Raceways or D-Rings: What’s Your Best Rack-Mount Cable Management Option?
If you’ve ever worked on a rack full of electronic gear, you know how much easier it is if the cables are already well organized and clearly routed. Or how much of a headache it can be if you’re faced with a rat’s nest.
One of the worst types of rat’s nest is the one that forms when you connect rack components through their front ports and leave the cables hanging. As you add cables, the growing nest makes it harder to see the front of the rack. The solution is to route the cords off to the side and out of the way. Two of the most useful products for this are vertical raceway cable managers and vertical D-ring cable managers. Both are a snap to install and inexpensive and will immediately have your gear organized and easier to maintain.
But which option is best for you?
Vertical Rack-Mount Raceway
A vertical raceway, so-called because it is long and straight, is an enclosed channel that is open on both ends. It mounts to a rack rail and routes cables vertically from one point to another. One side opens so you can tuck cables into it, and it closes for a clean, finished appearance.
Some raceways are a solid box with openings only on either end, like a tunnel. It’s better to have one with slots along its length, to allow cables to enter and exit the raceway at any spot. Also, the increased passive airflow keeps wires cooler.
A typical vertical raceway is about 3 feet long. They come in different widths and depths, so measure the thickness of your cable bundles to get an idea what size you’ll need. NavePoint offers two sizes: one for smaller bundles and one for larger.
Vertical D-Ring Rack-Mount Raceway
A vertical D-ring raceway serves the same purpose as an enclosed vertical raceway. It mounts to a rack rail, guides cables on a clean path up or down and offers many entry and exit points along the way. There are three main differences.
First, with D-ring rack-mount raceways you don’t have to open anything to add or remove wires. There’s no panel to swing open or slide out. You quickly tuck your cables into, or pull them out of, the rings.
The second difference is that a D-ring raceway is not quite as clean looking as a standard raceway panel. D-rings bundle and direct cables but don’t hide them.
Third, whereas a standard raceway rack-mount organizer has only one channel for cords, some D-ring rack-mount organizers offer two channels. This allows better organization within the panel. It can also mean higher capacity − NavePoint’s two-channel rack-mount D-ring raceway offers a total conduit size of about 4 inches by 4 inches.
A typical vertical D-ring raceway is about 3 feet long. Like vertical raceway panels, they come in different widths and depths, so measure the thickness of your cable bundles to get an idea of what size you’ll need. NavePoint offers two sizes: one channel and two channels.
Another useful product is an individual D-ring that can be mounted anywhere on a rack rail. These hooks are a versatile option because they take up very little space and provide routing guidance and strain relief wherever it’s needed. And at NavePoint if you buy a package of 25, they cost less than $3 apiece!
Both vertical raceway panels and vertical D-ring panels are inexpensive, easy-to-install solutions for messy electronic installations. They organize your cords and make it much easier to install, uninstall or re-route cables and to troubleshoot wiring problems. Whether you opt for one type or both depends on your needs. If you change your cabling a lot and getting it done quickly is crucial, D-ring panels might be the way to go. They offer instant access while keeping things organized. But if you want your equipment rack to have a smoother, neater appearance, a standard raceway panel can’t be beat. Either way, you’ll get rid of the rat’s nest.
You might start your search for vertical raceway panels and vertical D-ring panels right here. NavePoint offers two sizes of raceway panels, two sizes of D-ring panels and two quantities of individual D-rings. For any additional help or advice on what product is best for you, contact the NavePoint sales team!
Also be sure to check out our entire selection of cable management products.