Cable Nightmare Stories From Gizmodo Readers

Our competition to win one of four Belkin ScreenCast AV4s attracted a lot of entries, and many, many tales of cabling woe. But which entries were the best? Read on to find out if you're a lucky winner!

Top image: Flickr user meddygarnet, Creative Commons.

I've got to admit, judging this competition was hard work. Partly due to the number of entries, partly due to the scale of disasters that many of you have undergone, and partly due to the nearly-involuntary schadenfreude-style laughter that some entries created around the office. But winners must be found, and the best (or given the context of the competition, was it worst?) entries were:

Big Windows, who learned an important lesson about cabling, rats and barbecues

Where I live there has been a bit of a rat plague over the last 12 months. I was having the skirting board replaced behind the TV as it was old and had literally been chewed thru… The tradie I asked me to pull all of the old stuff off because he was coming early the next day and it would save him time and us money. Moved the TV cabinet out from the wall and pulled off the skirting and left it that way for the morning. At about 3 in the morning the fire alarm woke us up and I went out to have a look and there was the start of a fire just behind the AV unit in the cabling… Grabbed the fire blanket and put it out… After putting it out looked at the mess and found that most of the cables had been pulled into the wall under the plaster (the last one being one of the power cables) and fried us a rat(and some cables). Lost all but one of the cables and fried an old PVR that had cost us a reasonable amount of money when we first bought it. Worst of all our insurance only covered part of the replacement cost because I had contributed to the fire by removing the skirting… Damn…

Shane, who combined literary prose with cabling woes

I recently went to wire in a new set of HDMI and speaker cables to the home theatre amp, had a quick check behind the cabinet and “OH SWEET MERCIFUL LORD, which demon spawn has done the unspeakable to my holiest of holy cables???”.

Infuriated, I grabbed my portal gun (Reads: Staple Gun) and transported myself to battle the demon spawn spaghetti monster whom was entagling our fine shared living quarters.

A few hours later and with ONLY SIX staples in my leg, the cables were now untaggled, and the spaghetti monster dis-assembled in a cardboard box, defeated again by some over and under tied blows. Grudgingly I cleaned the pasta sauce from my battle-wounds, and then used my portal gun to create a crisp new homebrew cable management system.

Hmmm.. Now, I need to add the PS3. Where did I put that staple remover again? HELP ME GIZMODO!

matto, who provided photographic proof of his cabling problems. As well as a fan.

Image 1 Image 2 Image 3

Yes that is a fan in there. Usually have a cut box to ‘direct’ airflow to the PS3 because of overheating issues. Also having to replace a TV now. Last week the Panasonic suffered the ‘Flashing Red Light of Death’, so looking forward to adapting the existing setup to a new TV…

And finally Kris, who underwent what can only be described as a hair-raising cabling adventure.

A couple of years ago, I moved into an apartment, I didn’t have a TV at the time, so I was using a 27″ computer monitor and a box I had setup with XBMC. I had a cabinet that I’d put the monitor on, and I put the computer inside the cabinet so it was out of sight.. I drilled a hole with a holesaw in the back of the cabinet so I could run the cable through it to the monitor One day I ordered my new 40″ samsung tv and wanted to set it up I crawled under the cabinet and started unscrewing all the screws from the PC. I went to unscrew the monitor (vga) cord from the pc and the screw connecting to the video card started to spin, I tried in vain to unscrew it with no luck. I wen’t to get my pliers from my toolbox to hold the video card screw and realised my hair had got trapped in one side of the PC. Now I was stuck.. I couldn’t pull the pc out as the video cable was still screwed into the pc and the other side of the video cable was screwed into the monitor out of reach. The cable went through a hole in the back of the cabinet so I couldn’t pull either the pc or the monitor through it. I also didn’t have a screwdriver near me to undo the pc lid so I could release the chunk of hair attached. My girlfriend wasn’t going to be home for another hour yet, so I had a real problem. I feverously tried to pull my hair loose with the one arm that could reach around with no luck and it was hurting more and more (This was a fair chunk of hair, not a few strands) I ended up having to punch the back of the cabinet out (held in with about 50 staples) and crawl through the cabinet WITH the pc still stuck to my hair. With the back of the cabinet broken off, but being free enough, I could undo the vga cable from the monitor, pull the cord through and carry the pc (still stuck to my hair) over to get the screwdriver and finally undid it all.

Congratulations to all the winners — we'll be in touch shortly to organise delivery.

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