Saturday, January 17, 2009

New and improved cable management in the classroom

Note the 2 power strips on the bottom side of the un-painted 2x6 in lower left. The 2x6 is used to connect pairs of tables.

I called John at the district a week ago Friday. I was unable to reach him but did leave a message to call me. I had e-mailed him right before winter break a couple weeks prior about cables and cord protectors that I needed but hadn't heard back from him. He returned my call around 7:30 Monday morning. After about five back and forth e-mails and 48 hours, 2 people from the district delivered several boxes of power strips, patch cables, and cord protectors, all part of the plan to meet the fire marshals concerns. A few parts are on back order but enough things came to outfit my room of course. So, I spend a couple of hours this last week and fixed up a pair of tables. The following images trace the power route, from power strips to wall outlet:

I attached the power strips on the underside of the table-connector. We are putting it underneath to avoid tempting science-minded students to 'mess around with it' i.e. turn on and off, stick wires in it, etc. No, I didn't start teaching yesterday :-)The cords from the power strips join the CAT 5e patch cables and are held in place with strap metal.
Instead of using strap metal at the last attachment point on the table, we're using plastic tubing w/screws and washers--this won't cut into cord insulators.
Here you can see the cord protector bridge the gap. These are large cord protectors: both powerstrip cables and 4 ethernet cables fit through it! I've taped it down slightly. The plastic tube is serving as hardware to route the cables up the side of the cabinet.A split 1.5 inch pvc tube protects the cable as it goes over the counter top. (We've better ideas for this last step--check back in a few days). Soon the patch cable will plug directly into the drop in the wall and the switch will be in the drop room! We're not quite there, yet.

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