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15. Attaching the cable loom

Choosing when to attach the cable loom to the pedalboard depends on where exactly all the different outputs are situated on your board, and if they’re still visible once all pedals are in place.

This guide is written with a pedalboard in mind that gives you easy access to all connectors even with the pedals in place, which is why we attach the loom at this point of the project.

A cable loom is like the finishing touch to a board, especially when attached last, which gives you the opportunity to disconnect the loom, or modify it, without having to touch any of the patch cabling.

Think where do you usually stand on stage? If you’re standing to the left (from the drummer’s viewpoint) it’s called Stage Left, and this means your cable loom should leave your board from its left side.

Board-facing end

  • Roll back enough of the cable sock at the board-facing end of the loom, so that you will be able to route the different cables neatly on the pedalboard frame.
  • Make a quick sketch of how the different cables will need to be spread across the frame to get to their connectors – either on top or beneath the board.
  • Connect all signal cables, along with possible cables for MIDI or channel switching. Use the same Safety Clips for attachment that you’ve used for the patch cables, to attach and secure the cables to the frame.
  • Once you’re satisfied all the cables are secured correctly, roll back the cable sock until it ends up a few centimetres inside the frame’s outer edge.

Heat-shrink tubing or electrician’s tape?

We don’t use heat-shrink tubing for our cable looms, because it makes later adjustments to the loom’s placement more difficult. We use a pro-grade, slightly vulcanizing black electrical tape manufactured by 3M. This tape is easy to roll onto the loom tightly, and it makes for a very neat look when trimmed with scissors. Additionally, this tape is extremely easy to peel off and reapply, should the need arise.

  • Tighten the cable sock’s end – the last few centimetres – around the loom’s cables using electrician’s tape.
  • A cable loom can build up a surprising amount of torque, which makes it very important to install it in such a way that keeps the flow of the loom natural.
  • Usually the clips’ own adhesive needs 24 hours to settle completely. In some instances the clips will need some additional help provided by a drop of superglue.
  • Cut off the cable ties right next to their locks, and make sure no sharp edges stick out.

Attaching the cable loom fixedly with the Safety Anchor set

  • When the cables in the loom are attached to the board in their own places, place the loom against the bottom of the pedalboard so that the pedalboard end of the cable sock goes under the board for about 5 cm.
  • Attach three Safety Anchors to the board side by side and slide the cable ties into them.
  • Tape up the end of the cable loom for the length of the bit that goes past the Anchors.
  • Attach the loom with the cable ties.

If the loom is thick, you can also attach the Safety Anchors by clipping two pieces of the black 3M Dual Lock tape of the length of the three Anchors and attaching the Anchors with it. Thus the Anchors are unlikely to ever come out by itself, because the glue in the 3M Dual Lock is much stronger than the one in the Safety Clips.

The glue takes time to gain its full adherence, so it might be a good idea to use for instance the cable ties that came with the pedalboard or a clamp or a vice of some kind to secure the attachment to the pedal board for the time the glue in the Safety Anchors or in the 3M Dual Lock dries. Usually 24 hours is enough for this. If you’re okay aesthetically with the extra cable ties you can always leave them in permanently.

Amp-facing end

    Next you should finish the cable loom’s amp-facing end. Roll back enough of the cable sock for your AC-cable to reach the floor, and for all other cables to get to their connectors without any strain or pull on any of the connectors.

    If possible, leave the sock slightly loose around the cables – it will make rolling up the loom much easier. Additionally, this will also add more protection to the cables inside the loom, as the sock’s own movement will help dissipate some of the pressure put on the loom.

    • Tighten the sock’s end around the cables in the same way as on the board-facing end.
    • Secure the loop with a cable tie.
    • Cut off the surplus cable tie right next to the tie’s lock. Don’t leave any sharp edges.

      We supply a second cable tie alongside our Safety Strap set, in case you don’t succeed during the first pass, or if you ever have to open the amp-facing side of your loop to allow for changes in your amp configuration, or the amp’s height.

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