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He Shall Be Flogged With His Own Cable! - AvNetwork.com

He Shall Be Flogged With His Own Cable!

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If you’re like me, then you have a “Wall of Shame” at your install company – a wall that houses some of the nightmare work that you’ve pulled out of projects when you go in behind another “expert.”

Our Wall is back in our offices, and is literally a wall with cabling pinned to it. It’s something for the staff to look at and say, “Yep. That’s why people need us. Why we go out every day and do the hard things so other people don’t have to.”

Now, it would be all too easy to fill this wall with things like RG6 fittings that have been plier-crushed onto a wire with the sensitivity of a sadistic dentist or your-jacket-says-Cat5-but-your-termination-is-saying-Cat3. But those are far too pedestrian mistakes to earn a spot on the wall. To make the wall, one must be truly creatively heinous.

Our previous worst cable “winner” was pulled out of a job when we were called in to replace a client’s projector. What we initially thought was just “Wow! These other guys really took the low road and only connected this via composite video… what a bunch of chumps!” slowly evolved into “What the…?” and then quickly accelerated into an intense oil-field rage burn of, “I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS!”

Our previous worst cable winner is nothing compared to our most recent discovery.


The cable feeding the client’s projector was 16-gauge, four-conductor speaker wire. Because when I hear “video wiring” I know that I immediately think 16-gauge speaker wire! To complete the shame-fecta, they chopped the end off of a cheapie video cable and then twisted it onto the speaker wire and then, in the classiest-of-classys, electrical taped it together. They did have the CYA sense to electrical tape the entire length of the cable to shroud their mystery in a bit of black, plastic secrecy.

“Gee, Mr. Client. I have no idea why your new projector looks like total ass.”

So you’ve got to imagine that with that as the previous 100-year flood line high-water benchmark, any cable that was going to unseat the current reigning champion would have to be something truly spectacularly, horrifyingly awesome. Like something you would remove post-mortem after Jigsaw decided to create some audio/video Saw torture device puzzle.

This is that cable. I like to call it “Fail Hydra.”

Introducing, Fail Hydra


What you have is what could have been, nay what SHOULD have been the right way. It was a five-wire RGB+HV cable, except they must have figured that terminating the ends was just too… something. Because after they installed a single end on the red cable, they apparently said, “Eff it!” and just chopped the ends off a bunch of cheapie cables and then just crimped them together. Except, they didn’t even bother to use video cables, instead opting for analog audio cabling for three out of four crimps.

Looking at this cable all spread out on the floor, it made me think about an old Inquisition-era Cat o’ Nine Tails. Whoever did this deserves to be tied to an old CRT rear pro and flogged with it, and then forced to watch some old SD video of William Shatner doing beat poetry.

Have some cable horror stories to share? Even better, how about sharing some cable horror images?

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