Filed under: Electrical, Raceway, Duct and Conduit
Any electrician or network technician who’s dealt with surface raceway has probably installed a surface-mount junction box or two in their time. After all, you need outlets, right? While junction boxes themselves don’t pose a problem, if you need to use them in large quantities, they can be a hassle to store in your facility and transport to different jobsites. Outlet boxes in and of themselves are relatively inexpensive components, but when you purchase them in bulk, you can often end up paying a lot extra for shipping just because they take a lot of space. Seeing that they’re just little empty boxes, it seems pretty futile to be shelling out to house and transport packages that are largely filled with air. But thankfully, now there’s a better way.
Meet the Flat Box™, a low voltage surface-mount junction box that actually ships flat, so it takes up hardly any space. You just snap it together when you need it (a process that only takes a few seconds), and you’re ready to go. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about how sturdy a snap-together outlet box could be, but I was pleasantly shocked – once assembled, the whole thing was very solid. There’s absolutely no trade-off of convenience for stability.
The Flat Box™ also comes with pre-threaded screw holes, so you can quickly and easily install inserts and wall plates into it. And there’s also the very convenient fact that the whole thing can be painted with latex paint to match the rest of your room.
Flat Box™ also comes with scored knockouts for three different raceway sizes, as well as a single knockout for 1″ conduit – just punch out the opening you need, and leave the rest in place.
Sorry, this product has been discontinued.
Home theater cables: can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. Although visible A/V wiring may be driving you crazy, you can’t exactly get rid of it completely, because that would mean the end of music and movies. But at the same time, how can you fully enjoy your home theater experience if you’re constantly distracted by the sight of exposed (and maybe even messy) cables? Answer: surface raceway.
If you’re not familiar with the name or concept of surface raceway, allow me to explain: it’s basically an enclosed channel that sticks onto walls and ceilings by way of a pre-applied adhesive backing, for the purpose of holding, organizing and hiding many types of cords, from home theater cables to network wiring. Generally speaking, most raceways, including the 500 Series, have hinged, latching covers that can be opened and closed as needed so you can easily install or switch out cables.
500 Series Raceways are made of flame-resistant PVC, in your choice of white, beige and black. But no matter which color you choose, you can always paint it later with Latex paint, and make it blend in perfectly with you walls, ceilings, or any other element of your decor. It’s really easy to custom-configure, too. Although raceway typically comes in 5′ lengths, you’re not limited to straight-aways. This raceway can be scored with a razor knife and snapped into shorter pieces, or just cut to length with a standard hacksaw.
And did I mention that it can even be wrapped around corners or branched off in different directions? Thanks to its long list of optional accessories, which includes inside and outside corners, 3 and 4-way tees, end caps, elbows, junction boxes and ceiling entries, the 500 Series is one of the most versatile surface raceway systems on the market.
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.
Filed under: Cable Wraps, Desk Cable Organizers, Raceway, Duct and Conduit
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.
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.
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.
Filed under: Network Products, Raceway, Duct and Conduit
Today I’m going to talk about Snake Tray’s 501 Series, a very popular line of cable trays that have been specifically designed for use on walls. If you’re thinking that all cable trays are pretty much the same, think again. With minimal tool and hardware requirements, these zinc-plated cold rolled steel trays are quick and simple to install, and can be custom-bent in seconds with your bare hands. While it’s pretty common to see industrial cable trays suspended from the ceiling via brackets and threaded rods, 501 Series Snake Trays are equipped with built-in mounting rings (or “Snake Eyes”), which eliminate the need for hanging brackets.
Because it’s so easy to customize the shape and configuaration of 501 Series Snake Trays, they’re great for use in tight spaces where you may not have the room to accommodate suspended trays. These Snake Trays provide excellent support for telecommunications cables, whether they’re standard copper or fiber optic. As a matter of fact, the 501 Series does the job so well that it’s often specified for university, Fortune 500, and US Government installations.
In addition to the convenience and space efficiency of Snake Trays, you’ll also find that they save a significant amount of money. Because of their minimal hardware and the fact that tray segments take only 15 seconds to connect (versus up to 10 minutes with competitors’ trays), 501 Series Snake Trays can reduce installation costs by up to 85%! Snake trays also nest together for shipping, which can noticeably lower your freight expenses.
The Snake Tray 501 Series is compliant with EIA/TIA, NEC and NFPA standards, and often ships from inventory within just one day.
For those of you out there who are sick of getting your feet tangled in the pile of computer cables under your desk, may I introduce the WireMate™ Cord Organizer. This is a very popular choice among our customers with desk jobs, and I have to admit, there’s now one living under my desk, too. In the not too distant past, I used to regularly (but inadvertently) yank the ethernet cord out of my computer tower, simply because I would happen to shift my feet a few inches while they were immersed in the tangle of disorganized cords.
If “easy to deal with” and “completely concealed” are adjectives you’d like to be able to apply to your own computer or home theater cables, then I strongly suggest that you give the WireMate™ a try. It comes in two pieces: a base, which is equipped with hooks to coil your wires around, and a cover, which snaps onto the base to neatly conceal the cords within. Installation is incredibly easy, with no tools needed; just adhere the base to your desk, entertainment center, or wall (mine is attached to the wall my desk is pushed against). A nice benefit is that you don’t need to make any holes in your wall or furniture – the WireMate™sticks right to them with 3M™ double-sided tape (included).
WireMate™ measures 14″ x 18″, and is only 2″ deep when assembled, which is nice because it’s fairly low-profile, and doesn’t attract much attention – exactly what you want, right? You can also choose from 3 neutral colors (black, white, and gray), which blend very well into a variety of decors and color schemes.
Today’s feature presentation is very much like conduit or surface raceway, but even easier to use. Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to J Channel, the ever-updateable cable routing solution. It might not be the prettiest cord manager in the neighborhood, but you really can’t beat it for convenience – just peel the backing off its pre-applied adhesive, stick it onto your desk or wall, drop in some cables and go.
There are a couple of situations this works especially well in. First of all, if any of you renters out there are looking for a way to hide and route A/V or home computer cables, this is a terrific option that won’t leave nail holes in your walls (always a plus when deposit refund time rolls around). And secondly, J Channel is a great solution for 9-to-5 cubicle dwellers: we have a customer who actually ran some around the base of their cubicle walls so they could stash office cables inside and cut down on clutter and tripping hazards.
Don’t let me typecast the stuff, though – it’s really an all-around great solution. Because of it’s design (with an open slot right along the top) J Channel makes updating cabling incredible easy – instead of having to pry open a snapped-on cover all along its length like you’d have to do with raceway, you just lift out the cables you need to remove, then pop the new ones in. And aside from being economical, it’s also very customizable: just cut it to size with a basic hacksaw.