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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Networking > Cable Routing Clips on a Wallboard

Cable Routing Clips on a Wallboard
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Stoneham, MA, USA
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Nov 4, 2017, 06:02 AM
I set up a wall of plywood in my (newish) house and I'm starting to run all my data lines. There are lots of them and I found a great, inexpensive solution for running the cables through the basement to get to the holes where they go upstairs. But that still leaves me with that age old problem I've had every time I've done wall-mounting of equipment for people... I need some kind of clips to hole the wires in various patterns on the board. Adhesive clips won't work, they need to be more permanent than that. But they need to be easily "undone" so I can add more wires. Especially at my house. Wiring it up will be an extremely slow process and I want to keep things organized as I go, not just waiting until the end.

In this case, because the wall itself is new, I opted to not drywall the other side yet. Meaning I have full access to the front and back of the plywood. This will make running all 24+ ethernet and countless other cables much easier. But ultimately lead to the same problem. I still need to come up with some way to route the cables in an organized or semi-organized way in the wall. Obviously in-wall, I won't be able to add new wires to the clips once the wall is buttoned up, but I'll still be able to keep the vast majority of them organized.

Here's a couple of pics. Its very early in the 'running' process. I've done exactly one CAT6 and most of one coax. And the wires are already a mess I always seem to have this problem when I'm setting up wall-mounted equipment, no great solution for wrangling the wires!

ALSO. This is a totally different question but semi-related. I'm not labelling the ports directly, but I am keeping track of which wall-mount port goes to which house port in a spreadsheet. That info may be useful some day. But what would make it more useful if I did number the actual cables themselves somewhere discrete in the basement, where I can stand on a ladder and have physical access to them all. Anyone know of a good system I could use to number each cable in a big old fistful of cables? Something better than tape that will simply fade and probably flake off over time.
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
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Nov 4, 2017, 06:40 AM
I used to use zipties for cable runs, but switched to rolls of 1/4" Velcro "tape" which can be cut to the desired length. They can't be ratcheted tight like a ziptie, but adding or removing cables are easy.

Screw some of that into the wall?

Black sharpie on white gaffers tape (sorta like duct tape) won't fade. It'll harden at some point, but you should get 5-10 years out of it. Note, if it's stuck to anything for more than a few weeks, it'll leave a nasty residue once pulled off.
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: California
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Nov 4, 2017, 02:10 PM
Originally Posted by l008com View Post
Obviously in-wall, I won't be able to add new wires to the clips once the wall is buttoned up ...

Don't do direct runs to your plates from the floorline. If any cable end falls in the wall, you'll have a heck of a time fishing it back up. Especially after there's a nest of 30 cables there.

Instead, go up to a tie-off on a wall stud a bit above the target wallplate. Then drop down to the plate. Allow at least an extra foot of cable length, preferably more. So you have play to pull the plate out to do/redo connections. Excess cable length also allows you to restrip an end if need be in the future. At present, you don't have enough cable play to pull a plate out to even check the ends, much less redo one.

If a cable end falls into the wall, it will only fall a max of a foot, and will be dangling right beside its' plate.

If you can't reopen the wall in future, you must think ahead and not back yourself into corners. No one needs to care about the neatness within a closed wall - put your priority on functional access from the wallplate side afterwards. And yes, wrap a bit of white tape around each line near the end and label the cables. You'll thank yourself 5 years from now, especially if you lose the spreadsheet. Or need to replace a cracked wallplate - at present, you're labeled only by final port position.
( Last edited by reader50; Nov 4, 2017 at 02:30 PM. )
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Nov 5, 2017, 10:15 AM
I used a punchdown panel in my parents house, it was an unfinished space. There is that and a phone line patch to choose from so each Cat6 outlet could be used as data or phone.

In an finished space I'd be tempted to put it in a medicine cabinet like recesed box. You still have the switch and all the patch cables to go.
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