Inexpensive Tip For Making Your Wiring Neat

I run into pics of awful wiring all the time. The rack gets installed, shelves, components and it all goes down hill after that because there was no plan for managing cables. Bring some cables out of a single gang box here, big pipe that routes cables to the pool house over there, small pipe out of the base board for the cable company and many other random boxes and pipes. All the cables are coming out at random/different points. Theres no place to terminate or hide unused cables so 1 after another things begin to pile up and the next thing you know.. rats nest.

I have a very simple solution to anyone who doesn’t want to or cant, plan out the wiring ahead of time, but wants to be able to manage cables at the end. Its cheap (apx $10), easy to install (done with a razor knife or keyhole saw) and gives you complete flexibility after drywall.

See pic below. We had a rack going into a cabinet that didn’t exist and wouldn’t exist for a few months. I Ran all the cable down the wall and out of a single gang mud ring. After drywall the mud ring was removed and an access panel put in its place. Its a cheap plastic Home Depot access panel but it gives me the ability to route cables and once the cover goes on the wall looks nice and clean.

We decided to put in patch panels but we could have done anything we wanted. We could have brought the cat5’s out of a hole behind a punch down block or the RG-6 out of a bulk cable plate right to a multiswitch or the speaker cables out at the bottom of the wall so that they would come right across the cable tray for the slide out rack. Extra cables can be rolled up, zip tied and labled and stored inside the wall.

The next step is getting the cable to the equipment in the rack. Check out these articles to see what tools & connectors i use for terminating cables.

Cat5: http://wiremunky.com/?p=6
Coax: http://wiremunky.com/?p=14
Speaker Cable: http://wiremunky.com/?p=18

Using bulk cable to make custom interconnect / patch cables is the only way to truly manage your cables. It eliminates the excess cable from point A to point B allowing you to keep your racks clean and accessible.


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