Introduction: Keep Data Cables Out of the Chain on a Concept2 Rowing Machine

About: Middle aged adjunct instructor in the Community College system around Dallas and Fort Worth. I really try to encourage my students to come up with crazy ideas and learn ways to make their dream projects come …

I have a Concept2 Model E rowing machine that required some assembly upon delivery.  When I put it all together, I found that I had allowed a data cable to come dangerously close to the chain.  Had the chain and the cable gotten mixed up, no doubt something would have been broken.  At the same time, I was not pleased with the USB cable from the PM4 monitor to my laptop just hanging loose from the PM4.  While everything is apart, I decided to reroute that cable as well as put a strain relief on it.

Parts required:

1 cable attachment

Tools required:

Allen wrench (included with C2 Model E)

Step 1: Disassemble Monitor Arm

Reverse the assembly instructions and disassemble the monitor arm.  Put the PM4 away somewhere safe.  Pull the PM4 data cable out of the monitor arm and reroute it over the solid bolt that holds the monitor arm at the back.  By routing it over the bolt, it is held up and out of the way of the chain.  You may choose to use a short zip-tie and permanently affix it to the bolt.  I chose to let it sit loose.

At this time, I also routed the USB cable inside the monitor arm and out the end next to the PM4 mounting bracket.  There is room in the mounting bracket for more than one cable, and the USB and monitor cables both fit easily.

Slide the piece of plastic that hides the split in the monitor arm up the split all the way to the PM4 mounting bracket.  This will leave enough room where the monitor arm comes into contact with the plastic frame the chain passes through to run the USB cable without pinching it.  If yours is too long, you may need to cut it down a bit. 

Reinstall the monitor arm taking care to not pinch the monitor cable when you slip the arm onto the bolt at the base.  The monitor cable should stay inside the monitor arm all the way from the sensor to the PM4 now.  Route the USB cable out of the monitor arm just before the monitor arm comes into contact with the plastic frame.  I leave my laptop on the right side of the rower, so I chose to route the cable to the right of the machine. 

Step 2:

Wrap the cable attachment around the USB cable and use the bolt to attach it to the side of the rower.  Be sure to leave a little loop as a strain relief.  This cable attachment is made of metal with a rubber insert to keep it from cutting into the cable.  It cost 46¢ at the local hardware store (Mr. C's Hardware in Hurst ... highly recommended).  There are several different versions of this part that range from plastic to nylon to metal to these cushioned metal ones.  None of them are expensive.  I imagine another larger one could be used as a hook to hang the USB cable on when it is not in use. 

Step 3: Job Complete.

I used a little double-sided Velcro to loop around the USB cable when not in use.  At the moment, it is just holding together by the magic that is Velcro.  When I have to pull the cage apart to clean the blades (an annual maintenance item), I will sow the loop together and attach it permanently.

I hope this is clear.  Feel free to ask for clarification and/or better pictures if they are needed.