Raceway Crown: Giving Low-Voltage Wiring the Royal Treatment

June 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Raceway, Duct and Conduit 

If there’s one type of product that I never get tired of, it’s cable raceway that pretends to be molding. Crown molding, baseboard, chair rail, you name it… if it hides cables while looking like an architectural trim, I’m in love. I’ve done numerous blog posts on different raceway/molding products we’ve added over the years, but today may very well be my final such post.

I’ve met what, to my knowledge, is the end-all of home theater raceways: Raceway Crown™. This isn’t an “it looks really close to crown molding” kind of thing… it is crown molding, and of the best sort: the kind you can stuff low-voltage cables behind, so you never have to see them again. Now, I was lucky enough to buy a house where the crown molding was already installed, and happily, I’m not plagued by visible cables at the moment, but were I crown molding-less and eager to hide some wiring, I’d be all over this stuff like the proverbial white on rice. I’m serious.

Raceway Crown consists of two main components that work in harmony to get things done. First are the brackets, which are installed onto walls by just zipping in a few screws with a power drill – easy. Once the brackets are installed, you thread cable ties through them, and cinch your cable bundles into place. Then comes the actual molding, which snaps onto the brackets to cover up the wires. The icing on the cake comes in the form of the splice covers, pre-formed outside corners and copes, which cover up the seams and keep you from having to make ultra-precise miter cuts (miter cuts being the main thing that deters a lot people from installing crown molding to begin with).

The crown molding raceway is made of white PVC, so you can leave it alone if you want (it will have more or less the same look as wood molding painted with white trim gloss paint), or lightly sand and custom paint it yourself, to match any more creative decor whims. Either way, you’re gonna love this stuff.

see the magic for yourself

Platinum Tools Xtender Pole: Go-Go Gadget Drill!!!

June 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Tools and Cases 

When I first got wind of today’s product, I had a crazy misconception or two about how (and if) it could possibly work, but regardless, I loved it instantly because it reminded this former member of the Short and Rabidly Obsessed with Inspector Gadget fan club of that guy on her first grade lunchbox – the one with the extendable legs, gizmos that popped out of his fingertips, and helicopter hat. Ba dah duh duh duh…. ba dah duh duh duh dun dun – hoo hoooooooo!

I mean, the Xtender Pole™ from Platinum Tools® is about as close as mere mortals can get to their very own “go-go Gadget drill!” And I’m happy to announce that it does indeed work (actually, this thing is totally insane… in a good way). When I first saw that you could essentially extend the reach of your power drill or driver up to 18 feet so that you could comfortably drive screws into the ceiling without your feet ever leaving the floor, I wondered how that could possibly work – after all, even if the pole did function as intended, how the heck were you supposed to see what you’re doing from that far below, and what good does it do to stay on the ground while installing hardware on the ceiling, just to have someone get up on a ladder to attach wires, chains, or whatever fixtures need to be hung?

Curse my tendency to jump to conclsuions. When I watched the video and saw the Xtender Pole in action, I felt both embarrassed and extremely enlightened at the same time. It works like this: if you need to hang threaded rods and eye lag screws for suspension cables or chains, the whole assembly is installed at once. So you’re not zipping in the eye lags and then crawling up a ladder to attach wires to them. You position your eye lag screws or threaded rods, as well as the wires or chains that are going to hang from them, in the appropriate sections of the Xtender, then hoist the whole thing up, zip in the screw, and you’re done. You definitely have to watch the video… the finishing touches on the eye lag and wire combo really blew my mind. You see the value of the Xtender Pole in a split second.

Now if they only sold a companion trench coat and fedora to go with it…

check this thing out

Weekly Video Rewind: FastCap 3rd Hand Support Beam

June 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Tools and Cases 

Happy Friday, movie fans! I know that when we started these little weekly video rewinds I said I’d be highlighting/reviewing our newest videos, but since there are no freshly-minted product demos this week, we’re going to go retro and show one from a few months back (you won’t even know the difference – I promise).

I picked this one in particular because it’s a product that I did a regular blog post on a few months ago, wishing that I had had one of these last year, when my husband and I had a ridiculous (but probably pretty comedic to any possible flies on the wall) episode in which we attempted to hang a much-heavier-than-it-looked metal cabinet in an tiny, awkward bathroom alcove that contained the added obstacle of a toilet exactly where the person holding up the cabinet (me) would logically stand during the whole ordeal. With that in mind, check out this video for the FastCap 3rd Hand Support Beam, and I think you’ll see why this could have really helped.

For this video, we got Mildred, our VP of Sales (and no, that’s definitely not her in the picture above), to step back in front of the camera, and she demonstates how the 3rd Hand adjusts in multiple ways to offer support when you’re trying to install cabinets, server equipment, and even construction materials like drywall and crown molding. And you know what? Even if for some reason you have no need for a support beam but love really cool accents, watch the video anyway, because Mildred’s accent is the best, and she’s always fun to listen to.

CCT Multi-Component Access Control Cable: More Security with Fewer Cables to Run

While sometimes things come up that are just plain unavoidable (or unforeseeable, for that matter), I’m a huge fan of putting a little extra thought into things now in the interest of making life easier later. Sometimes this means that I find myself sitting between a pile of yet-to-be installed organizers and heaps of stuff that I’m eventually going to have to stow away in them (with the intent of making it easier to find/store things in the future), and sometimes it means taking the time to write out lists so that I can make the most out of one shopping trip/errand run and not have to kick myself later. We all have our tricks, but now there’s a much more interesting way to future-proof: opting for an all-in-one cable.

Multi-Component Access Cable from CCT® combines all the wiring needed for 4 much-used security components inside a single cable jacket. While this is probably far more than you need on the home security front, it’s perfect for businesses and other organizations that are adding security measures to their facilities, whether all at once in a complete system, or little by little, as needed or afforded in their budgets. This four-in-one cable includes wiring for a power lock, card reader, door contact, and rex/spare component, and gives you ther benefit of time, and fewer cable pulls, if it’s better for you to add access control components one at a time.

If you were to cut into a piece of CCT Multi-Component Access Control Cable, you’d find four separately-jacketed inner cables, color-coded for easy identification. The cables are also available in your choice of plenum and riser-rated styles, so no matter where you need to run cable, you’re completely covered for indoor use.

So we’ve got the future-proof cable taken care of… now what was it that I need at the store again?

get a closer look

Weekly Video Rewind: Rumble Strips

We’re gearing up for the season of Summer Blockbusters, but this opening day,  the two leading ladies of Snow White and the Huntsman aren’t the only things in movies that are ready to rumble: check out our product demo video of the week:

Speed Nubs Rumble Strips: If you’ve ever wished you could slow down traffic (in a way that won’t get you arrested for doing something really, really weird), take less than a minute out of your day and watch as our in-house New Products Guru explains how to use Speed Nubs Rumble Strips, which are more or less DIY speed bumps for driveways and private parking lots. Speed Nubs are made of heavy duty molded rubber, have excellent surface traction, and can be anchored to the ground (either temporarily or permanently) using nails/spikes or epoxy. If you know a speed demon or two who need to be taught a lesson, you’re definitely going to want to check this out.