Geared Cable Winder Keeps Vive Sync Cable Neatly Wound

Long cables are only neat once – before they’re first unwrapped. Once that little cable tie is taken off, a cable is more likely to end up rats-nested than neatly coiled.

Preventing that is the idea behind this 3D-printed cable reel. The cable that [Kevin Balke] wants to make easier to deal with is a 50 foot (15 meters) long Vive lighthouse sync cable. That seems a bit much to us, but it makes sense to separate the lighthouses as much as possible and mount them up high enough for the VR system to work properly.

[Kevin] put a good deal of effort into making this cable reel, which looks a little like an oversize baitcasting-style fishing reel. The cable spool turns on a crank that also runs a 5:1 reduction geartrain powering a shaft with a deep, shallow-pitch crossback thread. An idler runs in the thread and works back and forth across the spool, laying up the incoming cable neatly. [Kevin] reports that the reciprocating mechanism was the hardest bit to print, as surface finish affected the mechanism’s operation as much as the geometry of the mating parts. The video below shows it working smoothly; we wonder how much this could be scaled up for tidying up larger cables and hoses.

This is another great entry in our 3D Printed Gears, Pulleys, and Cams Contest. The contest runs through February 19th, so there’s still plenty of time to get your entries in. Check out [Kevin]’s entry along with all the others, and see what you can come up with.

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Cable Management For Pull-out Shelves

Cable management is a headache for all, and if unmitigated it becomes a playground for cats. [kws103] posted a project a while ago that takes care of the messy wires for electronics on pull out shelving. Channel bracket is used to house the cables and has been articulated in three places to facilitate the movement of the sliding shelf. For an added touch an outlet was built into the surface to make it easy to unplug and remove the components if necessary. The hinges for articulation use aluminum base plates and rely on rivets as a pivot point, something that might need improvement if pulling the shelf in and out is a common occurence. Add this to the Ikea based solution we looked at in August and your days of electronic rats nests may be coming to an end.

Custom Cable Management

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You would be hard pressed to find a hacker who doesn’t have in some form a rats nest of wires and cables behind their computer desk. [Antoine] decided to tackle the problem and came up with his custom built cable management system. There is little info, but he does say his setup uses Ikea Antonius coat hangers and some hollow tube. Its quick and wont leave a residue like some cable solutions, so long as you don’t mind a screw hole or two. We especially like how if you need to change your setup you wont have to re-zip tie everything.