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Author Topic: Storing/organizing cables, test leads, jumpers etc ?  (Read 5188 times)
K0OD
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Posts: 2533




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« on: May 12, 2013, 05:17:33 AM »

Short coax cables. Test leads. Jumpers with various connectors. extension cords, USB, BNC, network wires. etc etc
It seems there's been a massive proliferation in recent years.

How do you store and organize them all?  I was in a university EE lab recently where they used these to store leads vertically:
http://www.markertek.com/Cable-Management-Protection/Cable-Racks/Fluke-Electronics/2708.xhtml

They also had a huge metal cart for that purpose. (couldn't find a picture of anything like it)
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W5CPT
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Posts: 556




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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2013, 05:53:19 AM »

I just leave mine in a big pile on the end of the workbench.

Clint - W5CPT -
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1619




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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2013, 06:46:53 AM »

Almost as easy as a pile on the end of the work bench:Take a couple of wire coat hangers,untwist at neck thread on a bunch of wood cloths pins along bottom part and re twist neck together and hang from wall or bench,out of the way and straight.
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K1CJS
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Posts: 5888




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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2013, 07:42:59 AM »

That is one of the reasons I advocate having an old desk with drawers to use as an operating desk.  The drawers do come in handy for many things--including storing test leads and jumpers.
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K0JEG
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Posts: 639




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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2013, 08:38:42 AM »

Velcro strips, unless working outdoors where they will get muddy and stop working. Label cables with white electrical tape and sharpie on the cheap, or get a label maker that will do flags, like this one:

http://www.brother-usa.com/Labeling_Solutions/ModelDetail/7/PT1400/Overview#.UY-2zEkS1VU

Makes a very neat, hard to remove flag that can be put on one or both ends of a cable. Useful for keeping track of permanent installations too. Label tape is expensive though.
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5694




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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2013, 11:29:15 AM »

The slotted Cable Organizer can be wall mounted, at one of my testbenches it is mounted on the back of a metal storage cabinet that faces outwards away from that bench. 

They look like this: 

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=test+cable+organizer+rack&id=88282ED8A327132E5FD1783BF6B2F54EA21E33D5&FORM=IQFRBA#view=detail&id=88282ED8A327132E5FD1783BF6B2F54EA21E33D5&selectedIndex=0

Don't spend more than ten bucks, here is MCM Electronics' offering at $8.99 ea: 

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/555-19951?t=2&utm_expid=8634549-14&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Felectronics.mcmelectronics.com%2Fsearch%3Fcataf%3D%26view%3Dlist%26w%3Dcable%2Borganizer%2Brack%26x%3D0%26y%3D0

It is also possible to roll your own by cutting slots into 1/4" plywood that is mounted to the wall using a furring strip. 


73
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K4JJL
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Posts: 478




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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2013, 05:23:39 AM »

Keep mine in zip lock bags in a big canvas bag. Keeps them from getting too tangled up.
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K2YO
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Posts: 436




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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2013, 05:51:30 AM »

Mine live in the slotted holder mounted on the wall. I also uses a PTouch to label all my coaxial power connectors. It's too easy to confuse 2.1 vs 2.5mm.

Bernie
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NA0AA
Member

Posts: 1043




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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2013, 08:05:28 PM »

I buy those little paper tags with strings - easy to write on and you can loop 'em for temporary or tie 'em so they won't come off - if you need it durable, packing tape is applied and it's more weather resistant.

Then I try and put them away where I will remember where the are - and never can find them.  What I should do, and have tried with other spare hardware, is the plastic tote-bins with hinged lids - good for small to medium sized hardware and they are rodent-proof, good for storage in my shed.

The good news is that many of the cords today are totally interchangable - the USB cords for example.

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AC2EU
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Posts: 342


WWW

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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 08:46:10 PM »

I use open bins for each type stored on shelving for quantities of things like patch cables and alligator clips. Specialized cables, such as scope probes of various types are stored on a vertical wall rack such as you described.
However I found that the vertical rack cannot be used near an active bench because the dangling cords tend to get snagged with ones in use or the others on the rack. A stand alone location is fine.
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N2MG
Administrator

Posts: 122



« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2013, 04:53:04 AM »

Quote
Keep mine in zip lock bags in a big canvas bag. Keeps them from getting too tangled up.

Ditto. I have lots of "industrial strength" ziplocks.  Really short cables I'll bunch up into one bag based on purpose, longer ones get their own bag.

I store Christmas lights that way too. Each length gets its own plastic shopping (Walmart-type) bag.  Simply keeping cable 1 separated from cable 2, etc., goes a long way.

Mike N2MG
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KV7W
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Posts: 136




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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2013, 06:44:55 AM »

I saw a picture the other night of a wire organizer made out of a cardboard box big enough to hold about a dozen empty TP rolls. The wires were rolled up and fit loosely in the empty rolls. I have a drawer at my station that would work well for this and could probably fit 20. I could use a sharpie to label the rolls easy enough. Fortunately, my son has given me 3 granddaughters just for this purpose - should take about 4 days to build a stash of rolls.
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KC8Y
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Posts: 234




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« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2013, 06:22:41 AM »

RE:  K4JJL   

I ALSO use zip-lock bags for lose/small wires, connectors, plugs, solder, etc (just about anything small).  I then keep the bags in plastic tool boxes-out of the way...

I have hf & vhf transceivers, two-power supplies, antenna tuner, three-indicators, two-computers, two-monitors, two-printers, fax machine, typewriter, numerous electronic books, etc., so I have room to move around Smiley
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W4OP
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Posts: 393


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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2013, 09:31:51 AM »

I have several of the Pomona units designed to hang jumpers, test leads etc. They are simple and work great. Model 1508.

Dale W4OP
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KE0ZU
Member

Posts: 34




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« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2013, 07:47:51 PM »

I have a lot of test leads and I hang them on modified wire closet shelf/accessory units configured not unlike the pomona units.   I've had these for several years now so trying to recall what they were originally is impossible.   Just go to that section in your local home center and, using your imagination see what you can come up with.

Those pomona units are well made, but they are VERY high priced IMHO.

http://s670.photobucket.com/user/mikeinkcmo/library/testgear/Bench%20New?sort=9&page=2
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