Thursday, June 23, 2016

Project Open Core: Sleeving

My last build incorporated sleeving from MDPC (MurderMods), and it turned out really good.  I still have a lot of sleeving left over from that project, but decided to try something different for this build. I have heard a lot of things, both good and bad, about Paracord sleeving, so I decided to do a sample to see if it would work for this build.  As I mentioned before, I like MDPC sleeving, but I find it a bit stiff to work with at times.  So I purchased a few hundred feet of coreless paracord, which cost less than $25, and got started sleeving.

In addition to the custom sleeving, I typically make my own power cables for each build.  I find by doing this I am able to limit all the extra cable length taking up room in the case, and it allows for better looking cable routing.  Here is a pic of the primary tools used for the job.

  • Paracord (Black)
  • Paracord (Royal Blue)
  • Paracord (Slate Grey)
  • Lutro Paracord Sleeving tool (makes job snag free)
  • 100ft 18AWG Wire
  • PSU Power Connector Pins (lots)
  • MDPC Crimping Tool
  • MDPC Pin Extractor
  • Molex PSU Connector Heads (Various)
  • Precision Titanium Snips
  • Hobby Knife
  • Bic Lighter

After doing a few trail runs and deciding that I really like using Paracord, I set to work making my cables. In addition to looking great, and being very flexible, I like that with Paracord I can sleeve the cables without having to use heatshrink.  I personally think it looks cleaner, and it cuts down the time required to get the job done.

For most of the build I am using “Wire Wraps” that are 3D printed by Ensourced. I find they are really easy to work with, and look great once installed.  They do a good job of keeping the sleeved cables tidy, especially when doing bends.

Here you can see a comparison of my new paracord sleeved ATX connector vs my older one using MDPC sleeving.  So pretty!

Here we have another comparison of the two types of sleeving.  Really impressed with the look and feel of the paracord.  Also liking the combination of the 3 colors, and how well it goes with the rest of the build.

The cable shown below is one I had to create later on in the process after I was having boot issues caused by me not adding a power connector to my USB 3.1 expansion card.  You can see the cable plugged in the bottom part of this picture as well.  Glad I got that one figured out!

Here we have the final stage of the custom cables and sleeving in all it’s glory.  Really liking how the colors look, and how clean the paracord sleeving turned out.  Cable management in the back is good, but could be better.  May work at securing everything down a bit more once I verify that everything is working the way it should.

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