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How to Fix a Rats Nest of Cables at a Workstation

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by D from BC, Apr 25, 2007.

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  1. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    How to Fix a Rats Nest of Cables at a Workstation?

    I have a ball of AC cables and adapters under my desk..
    + video cables, USB cables, keyboard etc...
    I'm using 14 power bar outlets (from 3 power bars) to power up my
    workstation + other gizmos.

    It's unfortunate a ball of wires hasn't become trendy home decor :)

    Anybody have some tidy solutions?
    I thought of making a mini "electrical room" cabinet... :)
    D from BC

  2. The HARD way!

    1: Make the rat clean up its mess.
    2: Shoot the rat so it doesn't make another mess.

    The EASY way!

    I have 4, 4" square electrical boxes bolted together with two duplex
    outlets in each box. This is mounted under my computer desk, and plugs
    into my UPS. It holds all the wall warts and AC power cords. 18' and
    36" IEC power cords are used wherever possible.

    Excess wire is coiled up and tied up with wire reinforced plant ties.
    (Think a spool of green bread ties.) Reusable self adhesive plastic
    clips route keyboard and mouse cables to the multiple computers.

    The main network printer is on a shelf over the desk, along with a set
    of computer speakers, cable modem, router, cordless phone, and a digital
    scanner with weather band to monitor NOAA for bad weather info. I can
    have up to four working computers in use at one time.

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  3. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Hooks on the underside of the desk. Or Panduit. Or a rug.

    Why isn't everything nuclear powered and wireless?

  4. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Ratts!! There's always a hard way..
    Cool... You made a super 16 receptacle power bar.. )
    I wouldn't be surprised to hear that home wall receptacles are wayy
    better than most power bar receptacles.
    D from BC
  5. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    A friend of mine mounts the socket strips on the underneath of the desktop. UK
    plugs don't fall out of course, not sure how yours would fare.

  6. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    I just throw a rug over the wires so I don't see it? :)

    But I think you mean that rug pieces are stapled down to guide the
    D from BC
  7. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    I do that, too. They don't fall out.

    US plugs do come out if you give the cord a good yank. Do yours?

  8. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    The cord exits at right angles to the pins so that's not a problem. Not many mains
    plugs do that do they ?

    Here's a quick overview of the UK plug and sockets.

  9. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Problem? Your plugs seem to be missing this valuable feature. I bet
    you have to walk clear across the room to unplug a vacuum cleaner.
    We have both kinds, but straight is more common.
    Looks very safe and very klunky. And cats will still chew on the

  10. I think they're called Brits on that side of the pond, not Yanks.
  11. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Well... you're not really supposed to stress a cable by pulling on it. The sockets
    grip quite well too for nice low contact resistance so it wouldn't be a good idea

    I can't recall ever seeing a right angled version of one of yours.

    Oh ! I've never some across cats with a taste for PVC.

  12. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    They're fairly common. Some are very flat and the cord emerges
    parallel to the wall, drooping 45 degrees from horizontal. They're
    handy behind furniture.

    We have banned the cats from Mo's workroom. I got her a Mac laptop,
    and the cats love the power cord. They like the Cat5 (cats...cat5...
    get it?) too, but not as much as the tasty Mac stuff.

    The replacement Mac power supply was about $80.

  13. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    Yeah, that's what they say, but few people actually respect it. All the
    "industrial" grade plugs over here have purpose-built strain reliefs in them
    anyway, so that yanking on the cord transfers all the stress to the shell and
    none to the contacts.
  14. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    No honking 3+ lbs. wall warts, eh?

  15. At 3+ pounds its no longer a wart, its a tumor.

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  16. .

  17. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Even our ordinary mains plugs have that feature sctually.

  18. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    No. Won't keep your toes warm, either.

  19. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    Remember hte old Colecovision power supplies from the '80s? Seemed like they
    were being sold by All Electronics and similar surplus places for years at
    $5.95 a pop.

    It definitely qualified as a tumor.

    Wow, eBay still has them available... here's one that gives some idea of
  20. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    I don't recall ever having a molded-on plug fail, and I usually
    extract them by the cord. I wouldn't do that to an aftermarket
    screw-terminal cord. Well, not often.

    The twist-locks don't work well this way.

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