My wife and I have our two PC's set up in a den room and have cables (power, ethernet, networked printer, speakers with 9 cable runs (5 and 4 respectively), subwoofers x 2, phone, router, internet modem plus the usual mouse/keyboard/monitor wires x 2) everywhere. Our PC desks are open elongated L-shaped tables arranged in a back to back "U" configuration with no skirting to hide anything. It would be difficult to enclose these tables with a skirt since they are curved, metal, swoopy legged things. I would like to hide this snarl of cables better and have been looking for solutions. I think it would be best to either run cables along the floor at the baseboard or under the back side of the table tops and branch up or down (depending) to pick up devices. The problem is what can I run these cables in to hide them. I am looking for creative solutions what won't cost a fortune in wire loom products. Anybody care to share their cable run solutions or have any suggestions for my setup? THX!
I am about ready to break out the cable zip ties and just make bundles here and there, but the Mrs. isn't too keen on that idea. :/
what materials are your tables made out of?
The tables are made out of particle board covered with some type of simulated wood grain vinyl or plastic. The table tops are about 3/4" thick.
You can get nice grommets at IKEA. They also have some cable grouper things, and baskets to hang under tables fo cables and bricks and stuff. Heres a photo of my desk using some IKEA stuff:
Ignoring the rest of the mess, those silver tubes are basic plastic cable piping, and that basket thing mounted to the desk contains lots of dongles, power bricks, a USB hub, and a power strip (You can mount it further under the desk to hide things better, but it interfered with my keyboard tray any further in than that. The box-thing in the lower left is also from IKEA (actually the whole desk is from IKEA) and it contains/hides my PC tower.
what i would do is make your cable management look like an accessory or part of your existing furniture.
i dont know what the legs are like, but if you have metal legs, some PVC pipes painted to match whatever metal would be fairly decent. also, home depot/lowes probably has matching laminate surface(thats the simulated wood grain vinyl or plastic stuff) to wrap around pvc with the appropriate adhesive. your friendly home depot guy should be able o help you with the necessary adhesive.
I also have the IKEA plastic wire loom stuff. It was about $10 for 12 feet iirc. Works like $10 plastic wire loom would be expected to work.
Thanks for all the ideas! Maybe the IKEA loom would work best in our situation (along with some type of hanging tray for power bricks). I've looked at some rigid conduit like: http://www.legrand.us/wiremold/at-home/cord-organizers-and-covers/cordmate-ii-cord-channel/c210-cordmateii-kit.aspx#.VOILCS77CUk and http://www.amazon.com/Wiremold-C110-White-Cordmate-Kit/dp/B00004W3ZP/ref=pd_sim_sbs_hi_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=19X2B9F3QFS92NSY43T6, and this too http://www.amazon.com/Line-Cover-White-Lx0-8-Wx0-8/dp/B008466PN8. While I like the clean, rigid line look of these raceways, they aren't inexpensive when you factor in the fittings for cable turns. Also, they are small in diameter making it more difficult to run multiple wires within the same sleeve so what do you do, use multiple sleeves?! That ought to look really nice! I was also thinking that golf club tubes, http://www.amazon.com/Player-Supreme-Golf-Tubes-Dividers/dp/B0068PXMII, hung under the back edge of each table might make for decent raceways. No matter what, the transition from horizontal run to vertical run or drop presents esthetic challenges. Maybe it's time to break out the PVC plumbing pipes and cement to build cable trees. Maybe old hula hoops in psychedelic colors cut down to size?
Always check Monoprice: http://www.monoprice.com/Search/Index?keyword=raceway
@drasnor, good tip! Thanks.
IKEA may help. Conduit certainly can contain the cable. Of course you’ll never completely meet the esthetic challenges untill you are actually wireless. I like the hula hoop idea.
The important thing is how to protect against the eventual BRAIN DAMAGE FROM ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION FROM ALL THAT CABLE?
This is my carefully engineered set-up:
@BlueTattoo, multiply your "nest" x 2 and add 30% for good measure. Now, visualize that schlock hanging down the wall from an open table x 2. :/
Being serious I'm a firm believer in a six sigma, lean thinking approach to taking on a project like this. Before you invest anything you have to look at the problem from all available angles. Are there cables you can eliminate? Changing to wireless devices? Shorter runs? Perhaps a central hub? Maybe moving the desk or the computer or the monitor itself? I'm a cable management nut.
You also have to ask yourself what you are willing to give up for order. Will a simple speaker-bar mounted to the monitor be effective for audio or do you need two surround setups with sub-woofers? Headphones perhaps? I think sometimes we get attached to the way we have things that we just cover up the problem rather than consider another solution.
I recently went to a wireless A/C adapter for mine and my daughters desktops to eliminate two CAT6 runs. Performance wise I'm not really missing much and it has made for a much neater workspace. Same thing with my printer, all wireless, no direct USB anymore, I gave up a 2.1 setup for a decent pair of regular stereo speakers and headphones in a drawer for when I want them. I gave up a little fidelity but it's a much cleaner workspace. I'm strongly considering a wireless mouse and keyboard combo for each desktop.
My monitor cable is a monoprice I purchased to eliminate two feet from the stock run. A simple thing but so worth it if you really value minimal clutter.
They're not particularly cheap, but this company makes some super slick products for a nice looking office: http://www.bluelounge.com/us/cable-management/
I stuck with a couple of dozen Velcro cable ties.
It doesn't hid them, but ti keeps them clean and in place.
And when you need to replace one it isn't to hard to unzip one at a time and pull a cable out.
I actually stapled one end of some of the tabs to the under side of my desk.