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Desktop Cable Management

by sebrenner / April 14, 2004 6:02 AM PDT

How do you deal with the mess of cable under your computer?

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Re:Desktop Cable Management
by briancnet CNET staff / April 14, 2004 7:09 AM PDT

I used to use a mountain of plastic tie wraps . . Then I found the little tiny velcro strips sold for just this purpose. They are much better, because they're reusable and aren't sharp like tie wraps when you cut off the excess.

Another thing I like a lot is using plastic rain gutters on the wall behind my desk as a raceway for cables. They're hidden from view and don't pile up on the floor where they keep you from *ever* vacuuming again!

Brian Cooley
CNET

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AMP NETCONNECT is the answer
by jrearden / December 22, 2004 11:18 PM PST
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Desktop Cable Management
by rmgordon / December 12, 2005 5:30 AM PST

I have a lot of school districts as customers. Check out www.cable-safe.com. We used the Complete Cable Manager. Works great!

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Re:Desktop Cable Management
by THEgIMPSHOP / April 15, 2004 8:08 AM PDT

I'M REALLY HAPPY WITH A PRODUCT FROM "GE" CALLED "CABLE NEAT." IT'S A SLATE GRAY FLEXIBLE TUBING THAT ACCOMODATES (SP?) A DOZEN, OR MORE, WIRES. IT EVEN CONTAINS A WIRE NUMBERING (LABELING) SYSTEM. IT'S INEXPENSIVE, THO' I DON'T RECALL HOW MUCH IT COST. I'M A NEAT FREAK AND THIS STUFF IS GREAT ! HOPE THIS HELPS.

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Re:Desktop Cable Management
by jdahs / April 23, 2004 4:16 AM PDT

This is a no-brianer: go wireless!

Short of that, I am also quite fond of velco-wraps, and even the occasional paper-towel roll attached to the back leg of my desk, through which I have run the various cables. This also works well for the entertainment system!

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Re:Desktop Cable Management
by captainfepa / April 23, 2004 4:49 AM PDT

Rockler (woodworking) has what's essentially a mini-gutter (about 1"x2") with adhesive back (Wire Master Channel, #13665); it is expensive ($10/32" at their retail side) - they also have some other nice specialty items like that. Companies like Outwater Plastics often have the same stuff for lower prices, though I didn't see this item there at first glance. Usually, though, I drill holes near upper and lower edges of a 1x4 every 6 to 8 inches and insert 3 to 4" lengths of 3/8" dowel, rounding ends. Finally, staple Velcro cable ties (excess holiday variety at dollar stores 4-6/$1) every foot or two at the bottom edge of the rail, and use adhesive Velcro dots to match up at the top edge. Additional Velcro ties to the dowels where wires leave the 'tray'.

However, I have seen at a dollar store a knock-off 'tool holder' consisting of numerous semi-flexible plastic loops in a row several inches long, normally holding screwdriver shafts. I didn't think at the time, but these would work very well for organizing cables, spaced every 6 or 8 inches - I'll get a bunch next time I see them.

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Re:Re:Desktop Cable Management
by jordegcam / April 23, 2004 6:02 PM PDT

Does anyone have a photograph of all of these wonderful suggestions? I would appreciate this. Thank you!

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Re:Re:Re:Desktop Cable Management
by captainfepa / April 26, 2004 2:39 AM PDT

First, the Rockler item is pictured at: www.rockler.com/ecom7/product_details.cfm?sku=31&filter=13665 but as I expected it is much cheaper ($1.15/ft for 12') at Outwater, which I did find (with similar lidded channels) at:
www.outwater.com/computer_acc_page07.htm

I have no idea where I saw the multi-loop knock-off at some dollar store, but wish I could find it. It is similar to the much more expensive QuickClip items such as: www.studiodepot.com/store/index.cgi?cmd=view_item&parent=1008-1058-1231&id=8322 (usually sold as tool holders but also billed by its mfgr as a wire organizer; tool shafts or cables snug in between the semi-rigid loops, not through them).

I have no photos of my own tray/rails.

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Re:Desktop Cable Management
by dhookom / April 23, 2004 4:56 AM PDT

My workstation setup has a main work surface and a wide shelf above where I place my printer, scanner, laptop docking station etc. I didn't like the cords hanging down in sight. To support the shelf, I bought two 2" dia. x 24" long galvanized pipe and four matching flanges. These parts are readily available at most hardware stores. I assembled and painted the flanges and pipe and then mounted them between the desktop and shelf as the only support. I then drilled 2" holes in the desktop and shelf at the ends of the pipe. I could then run lots of USB, power, KVM, and other cables through the pipe where they are out of sight. I think the total cost was less than $20.

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Re:Re:Desktop Cable Management
by Lammy / April 23, 2004 5:24 AM PDT

I prefer a large open surface to work at. So the main portion of "control central" for me has no shelves, hutches or other obstructions aside form the monitor on it. Make about a 1" hole where ever you need cables to come through the surface or sides. Then using furniture tacks secure those velcro cable management strips about every four inches. Neat. Out of site, and easily changeable. I've even tacked some in a circle so I could coil and secure lengths of longer cable up and out of the way.

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Re:Desktop Cable Management
by rlgates / April 23, 2004 7:43 AM PDT

Panduit makes a cable tray. It comes in a variety of sizes and I'm pretty sure colors. It has slots in the sides to pass the cables and it has a snap on top. This stuff is indispensable and works well even in a clean room environment. I found mine at the local Eoff distributer but I'm sure it's probably available elsewhere and it's not that expensive. It's a good solution and it adapt's very well should your setup change.
Here's a link to the product line:
http://www.panduit.com/products/browse2.asp?classlevel=763

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Re:Desktop Cable Management
by actionj / April 23, 2004 7:49 AM PDT

I have two power strips with remote power switches. I mounted the power strips under the desk outlets pointing down. Now when I plug something in, the cord naturally hangs up and out of the way. The remote power switches mean I don't have to stand on my head to power up/down the whole system. I have two of these power strips so I can put the displays and printers on one (which isn't on a UPS) and power them up/down seperately from the CPUs.

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Re:Desktop Cable Management
by jairak / April 23, 2004 4:49 PM PDT

I wind excess cable lengths in circular rolls of about 3 inches in diameter and tie them up with the plastic coated wire that wrap the cables from the factory. These then hang out of sight behind the computer desk and keyboard drawer and well off the floor. All my AC cords are plugged in to a fused outlet extension strip plugged into the UPC which is plugged to an AC wall outlet about 20 centimetres above the top of my computer desk. All out of sight leaving nothing hanging that could brought down by errant housekeepers, pets, brooms or vacume cleaners.

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Re: Desktop Cable Management
by bobcurtin / June 15, 2004 10:14 AM PDT

I built a 11ft long large wooden desk with a surface that is 4 ft deep and is placed hard up against a wall. The plank of wood on the surface of the desktop closest to the wall is not fixed to the desk and has a number of half circles along its inner edge cut into it for cables to pass through from underneath . Supporting the full length of the back of the desk is a 1 ft deep cupboard. On the top shelf of that cupboard (immediately under the removeable board) is located
- a Cable modem and 8 port switch
- 4 power boards
- a back up hard drive
- all cables
The majority of the cable clutter is thus hidden in the top shelf of the cupboard. If someone turns up with their laptop I lift the board plug them in and pull out a network cable and they are on line.

After all that hard work I bought a wireless base station and now I hardly ever use the desk!!!

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Cable Manager
by gubagry / January 13, 2005 7:34 AM PST

I had a real mess from several computers. I tried all sorts of things and finally stumbled across something called cable-safe. It's really quite cool because it snaps onto your desktop with a rack and pinion type clamp either to the edge of your desk or through a grommet hole. You can then hang cables on it and there's also a space for small devices. It comes with everything you need and isn't a bad price. I think their site is http://www.cable-safe.com

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