9 Fine Cable Connection Tips

9 Fine Cable Connection Tips

Follow these general rules of thumb to get the best signal transmission and performance results from your cables.

1 - Safety first! Make sure your equipment is turned off before connecting any new cables.

2 - Because they can introduce interference into the signal, try to keep power cords a few inches away from signal cords.

3 - When cables meet, try to minimise contact between the two by crossing them at 90 degree angles where they do intersect.

4 - If an interconnect cable has arrows printed on its jacket, hook it up so that the arrow is pointing away from the signal source, and toward the destination. In these types of cables, the shield is grounded only on the end that connects to the audio or video source, so that interference will drain away from the destination end of the cable.

5 - Avoid kinking or bending cable to prevent signal loss.

6 - Don't try to stretch or make a short cable extend farther than it can reach - This can put stress on the connector and dielectric, and potentially cause damage. Buy a longer cable, if necessary. (This is especially important for optical interconnects.)

7 - Don't keep excess cable lying in loops. Arrange it in an "S" shape or a figure-eight instead; this can help minimise EMI (electromagnetic interference).

8 - Check your connections every year or so to make sure they're not loose. You'll also want to look for corrosion around metal plugs, especially if you're using a low-quality cable.

9 - Label your cables so that you know which cables go where in case you have to move your system. Colour-coded cables will keep your audio, video, speaker, and power cables clearly identified.