What should I do with all the cables connecting this to that? Coiled, folded, cut-to-length, wound on ferrite?

Anyone have the definitive answer to this? My rat's nest is getting more messy.

The cables I'm talking about are power, USB, RS232, and twisted pair. Basically anything that connects shack equipment.


I'm both looking for aesthetics, as well as RFI issues. Cutting to length is really not an option as the equipment can be moved. Along with the fact I'm not that good at re-plugging the cables themselves. I was really wondering what people do as a general rule. All the mains electric supply and networks are neat and tidy in their ducting. It's just those pesky usb to rig, or usb to device. I think I'll coil them see if it makes any difference to the RFI. I live in an area where I get between S1 and S5 noise level over the HF bands. Very annoying when signals are normally QRP for my interest. SOTA. But have to make the best of what I've got. Will see if there any other idea's come out of the melting pot. 73

  • $\begingroup$ Build a cabinet over them so you can't see them? But seriously, look at how cabling is done in datacentres - plenty of storage space at right angles to the layout of the equipment, lots of holes, lots of little velcro ties. For RF and 12 V, cut to length is best. $\endgroup$
    – tomnexus
    Jun 26, 2015 at 18:26
  • $\begingroup$ Is your primary concern aesthetics, or RF? Or something else? Perhaps a picture might help. $\endgroup$ Jun 26, 2015 at 20:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I just assumed the topic was RFI and put in that tag — please delete it if I was wrong. (I'd note that “When making my cables look nice, how do I avoid introducing new RFI issues” is a reasonable question, too.) $\endgroup$
    – Kevin Reid AG6YO
    Jun 26, 2015 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ l-com.com/blog/… $\endgroup$ Jun 30, 2015 at 21:00

1 Answer 1


My priorities are to get cables off the floor so they can't be kicked around, avoid tight bends that alter capacitance in coax and leak signal, and avoid coiling cable that introduces unaccounted inductance. To accomplish this, I mount behind my desk something that looks like a coat rack with 2 rows of 1" diameter dowel rods. I weave excess signal and computer cable loosely back and forth in a W pattern onto it, keeping analog separate from digital. DC cables I cut red/black zip cord to length and make new cables when I have to. AC cables I am not as concerned about, so just bundle them all together and wrap the whole bundle with a large velcro strap, or put them all in a mesh laundry bag, then hang the bundle off one of the pegs.


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