Friday, June 20, 2014

Cable wranglers

For some reason, I have a lot of cables. I travel with a lot of cables. Cables to charge my phone and my tablet, my laptop power cord, and last but not least, at least 3 sets of headphones. I am a headphone freak. I have different headphones for different things and I am paranoid that one of them will quit on me so I have spares.
I have been looking for a good way to handle the cables when they are rolled up. They always become tangled when I store them. I have seen cable ties but none of them appealed to me. As a result I have been dreaming of making my own, searching the web for ideas, etc.
In December, I bought some Sugru for another purpose. But since I wasn't sure how much I would need, I bought 2 packages. Each has 3 individual pouches of Sugru. They only last about 6 months as it dries up. I had stored the packages in the refrigerator, which is supposed to make them last longer. But I was still worried about their becoming unusable and therefore, I wanted to use Sugru for my cable ties, if I could. But I couldn't find a good solution with all my searching.
And that is why I designed my own. It is a pretty simple design and it works quite well. I made a few small ones over the weekend, which work well for the headphone and the charging cables. But they were too small for the laptop power cord.
I made one more today and documented the process.

1: the package of Sugru
2: the materials needed - Sugru sticks to most things but not skin or plastic wrap.
3: Everything ready to make the power cord wrangler - lay a piece of plastic wrap on top of the working surface; wrap the pencil or pen (aka the mold) in plastic wrap
4: Cut open a pouch of Sugru; knead it a bit to soften it up; gently roll it out into an even snake; flatten the snake a bit by patting it on the plastic wrap; wind it carefully in a spiral on the pencil/pen mold; leave to cure for 24 hours

After it has cured, you have a cable wrangler. These are the smaller ones I made last weekend. As you can see, the one I made today is a bit longer. I used a whole pouch for one wrangler vs. making 2 from a pouch like I did earlier. I hope this will be enough to hold the power cord neatly. If not, I have 2 more pouches and will make one with both pouches.
I hope this gives you some ideas on what you can do to custom build your own cable wranglers.
We will return to Tibet with the next post. I have the train photos organized so we will go on the train to Lhasa.

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