Lexco Cable is Proud to Announce the Winners of Our Photo Contest

Posted by David Karbin | Tue, Feb 24, 2015 @ 09:54 AM | 0 Comments

In November, Lexco Cable held a contest for best photo featuring a Lexco product in the picture.

The rules were quite simple. Each entry had to feature a project integrating any product from Lexco Cable, whether it was a cable assembly with aircraft cable or wire rope hardware and snap hooks.

The goal was to connect with current and past Lexco Cable customers and see how they are using Lexco products in their applications. This call to submit entries went out in the fall and at the end of the year we started reviewing to determine which photographs were the most attractive, fun, and the best examples of Lexco Cable products in action.

There was a large range of photos submitted to the contest. Many of the photos were of very high quality and clearly showed the Lexco Cable product in action.

The applications ranged from marine to canopy support, to mechanical linkage, to architectural.

It was exciting to see how all of these products and projects integrated Lexco’s products with such beautiful photographs.

The Winners

Now, we are pleased to announce the winners of Lexco’s photo contest.

Our first winning photo comes from Blue Water Furnishings with this beautiful architectural cable railing shot:  

Cable Railing from Blue Water

Blue Water Furnishings ( is based in Phoenix, Ariz. They have been a Lexco customer since 2010.

Blue Water Furnishings makes architectural features for homes and businesses in the serene southwest. Lexco is privileged each time we have the pleasure to supply cables to Blue Water Furnishings. The clean lines of stainless cable rails against the backdrop of the desert and beautiful infinity pool (looks like Blue Water lives up to its name!) always make for a visually stunning contrast.

Our second winning photo comes from Jed Smith Construction’s fantastic work, which can be seen in the below architectural railing shot:

Jed Smith Construction cable photo

Jed Smith Construction ( is based in Aquinnah, Mass. Aquinnah is surrounded by the Vineyard Sound and the Nantucket Sound in Dukes County on the U.S. eastern seaboard.

Cable railings built by Jed Smith Construction compliment the architectural style and views of homes built on the Atlantic.

And finally, our third photo winner features cables installed on a speedboat named the "Barefoot Sanger."

Barefoot Sangover

The water skiing boat belongs to Dave Steffes of Saint Paul, Minn. Dave used plastic-coated stainless steel aircraft cable to support an extended height tow pylon for barefoot water skiing. According to Dave, "it's been used several summers now and is still rock solid."

The photo winners will now receive a free digital caliper, a very useful tool for measuring dimensions in applications needing wire rope products.

Winners of the contest also have the option of having their project featured on Lexco Cable’s profile on Houzz, the online architecture, interior design, landscaping, and home improvement network.

Congratulations to our winners! And thank you to everyone who participated. Feel free to continue sending us photos of your wire rope projects.

Submit Your Photo


New Cable Replacement Guides from Lexco

Posted by David Karbin | Wed, May 21, 2014 @ 12:33 PM | 0 Comments

At Lexco, we firmly believe that a little bit of knowledge can go a long way. That is why we are excited about the release of our latest set of guides to various industrial cable replacements. 

When you are on the worksite, the last thing you want to worry about is a faulty or low-quality cable. Not only can it put you behind schedule, it also can be a major safety issue. For decades, leaders in a wide variety of industries have relied on Lexco for their custom cable assemblies.


Through the years, we have received many questions about the correct replacement cable for very specific applications. It is for this reason that we are offering our latest set of cable replacement guides.

Guide to Excavator Cable Replacement

Excavators are a critical piece of equipment on any construction site. Our guide breaks down the different cables you many need to replace and the Lexco products that fit the bill perfectly.

Guide to Oil Pump Jack Cable Replacement

This guide identifies common cables used on oil pump jacks and the Lexco replacement products.

Guide to Log Skidder Cable Replacement

Like all of our guides, this one points out the most common cables used on a log skidder. It also charts the five different types of cables Lexco offers for replacement.

Guide to Tow Truck Cable Replacement

No one wants to worry about their tow truck due to a faulty cable. This guide identifies the most common cables and also offers a reference guide to replacement cables from Lexco.

Guide to Garden Tractor Cable Replacement

This guide provides a good overview of the most common cables and Lexco replacements for your garden tractor.

Guide to Work Boat Cable Replacement

Work boats have a number of different vital systems that must work at all times. This guide points out the cables used and the replacements offered by Lexco.

Guide to Generator Cable Replacement

A failed generator can mean slowed production or worse. This guide will point out the key cables and replacements from Lexco.

Guide to Cabover Engine Truck Cable Replacement

Lexco identifies the critical cables and their replacements for cabover engine trucks. Failures in these cables can cost you money and time.

To get or learn more about these critical guide, please visit our website or contact Lexco today.




Making Music with Wire Rope ( customer spotlight)

Posted by David Karbin | Fri, Mar 28, 2014 @ 12:28 PM | 0 Comments

predator drum resized 600Wire rope assemblies are a staple in construction, manufacturing, and other applications across a range of industries, and our company has been designing and fabricating cables and ropes since 1978. There is one function they serve that many people do not expect: mechanical cables help make music.

The Evolution of the Hi-Hat

The hi-hat produces one of the most recognizable sounds in modern music. It consists of two cymbals that are mounted on a stand on top of one another, with a pedal that is used to clash and hold the cymbals together.

A remotely controlled hi-hat employs a cable to allow for more flexibility in assembly. The hi-hat can be placed in a convenient position and is controlled by a foot pedal connected to the cymbals by the cable. This configuration allows the hi-hat to be played in different configurations, limited only by the length of the cable attached to it.

Innovative New Design

Partnering with a cutting edge percussion manufacturer, Trick Drums, Lexco Cable provided the cable for the Predator Remote Hi-Hat. Lexco’s high quality cable is part of a push direct drive system (instead of pull, like many other models) that closes the cymbals whenever the pedal is pressed.

Instead of a vertical cable design, the Predator’s cable comes from the pedal horizontally. This allows for rotation at different angles to avoid the kinks and bends that dampen the feel of the pedal. The unique design of the Predator lets drummers place hi-hats in convenient and comfortable positions without sacrificing feel or performance.

This hi-hat was designed with extensive cable adjustment capabilities. In addition to being aligned for the most direct route to the cymbals, it has a wide range tension adjustment feature that allows drummers to accommodate hi-hats of many different weights. This tension adjustment covers 18 steps, letting the drummer precisely tailor the feel. The Predator is machined to very tight tolerances, and comes with 3’ or 7’ cable lengths for maximum flexibility in setting up the drum kit.

The design of the Predator also features a footboard that doesn’t use legs or feet. This leaves valuable space when setting up a kit, and means that the pedal doesn’t get in the way of any other pedals in the drum configuration. The baseplate is large and features industrial strength hook and loop material at four points behind the plate for added stability.

Finally, the Predator looks every bit as good as it sounds. The cable travels through a low-friction conduit for maximum protection and aesthetic appeal. When combined with the brushed metal look of the whole apparatus, the ensemble has a sleek, modern look that matches its innovative design.

A History of Innovation and Quality

blue conduit resized 600

Whether manufacturing cable for specialized projects or working with more traditional applications, Lexco Cable sets a high standard for quality and on-time delivery. Lexco Cable is an ISO 9001:2008 certified factory and warehouse located in Norridge, Illinois (minutes from O’Hare Airport, Chicago). To learn more about how we helped to create the best remote percussion instruments or how we can help with your project, contact us today.


Wire Rope Assembly Testing Ensures Quality

Posted by David Karbin | Thu, Feb 06, 2014 @ 10:00 AM | 0 Comments

DSC 0559 (1)To ensure the quality and strength of your cable assembly or prototype, Lexco Cable offers pull-testing and proof-loading services. These tests supplement engineering calculations and material certifications to establish the strength of our products. The most commonly tested cables are fall protection cables, military cable assemblies, and any critical load bearing cables.

Fall protection cables are used to arrest a person’s fall. In compliance with the Department of Labor and OSHA, all professionals who work at a height must be protected from fall injury. Such professionals include construction workers and airline crew. For the health and safety of these workers, it’s essential that the quality of any fall protection cable be verified before use.

DSC 0613 (1)Cable assemblies in the military are among the most extensive, so it comes as no surprise that they require pull-testing and proof-loading. The military requires cable assemblies for a variety of applications, including missile launch systems and airfield lighting systems. As with any product made for the military, these cables must be tested and proven before they are distributed.

Proof-loading and pull-testing can be performed to meet the requirements of MIL-DTL-5688. That means that the breaking strength of terminals or wire strands must be 60-percent of the terminal Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS), 60 percent of the wire rope MBS, or 60 percent of the wire rope assembly MBS, based on a gradual linear pull.

In general, all load bearing cables, be it a hoist or tow cable, should be tested before the design is implemented in the field.  Lexco Cable is happy to perform pull-testing and proof-loading in-house for loads up to 50,000 pounds.  Our calibration procedures adhere to ISO/IEC Guide 25, ISO 9002, ISO 10012-1, and ANSI/NCSL Z540-1. In addition, all of our calibration equipment is directly traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. 

Fall Protection

Consult a Cable Expert



How Steel Cable Supports the Super Bowl SkyCam

Posted by David Karbin | Wed, Jan 15, 2014 @ 08:07 AM | 0 Comments

When you’re watching a football game, you’re not supposed to notice the cameras. But with the Super Bowl approaching, and the world's attention on the biggest game in American sports, let's look at how the game is captured. It's all run by an ingenious system rigged with the same super-reliable steel cable that we provide everyday to our customers.

Skycam1The Skycam system traces its origins to a filmmaker named Garrett Brown, who was also one of the inventors of the handheld Steadicam. Back in the Eighties, he came up with the notion of mounting a Steadicam-type camera to a remote-controlled, aerial rigging arrangement that would enable cinematographers to capture even more startling moving shots for the movies (for which he would eventually be honored with an Oscar Award).

By 1984, Brown’s system was adapted for TV coverage of NFL football games, where it soon became a standard part of the broadcast. Today, nearly all big sporting events, and even political conventions, employ some type of Skycam (or the competing Cablecam) system to provide live coverage of the action close up.

Officially, the owners of the Skycam system (Skycam LLC of Fort Worth, Tex.) describe it as a “remote controlled, computer assisted, cable suspended mobile platform for the conveyance of equipment such as a camera.” Unofficially, though, the term “skycam” has become something of a generic description of any cable-controlled camera system (as the original patents have expired). For example, Fox Sports (which will be airing the Super Bowl) uses a system called the DLP Ultimate Picture Cam.

The intricate Skycam system at football games consists of:

  • A mobile spar made up of a gyroscopically balanced control unit with gimbals and stabilization sensors, a power distribution module, electronics for radio and fiber-optic signaling, and a high-definition video camera with pan and tilt functionality mounted in a yoke. 

  • Hardware and software controls linked by a fiber-optic cable link from the camera to a customized computer workstation where operators pilot the spar and manipulate the camera to focus on particular images using joysticks.

  • And an arrangement of four steel cable reels anchored at high fixed points at corners of the stadium, affixed to the gimbals, equipped with a 3.4-kW electric servo motor and disc brakes using winches and pulleys to ride along a path above the field.

Using joysticks, the pilot operator has the ability to move the spar at speeds of up to 25 mph to follow the action while the camera operator can simultaneously tilt, pan, and focus the gyro-stabilized camera to zoom in on every angle. Here’s a video clip of how the system works.

So, while you’re enjoying the big game on Sunday, take a quick timeout to consider the humble role that those steel cables supporting the Skycam are playing. And think of us whenever you have a question about steel cable for your next project when you get back to work on Monday. 

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The Transformation of Lexco: From Hardware to Cable Assemblies

Posted by David Karbin | Fri, May 24, 2013 @ 09:53 AM | 0 Comments

The world is a constantly changing place with new inventions and unique innovations happening all the time.  As the digital pace quickens, Lexco is taking its first steps into the digital world with the introduction of our blog.  We view this digital conversation with our customers and business partners as an extension of our off-line dialogue.  We hope to use this venue to post company stories, interesting industry news, creative ideas, and new product innovations in order to engage those people and companies that are at the core of Lexco’s day-to-day business operations.

Harold KarbinAt this beginning of our digital transformation, we’d like to reflect back to the very beginning of Lexco and share our story then, our story now, and where our story will be headed in the future.  We hope that this will give you a sense of our strong family-based foundation that includes a focus on innovation, hard-work, ingenuity, and quality.

We first opened our doors in the 1950s as a hardware store and a Schwinn bicycle franchise on Chicago’s West Side.  Our family occupied the entire building that was once the Lexington Theatre located at 717 South Pulaski.  There were five brothers working together in the same building.  In the back, three of the brothers manufactured truck seat cushions and in the front was the hardware and bike shop operated by the other two brothers.

Lexco Original Building resized 600The business grew and flourished and in the 1960s, we moved the hardware and bicycle operations to the North Side of the city.  This location gave us better access to our customers in order to serve their needs.  At this point, the focus shifted to the bicycle business.  As it began to grow, our customers needed additional accessories for their bikes.  In the 1970s, a bicycle dealer asked if we would be able to make a cable and lock for bike security.  With an example in hand, the family used its expertise in manufacturing and began to fabricate security cables for the bike market.  Starting with cable that was already coated, we purchased a cutting machine and a hydraulic press to make our first security cables.

Lexco Catalog 1982The success of the new cables for bikes quickly moved to the creation of security cables for other applications.  As the company moved into the next few decades, the cable manufacturing business began to expand as the market demanded cables for other uses.  As we moved from retail into the wholesale fabrication business, we purchased a pressurized extrusion machine and began to coil cable as well.  These new manufacturing ventures continued to maintain Lexco’s continual focus on quality, innovative products, and superior service.

In the early 2000’s, we moved our operations into the suburbs of Chicago, bringing all of our loyal employees with us.  Besides being a strong family business, Lexco has always been fortunate to have hard working employees who are innovative and know how to serve our customers.  As our business continued to grow, Lexco tripled the number of our sales force and engineers from 2006 to 2013. 

Always focused on quality products, Lexco underwent the arduous task of completing the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Standards certification process in 2009.  This effort provided an opportunity to review our core processes and gave us clear direction on how to maximize quality and efficiency moving forward. In an effort to expand the types of push-pull controls that we can fabricate, Lexco became a Certified Cablecraft Assembler in 2010.  This strategic alliance allows Lexco to manufacture high quality automotive and heavy equipment cables such as brake cables, throttle cables, clutch cables, accelerator cables and power take-off (PTO) cables

Today, our customer-centric focus continues as we develop superior products for our customers. With domestic and overseas manufacturing capabilities, we have a network of suppliers for wire rope, aircraft cables, strand, micro-sized cable, cable fittings, wire rope hardware, bungee fittings and related services in order to provide the custom cable or bungee assembly fabrication services you need.  In addition, we have pull testing capabilities for your proof and pull testing requirements.

We look forward to an ongoing digital dialogue with you and appreciate your feedback and comments.  This blog is another example of our commitment to continual improvement, our unending enthusiasm to serve our clients, and our ongoing entrepreneurial spirit.