Filed under: Desks and Workstations, Power and Data Distribution
When it comes to running your devices such as computers, desk lights, printer and more, it can be a problem when connecting them to the power especially when the main power socket is a fair distance away from the devices and your desk. One of the best solutions for this problem is the use of a desk power outlet.
What Is A Desk Power Outlet?
A desk power outlet is similar to a power board but is integrated into your office desk. This outlet is designed to be integrated and built into the desk or installed underneath the desk ready for you to use with your electrical devices.
Things To Consider When Buying A Desk Outlet
When looking to purchase a desk outlet there are a few things that you may need to take into consideration to ensure your setup will work to your advantage. Here are some tips when buying a desk outlet.
Built In or Underdesk: One of the first things to consider is choosing between the inbuilt versions of the under desk versions of desk outlets. The inbuilt desk outlets are designed to provide a permanent power solution which can be accessed in a quick and easy manner from the top of your desk. These are generally installed on or within the desk and can’t be moved once installed.
The under desk models provide a more discreet method of a power source which can be easily accessed from below your desk. Under desk power outlets free up space on your desk providing more room to work without any interference. These are great for installing anywhere underneath the desk for added versatility.
Number Of Outlets: Another thing to consider before purchasing your desk outlet is working out how many power outlets are needed and whether you need any other connections. Some desk power outlets feature a number of socket ports which can cater between 2-6 outlets. Choosing the right amount of outlets can save you problems later especially when connecting multiple devices at once.
Data Outlets: Depending on your application and setup you may also need to work out whether you need any other data ports. Some of the desk outlets provide data port outlets which are great for installing different devices in the one place. These are designed to offer a more versatile solution to both power and data setup at the one place.
So when looking to purchase your own desk power outlet why not take these simple tips into consideration to make sure you purchase the one you need for your application.
It isn’t everyday that you need a 10-gang electrical box, but if you ever did, wouldn’t it be nice to know that you could snap one together in seconds, without any tools? I think it would be, especially after discovering the totally pieced-together hack job that was lurking beneath the 3 gang wallplate in the laundry room of my 90-something year old house. That’s why I wish that the home electrical noobs who threw together my 1-outlet, 2-switch combo had heard of Arlington Industries’ Gangable Plastic Electrical Boxes before they tried to be enterprising cheapskates.
Arlington’s gangable outlet boxes are an extremely affordable way for electrical contractors and around-the-house handy types to create multi-gang groupings of receptacles, switches, or low-voltage devices without the need to order specific-sized outlet boxes every time. What starts out as a double-gang box can be separated vertically down the middle, allowing you to snap in up to 8 side-free box extenders to create a gang box up to 10 devices across. When it’s wide enough, you have the option of sliding voltage separators between areas that will be housing power and low voltage, to help prevent interference between the two different types of wiring.
The expandable gang boxes are made of plastic, so they’re more flexible (in a good way) than steel boxes, which makes the parts easier to snap together manually and then install. The different components also take up far less storage space than traditional electrical boxes, so if you’re a busy contractor who prefers not to order for each individual job, you can keep a considerable amount of stock on hand without sacrificing your budget or shelf space, and have the freedom to snap together a custom solution at a moment’s notice whenever you need to.
Arlington Gangable Plastic Electrical Boxes can be used in new construction or retrofit projects, and are available in screw-on, nail-on or mounting wing screw styles to work with either wood or metal studs.
Yesterday, when I was blogging about the Fox™ cord cover, seeing its picture reminded me of another cable protector that has a similar general appearance, but is meant for almost unimaginably tough environments. This is one cord cover that isn’t on my mind often, but when it is, I almost can’t believe how massive it is and what it’s built to handle. It’s for mining and other extreme industrial applications, but you don’t have to be a miner or an engineer to be impressed: meet the Crossover™ Extreme Duty Cord Protector by Peterson Systems.
When I make this next statement, I’m in no way putting down standard heavy duty cable protectors (they’re designed to do a job of a specific size, and they’re great at what they do). But here’s the thing: hearing a weight impact capacity of 10 tons (around 20,000 lbs) just isn’t that impressive anymore when you see that the Peterson Crossover can handle regular vehicular impact loads of up to 350 tons. 350 tons. I don’t know about you, but that blows my mind. I’d love to get an up-close look at the vehicles and machinery these are designed to stand up to.
To accomplish such a monumental feat, you’ve probably guessed that they’re manufactured a just a little differently than your standard cast polyurethane cord cover. While the Crossover™ does incorporate two different grades of Peterson’s proprietary Hiperthane® high-performance polyurethane (one for abrasion resistance, the other for impact resistance), it also works graphite and encapsulated expanded steel into the design for good measure. Overall, the Crossover is nonconductive, non-sparking and self-extinguishing, so it’s safe around all types of machinery in a wide range of abusive conditions.
A few extra features include molded-in receptacles for stands or flags, a custom-molded cable cap that allows you to completely enclose cables or hoses that are dropped into the protective channel, and half-inch proof coil chains that make it easier to drag the Crossover out of mud or sand when it needs to be moved.
Filed under: Network Products, Server Racks and Enclosures
I guess I should start out by saying that rack cable management, while a very necessary and worthwhile thing, has never really excited me. It’s all business – no bells, whistles or sparkles, because why would you need them? Rack cable managers are usually hidden in the dark recesses of server enclosures, so they’re strictly utilitarian. Yawn.
Then I got a look at the Climatronix Stretch Connect™ System, and the fun-loving part of me felt a glimmer of hope. While the Stretch Connect is based on the standard black powder-coated cable management bar design, its top and bottom edges have a very interesting cut-out pattern that not only adds a little visual flair, but is also the key to Stretch Connect’s method of functionality.
Method of functionality? That would be how the Stretch Connect actually controls cables, which, like any other cable bar, is to have patch cords routed and fastened along it. But unlike other cable bars, which tend to make heavy use of cable ties and hook-and-loop wraps that fully loop either around or through both the bars and the cables lashed to them, Stretch Connect employs reusable stretchy connectors, which simply, well, stretch across the front of the bar to hold patch cords in place.
These reusable stretchy connectors have wide grips at the ends, which not only give you a good handhold, but also fit snugly into the cutout edging I mentioned earlier. To fasten patch cords against the Stretch Connect, you just hold the cords in place, slide one end grip behind the cutouts, stretch the strap across the cables, and slip the other connector end behind the opposite cutouts. Fast, simple, and a lot more fun to look at (and use) than most other lacing bars out there.
Filed under: Cable Ties, Clips and Grommets, Heat Shrink Tubing
Happy Friday! It’s time again for our Weekly Video Rewind. I know that a lot of you are probably itching to bust out of the office and head to the movies to catch The Dictator or Battleship, but before you do that, here are a couple of our more recent video demos that show you how to do useful stuff with cool products. So stop fidgeting through your Friday afternoon and check these out, okay? You never know – you may learn something that could make your life (and job) easier come Monday. Roll ‘em!
PRT Wraparound Heat Shrink Tubing: Tiffani, our New Product Expert Extraordinaire, is back in this video, this time to show us a very interesting concept in heat shrink: wraparound tubing. If you’ve never used standard heat shrink tubing before, the whole idea is that you slide the tube-shaped sleeve over the end of a cable, and basically slip the tubing along the length of the cable until it reaches the exact location where it’s needed. This means weaseling heat shrink over the initial obstacle of a plug or connector, and that can be tricky and sometimes completely impractical, especially if there’s such a large size discrepancy between cable and connector that by time you find something that will fit over the plug, it’s too big (even when shrunk) to fully conform to the cable. Sigh. Enter Zippertubing and their PRT wraparound shrink tubing, which is slit all the way along its length so it can be wrapped around cables from the side. Add peel-and stick adhesive edging to the already genius design, and you have a product that turns out a very respectable finished product with nowhere near the hassle of regular heat shrink.
HellermannTyton EVO 7 Cable Tie Gun: When you watch this video, you’ll see that Tiffani’s back again, this time demonstrating a tool that’s a lifesaver for cables and fingers alike: the EVO 7 Cable Tie Gun from HellermannTyton. If you’ve ever installed more than 10 or 20 cable ties in one sitting, you probably know that they have a habit of leaving the fingers a little raw – and then there’s that pesky universal cable tie probelm of overtightening, which can impede signals and damage insulation by essentially strangling your cables. Tiffani shows how to use a cable tie gun to quicky and correctly tension and trim cable ties, all while keeping your hands comfortable.
Filed under: Desk Cable Organizers, Power and Data Distribution
I think I’ve mentioned this before in another blog post, but Fridays get me thinking about movies, to the point that I usually have to quickly scour through the latest reviews to see what looks good. Well, this week, a fun little twist has been added to my Friday movie review routine: now I’m not just reading them, I’m writing them!
We’re putting a little more time and effort into our product demo videos these days, so I want to make sure that no one misses out. Today, we’re going to start with the first trio of videos produced, directed, professionally-lit and edited by the amazing Fernando of CableOrganizer.com Web Design fame, which also star our multi-talented New Products guru Tiffani, who, in my humble opinion, is giving Beyonce a run for her money with that hair and makeup. But back to the product prowess: Tiffani is the person to listen to, because she has an incredibly thorough knowledge of all of the products that appear on our site – so rest assured, the lady knows what she’s talking about.
On to the videos:
Powertap Grommet Desk Outlet: Tiffani demonstrates how the Powertap desk outlet installs into your worksurface and acts as a very convenient middleman between your desktop devices and wall outlet, thereby letting you experience the joy of plugging and unplugging without bending over, crawling under your desk, and possibly (inadvertently) mooning your coworkers. If you’ve ever wondered exactly how this type of product works, definitely check out the video – it’s much easier to understand than just reading a product description.
Under-Desk Wire Tray: This is a pretty simple and straightforward product that I wouldn’t have though needed an actual demonstration video, but now that I’ve seen it, I’m glad they made one. Tiffani shows a few tips and tricks for installing it correctly and customizing it to fit your individual desk size and cable management needs – total home run.
Cable Corral: If you’re the kind of person who wants to cable-manage the space under your desk without spending hours juggling cable ties, wire loom, cord clips and a label printer, you’ll appreciate the Cable Corral video. This product is the equivalent of throwing all of your loose clutter into the hall closet right before company arrives, except that the end result won’t leave you with regrets and even more clean-up later on. Tiffani demonstrates how to make the most of the Cable Corral to accommodate not just cables, but a power strip as well.
Rare Earth Solutions Magnetic Cable Clips: High-Grip Clips Without the Damaging Adhesives or Hardware
I’m the kind of person prefers not to assault visible surfaces with hole-making hardware or sticky adhesives no matter what I’m trying to accomplish, be that hanging a picture or wall-mounting things like bag dispensers. Keep your screws, nails and tacks, and hand me the 3M™ Command™ strips – I’ll use a dozen if I have to. Just don’t make me fill in a nail hole or patch peeled paint where a stick-on product ripped it off.
That’s why I was so intrigued when I came across these magnetic cable clips by Rare Earth Solutions™. Instead of sticking onto or bolting into a surface, neodymium magnets let the clips get a death grip on racks, enclosures, beams and other metal structures, so that you can route cables just about anywhere without having to make any permanent modifications. Aside from the fact that they require a metallic surface to stick to, these magnetic cable clips give you pretty much limitless options: they can be used in both temporary and permanent applications, positioned right-side-up, sideways, upside-down or anywhere in between.
Rare Earth Solutions™ cable clips come in either round or rectangular shapes in a range of sizes, each of which hold up to two cable bundles ranging between ¼” and ¾” in diameter. They’re perfect for garages, home theaters, automotive and aerospace work, stages, and pretty much anything else you can dream up – as long as there’s metal to anchor them to, they’ll work.
Ever notice how beat up extension cords seem to get? I’m not talking about the delicate, super-flexible little ones that you use to stretch lamp cords or plug in indoor Christmas lights, that never come into contact with anything tougher than a dust bunny. I’m talking about the ones that are skulking in your garage, workshop or basement – the heavy-duty ones that are good for power tools and always look like they’ve been run over by the lawnmower, chewed by the dog, and recently dragged through paint and sawdust – right before someone took a hammer to the plug.
How does anyone in their right mind feel safe using an electrical component in such sorry shape? And how, again, does someone in their right mind let a highly useful yet potentially damgerous piece of equipment get into that state of disrepair? I’m not really sure on either count, but there’s one thing I do know: most of us can’t be trusted, and our extension cords should be better protected from, well… us.
Luckily, General Cable got a clue about the sad plight of working extension cords, and came up with the Powr-Reel™, a retractable 3-outlet extension cord that’s packed safely away inside a sturdy metal casing. When you’re ready to use it, just pull out the length you need (it will automatically lock into place), do what you’ve got to do, and when you’re done, retract it back into the enclosed reel with nothing more than a tug.
This is a great product on multiple levels: not only is the electrical cord saved from constant repeat beatings by its case, but you’re also spared the clutter of cable slack thanks to the lockable length. And did I mention that it makes transport just a little easier? Instead of slinging a loosely-coiled/semi-tangled cord into your trunk or truck bed, just grab the Powr-Reel’s handy case and stow it wherever you need it, without worry of damage or knots.
Ever plug a bunch of stuff into a surge protector and end up one measly outlet short because a couple of the fatter plugs were taking up more than their fair share of space and blocking a technically “free” receptacle? Curses! What are you supposed to do, go out and buy a whole other UPS to accommodate one stupid plug?
Actually, no – just use a 360 Electrical® Swivel Surge Protector to begin with, and you won’t end up in that low and frustrating place.
The entire idea behind the Swivel Surge Protector is that each of its 8 outlets can be strategically positioned in such a way that they can all be used at once, no matter how big neighboring plugs may be. If what you’ll be plugging into Outlet A is bulky enough to impede on Outlet B’s usable real estate, just dial Outlet A forward or backward to the point where everything will fit, and then plug in. It reminds me of one of those multi-digit combination locks, where you independently turn each successive dial to the number you need… except that there’s no set combination (just make things up as you go along), and it’s more for powering electronics than guarding your gym gear or bike. But stylistically… similar.
In addition to its shape-shifting capabilities, the Swivel Surge Protector guards your sensitive computer or home theater equipment from potentially damaging power surges, has integrated cable clips to keep things both safe and organized, and is UL listed in the US and Canada. Looks like someone thought things out! I like it… I like it a lot.