Answer: Improper coiling of any electrical cable twists the conductors inside the cable and will eventually cause reliability problems. Cable reels are one solution to this problem, but are typically used only with longer lengths of cable. With shorter lengths of cables, it is probably easiest to coil the cable by hand, either in figure-8s or in over-under loops. You can find a drawing of this in our inclinometer probe manual. Some DOTs report that they use two traffic cones to guide their figure-8 coils. Other people use a large laundry basket to hold their over-under loops. Still others have reported mounting garden hose holders on a backpack, one at the top and one at the bottom, and then making figure-8 loops. With longer lengths of cable, cable reels become more practical. There are two types of cable reels: storage reels and slip-ring reels. Storage reels are simply a place to store the cable. To use the cable, you must unreel it first. Some people use garden hose reels for this purpose. Note that any reel should have a hub diameter of about 12 inches (300 mm) to avoid small bends in the cable. Storage reels can be heavy, but then, so is the cable. Slip-ring reels provide an electrical connector, so that you have full operation of the cable while it is on the reel. Slip-ring reels tend to be expensive and heavy. Slope Indicator's slip-ring reel weighs 37 pounds (16.5 kg). Thus is it not very portable. Mines and other sites with very deep inclinometer installations sometimes use motorized reels. These are even larger, heavier, and more expensive. They also have automation features, such as controlling the depth of the probe.