Welcome to EDAboard.com

Welcome to our site! EDAboard.com is an international Electronics Discussion Forum focused on EDA software, circuits, schematics, books, theory, papers, asic, pld, 8051, DSP, Network, RF, Analog Design, PCB, Service Manuals... and a whole lot more! To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

[SOLVED] Alternative solution for electrical/electronics cables storage system than patch cables holders

Status
Not open for further replies.

eagle1109

Full Member level 5
Joined
Nov 20, 2014
Messages
293
Helped
2
Reputation
6
Reaction score
2
Trophy points
1,298
Location
Saudi Arabia
Activity points
4,958
Hi,

I'm preparing some work to put suggestions for components, equipment and laboratory furniture.

The head of the department asked me also to search for a good cables storage system. Currently we have patch cables holders, but I don't like them, they get messy and lousy as students don't hold on keeping them arranged all the time, they might get organized one or two times in a semester, but then they get back to the lousy shape which is not attractive.


So this is an example of the patch cables holder when it's fairly organized:

105 (18).jpg



And this is the solution I suggested a year ago, but I don't know if the team like it or not. This issue hasn't discussed in the department meetings as I recall:

101_solution (1).jpg


101_solution (2).jpg



But my question is what you guys suggest for me ?
 

BradtheRad

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 1, 2011
Messages
14,308
Helped
2,824
Reputation
5,656
Reaction score
2,775
Trophy points
1,393
Location
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Activity points
106,716
Shallow clear trays... Easy to see contents. Easy to pick out single item.

Drawer tower... less likely to get scattered and re-arranged. Efficient utilization of floor space.

Many small drawers... better than few large drawers.

Some sort of color coding is a definite advantage, however that's not easy when you're starting with myriad random cables.
clear plastic drawer tower.jpeg
 

eagle1109

Full Member level 5
Joined
Nov 20, 2014
Messages
293
Helped
2
Reputation
6
Reaction score
2
Trophy points
1,298
Location
Saudi Arabia
Activity points
4,958
Yep, aren't there a higher racks ? this one seem to be low for a laboratory as you can notice from the pictures.

I would like something higher or more exposed for easy grab; maybe like this one:

Steel-Storage-Shelves-Trolley-with-Plastic-Storage-Bin.jpg


But I want it to be lifted up for these exposed boxes and the down area would for stuff that aren't often used.

I also like their stuff in the page:

Industrial Warehouse Storage Originazr for Tool Parts Storage Bin
 

barry

Advanced Member level 5
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
5,396
Helped
1,142
Reputation
2,296
Reaction score
1,163
Trophy points
1,393
Location
California, USA
Activity points
29,505
Hi,

I'm preparing some work to put suggestions for components, equipment and laboratory furniture.

The head of the department asked me also to search for a good cables storage system. Currently we have patch cables holders, but I don't like them, they get messy and lousy as students don't hold on keeping them arranged all the time, they might get organized one or two times in a semester, but then they get back to the lousy shape which is not attractive.


So this is an example of the patch cables holder when it's fairly organized:

View attachment 173089


And this is the solution I suggested a year ago, but I don't know if the team like it or not. This issue hasn't discussed in the department meetings as I recall:

View attachment 173090

View attachment 173091


But my question is what you guys suggest for me ?
Your bin approach has, in my opinion, a lot of problems: cables will get tangled; nobody is going to organize the bins anymore than they would organize the rack; The bins take up a LOT of surface area; finding a particular cable is harder than the rack once the cables do get mixed up.

But I don't have a better solution than the rack.
 

stenzer

Advanced Member level 2
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
550
Helped
102
Reputation
204
Reaction score
120
Trophy points
1,323
Activity points
6,064
Hi,

in the lab in my company we have a self-made solution. A long rectangle plastic board (~200 cm x 20 cm) is mounted on the wall at a heigth of about 2 m. There are equidistantly drillings across the whole board, which allows to plug in the banana cables.

This solution allows (theoretically) a placement without tangling/knotting the cables if they are plugged in their dedicatded (marked) area/part of the board. The length of the individual length-areas can be marked with an ordinary tape below the plastic board (i.e. a horizontal tape stripe ~1 m below the board matching 1 m long cables).

This is a very cheap solution, which can be also made out of a (solid) wooden board, it only requires some time to drill the holes. In my obinoin it is way better than the cable holder shown in the initial post, which I have fought with several times ;).

BR
 

dick_freebird

Advanced Member level 5
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
7,572
Helped
2,188
Reputation
4,382
Reaction score
2,082
Trophy points
1,393
Location
USA
Activity points
60,506
I suggest using the Pomona cable looms (or equiv) like are
shown on the "tree", but wall mounted near equipment and
holding just what pertains to that equipment, along with a
list of what (and only what) should be there. Like a HP4156
ought to have 4 Triax, 4 BNC, and ethernet, maybe the kooky
parallel cable for the remote box and that's it. Nice, neat.

Each to its own.

Then you can hang some for common-use banana, BNC,
power cords that ought to have a surplus, or leave the "tree"
for stuff that's not station-specific.
 

wwfeldman

Advanced Member level 3
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
Messages
953
Helped
213
Reputation
425
Reaction score
242
Trophy points
43
Activity points
7,091
i prefer the hanger in the photograph below
mount it to the wall
all cables hang down
less tangling, and you see what your getting (mostly) from the end at the top.

works fine for banana jacks and BNCs

i see no way around the need to periodically sort and re-order the cables.

if this is a student lab, then when the equipment is put out, put out the appropriate cables also
when the students are done, they unplug all the cables and lay then straight, on their lab bench,
next to the equipment. one result is that the person(s) who set out and put away the equipment
are the ones who put the cable back in the hanger. thus the cables are put away neatly.

you should have a separate bin for broken cables, so they don't get mixed with the good ones
 

Attachments

  • cable hanger.jpg
    cable hanger.jpg
    15.4 KB · Views: 23

eagle1109

Full Member level 5
Joined
Nov 20, 2014
Messages
293
Helped
2
Reputation
6
Reaction score
2
Trophy points
1,298
Location
Saudi Arabia
Activity points
4,958
Your bin approach has, in my opinion, a lot of problems: cables will get tangled; nobody is going to organize the bins anymore than they would organize the rack; The bins take up a LOT of surface area; finding a particular cable is harder than the rack once the cables do get mixed up.

Yes, they mix up, but they are a bit thick so they are easy to take them apart of each other. And one important thing which students have a problem to do with the patch holder, which is when the lab time finishes, not every student I would say has the patience to put every cable in its place with or without considering the colors. So they put them quickly and some times throw them on the plates of the holder and leave.

And then someone has to come and arrange them because a high representative in our organization is coming to visit the college. Actually, electronics dep. labs are about 11, but not all has the cable problems maybe 4.

There's another horizontal hanger in one of the labs I work in. And I think it's a nice one too but there's not much of its type.

Like this one but it's on the floor:
n6KqHjJ.jpg



But I don't have a better solution than the rack.

You mean the boxes on the racks ? Because I've put two pictures of the boxes: on the tables and on the racks.
 

wwfeldman

Advanced Member level 3
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
Messages
953
Helped
213
Reputation
425
Reaction score
242
Trophy points
43
Activity points
7,091
... someone has to come and arrange them because a high representative in our organization is coming to visit ...

i have taught at 6 different colleges/universities and worked at 4 different industrial employers.
visits from the higher ups always produce frantic cleaning and "pretty-fication"
its good to have warning.
just clean up and let it be water off a duck's back
 

eagle1109

Full Member level 5
Joined
Nov 20, 2014
Messages
293
Helped
2
Reputation
6
Reaction score
2
Trophy points
1,298
Location
Saudi Arabia
Activity points
4,958
i prefer the hanger in the photograph below
mount it to the wall
all cables hang down
less tangling, and you see what your getting (mostly) from the end at the top.

works fine for banana jacks and BNCs

i see no way around the need to periodically sort and re-order the cables.

Yes, I agree with they would be less tangling.

I think one of the labs has this type of hangers, and another lab has like this one:

efficient-banana-plug-wirecable-storage


The problem, is that there are different types of cable organizers. I don't know exactly what the department wants to do ? Do they want to unify the cable organizers types along all the labs or want to improve certain labs ? ... Well, I'm not sure but I wouldn't dive too much in this, all I have to do is to do the search and give them my opinion or recommendation.


if this is a student lab, then when the equipment is put out, put out the appropriate cables also
when the students are done, they unplug all the cables and lay then straight, on their lab bench,
next to the equipment. one result is that the person(s) who set out and put away the equipment
are the ones who put the cable back in the hanger. thus the cables are put away neatly.
Yes, it's a student lab and that's of course the usual lab routine. That anyone who do the experiment, then this person has to put back the cables they way they were. But the problem is that we actually have a bit of a problem in this action of putting back cables in order and organized.

The last year, I had to teach basics of electrical circuits course. So I worked in the lab with the 2nd & 3rd pictures in the main post. I had the cables problem, so I figured out a quick solution, so I got those plastic boxes and told the students just to put the cables back to the boxes. And I asked them to put the blue ones in one separate box and the red ones in another box but even if the cables are mixed it's not a huge problem since they are in boxes, so the main target is not to have them tangled on the patch holder where some are mounted correctly, some on the plate and some on the floor.

So from the point of the overall look for someone who enters the lab, if this person; for example, is a high representative from in or out of the organization, the dean, a deputy, a trainer or a new student, then the boxes solution is more better in my opinion At least, the lab would have a clear look.

Just the department told me that they want other alternative solutions, so I'm searching for any good system with a good price, otherwise, I would insist on using the boxes. And the department are of course free of what to do eventually.

you should have a separate bin for broken cables, so they don't get mixed with the good ones

I work in power electronics lab. Often I organize my lab as much as I can.

The kits I work on, use cables smaller than the banana; like this one from the same company but for digital circuits:

3.42 JK FlipFlop_two edge controlled_kl.jpg


They already did the cables management which is just after the student doing the experiment, just pull the cables and put them in a small plastic box next to the kit board. Each kit has a plastic box. It works OK most the time.
--- Updated ---

i have taught at 6 different colleges/universities and worked at 4 different industrial employers.
visits from the higher ups always produce frantic cleaning and "pretty-fication"

Yep, that's true :)

its good to have warning.
just clean up and let it be water off a duck's back

Yeah, but the problem is that each trainer should take care of the lab he do his training in. If everyone take care of their labs, there won't be messy labs. I believe strict rules, especially in diploma colleges should take place. Because the students aren't mature enough to be organized and take care of his chair/table/bench.

I'm training simple troubleshooting course this semester, and I decremented marks from the students because they put the tools and materials in the boxes and left the lab in a hurry but didn't put them in the cabinet. So, I learned taking one or two marks should solve all labs problems. Because the students are the ones who must put everything in its place before they leave the lab.

I wasn't using this strategy for the past 4 years, me trying to be the "kind" trainer. But doing that this semester, I started to get good results, there's some respect for me and the lab :)

Next time I would focus on things; like, bottles of water or any personal stuff that the student leave after he leaves that lab, would be decremented from his lab marks.
--- Updated ---

I like this one too, I don't know if it's practical or not, but I think it would easy take/put cables to.

5332179_800.webp
 
Last edited:

eagle1109

Full Member level 5
Joined
Nov 20, 2014
Messages
293
Helped
2
Reputation
6
Reaction score
2
Trophy points
1,298
Location
Saudi Arabia
Activity points
4,958
I suggest using the Pomona cable looms (or equiv) like are
shown on the "tree", but wall mounted near equipment and
holding just what pertains to that equipment, along with a
list of what (and only what) should be there. Like a HP4156
ought to have 4 Triax, 4 BNC, and ethernet, maybe the kooky
parallel cable for the remote box and that's it. Nice, neat.

Each to its own.

Then you can hang some for common-use banana, BNC,
power cords that ought to have a surplus, or leave the "tree"
for stuff that's not station-specific.

Absolutely ! I really like your idea, easy to get and students don't have to wait for other to finish selecting their exp. cables.

Another solution came to my mind which is a bit similar to your idea, is to put the group of the cables in each bench's drawer, with/without a box.

Let me put some photos I took for the labs the last semester.
--- Updated ---

I did this tour along the labs based to the dep. head request as I'm commissioned with general maintenance for workshops and labs.

This is a problem, as you can notice, some cables thrown on the table, some put on the hanger not organized. So I took a picture of that as a problem to solve or discuss in the meetings.

104 (14).jpg


This one is a hanger but used to put the soldering irons after work. So a hanger to hold cables used to hold soldering irons. That's a problem too. There should be a certain solution for that.

104 (15).jpg


This is the other solution that I would recommend to do but not like this, but with more organized method; like, put the breadboard and everything related to breadboards in one drawer and banana cables in a separate drawer.

Then put stickers on each bench with the content of each drawer. So each student should monitor and maintain the content of the table he works on each week.

This solution requires a trainer to take charge of a certain workshop and focus on that workshop for the entire semester, the results of course would be good. But the problem is that the lab/workshops are shared between different groups and trainers. Here comes the problem, but there are solutions for that I believe.

103 (1).jpg


This one is nice. The boxes are put on the top of the table. At least to me, the workshop looks more organized.

104 (12).jpg
 
Last edited:

Externet

Advanced Member level 1
Joined
Jan 29, 2004
Messages
465
Helped
28
Reputation
58
Reaction score
26
Trophy points
1,308
Location
Mideast US
Activity points
4,064
Your emphasis in preetyness decorative looks bothers me. It is not how they hang; it is about the methodic proper behavior of who handles them.
Image in post #7 has always worked for me.
Individual excess wires in zip-lock clear bags in a bin keep them identifiable and untangled, leaving the hangers less populated.
 

eagle1109

Full Member level 5
Joined
Nov 20, 2014
Messages
293
Helped
2
Reputation
6
Reaction score
2
Trophy points
1,298
Location
Saudi Arabia
Activity points
4,958
Your emphasis in preetyness decorative looks bothers me. It is not how they hang; it is about the methodic proper behavior of who handles them.
Image in post #7 has always worked for me.
Individual excess wires in zip-lock clear bags in a bin keep them identifiable and untangled, leaving the hangers less populated.
Didn't get what "preetyness decorative looks" mean ? Do you mean I'm focusing on the aesthetics of the lab rather than practicality ?

I'm actually searching for something practical; like the ideas from Mr wwfeldman suggested for me.
 

eagle1109

Full Member level 5
Joined
Nov 20, 2014
Messages
293
Helped
2
Reputation
6
Reaction score
2
Trophy points
1,298
Location
Saudi Arabia
Activity points
4,958
Hi,

in the lab in my company we have a self-made solution. A long rectangle plastic board (~200 cm x 20 cm) is mounted on the wall at a heigth of about 2 m. There are equidistantly drillings across the whole board, which allows to plug in the banana cables.

This solution allows (theoretically) a placement without tangling/knotting the cables if they are plugged in their dedicatded (marked) area/part of the board. The length of the individual length-areas can be marked with an ordinary tape below the plastic board (i.e. a horizontal tape stripe ~1 m below the board matching 1 m long cables).

This is a very cheap solution, which can be also made out of a (solid) wooden board, it only requires some time to drill the holes. In my obinoin it is way better than the cable holder shown in the initial post, which I have fought with several times ;).

BR
Yes, this solution is very convenient in a mature environment, where everyone is professionally practicing his work.

But in a college, it's different. Students to me now are difficult to control, in basic courses which I don't work in right now.

I'm teaching 3rd & 4th semesters, but of course that doesn't mean they are fully disciplined. I still have some workshops/labs problems regarding that each student should take care of the workshops/lab equipment, and get everything arranged before he leaves the workshops/lab.

But it's not a huge problem, the cure is lab marks :)

That's why I'm searching for something that is easy for the student to maintain in daily routine.
 

Status
Not open for further replies.

Similar threads

Part and Inventory Search

Welcome to EDABoard.com

Sponsor

Top