Ladies and Gents, they’ve done it again. I don’t know what it is about rolled raceway that’s always blown my mind, but the stuff is cool. I really dig the fact that someone took a functional and versatile product that had a few dimension-based shipping and storage issues, and found a way to smoosh it flat, roll it up, and put it in a box. But now it’s gotten even better.
I just became acquainted with a new rolled raceway by the name of Wire Trak™. Unlike the other raceway-on-a-roll type products out there, Wire Trak puts itself together – literally. Whereas with other brands you dispense a length of flattened raceway from the box, cut it off and fold it into its intended 3D shape, Wire Trak has it all under control – all you do is pull out what you need, cut, and stick it into place.
The actual assembly/shaping is all left up to the packaging, believe it or not. Where you’d normally find a dispensing slot on most cut-to-length raceway boxes, there’s a patented raceway former built into the Wire Trak™ box, which pops the flat Wire Trak into shape as it’s pulled from the package. Sounds pretty cool, does it not? It’s a major time saver, because it frees you from having to painstakingly fold feet or yards of raceway into a perfectly rectangular channel. Origami for the sake of origami is one thing, but who wants to master the art of folding just to hide a few cables?
Over the past 5+ months that I’ve been writing this blog, it’s probably seemed like I have broken-record syndrome, because I can’t seem to stop saying how easy it is to use surface raceways to manage your cables. I mean, you just stick the stuff onto the wall (literally – most of it comes backed with adhesive), open up the cover, pop your cords into it, and snap the lid shut again. If you’re feeling really crazy, you can go a step farther and paint it to match your walls, but basically, using raceway is a no-brainer. But guess what? I just found out that surface raceway has gotten even easier. Meet my new pal, Neoprene Rubber Surface Raceway.
Now, I don’t know if I’m fascinated by the fact that someone actually thought to make a cord channel out of Neoprene, or if I’m just getting lazy, but any way you slice it, this product is really cool. It has the same basic rectangular shape as standard PVC raceway, but because it’s made of Neoprene rubber, it’s extremely soft and flexible. The last time I checked, softness and flexibility weren’t exactly conducive to the structural requirements of a snap-open, snap-closed lid. So this product’s designer decided to do away with the latching cover altogether, and go with a simple slit, instead. And that’s what makes Neoprene raceway so much more convenient. You just push cables right into it – no opening, no closing, no finger fatigue. Nice.
Thanks to its simple design and installation, Neoprene cable raceway is a great introductory cable management product to use around the house, because you don’t need to be a pro to install it. And even though it’s perfectly at home in your office or home theater, it’s absolutely perfect for kids’ rooms, where the general rule of thumb tends to be “the softer and safer, the better.”
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.