Locking RCA Extensions Together

Introduction: Locking RCA Extensions Together

About: I have always been tech support for just about everyone. I am an Autodidact. There is nothing I can't teach myself. I was a Auto Tech for more than 20 years. I was ASE Master certified. I was in the top 10 d...

I came up with this trick when I had to make use of RCA extensions to run my 8.1 surround sound in my office. I will not get into if you should or should not run extensions on a system because of signal degradation. All I know is that it works fine in my office.

Step 1: Connect Your Cables

Twist the cables like so and then pull them down tight like in the photo.

Step 2: Lock With a Zip Tie

Now I lock the whole thing with a zip tie right in the middle and nip off the extra tie. Finish this by trimming off the tiny amount of tie left sticking out of the lock with an Exacto knife. If you are intending to pull this through any spot put electrical tape on the leading end so it slips through the openings. I have only used this in false ceilings, but I can attest that this is a very durable connection. Unless you really abuse it it will remain connected.

Naturally this does not work on cables with spring style stress reliefs.

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    3 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    When I worked as an Audio Maintenance Tech (I fixed stuff in recording studios), we used what we called "the 4 zip" to do this. Put a zip tie around each cable but don't tighten all the way, connect the connectors, then run the last 2 zip ties through the zips around the cables. Tighten the zips around the cables so they can't slip past the connectors. Then tighten one of the zips between the 2 cable-mounted zips so that the connectors stay in place. Try to position the last zip so that it is on the opposite side of the first zip keeping the cables together. Make the zips just tight enough to keep everything together, but make sure the cables don't deflect from a straight line coming out of the connectors. Zip ties are cheap; cables are not.

    Bending a cable back on itself by 180° can break the thin wires that make up the strand in the cable. But this generally happens if the wires are repeatedly moved or disconnected and reconnected. Using the 1 zip method works fine if the cables won't be moved and the cables are new.

    And just to share, unbalanced wires (like RCS cables) act like antennas when they get long enough. RF interference starts to become noticeable around 15ft to 20ft, depending on your RF environment. Longer lengths make it much worse.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Absolutely right on all counts. The only reason I did mine this way is that I am well below grade so RF interference is pretty minimal. I try to make sure my cables are no longer than absolutely necessary. What you described for your union is what I use on spring stress reliefed cables. As you can see I am using the cheese grade cables here (because I am a cheapskate), which makes your comment about possibly breaking the cable even more pertinent. Right now all my cables are run through the ceiling, under desk, etc with anchors so movement is not an issue at this time. I would never use this union trick in a mobile environment. Like you said, it just would not survive.