field.

It doesn’t take any longer or any more effort to coil and pack a cable right, but if you do it wrong, the person who has to untangle your unholy rats nest of cable will curse you. This field takes long enough to build without the addition of unneeded aggravation.

With that many cables, why don’t they pack a cable winder with the road kit? A long time ago I did theater work and had one. Two people could coil up 200 cables in under 2 hours. They ended up all the same diameter and were perfect for the next site.

Across a season they would pay for themselves, across a few years …

I had a teacher show me this way once, and I’m always surprised when other people don’t know about it or think the latter option is correct. Take care of your cables folks.

I’ll add that improperly winding a cord even just once can ruin it permanently to where it will never lay flat or wind properly again. This is a big deal folks. Every new member of Team 696 learns this in their first week on the team as part of our essential skills training.

How does this hold up for long stretches of cable? Seems like it’d be difficult to do for cables over 100 ft. Or are there any cables of that length on the field?

This is also not the only way of flaking a line, our ex-Navy mentor taught us a figure 8 flake instead of a circle, only difference is you fold the figure 8 in half. The figure 8 works really well for longer cables in my experience, especially for our long practice Ethernet tether.

I learned this while cleaning up after a regional a few years back. I wound up a cord I’d been using and handed it to one of the A/V guys. He said thanks, and then immediately threw it out across the floor and re-wound it.
I watched him carefully and picked up a helpful life skill. :smiley: