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Cable management thru/around AV workstation?

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Neil OrmanCable management thru/around AV workstation?
by on Aug 9, 2016 at 3:07:39 pm

Does anyone know of good, inexpensive solutions for attaching cords to the bottom of your workstations, and where to get them? I double as our company's video and AV guy, and in that role I sit at an AV workstation where we have the camera switchers etc for running our events, in our conference room. At that workstation we have a mess of cords just sitting on the floor that I'm trying to figure out a way to attach to the bottom of the desk. It includes a spaghetti-like mess of HDMI cables, power cords and long heavy coils of Ethernet cables. I'm envisioning some kind of velcro bands that I could screw or somehow firmly attach to the bottom of the desk. But I'm open to ideas and would be grateful for any suggestions.


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Alan LloydRe: Cable management thru/around AV workstation?
by on Aug 9, 2016 at 3:43:38 pm

A quick Google search of "cable management" brought many useful links.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Cable+management&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

There are solutions from braided wraps to outright raceway, depending on your budget, and just as important, physical environment.

How often do you need to access the cabling? Are the workstations moveable? What sort of "service loop" do you need?


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Neil OrmanRe: Cable management thru/around AV workstation?
by on Aug 9, 2016 at 4:41:10 pm

Thanks very much Alan, and I'll check out those google links. The workstation is fixed in place, and once they're in place I won't need to access the cables very often at all, extremely infrequently I'd say. My apologies, but what does "service loop" mean? I'm attempting to share two images of the workstation and cabling. Just let me know what you or others think, thanks again, or if you can't see the images. (For background, this mess is a result of my company moving into a new office last year, when we had an AV installer install everything and attach these cables to the bottom of card tables in the AV room. Complicating things we didn't get permanent furniture for the room till later, which required disconnecting all the cables. Now my employer prefers not to pay to have the AV installer come back to properly install the cables etc in the new furniture. So I'm trying to do the best, least expensive job myself that I can to manage these cables and get them off the floor.)




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Thomas LeongRe: Cable management thru/around AV workstation?
by on Aug 9, 2016 at 5:55:17 pm

My take would be a combination of screw eyes into the table, then big S-hook for each rolled up cable -

https://www.amazon.com/Hillman-Group-4277-Stainless-10-Pack/dp/B00IAVLDVG/r...

https://www.amazon.com/ARROW-160373-Oversized-Hooks-Pack/dp/B00VEDFPWA/ref=...

...stuff you can get at a hardware store.



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Neil OrmanRe: Cable management thru/around AV workstation?
by on Aug 9, 2016 at 7:28:27 pm

Thank you very much Thomas, this looks like exactly the type of products we need. Much appreciated. Just one more question on this for you or anyone else, and of course I'd be interested if anyone else has other recommendations on any of this too. In addition to the cords I also need to secure several little boxes to the underside of the desk too, an example of which I included in an attached photo. Any quick recommendations for securing something like this? It seems like the hook and screw approach would work for this too. But I just need something to wrap/tie the box in, and I was wondering if anything better than just standard cable ties (or maybe a couple of them) might work.



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Thomas LeongRe: Cable management thru/around AV workstation?
by on Aug 10, 2016 at 4:54:10 am

Cable ties are slim enough to slip between the connected cables, and strong enough to last. Also easy to cut and replace when a unit has to be moved again or replaced.

Alternative I can think of is double-sided tape to stick to the the table's underside. Removing later, however, may need a cutter to slice through.

Thomas Leong



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Alan LloydRe: Cable management thru/around AV workstation?
by on Aug 10, 2016 at 2:19:57 pm

Ugh. I've worked in environments like that.

Thomas has good suggestions.

I have one more. You might want to put twin-check labels on cabling and connectors. If you have to break something out it's helpful for putting it all back together.

And a service loop won't help you that much, now that I see the room, as it's mostly to let racked gear slide out for closer attention without disconnecting everything first. Your stuff doesn't appear to be rackmounted.


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Mark SuszkoRe: Cable management thru/around AV workstation?
by on Aug 10, 2016 at 2:44:01 pm

The power strips already have mounting holes for screws: you can screw them into the underside of the desk, or high on the wall just below the underside of the desk. Split tube wire and cable tubing will gather and hide the rest pretty well, you can also shoot mounting screws right thru the split tubing into the underside of the desk to hold the tubing.


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Neil OrmanRe: Cable management thru/around AV workstation?
by on Aug 10, 2016 at 4:04:01 pm

Thanks so much Alan, Thomas and Mark for the great suggestions. Mark, on one of your points, I'm not as familiar with split wire tubing. Is the link below what you're talking about?
http://www.cabletiesandmore.com/black-wire-looms-40-2929?gclid=Cj0KEQjwoau9...

Would this be an alternative to the screw eyes and S-hook approach Thomas suggested, or just a complement to it?

Very much appreciated guys.


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Mark SuszkoRe: Cable management thru/around AV workstation?
by on Aug 10, 2016 at 7:08:22 pm

Yes, the split loom is what I meant. Also, you need not in every case have to run the loom all the way point to point, to keep everything tidy. You could use shorter sections with gaps in between of a foot or two, and it still works. The full end to end run simply looks a little "cleaner", but works functionally the same.


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Mark SuszkoRe: Cable management thru/around AV workstation?
by on Aug 10, 2016 at 8:43:14 pm

To manage the wall warts and the little connector boxes, chain stores like Wall of China Mart and Target have a lot of neat little shelves of metal sheet and mesh, geared towards organizing kid's school lockers or desk organizers in the Office supplies stores/sections. Really inexpensive. I use one as a holder for my electric razor at home, looks very tidy:-) You can find some little lightweight holders in many sizes that will nicely adapt to the task, and also screw right into the bottom of the desk. If using plastic, either pre-drill or melt the screw holes in the plastic before mounting, to prevent cracking the plastic.

You can also go Ikea, to really set off the FCPX suite:-)


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Neil OrmanRe: Cable management thru/around AV workstation?
by on Aug 12, 2016 at 2:31:46 am

Thank you so much Mark for this great and detailed advice! Hugely appreciated! You've helped transform a painful chore into a much less painful one :) Once it's done I'll close this thread and send a pic. Thanks again to you, Thomas and Alan.
Neil


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Bill DavisRe: Cable management thru/around AV workstation?
by on Aug 12, 2016 at 9:00:12 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Aug 12, 2016 at 9:03:08 pm

This does not speak to the original problem except peripherally.

Having spent 15 years in an "against the wall" equipment setup with 75+ devices, lights and wall-warts plugged into outlet boxes and probably 200 signal lines connecting everything behind the desks - I pledged myself two things when I moved.

A) I'll NEVER again put a desk against a wall. I know this stuff is supposed to get installed once and done, but the reality is that gear and peripherals revise and appear so often these days, that there was seldom a quarter where I didn't spend a couple of days on my back under my desk doing something. Today, my desk is set as a peninsula off one wall - and I couldn't be happier about it. The wall/desktop orientation is selected, whenever possible, based on where the windows are for monitor/reflection mitigation.

B) I'll second the concept for tagging both ends of every line. I also bundle in no more than 5 lines at a time. Those can be zip tied to other bundles, but it's much easier to replace a coax run with an HDMI run if you don't have to unbundle and de- braid everything in a 20 line package.

C) There used to be never enough Edison outlets. Today, there are never enough wall wart friendly outlets.

just sayin' YMMV.

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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Neil OrmanRe: Cable management thru/around AV workstation?
by on Aug 18, 2016 at 8:07:38 pm

Just one last question on this, to which I'd be grateful for any quick feedback. There was another cable management product I'd received before I even started this thread, from my employer's interior designer contractor (see pic below) that didn't seem like a good solution for this problem. We received two of these that are about 3 feet long each. Honestly he took a very quick look at of the cable mess you saw in the photos I attached to this thread, and said he had a solution, and sent us those products, for which we're apparently being charged $144. Can I get people's take on whether you think these are a good solution to the mess you saw in my earlier photos? The main reason I'm asking is, the way my company works, I'm likely to get flak for not using these things. Again one of the big goals here is not undoing these huge coils of cables, which among other things these seem to be a bad solution for.

And thanks very much for your thoughts, Bill. I definitely see what you mean about getting the furniture away from the wall.



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Mark SuszkoRe: Cable management thru/around AV workstation?
by on Aug 18, 2016 at 10:20:33 pm

They're trays. The cutouts let power cords go down to the floor, you just screw this tot he bottom of the desk and lay your cables into it. If you already had these, might as well use 'em.


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Neil OrmanRe: Cable management thru/around AV workstation?
by on Aug 29, 2016 at 4:49:37 pm

Hi guys, I just wanted to share a pic of the final solution we used for this. It's just a four-foot piece of wire shelving from Home Depot. Worked very well. Thanks so much again for your helpful responses and feedback on this!
Very much appreciated,
Neil



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Mark SuszkoRe: Cable management thru/around AV workstation?
by on Aug 29, 2016 at 10:49:14 pm

What happened to the expensive original shelf/tray the boss was insisting you use?


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Neil OrmanRe: Cable management thru/around AV workstation?
by on Aug 30, 2016 at 4:43:32 pm

They weren't right for that really dense mess of cables, but they're other sections of the desk where we're still planning to use them. Just so you know it wasn't my boss, who didn't care either way about those original shelves/trays and actually helped me install the wire shelf, but the operations lady in our office, who wasn't insisting I use those pieces but isn't a fan obviously of expenses that accomplish little to nothing. Those shelves/trays were $144, the shelf I ended up using was $15. Just for the record, this came about because our contract interior designer guy happened to swing my my office one day, looked at the cable mess for all of two seconds, and said he had a perfect solution, which would cost like $100. I had planned to handle it myself, as I know the organization wasn't interested in more expenses etc after redoing the office. But since he offered I certainly said yes. Weeks later he mailed two two shelves/trays, one of which was bent. In every case that's been the kind of hands-off, poorly thought out 'help' he's offered. I'm sure these shelves/trays are perfect for a standard office with a computer, printer etc., but I personally think he should have seen they weren't right for something like this.

Probably too much information, but just so you know! Thanks so much again Mark, Alan, Thomas and Bill.

Neil


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