Good Stuff [was] Re: shameful-cabling gallery of infamy - does anybody know

If you find any pictures of NY.NET; Terry Kennedy made the above
look sloppy. Many places ban cable ties due to the sharp ends;
some allow 'em if tensioned by a pistol-grip installer.

The tie gun is a good solution, but quite frankly, you don't need one
to do a good job with cable ties. This is mainly a training issue,
and the training is substantially easier than training folks to use
lacing cord. The rule doesn't need to be much more than "clean cut
required, if you can't do a clean cut, then leave the tail on."

Xcelite makes some fantastic tools, as anyone in this business should
know, and they have a wide selection of full flush cutters that will
work fine. There are some other manufacturers who make this sort of
cutter, of course, but they're a bit tricky to find. The key thing
is that people learn not to just use any old wire cutters to snip

If you're really good, and the situation allows, you can use a knife
or box cutter to trim ends as well.

required lacing cord. You can guess his heritage.

That's mostly a pain to do. Looks nice, but hell to modify, and more
time and effort to install initially.

As for horror stories, a certain ISP near here that started out in
a video store had piles of Sportsters. The wall warts were lined
up and glued dead-bug style to a number of long 1x3's; then #14
copper was run down each side, daisy-chain soldered to each plug
blade. There was no attempt to insulate any of upright plugs...

ExecPC, here in Wisconsin, had a much more elegant solution. ExecPC
BBS was the largest operating BBS in the world, with a large LAN net
and a PC per dial-in line. They had built a room with a custom rack
system built right in, where a motherboard, network, video, and modem
card sat in a slot, making a vertical stack of maybe 8 nodes, and then
a bunch of those horizontally, and then several rows of those. That
was interesting all by itself, but then they got into the Internet biz
early on.

They had opted to go with USR Courier modems for the Internet stuff.
Being relatively "cheap", they didn't want to go for any fancier rack
mount stuff (== much more expensive). So they went shopping. They
found an all metal literature rack at the local office supply store
that had 120 slots (or maybe it was two 60 slot units). They took a
wood board and mounted it vertically above the unit. This held a
large commercial 120-to-24vac step-down transformer and a variac
that was used to trim the AC voltage down to the 20VAC(?) needed by
the Couriers.

Down the backside, they ran a run of wide finger duct vertically.
Inside this, they ran two thick copper bars that had been drilled
and tapped 120 times by a local machine shop. When connected to
the step-down transformer's output, this formed the power backbone.
They had a guy snip the power cables off the Courier wall warts,
and spade lug them, and screwed them in. Instant power for 120

Slip a modem in each slot. Run phone wire up to one of five
AllenTel AT125-SM's hanging on the back of the plywood, and there
you have 5 25pr for inbound. Run serial cables up to one of four
Portmaster PM2E-30's sitting on top of the racks, then network to
a cheap Asante 10 megabit hub, and you're done. 5 x 25pr POTS in,
power in, ethernet out, standalone 120 line dialin solution.

Multiply solution by 10 and you get to the biggest collection of
Courier modems I've ever seen.

They continued to do this until the advent of X2, which required
T1's to a Total Control chassis, at which point they started to
migrate to rackmount gear (they had no space to go beyond 1200
analog Couriers anyways).

... JG