Hiding the Wires

I hate cords!  As a gadget freak, it feels almost heretical to make such a statement, but there you go. I try to hide the wires that race to and from my computer equipment whenever possible. They are unsightly, they are a tripping hazard, and all they ever seem to do is to collect dust.

In effort to keep all of the little electronic doodads that turn my home office into mission control out of sight and out of mind, I mounted them all to a piece of peg board and then hung it off the back of my filing cabinet. The doodads stay cool, there are very few wires left over to trip on, and it is easy to troubleshoot when things go wrong.

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At our last house, I was able to use a small corner of the garage, where I built a telco cabinet that had all of the phone, TV, and Ethernet cabling running through a central location. My electronic doodads where mounted on the wall beside the cabinet where they remained cool and out of the way. The problem is that my garage was also my workshop, and I was constantly blowing sawdust out of the nooks and crannies after a day puttering.

In our new house, the garage is too far away from the current phone and cable runs and I have neither the time nor the budget to run new lines (including Cat6) throughout the house. While I do have a closet in our home office, the space is too valuable to put up a gadget board within. The current fracas between the U.S. political parties over the debt ceiling pales to the negotiations I would have to initiate with my wife in order to take over the corner of one of our closets. So, this is plan B. I enlisted my well travelled, sturdy IKEA filing cabinet which was already on casters from back when it doubled as a saw horse. I tacked the pegboard hooks onto the backside, lashed the electronics to it, and then stuck it in a corner of my office under the window. Everything should stay nice and cool, and more importantly, the doodads should remain out of sight.

This is not an original idea. I first saw this post on Lifehacker a few years ago where the person mounted some pegboard underneath his desk. I’ve used the same technique at client’s sites, but I was always concerned about heat buildup when the devices are mounted underneath a massive object such as a wooden desk. I was afraid that the heat would not dissipate, so more often than not, I would mount the devices on a wall in a closet or utility room; somewhere where the heat could rise and be carried away by the air currents in a room. My filing cabinet is right under the window. So, even if the window is closed, there should still be some convective currents that will keep the air flowing past the doodads.