Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Cable Management

Managed Cabling
Desktop computers have an inordinate number of cables, as you can see from the picture above. If your desk or table is up against the wall, you can push all the wiring in back and no one ever sees it. If your table is in the middle of the room, like this one, leaving the cables exposed is not only unsightly but a hazard for anyone walking by. A simple, if not quite beautious solution is to cut one end out of a cardboard box and use it to enclose the mess of wires. This setup may not look like much of an improvement, but trust me, it is.

Then there's the matter of power. All computer systems will hang (become unresponsive to any and all user commands) eventually and require turning off the power. To facilitate this, I have taken to plugging the computer and all its accessories into one one power strip and then placing that power strip on top of the table where it is easy to reach. This is not the prettiest solution, but it alleviates having to crawl around on the floor and battle with dust bunnies.

Power strip with its attached brick
Power strips are fairly light and are easily dragged from their intended location by their attached cables. I solved this problem with the system at the top by mounting the power strip to a piece of scrap lumber and then clamping it to the table. This worked here because the system is already an unsightly mess; a couple of C-clamps aren't going to spoil the view. Another system is setup on an old wooden desk where the C-clamp solution isn't going to work, so we stuck the power strip on a brick and wrapped the brick in pretty cardboard from an old Kleenex box. The cardboard also keeps the brick from scratching the desktop.

We drilled holes in the brick with a masonry bit and mounted the power strip with screws and plastic wall anchors. You could use epoxy or some other strong glue as well.


AndrewP said...

Nice pragmatic solution!
I've taken a Ikea wooden box, drilled cable holes in it to contain cables like your cardboard box.
Good in theory, and photogenic, but needs improvement, your clamped P STRIP & paper box looks to work better. My wooden box is hard & inflexible.

Chuck Pergiel said...

Photogenic is important. Cables are being replaced by wireless, but until we get Mr. Fusion units the size of a pack of cigarettes, we are going to have wires.