For all of you who have ever suffered sticker shock at the sight of an HDMI cable price tag, there’s good news: you don’t have to pay that much for a fantastic high-definition connection. Society has become superficial in so many ways, and now we’re actually letting it spill over into the realm of cables – can you believe it? Well, I think it’s time to restore a little common sense to the electronics-buying experience, and one of the best ways to do that is to say NO to boutique cables in fancy packaging.
I’ll admit that some things are worth paying more for; for instance, a Lamborghini will justifiably run you more than a Hyundai. Both vehicles will get you from Point A to Point B, but one’s going to do the job with infinitely more power and style than the other ever could. But here’s the catch: the same rules don’t apply to HDMI cables. They’re first and foremost a utilitarian product. While in the automotive world it’s not unusual for the hottest cars to also perform the best, cables just don’t work that way. When you’re shopping for an HDMI cable, always remember that looks have nothing to do with performance.
The key to a quality HDMI connection doesn’t lie in great style or expensive-looking packaging. Rather, it all has to do with certification. As long as a cable is HDMI certified, it doesn’t matter if it costs $15 or $150 – it’s going to do the job. Who cares if it doesn’t have a brand name? The only thing that matters is that the cable effectively transports high definition signals from your A/V equipment to your high-def screen.
If you’re ready to jump off the brand-name bandwagon and find happiness with an HDMI cable that won’t drain your bank account, you’ll find ATC certified HDMI 1.3a (the latest standard) cables, complete with 24K gold-plated connectors, at CableOrganizer.com. Get ready for a new, improved, and much happier version of sticker shock: they start at around $6.99!
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What do you use when you want to bundle and protect cables, but still need to have the option of breaking cables out at different points along the way? You reach for Spiral Wrap, of course. True to its name, spiral wrap is indeed a long, tightly-wound plastic spiral which makes up a flexible, near-solid tube that can be wrapped around cords and wires that you’d rather have covered. Spiral wrap is similar in concept to wire loom, except that it has thicker walls, and instead of breaking cables out of a lengthwise slit, you just feed them out of the bundle (between coils) as needed.
As I just mentioned, spiral wrap is substantially thicker than standard wire loom, a feature that makes it ideal for fending off gnawing pets who would otherwise chew through your cables. As a matter of fact, we’ve heard from a customer who uses spiral wrap to keep her rabbit from chewing on low-hanging lamp cords.
Our spiral wrap is made from tough but flexible polyethylene plastic, which is excellent at resisting abrasion. You can order it by the foot for small cable management tasks, or buy it by the spool for bigger jobs. It’s available in you choice of 6 solid or 3 neon colors.
So, you’ve just wall mounted your new flat-screen TV, and everything looks perfect…. except for those cables trailing down the wall below it. Just because you didn’t run in-wall cables, that doesn’t mean you have to live with messy-looking exposed home theater wires. Meet the Wiring Solution, a unique home theater cable concealer that is designed specifically to hide cords that run between wall mounted HDTVs and the entertainment centers stationed below them.
The home theater Wiring Solution is a conduit-like cord organizer that holds up to 10 cables, and only requires two small screws for installation. It’s also very low-profile; because it protrudes only 1 inch from the wall, it doesn’t attract much attention. Best of all, the Wiring Solution is built to blend in: it’s available in two finishes, smooth and textured, to match the surfaces of either flat or knockdown/stucco finished walls, and comes pre-primed so you can paint it the same color as your walls (a foam paintbrush is even included in the kit).
Made from ultra light medium density fiber board, the Wiring Solution is available in 3 different lengths to span any TV-to-entertainment-center distance: 12, 20 or 30 inches.
It’s another Friday and I feel like ending the week on a high note, so I’m going to give all of you hardwood and laminate floor fans out there some good news. If you have floor cords to hide but don’t want to detract from your gorgeous wood-grain flooring with a plain plastic cord cover, then do I have the product for you. Meet the ChordSaver™ floor cord cover.
It may be made of heavy-duty PVC, but let me tell you, it looks just like wood. It’s available in Light Oak, Dark Oak, and Cherry wood grains to match most hardwood or laminate floors, but if none of those finishes work for you, you also have the option of a custom-stainable finish. ChordSavers™ also come in solid black, yellow, white, gray, and orange colors, which work great on tile or painted cement floors.
As you may have guessed from the spelling of its name, the ChordSaver was originally developed for use by musicians, both onstage and in the studio. One of the nice things about it is that it comes in lightweight, relatively slim 3-foot sections, so it’s great for bands and working musicians who need to constantly set up, break down, and transport equipment from one venue to the next. With ChordSavers™, you no longer need to have a roadie dedicated strictly to cord covers.
Okay, I’ve been focusing mainly on the unique looks of the ChordSaver™, but being that it’s first and foremost a utilitarian product, let’s focus on its functional aspects for a moment. Like I mentioned, ChordSavers™ are made of rugged PVC, which makes a nice, hard covering that protects cables from the foot traffic trampling over them. And pedestrians are protected as well, thanks to the high traction non-skid backing that keeps the cord covers from sliding around underfoot.
Today’s feature is one of the simplest products we carry at CableOrganizer.com, but if you ask me, it’s also one of the most useful. I don’t know about you, but I can think of more than a few uses for adhesive-backed cord clips. I’ve used them both at home and at work for hanging Christmas lights (indoors), routing a ridiculously long phone wire around a doorway, and even running cables along the underside of my desktop.
These self-stick clips are small (only ⅝” or ¾” square, your choice), weigh practically nothing, and have a strong adhesive that hangs tenaciously onto walls, furniture, or any other flat surfaces you need them to grip. As far as design goes, our adhesive-backed cord clips are basically tiny plastic square bases that have round-contoured retaining clips molded right into them. They’re very low-profile, so they won’t draw much attention, and are super easy to use – just peel the backing off, stick to a flat surface, clip your cable in, and you’re done.
Whether you’re a hobbyist who’s into case modding or automotive customization, or you just want to lend some extra strength and insulation to cables and hoses, heat shrink tubing is an easy and affordable way to get the job done. If you’re not familiar with heat shrink, it’s a flexible plastic tubing that fits over wires, cables, splices, hoses — anything generally cylindrical in shape — and shrinks snugly to the object it’s covering when heat is applied. This happens because the plastic used in heat shrink tubing is “crosslinked” (exposed to radiation) so that it’s physical properties change and it shrinks propotionately when exposed to heat.
As I mentioned briefly at the beginning of the post, heat shrink tubing is a great way to add extra support and insulation to cables, wire splices and hoses without adding extra bulk. Even though it only forms a thin skin over things, that “skin” greatly increases resistance to chemicals and fluids, provides strain relief for cable connectors, and just plain looks good. That’s right — many people use heat shrink for no reason other than the fact that it gives cables a custom, cosmetically-enhanced look. Heat shrink is also terrific for color-coding cables that need to be easily identifiable.
Our heat shrink tubing comes in a 2:1 shrink ratio, which means that its original, unshrunk state is twice the diameter of the smallest shrunken diameter it can achieve. Shrink ratio and diameter measurements are very important to keep in mind when you order heat shrink, so know the diameter of the object you want to cover, as well as how snugly you need the heat shrink to fit. For example, if you need 2:1 heat shrink to fit tightly around a cord with a ⅛” diameter, you wouldn’t want to use tubing that has a diameter more than ¼”.
Filed under: Cable Ties, Clips and Grommets, Cable Wraps
For any of you out there who want to get rid of extra cord length with minimum effort, let me introduce you to the Cord-It™ Cord Manager. This compact cord winder requires so little exertion that it can actually organize your cables with no more than a turn of the wrist.
The key to the Cord-It’s simplicity is its unique design. It’s basically a hard plastic case with a slotted, rotating top. To put it in action, just insert any cord up to 5mm in diameter into the slot, turn the top, and watch as the cord is magically shortened to the exact length you need. Okay, so maybe you can’t attribute the cable management so much to “magic” as you can the hidden inner spool. The turning action draws cords inside the case and neatly winds them around the spool at the same time, in one simple motion.
Aside from being easy to use, the Cord-It™ has the added benefit of keeping all of that excess wire clean and free of dust. At only 3″ and 4″ in diameter, both medium and large Cord-Its are perfectly compact, which makes them as great for travel as they are around your home or office. Choose form black, beige, clear or white.
Filed under: Network Products, Raceway, Duct and Conduit
It’s another sunny South Florida Friday morning, and you know what that means: product training. I just sat in on a meeting with Vutec, and got to learn a little more about their top-of-the-line cable tray line, the PRO-10 series. I know what you’re thinking: “cable trays are cable trays,” right? No so in this case.
While there’s not much that visually sets these trays apart from their competitors, CM-10 cable baskets require only a single ratchet tool for assembly, and come complete with all of the necessary connection hardware. We’ve found that the included hardware has been a huge benefit to our customers, some of whom have had the frustrating experience of ordering hundreds or thousands of feet of cable tray from a competing brand, only to find that they have to put their installation on hold until they can order bolts and splice washers separately.
The second major plus of using the PRO-10 series is that these cable trays act as a continuous ground-conductor when connected, without any need for additional grounding splices. This is achieved through the interconnecting grounding points, which are masked during powder coating so that they remain paint-free, allowing metal-to-metal contact where they meet.
Benefit number 3 is that PRO-10 trays require no custom bending. Because their angled accessory trays allow you to make 30, 45 and 90-degree turns by just dropping in the piece you need, the exhausting and time consuming process of removing wire rungs to create a bend is eliminated. This not only results in significant labor savings, but also allows the tray to maintain its structural integrity and full weight capacity, which would have otherwise been compromised and greatly reduced (respectively). Because no bars need to be removed, the angled trays are just as solid as the straight sections.
Admit it: you dread having to troubleshoot or make any changes to your computer setup or home theater equipment because it’s just too darn frustrating to weed through all those cords and find out which one goes with which component. And how many times have you accidentally disconnected the wrong one? It’s okay, it happens to the best of us, but to be quite honest, it sounds like you need some sort of cable label…
Label printers are terrific for labeling cables, but if you can’t justify owning one simply to label the cords of a few electronic devices, then I know of something I think you’ll be interested in: Kableflags® cable identification tags. Kableflags are flexible flag-style cable markers that are available pre-printed in entertainment, computer, or home theater packs, or in a blank style that lets you create your own labels with a permanent marker.
Kableflags® have a self wrapping, self-locking design that completely eliminates the need for adhesives, so your cables won’t get sticky like they might from stick-on labels. The soft PVC material withstands many reuses, and will never corrode. Another great feature of Kableflags is that they’re completely adjustable, so they’ll fit just about any cable, from thin wires to bulkier power cords.
Today’s featured item is a product line that every fiber optic field installer out there can appreciate – Corning UniCam® Fiber Optic Connectors. Terminating optical fibers can be a tricky and messy business that requires a lot of careful cleaning and polishing, as well as epoxy to secure the connectors onto the fibers. Good fiber terminations are almost entirely dependent on proper cleaning and end-face polishing, which make optimum light signal transmission possible.
Attaining perfect results when terminating out in the field can prove extremely challenging, because the environments in which the technicians are working aren’t controlled. They may not have a clean surface to work on, and there may also be a high level of environmental contaminants. Time is also of the essence-the more time it takes to terminate fiber optic cables, the higher the installation bill is. Fortunately, Corning came up with an excellent solution.
UniCam® multimode connectors offer the absolute fastest termination time in the industry – only 2 minutes per fiber! While you can never skip the cleaning step, UniCam cuts out the time-consuming polishing and epoxy, so in the long run you save money on polishing films and adhesives, as well as on labor! The secret is in the connector’s design: it’s been described as a mini fiber pigtail, and contains a factory-installed that is fully bonded to the ferrule. When the fiber being terminated is precisely cleaved and fit into UniCam’s patented alignment mechanism, both the fiber and the stub are protected against contaminants and other environmental factors.