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  #1721  
Old 13.11.2017, 19:13
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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I want to know why cable always look like this after a while even though I make a point in not twisting them?
Attachment 130632

Anybody?
Usually that comes from pulling on them (when it's that severe). It's worse with 2 wire cords than with 3.

There are 3 "bits" in a 2 wire cord: 2 insulated wires, then a sheath. When one of the wires starts to slip inside the sheath the whole cord starts to make a curve. If you then try and pull it straight, or bend the curve back you cause the longer wire to bunch up. As it has nowhere else to go with it's length it starts to spiral.

High quality cable doesn't do this because the insulations are all the same flexibility. Cheap cables have differing hardnesses of plastic, and often less strands.

One way to avoid it is to periodically roll the cables up into a 30cm coil, twisting 1/2 turn per loop, then roll it back out straight again. (But if it's cheap cable then this won't make much difference.

3 wire cable doesn't usually kink so bad because it's two against one when a wire wants to go somewhere. Better quality 3 core wire has a twist built into the sheath.

Generally, the harder the outer sheath, the more likely such twisting is.

If one of the wires is under tension where it enters the device/plug, and there is no strain relief inside the device, then that tension will push or pull one of the wires.
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  #1722  
Old 13.11.2017, 19:21
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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More than you ever wanted to know about such things here
Groovy, thanks. Who would have thought a bunch of grown men would do an university study - even inventing a computer-program in the process - about this

BUT: The last sentence ruined it for me: <<Smith advised what all sailors, cowboys, electricians, sewers and knitters know: to avoid tangles, keep a cord or string tied in a coil so it can't move.>> because that is what I do!! And it still ends up like in the picture
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  #1723  
Old 13.11.2017, 19:25
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Groovy, thanks. Who would have thought a bunch of grown men would do an university study - even inventing a computer-program in the process - about this

BUT: The last sentence ruined it for me: <<Smith advised what all sailors, cowboys, electricians, sewers and knitters know: to avoid tangles, keep a cord or string tied in a coil so it can't move.>> because that is what I do!! And it still ends up like in the picture
The mathematics of knots is an interesting discipline.

Rolling them up between elbow and thumb will always kink them. If you coil like a sailor, with a slight twist of the cord between each loop, then they won't kink as much.
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  #1724  
Old 13.11.2017, 19:34
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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The mathematics of knots is an interesting discipline.

Rolling them up between elbow and thumb will always kink them. If you coil like a sailor, with a slight twist of the cord between each loop, then they won't kink as much.
Okay, so now I gotta go find me a sailor (true, that would be a first . HA, never too old for a new experience) as there's gotta be something special about a sailor's slight twist to keep a cable straight .... my cable is definitely twisted.

Next thing I'll be told is to analyze which direction the cable intends to twist and then slightly twist it the other direction before it actually can?
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  #1725  
Old 13.11.2017, 19:38
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Next thing I'll be told is to analyze which direction the cable intends to twist and then slightly twist it the other direction before it actually can?
Other way. Twist in the direction of the natural twist of the rope/cord. You're making a long helix out of a ladder.
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  #1726  
Old 13.11.2017, 19:55
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Okay, so now I gotta go find me a sailor (true, that would be a first . HA, never too old for a new experience) as there's gotta be something special about a sailor's slight twist to keep a cable straight .... my cable is definitely twisted.
*waves*

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Next thing I'll be told is to analyze which direction the cable intends to twist and then slightly twist it the other direction before it actually can?
Yes, but all 'laid' ropes are traditionally twisted the same way, so if you take the coil in your left hand, then put the 'new' strand, facing away from you, and do a clockwise twist with your right-hand finger and thumb, (i.e. the thumb goes forward) it will automatically counter the rope's tendency to twist, a single revolution being the same as the twist you're imparting it as you coil.

Woven ropes, or indeed power cables or hosepipes, will work the same, but could be done in reverse if you so desired, although normal seamanship training would assume you always held in the left, coiled with the right, as described.

You can also measure the rope you're coiling at the same time, as well as guaranteeing an even coil, by extending the arms out full width on every turn, which will ensure the same length of rope each time. A standard arms-width is approximately equal to a fathom, which is six feet and used to be the normal measure for lengths of rope. These days you'd have to think of it as two metres, minus a 'bit', but for very approiximate measures it works well.
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  #1727  
Old 13.11.2017, 20:45
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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*waves*
Weeeell, after your next day-trip to London, could we do a sailor / crumpet thing in one go?

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Yes, but all 'laid' ropes are traditionally twisted the same way, so if you take the coil in your left hand, then put the 'new' strand, facing away from you, and do a clockwise twist with your right-hand finger and thumb, (i.e. the thumb goes forward) it will automatically counter the rope's tendency to twist, a single revolution being the same as the twist you're imparting it as you coil.

Woven ropes, or indeed power cables or hosepipes, will work the same, but could be done in reverse if you so desired, although normal seamanship training would assume you always held in the left, coiled with the right, as described.

You can also measure the rope you're coiling at the same time, as well as guaranteeing an even coil, by extending the arms out full width on every turn, which will ensure the same length of rope each time. A standard arms-width is approximately equal to a fathom, which is six feet and used to be the normal measure for lengths of rope. These days you'd have to think of it as two metres, minus a 'bit', but for very approiximate measures it works well.
Okay, thanks, I'm gonna study this sitting down with my cables. Being shown would be easier but I might figure it out.

The thing is; With a rope I can see which way it is twisted. With a cable I can't.
Unless I remove the coating and the shielding. The cable would be nice and straight after but no longer usable.
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  #1728  
Old 13.11.2017, 23:46
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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The thing is; With a rope I can see which way it is twisted. With a cable I can't.
Multi-strand power cables are not twisted when they're made, so the 'either way' rule applies. The individual wires in each strand are usually slightly twisted, I think, and in the same standard way as with ropes, so over time, and with frequent coiling, they can sometimes develop something of a twist, and cause the strands themselves to twist slightly in the opposite direction. But it's a minimal effect, and the whole is held in place externally, unlike a laid rope, so it's not really critical, and will only give problems if a cable is habitually could one way and you try to do it the other.

But why make it complicated? Learn to coil in the left hand, putting the twist on with the right as I describe above, and you will have no problems with wires, ropes or any other sort of coily thing.

Go spend some time on a sailing boat for best practice - lots of ropes of various types, cables for shore power and hosepipes for water will get you coiling away in no time.
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  #1729  
Old 13.11.2017, 23:56
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Being shown would be easier but I might figure it out.
Your wish is my demand Spent too much time musicians...

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  #1730  
Old 14.11.2017, 00:23
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Your wish is my demand Spent too much time musicians...

GREAT! Thanks!

Is that what Ace1 meant?

I've seen people do it like this and thought it was weird.
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  #1731  
Old 14.11.2017, 00:41
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Is that what Ace1 meant?
I don't know. I just know I've spent a decent amount of time helping mates load up their gear after a gig, and have always been told "DON'T TOUCH THE CABLES!!!" and this is why.
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  #1732  
Old 14.11.2017, 00:51
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GREAT! Thanks!

Is that what Ace1 meant?
Yes. With ropes you usually want much bigger coils, so my description, especially after you made the nautical allusion, was based on that, but is exactly the same technique. One twist per coil, retakes of the size.

Edit: NO (having now watched more than the first couple of seconds) . He's reversing the twist every other time, which is something I sometimes do with compressed air lines, whereas I was describing the technique you use for rope which does not give the final zero-twist release he shows there
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  #1733  
Old 14.11.2017, 01:07
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Yes. With ropes you usually want much bigger coils, so my description, especially after you made the nautical allusion, was based on that, but is exactly the same technique. One twist per coil, retakes of the size.

Edit: NO (having now watched more than the first couple of seconds) . He's reversing the twist every other time, which is something I sometimes do with compressed air lines, whereas I was describing the technique you use for rope which does not give the final zero-twist release he shows there
Jag did actually. As I know nothing about sailing except that I get very, very sick so I had a one and only sailing experience around Greece a long time ago.

But I just realized I could look for nautical coiling videos on youtube
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  #1734  
Old 29.12.2017, 14:32
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Do insects pee on windows?

I couldn't find an answer when googling. My windows - which were cleaned not long ago - look as if something were splashed on them.
Wasps, bees and dog knows what love to spend hours on them before I chase them out.
Apart from those insects nothing else could have caused those spots (and no it's not what flies leave behind )

So do they?

I think I'm gonna spray my windows with insect spray after cleaning them, this is annoying.
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  #1735  
Old 29.12.2017, 14:35
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Re: Ask a Scientist

I think it is no. 2. Or some mix.
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  #1736  
Old 29.12.2017, 17:09
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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I think it is no. 2. Or some mix.
Indeed, spiders are the worst culprit
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  #1737  
Old 29.12.2017, 17:26
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Indeed, spiders are the worst culprit
No spiders living on my windows though, just wasps, bees and even dragonflies (no kidding, they get very nervous though when they visit mit indoors) sometimes.
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  #1738  
Old 09.03.2018, 09:26
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Next question: how do plants "know" that it is Spring, and that it is time to germinate/bud etc? It's not simply a case of noticing the temperature warming up, as plants such as snowdrops appear even when there is a layer of snow...
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  #1739  
Old 09.03.2018, 09:46
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Next question: how do plants "know" that it is Spring, and that it is time to germinate/bud etc? It's not simply a case of noticing the temperature warming up, as plants such as snowdrops appear even when there is a layer of snow...
I would guess that in the upper hemispheres (i.e. places with distinct seasons) it's a matter of "degree days" and available moisture in most cases.

i.e. it's not that the snowdrops "notice" that it's reached 3.5 Deg C and all start to sprout, but rather that the area under the curve of the temperature/moisture plot reaches a point where the nutrients start to flow.

If you live near a hill adjacent to a forest you will notice over time that in some areas specific flowers will appear earlier than others. For bulbs, it's almost always the areas which are more shadowed which appear latest. Shadow means less UV on the one hand, but also less warmth. For plants which have no living part exposed to the UV (to produce chlorophyl) it must be the warmth/moisture that makes the difference.

Or perhaps they're all friends on FB and one of them starts a meme.
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  #1740  
Old 09.03.2018, 09:53
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Next question: how do plants "know" that it is Spring, and that it is time to germinate/bud etc? It's not simply a case of noticing the temperature warming up, as plants such as snowdrops appear even when there is a layer of snow...
Snow is a very good insulator so anything under a layer of snow is warmer than the typical winter temperatures outside. In Goose Bay, Labrador, Canada, the mean January air temperature is -16.4 degrees, but it’s only -2.1 degrees at soil level, under the snow.

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