You are here

Proper Maintenance of wires

Customising, building or repairing your own gear? Need help with acoustic treatment or soundproofing? Ask away…

Proper Maintenance of wires

Postby Arondite » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:00 pm

Hey, I need advice on how to properly keep and store my audio equipment. It extends from wires to mixers and speakers, but mainly wires. My wire-heads get quite dirty after just few months of using it, with rust and the like forming. Sometimes, on my 1/4 inch TS heads, I also get dents on them. I can't stop the damage my wires take during gigs, as more often than not, I am not the one doing the gigs. However, I think that the rust forms during the time I leave it inside the storeroom, as the new wires that have yet to be used are already getting quite a little bit of rust etc. So, is there any advice on how to keep them so that it will reduce the damage on the wires? I can't exactly build a whole new room just to keep my wires, so rather than how the room is made, I'd very much rather advice on how to clean the wires (if there is a need), or warnings about dangers so I can avoid them.
I am currently keeping them in a room without air-conditioning, and the fans are only on when there are people inside. The room is supposedly airtight, but its been going on for 6 years without maintenance, so I cannot vouch for its air-tightness. I have freight cases available, but in small quantity, so I usually use them to store mics rather than wires. The majority of my wires are placed in transparent boxes that AREN'T closed. Should I close them?
Thanks.
Arondite
Regular
Posts: 87
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:00 pm

Re: Proper Maintenance of wires

Postby James Perrett » Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:42 pm

It is very worrying if you are getting rust on your connectors as they're normally plated with something that doesn't corrode very easily. I would strongly suggest that you store your gear somewhere else as your storage room must be extremely damp for the connectors to corrode. If you can't store them anywhere else then you need to invest in sealed cases like those made by Pelicase or Zarges. Put your gear into the cases in a dry atmosphere (not your storage room) and put a large sachet of dry dessicant in there too. Close the case and don't ever open it in your storage room.

James.
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 5816
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 11:00 pm
Location: The wilds of Hampshire

JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.co.uk


Re: Proper Maintenance of wires

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:22 pm

All good advice from James there - you could also try putting bags of silica gel (hygroscopic crystals) in with your cables to absorb the moisture.

www.amazon.co.uk/10-Gram-Silica-Gel-Sachets/dp/B002BJ4X1U

Image

If it's really damp in your store room perhaps a dehumidifier would help, although that would cost money to run.


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 9701
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Steampunk & Synth News | Mad Scientist Mode


Re: Proper Maintenance of wires

Postby MarkOne » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:34 pm

I don't know where in the world you are based, but I've got Jack-Jack instrument leads, speaker cables, mains leads and goodness knows whet else unceremoniously dumped in a cardboard box in a draughty garage. Some of these must be getting on for 35 years old and none of them are rusty!

All the current cables which are not in use at the moment in the studio are in several plastic crates under my desk. I coil them and have a velcro tie on each. and just lay them in the box.

Smaller leads like short midi or USB I coil up and put in plastic sandwich bags which stops them spontaneously unwinding and wrapping themselves into an enormous birds-nest

But can't say I've ever found a rusty plug or socket
MarkOne
Frequent Poster
Posts: 971
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:00 am
Location: Bristol, England, Earth, Peruses Gap, Milky Way

Re: Proper Maintenance of wires

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:58 pm

Yep, some of my jack to jack leads must be over 30 years old and still going strong, albeit with perhaps the occasional bit of nickel plating worn through.

That's what makes James and I think that this storage facility must be incredibly damp

Hence the more extreme suggestions


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 9701
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Steampunk & Synth News | Mad Scientist Mode


Re: Proper Maintenance of wires

Postby Richie Royale » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:04 pm

You don't live by the seaside do you? Salt is quite corrosive to metal.
User avatar
Richie Royale
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4429
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: Bristol, England.

Re: Proper Maintenance of wires

Postby tex » Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:08 pm

Richie Royale wrote:You don't live by the seaside do you? Salt is quite corrosive to metal.

Or store them in a salt cellar?
tex
Regular
Posts: 361
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 11:00 pm

Success is round the corner. It's also round the bend.


Re: Proper Maintenance of wires

Postby Arondite » Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:48 pm

Technically, my storeroom gets what I call a second-hand air-con. Basically, the storeroom is an extension of a room used for studying purposes. So, when they turn on the air con there, what happens is that the air also goes into the store via the pipe. The cool air is supposed to help to reduce the wearing out of the equipment, by lowering the humidity(I think). But, its been leaking water out of the pipe recently, so could that be the problem? I am getting a couple of new wires next week, so I think I might store them with the stuff you guys suggested, to see if it works. Gonna take some time to test the results, though. Would it be better if I had a lid to cover up my wires?
Arondite
Regular
Posts: 87
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:00 pm

Re: Proper Maintenance of wires

Postby James Perrett » Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:48 pm

Arondite wrote:Would it be better if I had a lid to cover up my wires?

Like I said before, you need a sealed Zarges box or a Pelicase which has been sealed up somewhere dry. I'm not sure if you realise how serious a problem you have at the moment but simply covering your cables won't be enough - they need to be in a fully sealed box with dessicant (like dry silica gel) if you're going to store them in that room.

James.
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 5816
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 11:00 pm
Location: The wilds of Hampshire

JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.co.uk


Re: Proper Maintenance of wires

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:39 am

O/P is in Singapore
User avatar
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4264
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Cirencester, UK

 


Re: Proper Maintenance of wires

Postby SecretSam » Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:56 pm

I keep cables in the sort of flip-files that my kids use for school projects. I live within ten mins walk of the sea, and they haven't corroded yet :-)

Cables have a shape memory: always coil them in their natural curvature, so they lie flat.

Result: many decades of use and no crackles.
SecretSam
Frequent Poster
Posts: 815
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Officially, I do not exist.

Instant gratification is actually pretty good. It's fast as well.



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests