Talking about cable storage in yesterday’s post got me thinking about another wire spooling product that I’m crazy about: the Rack-A-Tiers® Wire Dispenser. It’s nothing fancy, but this spooling system really gets the job done – and at a very reasonable price.
Consisting of two end pieces that are only 17″ x 17″ x 9″, the Rack-A-Tier® system is equipped with 5 different cable bar holes, so you can create a spool rack in just about any configuration you need. As you can see in the picture, the Rack-A-Tier® can handle many different types of spools, so it’s as well-suited to your home workbench or garage as it is to large jobsites. And while cable and wire are the most obvious things to store on it, you can use the Rack-A-Tier® for pretty much anything that you can roll up on a spool, including rope, chain, twine, braided sleeving, bungee cord, Christmas lights – you name it.
In addition to holding spoolable things, the Rack-A-Tier® wire dispenser is also a huge help on the job, especially if the task at hand is wire pulling. Because it allows you turn spools and dispense wire with barely any effort, it’s like having an extra pair of hands around. And if you need even more storage capacity, no problem – the Rack-A-Tier is stackable, so you can double your storage without taking up twice the floorspace.
Rack-A-Tier wire dispensers are waterproof, rustproof, and even buoyant, and are simple to disassemble and stow away in between jobs. And it can also be used as a pipe vise (when used in conjunction with the Rack-A-Tiers pipe wrench adapter), and not to mention a temporary work bench. Why don’t you have one of these?
Ever had a storage closet or a corner of your garage that was pretty much carpeted in twisted-up, unused extension cords? Ever thought that there was a better way you could be using that space? Well, you were right, and I know how to make that possible. It won’t cost you a lot or take up much time – all you need is an EZWIND™ Cord Organizer.
Forget bending your arm and trying to wind extension cords up using your hand and elbow as a spool. That might work for a while, but sooner or later the cords come unlooped, and end up as the tangled piles you’re trying to avoid anyway. With the EZWIND™, it’s not only easier to spool cords, it’s also far more convenient to store them. The EZWIND™ acts as a spool frame for up to 150 feet of cable, whether that’s made up of a single cable or multiples. It’s design features a unique center post, which causes you to coil your cables in such a way that the typical twisting and kinking are completely avoided. And when you’re done winding, you can secure your cable in place by simply sliding its plug into one of the EZWIND’s™ 4 slots.
EZWIND™ isn’t limited to use with extension cords – it’s also a terrific way to store your twinkle lights between holiday seasons (no more untangling Clark Griswold-style balls of Christmas lights). It even works with plain old rope or bungee cord.
When are people going to start watching where they step? Thanks to human nature, probably never; and nowhere is this more true than in busy, distracting environments like shopping malls and trade shows. Don’t let your power and data cables suffer just because others can’t avoid trampling them – keep your connections strong and cables intact by covering them up with FastLane Drop Over Cable Protectors.
FastLanes are like a happy medium between the flexible cord covers you’d use at home or in a small office, and the type of heavy duty polyurethane cable protectors that are often found in industrial settings and at jobsites. They offer the ruggedness you need to protect cables against brisk foot traffic, but they don’t entail the investment of heavy duty cable protectors, which you really only need to shell out for in situations involving vehicular traffic.
Like heavy-duty cord covers, FastLane™ cable protectors are molded from tough polyurethane, but they have a lightweight, scaled-down design that works by simply being set down over cables. The come in joinable 3-foot sections, so you can use one to span a narrow walkway, or connect multiples to cover just about any length of cable you need to. And when connected, they stay together really well, thanks to the heavy duty L-shape connectors that lock them end-to-end.
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, people usually don’t watch where they’re going, and just as this can cause them to trample over objects on the ground (like cables), it can also lead to trip and fall accidents. In addition to protecting cords that you have running across your floor, the FastLane™ can also prevent pedestrians from tripping and hurting themselves – it’s equipped with molded-in safety warnings, as well as a high-traction surface tread that helps improve footing.
Until recently, whenever qualified personnel had the task of repairing or performing maintenance on electrical panels, they were required to put the entire thing back together each time they needed to walk away from it, whether or not the task was complete. While this ensured that other workers wouldn’t come along and tamper with the worksite or sustain accidental electrical or mechanical injury while the repair person was away, it meant that, overall, repair jobs took much longer – imagine having to repeatedly screw on and unscrew the protective cover, every single time you stepped away and returned. It could add hours to the job!
But now, thanks to TempCovers™ from Grace Engineering, work can be paused and resumed without wasting precious time fiddling with bolts and screws. Thanks to the fact that they’re bordered with magnetic strips, TempCovers™ protective placards instantly grip onto electrical boxes, and stay firmly in place while you’re away. And just so there are no misunderstandings with other personnel, the entire cover is emblazoned with danger signs and detailed warnings, so that even if you’re not there to fend them off, they’ll be fully aware of the potential danger of the situation. And when you return and are ready to pick up where you left off, all you need to do is pull off the cover and get back to work.
For additional protection, TempCovers™ are made of a UL classified flame-retardant material, and meet all applicable OSHA requirements.
If you’ve ever hand-bundled wires with cable ties, you’ve probably found that it doesn’t take long for your fingers to start feeling unmistakably raw. Between the force needed to grip such small objects and the friction that the zip ties create against your hands as you tighten them, large-scale cable tie installations can easily lead to blisters. And that’s just with standard, flexible nylon cable ties – ever tried to hand-install the heavy duty stainless steel kind? Yikes!
Luckily, HellermannTyton makes a stainless steel cable tie tensioning tool that’s become the saving grace of industrial installation technicians around the world. Also commonly known as a “cable tie gun” because of its unmistakably pistol-like shape and trigger-driven operation, this tool allows you to ratchet cable ties made of 304 and 316 stainless steel to the perfect tension without causing yourself any unnecessary discomfort.
Well, we’ve covered the physical pitfalls of hand-tensioning stainless steel cable ties, but did you know that doing things by hand can also have consequences for your cables as well? It’s very easy to overtighten cable ties, and when that happens, it can not only lead to damaged cable insulation, but compressed conductors as well. And what’s wrong with a few compressed conductors? They don’t transmit data as well, and can sometimes fail altogether. The whole reason for having cables in the first place is to transmit data from Point A to Point B. Don’t let something as simple as overtensioned cable ties cripple your network. Cable tie tensioning tools only let you tighten the ties up to a certain point, so that they’re securely holding cable bundles together, but not biting into them. They take the guesswork out of installation, while leaving you with neatly (and safely) organized cables every time.
So how do cable tie installation tools work? Simple. You get things started by looping the cable tie around a bundle of cords, and then insert the tie’s tip through its head – but stop there. Next, grab the installation tool, feed the tip into the end of the gun, and pull the tool’s trigger until the cable tie is perfectly tightened. And did I mention that you won’t need a separate tool to trim off the cable tie’s end? This tool even cuts tensioned cable ties to size.
If you’ve ever tried running home theater cables behind your wall to keep them out of sight, you probably know that while the resulting cable-free appearance is great, cable penetrations often have a nasty habit of looking disorganized and unattractive.That’s why Arlington Industries designed Scoop cable entrance plates, which are basically wallplates with hooded openings that allow A/V cable to transition smoothly through your wall.
Not only do Scoop reversible entrance plates give cable penetrations a neat and clean look, they also protect cables from abrasion and compression, which will ensure that you’re getting a clear, uninterrupted signal. And due to the fact that it’s reversible (that is, it can be installed facing either in or out), the Scoop simplifies cabling projects by eliminating the need for you to track down matching “in” and “out” routing plates – just pick up two Scoops, and you’re ready to go.
The Scoop is made of plastic (so you never have to worry about corrosion), are available in single and dual-gang styles (in non-technical speak, that means standard or double-wide versions), and can even be painted to match the rest of your room.
For all of you cable management fans who admire the qualities of standard surface raceway but wish it were a little more decorative, I’d like to introduce Cornerduct 1150 Series Raceways. These cord channels route cables and wiring along your walls just like any other raceway, but they have the added bonus of being (true to their name) designed for use in corners.
Able to be mounted either vertically (for floor-to-ceiling cable runs) or horizontally (to route cables from one end of the room to the other), Cornerduct has a snap-on cover that makes it easy to install and update wiring. And if you’ve ever wished you could have the luxury of crown molding without the expense and effort, this is the chance you’ve been waiting for! With its triangular, corner-fitting shape and smooth, slightly curved cover, Cornerduct works as both an inexpensive and super functional “fake-out” crown molding. As a matter of fact, you can even custom paint it with latex paint to match the rest of your decor – no one will suspect a thing.
Cornerduct is made from a UL compliant, flame-resistant PVC, so in addition to it being durable, it’s also safer to have around the house. And while it can be used in any room of the house, we recommend it for hiding A/V cable is your living room, home theater, or bedroom.
Whenever you use extension cords anywhere there’s going to be a lot of people walking around, it’s always a good idea to bring in some cord covers as well, not only to protect the power extensions from being trampled, but also to prevent pedestrians from tripping. In the past, the extension cord/cord cover combination would have involved purchasing two separate products, but you no longer have to go through that hassle, thanks to Electriduct Power Extensions.
These all-in-one power extensions give you the best of the of power cord and cord cover worlds, combined into a single, simple-to-use product. Electriduct’s power extensions are actually power cords that are built into flexible cord covers, so whenever you need to bring an outlet across a room or a walkway, all you need to do is plug in a power extension, and lay it out in the direction you need it to go in. Your cord is run and protected in just one step! An additional benefit is that the outlet end of the power extension isn’t just a plastic connector like on most extension cords, but instead a sturdy, 2-receptacle outlet box.
Electriduct power extensions are available in lengths that range from 5 to 50 feet, and come in your choice of black, gray, and beige (which can blend into just about any home, office, or small business environment), as well as safety yellow, which stands out visually on jobsites to further prtect against tripping and run-over hazards.
If you’re one of those on-the-go types who always seem to be in need of a spare power strip, then today’s featured product, the Outlets To Go™ mini power strip from Monster Cable®, is likely right up your alley. Despite the fact that it measures only 6″ x 1″ x 1½”, this ultra-compact little power distribution unit has four outlets that are widely spaced to accommodate even the bulkiest plugs and AC chargers, which really comes in handy when you need to charge multiple electronic devices like cell phones, PDAs, digital cameras, and MP3 players.
In addition to being incredibly convenient for travel (it’s small enough to fit comfortably into purses, laptop bags, briefcases or backpacks), the Outlets To Go™ power strip is also ideal for use as a charging station power source. Some additional features of this travel power strip are its resettable circuit breaker (which prevents overloads that can lead to overheating) and plugs that illuminate when in use to indicate that power is being delivered to your device(s).
Yes, I know I’ve covered office and desk cable management several times already, but considering that so many of us spend most of our waking hours at a computer, I think it’s an important thing to focus on. A little bit of organization can make a huge difference in your sanity level and rate of productivity, especially when you’re dealing with computer cords. And that’s why I’d like to introduce you to the Cable-Safe™.
The Cable-Safe™ is a completely unique cord organizer, in that it doesn’t only lift your computer cables off the floor and out of the way, but your power strip as well. I don’t know about you, but I find it a little annoying that power strips never seem to lay flat on the floor – it’s like they just twist around and end up in going in whatever direction their power cords want them to. But I digress. Anyway, the point that I’m trying to make is that with the Cable-Safe™, you’ll no longer be accidentally kicking your power strip around beneath your desk, and you’ll also be able to affix it any way you’d like on the cable manager and know that it will stay that way.
Now, down to the nitty-gritty: how it works. The Cable-Safe™ is actually suspended from the underside of your desktop, thanks to an adjustable clamp that can either hang from an existing grommet hole, or attach to the desktop itself. It’s equipped with a variety of hooks that can both hold coiled cables and act as shelves for mounting hubs and small power devices. The Cable-Safe™ comes with hook and loop cable ties to keep your cords neatly wound, mini bungee-type straps that can hold hubs in place, and even fun color coded stick-on labels that help you keep track of which cables are which. It’s a very complete and well thought out kit.
Cable-Safes are available individually, or, you can treat your whole office to some under-desk cable management with the Professional Installer Kit, which has everything you need to organize anywhere from 10-15 workstations.