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advantages of cable lacing?

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by [email protected], Jan 8, 2005.

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  1. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    Lacing might contribute a little extra strength in the long
    ....after someone has cut them off with semi-flush dikes
    or other inappropriate tool.
  2. Ron

    Ron Guest

    Good to hear from someone with VERY similar experiences,. I started in SxS,
    and of course the new guys always start on the cable crew. Tough job, so I
    soon learned how to get involved in 're-grade' of SxS. This got me out of
    the cabling, and into a softer job. I never got into X-Bar, so had no
    experience with 'troughs'. etc. A lot of PBX jobs, then hired on with the
    telco in about 1960, went to COE Engineering in 1966, and retired from toll
    equipment engineering in 1984. My calloused hands are now back to normal. I
    still have a half-roll of #6 cord which I've saved and I hate to use because
    then I'll be out of it <G>.

    I'm now completely out of contact with those I worked with, so it is good to
    know that I'm not the only one still alive.

    Thanks for the walk down Memory Lane.

  3. cabledude

    cabledude Guest

    Agreed, also the insides of any IBM mainframe and perhiperial devices
    fom past and present.

    Laced and cable tied are common.
  4. gfulton

    gfulton Guest

    Unions had nothing to do with it. I remember a job a friend did at an
    overhaul base on a Navy S2, (Grumman aircraft, if I remember right).
    Had a government inspector walking around watching the work. My bud had
    just spent most of two days lacing a long wire run inside the fuselage.
    Beady eyed little inspector got his eyes about 3 inches from the lacing,
    then took a tiny pair of sidecutters out of his shirt pocket and started
    cutting every last lace. My bud yelled at him, "What the @#&( are you
    doing?" Inspector says, "Wrong knot". Any of you old gray haired, (like
    me), A&P's remember the specified knot? I can still tie it blindfolded. If
    a particular aircraft had the wire runs to be laced in the standard practice
    manual for that aircraft, then you, by damn, laced them. Did more than my
    share on a few DC-6's.

    Garrett Fulton
  5. Guest

    |>> No one has mentioned that cable mining is much safer and easier with laced cables and can be impossible with ty
    |>> wrapped cables.
    |>> --
    |>> 73
    |>> Hank WD5JFR
    |>What is cable mining?
    | New cables are laid into cable racks on top of old cables, and
    | the old ones that are no longer used are just cut off where they
    | enter the cable rack and left in place. Eventually, of course,
    | the cable rack fills up with old unused cable.
    | So every decade or so some poor smucks get the job of removing
    | all old cables. And that... is cable mining.
    | It isn't fun and it isn't exciting (but if you get the cable it
    | might be profitable though).
    | And if any of the cable was put in with tie-wraps, you also get
    | your hands shredded from the sharp edges where the tie wraps
    | were cut off. That is bad enough if a proper tool is used, and
    | *far* worse if some dingbat has used snips to cut them.

    I've had to do that under computer room raised floors. New computers come
    in before the old ones leave and cables get laid on top of existing cable.
    When the oldest ones eventually do get decommissioned, the cables are at
    the bottom and too hard to get out. Eventually they pile up. This was in
    the mainframe days when a computer _system_ involved a "CPU" the size of
    your living room, and a hundred washing machine size peripherals that
    would fill up a large house, all on hundreds of 2 foot by 2 foot squares
    sitting on a grid of poles and crossmembers. At one place I used to work
    we decommissioned an entire machine room which was being converted to
    office space. All the cables did have to be removed in that one, and
    there were some interesting things found deep down. Mainframe cables
    were quite large, BTW.
  6. ssparling

    ssparling Guest

    Is there any website, or even better pics of your lacing I can see this?
  7. jakdedert

    jakdedert Guest

    If you find these 'slicers' in cables which you must handle, you can usually
    blunt the sharp edges by heating each with a lighter...or maybe a soldering
    iron with an old tip. (Some high-quality cable ties resist melting.)

    I once had to deal with a 100' cable which was completely cable tied. After
    one time of coiling that monster, I went through the entire thing with a
    cigarette lighter... more sliced palms!

  8. Terry

    Terry Guest

    Yep he's young! Welcome to the 'young thinkers club'! :)
  9. Terry

    Terry Guest

    It didn't used to pay to be "the" female apprentice as
    females are supposed to have nimbler fingers, a greater
    attention to detail and more patience for doing mundane
    repetitive work. So, whereas the guys could get away with a
    half-assed job, I got to see the same loom time and time
    again... Or it could just be I missed out that bit of the


    Sounds rough. Although I do recall having to tear out all the lacing for a
    run of large guage black power cables because they 'should' (to meet
    specification) have been laced with red twine and were not! IIRC we used a
    waxed Irish lacing twine in at least two thicknesses, usually 'natural'
    unless red or black was specified by the customer. The customer in the above
    instance being the General Post Office, who at that time operated the United
    Kingdom telephone system.
    Until and even after approx 1953, each individual wire and the cable
    covering fabric; often silk and wool insulated; with the cable ends dipped
    in wax before individual wire stripping and terminating!
    Then plastic insulated wire was introduced. Cable forms (harnesses) were
    made and a girl sitting at a machine on a raised platform, that heated the
    ends of the wires, operated it to 'hot strip' each wire (or group of wires)!
    Respectable girl though she was she inevitably got nicknamed 'The hot
    I do also recall in those days plastic insulated wire/cable was far from
    perfect; there was a story about a large form (i.e. bundles of multiwire
    cables, laced together in layers on a cable runway), that had been installed
    near a warm air heating duct in a telephone switching centre. The many
    cables slightly melted and fused together in a big slightly sticky mass.
    Eventually wires migrated through the soft plastic and touched together.
    Cor; what a mess that must have been!
    Inevitably the stitching/lacing would then be immersed in the now fused to
    gether plastic! Layers of cables still laced to each other and on the bottom
    laced to the steel bars of the cable runway!
  10. Wayne R.

    Wayne R. Guest

    I do/have done a lot of both in telecom environments. Here's how I see

    Looks good - only if you know what you're doing.
    Keeps old farts happy
    Cord is cheap
    The few tools required are cheap & low tech
    Can look crappy after cable/hand 'abrasion'
    Lots of labor
    Learning curve can be long
    Consistency of appearance is difficult,across crews especially
    Can cut jackets/hands during installation
    Gooey mess from excess wax
    Cut ends on floor are sticky
    QC inspections can be irrational

    Looks good - especially if you know what you're doing
    Only a single tool (tensioner/cutter) needed
    Can be *very* strong
    Traditionalists don't like it
    Shouldn't do it without the right tool
    Wrong tension settings can damage jackets/guts
    Cut ends on floor are slippery

    Clearly, a single, appropriate tool with tywraps makes their only real
    problems go away (dykes & pliers are not the right tools for nylon
    ties). And while cord is cheap, its labor costs are very high. For me,
    there's no choice - tywraps make the most sense.
  11. cabletieguy

    cabletieguy Guest

    I cut the 'slicer' end flush with a standard finger nail clipper !
  12. Since I find tie wraps user-unfriendly for cable that I actually have
    to handle, but shrinking the whole thing together can be awkward, and
    make for a very stiff assembly, I'm pleased to be reminded of cable

    I've laced several cable assemblies together now, using dental floss,
    and that's accomplished exactly what I wanted.

    73, doug
  13. Guest

    You forgot a couple of biggies on the cons of TyWraps

    1. They are not compatable with any fuels or lubricants or hydraulic

    2. They do not survive well in enviroments that are high vibration or
    those that see very low temps or temps over 100F.

    3. They do not age well. They start getting brittle within a couple of
    years unless they are in a stable office type enviroment.

    4. They are totally incompatable with any small fiber F/O system. THey
    either crush the fiber on install or provide a nice sharp edge for the
    fiber to fracture against.

    5. Cost....My one roll of lacing cord will do the same amount of cable
    as several thousand TyWraps.

    6. Work areas....I can do my ties in locations that you couldn't begin
    to get a TyWrap gun into.

    7. Lacing cord is a one size does it all. With TyWraps you have to size
    them for the bundle size and tension that you need at each location.
    Craig C.
  14. Jim Carriere

    Jim Carriere Guest

    Not to be argumentative, I think these are all good points, but these
    first two are not completely true. Tiewraps work fine under the hood
    of a car. They can survive a small amount of oil, and the temp is
    often easily over 100F.

    Of course they don't last forever. As per your third point, they'll
    get brittle and fall apart eventually. You just replace them before
    that happens.
    <rest snipped>

    I think the two best tools you can use, to avoid making them too
    tight, are your fingers and your brain :)
  15. Morgans

    Morgans Guest

    Alas, someone with some common sense!

    Tie wraps not only will handle a small amount of oil, but will handle lots
    of oil and heat! DAMHIK! <g>

    In *some* places, you can't beat am occasional tie wrap. You just gotta
    have common sense!
  16. Matt Whiting

    Matt Whiting Guest

    Isn't dental floss a little "sharp" (small diameter) for lacing? I'd be
    afraid of it cutting into the wires over time.

  17. Matt Whiting

    Matt Whiting Guest

    I disagree with the above. I have used tiewraps in the engine
    compartment of several cars and trucks I own (one that is now 11 years
    old) and they have held up well to gas, oil, power steering fluid, etc.
    They have seen temps from -20F to probably over 180F and are aging well.

    Yes, good points.

    You don't have to use a gun, you can install them by hand, and for
    sensitive cables in tight areas that is preferred anyway. Much less
    chance of applying too much tension.

  18. Wayne R.

    Wayne R. Guest

    I know tywraps are available in lots of different materials. From
    plain nylon to UV-resistant to Teflon to stainless steel - and
    everything in between. You're right, you have to make a good choice,
    and have them when you need them. And a bad selection is expensive,

    I've only had polyester lacing cord in my hands, and have seen silk
    stuff for book binding. I can't begin to believe that one-flavor
    polyester cord is 'omnipotent' in the face of all the yuk and
    harshness the world offers. What other materials are there? And where
    can I get some?

    I sorta addressed cost in my original list: Cord is cheap, but the
    labor (time) costs can be way high. Tyes cost more (ok, can be a *lot*
    more), but go in fast & easy.

    And I'm sorry for that crack about the old farts, but you know what I
  19. daestrom

    daestrom Guest

    One other one we've run into. Some brands/types of 'Ty-Wrap' use a small
    metal clip in the blunt end to ratchet against the tong's rack. This little
    metal clip can/has come out and become an FOD hazard. Ever try finding a
    tiny 1/8 x 1/16 metal clip in a large FME (Foreign Material Exclusion) area?
    Not at all fun.

  20. s falke

    s falke Guest

    Has anyone mentioned not to chew on black-striped lacing cord? It is supposed
    to be rat-poison "enhanced."

    —s falke
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