Introduction: Zip-Tie Cable Management

About: I am an automation engineer but I will give anything a go. I don't know if you call if pessimism or just being an engineer, but I look for problems everywhere, then I look for some weird, left field way to sol…

We have all seen and experienced the horror that is messy and unorganized cabling.

This could be a patch panel like the one in the image above or the power cables under our desks.

We are also all familiar with the miracle that is the humble zip tie.

The problem is that if you bunch a heap of cables together and wrap them up there is no way to follow one wire from one end to the other. With a little creativity, you can put some structure on your wiring and make it look really tidy on the way.

Step 1: Getting Started

First, you need a nice big pack of zip ties and a pile of messy cables.

Make some loops with the zip ties, but only pull them to the first click, you want them really loose.

Then pass all of your cables through.

Note: if your cables are already connected up and you don't want to unplug them, you can start with an open tie and close around them.

Step 2: Separators

Separate each one of the cables and add a zip tie around the one looping the cables.

Trap the cable inside a loop and move to the next cable.

Do this until all of your cables are both inside the big loop and separated by the ties going across, remember to keep everything loose for now as to tighten any of the ties will prevent you moving things into their final place.

Pull the separating ties until they are close to tight but you can still move the loop, then pull the main loop tight followed by each separator.

Clip the tails off the ties with a snips or side cutter.

Repeat this process at regular intervals along the cable loom.

The beauty of this system is that new cables can join the run and it just gets wider or if one may leave after a tie point and the loom gets narrower.

Step 3: Go Multi-Layered

If you have a really large amount of cabling or if you are tidying cables from a network switch or patch panel then you can go multi-layered.

Start out the same with a loop around the loom for each layer, then follow the same steps for the dividers, however, this time use the separators to tie the layers together.

This will work with all types and thicknesses of cables, I would recommend that the zip tie used is sized relative to the cables in the bunch.

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