I’m wracking my brain, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t think of a single context in which sagging is a good thing. Think about it: sagging skin… sagging roofs… sagging exhaust systems… sagging pants – you get the idea. When stuff starts to drag, it’s, well… a drag. Especially when it comes to cables. Whoever thought that a little bit of gravity-weighted cable slack would be enough to knock out, or at least slow down and mess up, an entire data signal?
It’s true: when cables are left without enough support, they start to sag under the influence of gravity, and this downward pull (called cable strain) is often enough to distort the conductor (the inner wire that carries signals) to the point that it just doesn’t work right. And when a cable doesn’t work right, that means that your Internet connection or cable TV signal is a lot weaker/far more sporadic than it should be, or not there at all. Cable strain also usually means that you have to shell out for a new cable that’s fit for the job. In a nutshell, no good can come of it.
That’s why I’m such a fan of these strain relief clamps from Richco. Designed to shore up cable in situations where it would otherwise be slumping, strain relief clamps are used every so often along a cable run to secure wires to a sturdy surface, and prevent evil gravity from taking its toll.
Design and installation-wise, they’re very simple. The strain relief clamps are basically an elongated oval shape, with a wire channel running crosswise along the underside (that’s the part that holds the cable), and a small hole at each end, through which you can drive screws to hold the clamp in place on a wall or another flat surface. This particular mounting method makes them sturdier than less-permanent adhesive-backed cord clips, and also means that they can do double duty, not only supporting cables as they travel from Point A to Point B, but also helping to route and guide them, as well.
And we can all use a little extra guidance…