Cable Managment

Discussion in 'Tips and Tricks' started by KD7FQI, Nov 9, 2021.

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  1. KD7FQI

    KD7FQI Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am looking for some tips and tricks for cable management in my station. Anybody buy or doing something that worked great?

    I have an 8' desk with 3 shelves. I am running into issues with keeping AC and DC power cables away from RF coaxial cables. The other assortment of cables coming off the back of each radio becomes a tangled mess over time. I also have quite the mess of hanging cables behind each shelf.

    I use 300 ohm window line from my 3 balanced tuners. All my HF antennas use balanced feeders. I try and keep it looped out of the way and close to my window feed through panel.
  2. K7TRF

    K7TRF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yeah, I know the pain of that one and periodically I clean things up but then when rigs change around it tends to get messy again.

    That said in my commercial work we solve this with cable trays as in one per level of shelving or even more and you run specific types of cable in each tray like one for AC power cords, one for coax and perhaps another for things like keying lines and other low voltage control lines. I don't do this in my shack (perhaps I should) but it's something we do in commercial installations all the time. Cable tray systems can be home-brewed or can be found commercially ranging from pretty inexpensive to extremely expensive depending on the size, length, material and features. The open mesh ones are fairly inexpensive and pretty convenient as you can drop cables out of them easily at the position of each rig or wall outlet or whatever you're running the cables to and from.
    N8ZL likes this.
  3. NG1H

    NG1H XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you have room behind the desk look at W7UUU's thread on "Entire shack/shop/man cave lost to fire" and dig down until you find the pictures of the new setup. He did a "raised floor" walkway which runs the cables underneath allowing easy access to the back of the desk. IMO this is a great idea whatever you use to manage the cables. But be prepared to dig through 100+ pages...

    Most people use nylon wire (zip) ties. You can get them with a loop on the end to allow you to screw one side to the wall/desk/shelf/whatever. Personally I prefer Velcro wire wraps. This way you aren't having to cut everything when you want to make a change.

    You can usually pick up used server/telephone rack cable management parts for very little money. Google "Panduit cable management" for ideas on what to look for.
    W7UUU likes this.
  4. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I add, subtract and relocate my gear on the op table so often, If I tried to tie up cables together , I would just have to cut the bundle ties off and start over frequently ! !
    KI8N and AH7I like this.
  5. KA2BLG

    KA2BLG Ham Member QRZ Page

    The last time I had a decent shack setup, I used plastic raceway made for computer and server racks. It was cheap, easy to cut to length, etc.

    As one of the poor dumb b*** that used to have to work in underfloor wiring spaces, lets just say I’d NEVER recommend it. Laying in the the dust, dirt and debris that accumulates there is... we’ll just say unpleasant... lest I get banned for telling you how I really feel.
  6. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Thanks @NG1H

    My "Gangplank" system turns out to be INVALUABLE. I make use of it almost every day. It's so awesome to be able to just walk behind all the gear to make changes, work with wiring, etc.

    If you have the room, it's cheap - easy to build - and works amazingly well


    plank3.jpg plank2.jpg plank1.jpg
    N5XMV, N8ZL, K2CAJ and 8 others like this.
  7. W7EDC

    W7EDC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    And you get easy access with a fire extinguisher;)
    ...glad your are back on the Air Dave.

    oops...sorry. i guess this could be 'snarky'.
    KO4BCN and W7UUU like this.
  8. WA9FZB

    WA9FZB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you are going to use cable ties, you may want a way to attach those bundles of cables to the back of a shelf or upright.

    I install small screw-eyes into wooden shelves (or baseboards, etc.) and cable-tie the wire bundles to them to keep wires neat and out of sight.

    Now, I'm trying to think of a way to attach wire bundles to metal desk legs, etc. I find that double-stick tapes don't last.
  9. N9LCD

    N9LCD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    There's a "super stick" metal tape used by the HVAC trades for sealing, patching, etc. Ain't cheap, may be $25++ a roll. But it really sticks to smooth surfaces.

    Heck, it'll even somewhat stick to brick & concrete. Used the tape to fasten protective paper to siding, brick walls and concrete while painting iron railings.
  10. WA9FZB

    WA9FZB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hmmm -- I'll have to look downstairs and see if I have any of that. My dad used to be an HVAC guy. . .

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