Author Topic: Keeping test leads tidy? Any good suggestions without drilling the walls?  (Read 6373 times)

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Offline Chris Wilson

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My shack is actually a spare bedroom, and I have managed to kit it out with benches round 2 walls and most wanted attributes without drilling ANY holes in the walls. The house is internally lined with those dreadful butter soft insulating blocks you can cut with a bread knife, so securing heavy stuff to them is a nightmare, so I now avoid holes at all where possible.

Now, all my test leads, jump leads, patch leads, blah blah, are in a permanently tangled state in drawers, and it's driving me crazy. There has to be a nifty way to store this stuff, but short of something like pegs or hooks in the wall, what are my options, has anyone come up with any tips and tricks they'd perhaps like to share please? Thanks.
Best regards,

                 Chris Wilson.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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 A trick for securing in soft blocks is to drill deeper and set the wall-plug about half an inch below the surface - this reduces the tendancy for it to break out at the surface.

Free-hanging is the best solution for cables - e.g. some sort of floor-standing rail that just needs  stabilising rather than hanging from the wall - maybe attatched to legs of existing benches/tables.

Pins on the back of the door, with some lightweight bungee cord across to stop leads flapping about when the door is opened
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Offline Dawn

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Every place I've worked used the Pomona style finger stock racks for cable organization. They had 3 sizes from standard test lead to RG-58 widths. There's knockoffs now being made. Last time I checked, there were about USD$10 for the Pomona's. There are also pegboard organizers that are a single wire that are used for hanging blister packed type packages in various lengths. A number of these can be put side by side to create slots to hold thicker probes. Same idea as the Pomona racks. The racks are meant to be mounted by screws, but you can fasten hooks out of stiff wire such as a clothes hanger to hang them over the edge of something.
 

Offline icon

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I have one of these http://uk.farnell.com/jsp/displayProduct.jsp?sku=8471592&CMP=e-2072-00001000&gross_price=true. They come in different slot widths, but these take test leads easily. Originally I had it screwed the back of a door - leads don't weigh that much. Maybe you could knock up a stand or screw it to the edge of a bench?

John

[Edit: Lost the Internet race  :(]
« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 06:56:10 pm by icon »
 

Online Monkeh

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You'd be surprised how strong those blocks are with resin fixings.
 

Offline robrenz

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Get the 3M command strips, they are available by themselves without any hangars. They are double sticky foam and have a wall side and component side. They will mount the pomona racks to a wall easily.  When you need to remove it just pull the tab end VERY slowly and they release with absolutely no wall damage or residue. I would suggest using four of the large strips (pictured) to mount the pomona unit.

Picture of the strips and my hex keys mounted to the wall with them.


« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 07:20:28 pm by robrenz »
 

Offline SeanB

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Go find a floor standing suit hanger, and cut a sheet of plywood to make a central divider. Mount the cable organisers on that, gives 2 sides and is easy to move around or place against the wall. Otherwise find a display stand with wheels and use that, nice tall to handle long leads and comes with clip in hooks as well.
 

Offline Chris Wilson

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Those pomona finger thingies look as if theyd do the job, I can just buy some unequal ally angle and slap it in the milling machine and mill the slots, so can havve various slot widths! (I build race engines and race cars for a living, surprisingly, or perhaps not.... ;), I failed to come up such a simple solution myself, I was off on far more complex tangents!) I think a big wide one made to screw to the unseen TOP of the room door, but with the slots obviously horizontal, and a few smaller ones on the back of the cupboard doors, should be a very good start. I have yet to buy and fit the cupboard doors, because I thought open cabinets would look fine, but unless everything in them is kept very tidy they just look a sight. `Er indoors will be pleased to have her way with doors put on, I won't tell her they are just to hang stuff off ;)


I don't have an issue actually drilling and fastening to the blocks when needed, but my wife definitely has an issue if I make the spare room unfit for future use as a bedroom again without major restoration work ;)

Any other ideas welcome, but the Pomona style tidies may be the bulk of the answer, thank you.
Best regards,

                 Chris Wilson.
 

Offline billclay

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Pomona has a magnetic holder (in addition to wall-mount).

http://www.tequipment.net/Pomona4408M.asp
 

Offline Freighternut

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I also use the finger type lead hangers. They hold a good range of lead types.

By far beats rumaging around in a tangled heap of leads in the drawer when you need a specific lead.

I use the E-Z-HOOK version sold by Digi-Key PN: 461-1121-ND
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Offline reagle

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I use pomona thingies, screwed to the edge of my lab bench shelf. All cables hang between the wall and a shelf

Offline Psi

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Could you put a huge 2.4 meter sheet of particle board behind a desk to jam it against the wall, then you can mount anything you want to that.
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Offline G7PSK

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An old fashioned clothes airer, of the wire rack variety would make a good test lead hanger, I think argos still sell them I have often seen them in junk shops as well, very often made from polished wood which looks rather elegant and would please the lady of the house.
 

Offline saturation

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I just hang mine on the edge of drawer handles, and make a few makeshift ones using spring clips.

Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline SeanB

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I took an offcut of Beech edge moulding, and screwed a few cup hooks into it, and then hung it on a convenient place.  currently has everything from a few torches to lanyards with USB sticks on it, USB leads and even my media players on it. Even spare cells on one hook. Cost was almost zero, made all from left over parts and extras from buying packs.
 

Offline johnwa

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For any leads with croc clips, just clip them onto a wire coat hanger. It does look a little untidy, but the leads remain easily accessible and free of tangles. I haven't really got a good solution for other types of cables though - I have two laundry baskets full of computer cables, and they are always in a tangled mess!
 

Offline dfnr2

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Google for "tie organizer."  Here's an example:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/10975485?adid=22222222227000039237&wmlspartner=wlpa&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=&wl3=13685017510&wl4=&wl5=pla&veh=sem

I believe I got mine at a Dollar store, or at The Container Store.  You can mount one on to the side of your bench.

Also, for scope probes and more delicate items, look at:

http://compare.ebay.com/like/350529231159?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar

Those also serve well as 'junk box' organizers.
 

Offline reagle

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My bench is from 2x4 basics (aka lots of 2x4s tied with platic support links from them).So between the wall and the side I attached Pomona lead holder. Not very elegant, but out of the way

Offline Satchmoeddie

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Find one of those things that clips over the top of a door to hang cloths on. With some small mods you have a nice spot out of the way that won't mar the walls. I hung a larger board with the Pomana hangers on it and cork bumper on the back to protect the door. For the grab and go on the bench a stand made from electrical metallic tubing does the job. I bend a large radius circular base, made a sharp bend back to the center of the circle  then bent the long end of the pipe straight up the center and put a small piece of pegboard board with some peg board  and hangers which are 96% the same as Pomona holders. I have made many stands out of EMT, as well as markers to teach one of the kids how to parallel park a car. The stuff is up to over $3 a stick now. You will need an EMT bender too. Those can come in very handy later anyway.
 

Online Monkeh

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Wow, that's a mouthful, 'electrical metallic tubing'. Most people just call it conduit.
 


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