Filed under: Cable and Wire Storage, Cable Ties, Clips and Grommets
Congratulations all – we’ve made it through another week, and it’s time to celebrate our soon-to-start 3 day Memorial Day weekend with some cinematic fun. Personally, I’m eyeing Men in Black 3, but before heading to the megaplex to escape the 90+ degree heat, there are a few other pre-summer blockbusters to talk about: a couple of our newest product demo videos on YouTube. Roll ‘em!
Brush Grommets: Video Production Dude Fernando is back in front of the camera this week, talking about a few of our stylish and practical brush grommets. Here’s why you should watch: lots of us have grommets in our desktops to control cables and give them a safe pass-through point, but brush grommets take things to the next level. If you’ve ever had a disconnected cable slip back through a grommet and land under or behind your desk, you know how annoying it can be to retrieve it. Brush grommets solve that problem because their cable openings are lined with flexible bristles that conform to cables and don’t give connectors empty space to fall through. That, and these particular grommets look really nice, too.
How to Store Cables with the Reel-A-Pail®: Check out Tiffani’s video demonstration of how to store extension cords and other cables with the Reel-A-Pail® Quickwinder™ – it may look like just a bucket, but it’s so much more. The Quickwinder stashes a cord reel neatly inside a covered heavy duty bucket, so that you can coil up cables on the job and keep them neat and protected while you’re not using them. You’ll even find out how to fasten it to truck beds and other structures for really tough use.
When you’ve got a job to do, it pays to have the right tools – take it from the person who once tried to pound in a stray trim nail with a screwdriver handle when a hammer wasn’t immediately available (poor screwdriver). I’m a big proponent of not only having the proper tools, but also keeping them in such a way that they stay in good condition and are easily accessible when you need them. And that’s why, even though I personally never need to store cable reels, I’ve recently become a big fan of the Spoolmate™ Wire Dispenser Cart and Storage System.
The Spoolmate combines some of the most functional elements around (high capacity storage, mobility and ease of use) into one genius, wheeled wire dispenser that may not look too exciting, but really is something special. To quote Guy Fieri of Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, “here’s the kicker” – whereas most wire reel carts rely on axles to hold spools of cable in place, the Spoolmate lets you get away from the hassle of moving axles every time you need to change out or reposition a spool of cable.
This is all thanks to a patented spring-loaded lever that lets you load and unload cable reels that are 6.5 inches or less in diameter without them ever touching an axle. Instead, they’re stored in a section that’s surrounded by retaining bars that hold the spools (up to 5) in a neat line but still allow them to spin freely when you need to dispense wire. No hoisting down an entire axle, removing and reconfiguring all the spools and then fighting to get it back in place – just move the spring-loaded retaining bar with one hand, add or remove a cable reel with the other, and you’re done.
One other extremely cool thing about the Spoolmate is the optional companion Spool-Aid™ spool repair system that goes with it. Designed to prevent you from having to pitch spools every time their end plates are damaged, the Spool-Aid kit comes with sturdy replacement discs that zip into place with a single screw to cover the damaged original disc and restore your spool to like-new condition. Awesome.
Reel-A-Pail Quickwinder: The Fast-Action Cable Winder That Puts a Protective Shell Around Stored Cables
I’ve pretty much had it with the old “thumb-crook-to-elbow” cable wind, because even though that old standby is a fast and easy way to turn a long cord into a smallish bundle, I’ve found that in most cases, the cable loops tend to mingle a little too closely, and end up tangled anyway. Sheesh.
So I switched to assorted winders and cable reels, which were great until my husband found out the hard way that reeled cords hanging out on a trailer can come loose when jostled around too much, causing the plug-end of a much-needed extension cord to hang over the side and bounce along the road asphalt in such a way that said plug arrives at its destination looking like someone tried to put it down a garbage disposal. Sheesh again.
I had been beginning to think that cord reels have to be stowed in protective boxes or similar to prevent the cables wrapped around them from unwinding, being scratched up, getting wet or becoming encrusted in dirt, but not to long ago, I ran into I new type of cord winder that’s put a glimmer of hope on the horizon: the Reel-A-Pail® Quickwinder™.
As you’ve probably already guessed, the Reel-A-Pail involves both a reel and a pail, and is indeed quick at winding cables. Just think of it as a heavy-duty cable reel that’s encased in a bucket-like outer shell that keeps stored cable perfectly contained, and protects it from the ravages of dirt, moisture, abrasion and impact. That’s what I’m talking about!
One of the things that I like so much about Reel-A-Pail is that it’s all-inclusive (a package deal that doesn’t require any extra add-ons for complete functionality/protection), comes in several styles and sizes to suit almost any need, and is even versatile when you get down to specific models, as each type can accommodate a range of cable types and sizes. It terms of portable cable storage and organization, you really can’t go wrong.
Depending on which model you choose, the Reel-A-Pail Quickwinder either comes with a flat base that can be bolted down to a trailer, truck bed or floor, or a handy built-in wheeled cart that lets you roll substantial loads of cable wherever they may be needed.
Filed under: Cable and Wire Storage, Desk Cable Organizers, Desks and Workstations
Ah, under-desk cable managers. I’ve always like them in concept, but it seems like they’ve missed the mark (just a little) in one way or another every time I’ve tried to put them into action. There was one where I just couldn’t get the finished product to look anywhere near as neat and attractive under my desk as it did in the picture on the box, and there was another one that looked terrific once installed, but had a very easy to move lid that couldn’t stand up to my accidental kicks and knee-bumps. Since then, I’ve pretty much relegated myself to tried-and-true wire loom, cable ties and adhesive cord clips. But I just met a new under-desk organizer, and I think that I may finally be ready to cable manage again.
The new cord tamer in my life is named the Cable Corral, and I love it for its simplicity. It’s basically just a steel basket that mounts to the underside of your desktop, giving you a place to stash power strips, peripherals and long cables out of sight – without affecting your connectivity. This is great for antsy desk-dwellers like me, who need to frequently stretch their legs below-desk throughout the day to avoid both muscle atrophy and general insanity. It’s always nice to be able to do this without getting a foot caught in a pile of cable slack, or accidentally kicking a power supply.
And installation is so easy – the Cable Corral screws right into the underside of your desk, and then you just pile in everything you want to keep clear of the floor and out of sight. No need to precisely bundle or wind cords, no cover malfunctions – just stash your stuff, and let your feet enjoy the newfound wide open roaming space where there was none before.
Filed under: Cable and Wire Storage, Cable Ties, Clips and Grommets, Cable Wraps
I’ve been catching up with some of the newer cable tie-like products that have recently made it into our inventory, and there’s one in particular that’s especially versatile: the Wrap N Strap®. Oddly enough, it first caught my eye because I thought it looked like a hospital bracelet. Hmmmmmm.Yes, I know that that’s probably a bizarre association to make, but don’t let that weird you out. I’ll admit that I’m a consummate white-coat phobic, but the colors that these cable straps come in are so fun and cheery that they pretty much killed any negative medical-related vibes right off the bat. Probably took that a little too far… suffice it to say that these look kind of like hospital ID bracelets, but not in a bad way.
That said and done with, Wrap N Strap cord organizers do fasten like a hospital bracelet… you know, with a little round plastic fastener that pops through one of a series of holes? But unlike a patient ID bracelet, these can actually be removed without scissors. This easy removability factor is great for two reasons. First, when it comes to unbundling cables from standard zip ties, it can be a little iffy to introduce a sharp pair of scissors into the mix: it may be your intent to only snip through the cable tie, but if you’re not careful, you can nick or cut through a cable as well. And secondly, the fact that Wrap N Straps can be removed without being destroyed means that you can reuse them – always a smart choice for those looking to save a little money or cut down on waste in general.
I’m sure that by now you’ve caught my drift that Wrap N Straps® work great on cables, but they also play nicely with rope, bungee cord, chain, Christmas lights… pretty much anything in strand form that you’d want to neatly bundle up and store. And remember those fun colors I mentioned earlier? They make these perfect for color-coding.
Filed under: Cable and Wire Storage, Cable Pulling, Tools and Cases
How is it that so many times, the simplest things can be the most useful? Sure, you can get plenty of cool gadgets that have GPS, lasers, Internet connectability and every other high-tech feature out there, but sometimes what you really need is just some bent metal tubing and a couple of wheels. After all, electronics are great, but they’re not going to get you too far when you’re trying to schlep cable reels from one place to another.
If you’re still scratching your head over the “bent metal tubing” comment and wondering what on Earth that has to do with transporting spools of wire, let me explain. I recently came across the ReelCraft® Side Mount Cart Handle, and I have to say that despite it’s simplicity, it’s really pretty smart. Fully-loaded cable reels can be pretty unweildy to just hoist up and carry around, so it just makes sense to have what is essentially a wheel-equipped handle that attaches to the spool and lets you just push or pull it around.
The Side Mount Cart Handle is 42 inches tall, so when you use it, there’s no bending involved. You just grab on to any point that’s comfortable for you, and and enjoy the lack of back strain. Add to that a couple of smooth-rolling semi-pneumatic tires, and your job just got a whole lot easier. As for how it works, simple: you just attach it to the side of a reel, and you’re ready to rock.
Filed under: Cable and Wire Storage, Tools and Cases
It’s only 10 days until Santa Claus comes screeching into town, and as we start the final countdown, I thought it might be fun to highlight a few of our more Christmassy products. I realize that I’ve already brought up Christmas in earlier posts (I got way ahead of myself in that respect), but there are still a few interesting items that can be very helpful during the Yuletide season.
Only yesterday I was mulling over the things that post-holiday cleanup entails, and the Two-Spool Cable Storage Bag (or Twinkle Light Keeper, as I like to think of it) came instantly to mind. Now, I feel like I’ve used this anecdote far too many times for different things, but it involves a classic Christmas movie, so I’m just going to go for it. Remember in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, when Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) decides to deck the house out in “25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights”? He unloads a beach ball-sized knot of Christmas lights on his young and reluctant son, Russ (Johnny Galecki), with a dismissive “You can work on that.” This scene is pretty funny as it plays out onscreen, but I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that it’s one you don’t want to recreate in real life. That’s where the nifty Two-Spool Bag comes into play.
The entire concept of the bag is so simple, but it prevents some pretty major decorating and post-holiday storage headaches. That’s because when you open it up, you’ll find two cable reels on stands, each of which allows you to spool up to 100 feet of mini Christmas lights. Imagine having 200 feet of holiday lights stored tangle-free inside a bag that measures only 15 x 6 x 11.25 inches! You may have had to unsnarl things this year, but decking the halls should be a whole lot merrier the next time around.
Today’s post goes out to the 80′s kids – the ones who dug tall bangs, leggings, slouch socks, and snap bracelets. You heard me – snap bracelets. Remember those rigid fabric-covered straps that instantly curled into cuffs as soon as you slapped them against your wrist? Even if you wouldn’t be caught dead in one now, you’d still like to play around with one, wouldn’t you? How ’bout if you could use it to keep wound-up cables coiled? You can. Sweet.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, here. Slooooooooooooooooowww down there, crazy (I’m talking to myself, kind reader, not you – so don’t feel bad). I should probably start out by filling you in on the main event, the thing that the snap-bracelet cable ties are actually accessories to. And that would be the Cable Coiler™ by Kaltman Creations. This thoroughly nifty cable reel sets itself apart from other spools with its motor, which, in short, does all the grunt work for you.
Here’s how it works. You hook one end of a power, network, or microphone cord into the connector holder on the Cable Coiler™, then let it rip! The Cable Coiler’s™ motor turns the reel, spooling cords with absolutely zero effort on your part. And now here’s where the Slap Tie™ (the “slap-bracelet cable tie”) comes into play. Say that the Cable Coiler™ has just finished winding up a cable. You just slide the cable coil off the reel, and in the same motion, knock it against the Slap Tie™ that’s ready and waiting on the side of the reel. Snap! And that’s it. The Slap Tie™ wraps itself around the cable bundle to keep the coil intact, and you’re ready to move onto your next cord. Easy and fun.
Filed under: Braided Sleeving, Cable and Wire Storage, Cable Ties, Clips and Grommets, Cable Wraps, Cables and Wires, Electrical, Power and Data Distribution
No matter who you are, where you live, or how big or small your circle of family and friends is, chances are very good that you know someone whose life has been changed because of breast cancer. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one to it. Maybe you’ve watched someone close to you battle though it and emerge a survivor. Maybe you’re living with it yourself. But one thing’s for sure – once you have a brush with the disease, you never forget it.
Since yesterday, October 1st, you’ve probably begun seeing a lot pink ribbons and references to Breast Cancer online and in the media. That’s because October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this year, 2009, CableOrganizer.com has decided to jump in and do something to support this admirable, and universal, cause.
And so, today, I’m not going to focus on one cool product, but 9 very worthwhile ones that are not only fun and useful, but whose purchase goes toward supporting breast cancer research, as well as meeting the needs of women who are fighting the disease. If you or someone you know is a fan of the color pink, please visit our Breast Cancer Pink Page, which is full of rosy-hued products that have been chosen to help raise funds in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. From now through October 31, 2009, we’re donating $1 from each purchase of these products to The Donna Foundation, a Florida-based non-profit organization dedicated to furthering breast cancer research and providing assistance to breast cancer patients.
So if you’re already looking into accessorizing your iPod or organizing some cables around the house, please be sure to check out the items on our Pink Page first – by purchasing one of these products, you’ll not only be getting something you need, but will also be helping to prevent and cure breast cancer in the process.
If someone were to tell you to assume the position for winding up an extension cord, what would you do? If your first instinct is to raise your non-dominant arm, bend it at the elbow, and get ready to loop the cable around and around between your elbow and the crook of your thumb, you’re not alone. But you’re also making things way to hard on yourself. Sure, the old “human cable reel” trick has worked fine for eons, but what if you could achieve a better outcome in seconds, without having to wrap yourself in cords? Like the idea? Thought you would. That’s why I’m about to introduce you to the Job Dog BuckReel®.
The BuckReel® is a cable and cord winder that stores extension cords, ropes, hoses, and holiday lights without letting them get tangled. That’s a lot more than most of us can say for the arm-winding technque, which, done correctly, results in “neat” bundles that magically start to self-knot the second you toss them onto a garage shelf. The unwinding is never pretty – but I digress. What I’m getting at is that it’s kind of nice to be able to just use a cable as soon as it’s unwound, instead of dealing with a wad of cords that looks like it’s been attacked by a mischievous Boy Scout with a third-degree black belt in knot tying.
The BuckReel® eliminates snarling because it wraps cords around an actual spool, the way nature intended them to be. But this isn’t a stationary spool that you need to physically wind your cables around. The BuckReel has a very cool design that incorporates a free-spinning hand grip inside the spool, and a stationary crank handle on the rim of the spool itself. To wind up cords, you just hold onto the inner grip with one hand, turn the crank with the other, and watch as your cable is spooled in no time. Once the winding has come to an end, you just store the entire BuckReel® until the cords on it are needed again – it’s equally at home on a shelf, or stacked two high in a 5-gallon bucket.