Easiest, most accurate way to measure cable length? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-12-2009, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello:

Sorry for this silly question, but I searched for an answer on the forum and have not found it.

I'm about to place a large order with Blue Jeans cable, and need to purchase several interconnects, speaker wire, and sub interconnects.

What is the easiest, most accurate way to measure the required cable lengths? Do you try to measure with a tape measure (can be tougher when stringing along a rack or into cabinets), run a string along the route of the proposed cable and measure that, or just eyeball it?

This is obviously not a big deal with the speaker cables, as I'm terminating those myself, but the interconnects are premade, so I want to get them right and end up with a lot of excess or worse, come up short.

Thanks for your patience.
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-12-2009, 04:52 PM
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If you have a spare coax video cable, use that instead of a string. It's close enough to the bending properties of most of the audio cables.
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post #3 of 17 Old 02-12-2009, 05:53 PM
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I would measure liberally if I were you.

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post #4 of 17 Old 02-12-2009, 05:58 PM
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Yeah, better to have a bit more than you need than come up short. Extra foot or two (or even three if it's a long run) won't hurt.

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post #5 of 17 Old 02-12-2009, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

I would measure liberally if I were you.

Totally agree. You don't want to put any stress on the cable.
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post #6 of 17 Old 02-13-2009, 11:51 AM
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From a "Dagwood Bumstead" comedy radio show(I think) of about 60 years ago:
Always buy cables to short, not to long.
Because if it's to short you can always splice another piece on. But if it's to long what are you going to do?

Kevin
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post #7 of 17 Old 02-13-2009, 01:16 PM
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IMO, it's better to have too much than not enough.
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-13-2009, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

IMO, it's better to have too much than not enough.

It was a 1948 radio comedy show.

Kevin
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post #9 of 17 Old 02-15-2009, 12:39 AM
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Use string, factoring in generous bend radii. You can also add a couple of feet if it's a situation where a little longer doesn't matter.

I did the eyeball + 2 ft method for my HDMI cables and ended up with around 3 ft extra length.
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-02-2014, 11:22 PM
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I'm assuming you've already purchase your cable.

But I thought I would answer this question for future reference.

 

Through trial and error and research I have developed this method.

My last application of it was with $8,000.00 worth of cable in my last recording studio.

I built the studio from scratch, and it was a broadcast quality facility once it was completed.

 

The goal, as a rule is to have the shortest cable runs possible.

There are exceptions to that rule, but for the sake of argument, I'm using this rule as the basis.

From there, you take a tape measure and start measuring at exact right angles.

 

So for example, if you are going from an amp to a speaker,

you start at the output jack of the amp and measure from there to the wall behind the amp.

Then you measure from the point on the wall adjacent the output of the amp,

straight down to the floor.

Then from that point straight along the wall to the point on the wall adjacent and directly below the input for the speaker.

Then from the floor to the height of the speaker input.

Then from the wall to the speaker input.

 

Add all of these lengths together and that is your ideal cable length.

You will find the length has just the right amount of slack and lays nicely along its path.

 

Ian:cool:

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post #11 of 17 Old 04-04-2014, 01:04 PM
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Don't forget to allow extra in case you ever need to pull the component out the front.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #12 of 17 Old 04-04-2014, 02:31 PM
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Yes.

Absolutely.

Start with all moving components extended as far as they will go.

 

 

I:o

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post #13 of 17 Old 04-04-2014, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

IMO, it's better to have too much than not enough.
5 years later, it still works! Woo-hoo!!!
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post #14 of 17 Old 04-04-2014, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

I would measure liberally if I were you.
I would measure conservatively if it were me.
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post #15 of 17 Old 04-04-2014, 05:18 PM
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I would just let a 5 year old post go to sleep.
It's easier to make longer shorter than shorter longer.
(unless you have a good doctor)
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post #16 of 17 Old 04-04-2014, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

I would measure liberally if I were you.
I would measure conservatively if it were me.

Welcome to 2014

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post #17 of 17 Old 04-04-2014, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

I would just let a 5 year old post go to sleep.
It's easier to make longer shorter than shorter longer.
(unless you have a good doctor)

A very wise statement. I generally measure the point-to-point distance and double it, and then make detailed measurements as the cable runs and pick the longer estimate.

In general cable is very cheap and at the very least splicing is time consuming and may compromise realiability unless done well. OK, you end up with some scrap, the longer of which you might conectorize into jumpers.
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