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18 September 2014

Fit Fit minor update: securing some wires securely.

Two of the new additions to my fine toaster (appliance, commuter car) have been very useful. The first is a power port doubler that also has two USB charging ports and the second is a Bluetooth adapter that offers some unique and very useful features. (I'll go into that more later in a separate review.)

With the wires and widgets installed in a functional but honestly sloppy manner, the rattling and slapping of wire against my knee while driving came to be too much, so, I took some time looking for solutions that didn't involve tape, JB Weld or hot glue.

The first fix involved some actual, literal industrial strength Velcro brand hook and loop fatten fastener self-adhesive tape:


I cut a short section and stuck it onto the charging adapter and secured it thusly:

It fits rather well there! This Velcro stuff is really good so far. It has very good grip strength and the adhesive is very sticky. I just wish it had come in black. I'm fairly sure I ordered black, but, the gray isn't offensive in the least. This takes care of the major rattle source.

Next, I looked for a compact wire holding solution that wasn't white or sickly off white like many cable holders seem to come in. I found some clips with double sided sticky tape that seemed to fit the bill. The amazon reviews showed some dissatisfaction with the pre-applied tape, but none with the clips. Since I'm not above improving things, I figured I would try the tape as supplied and see for myself how it holds up to the rigors of automotive use. On to the pics!
This is the annoying wire:
No, it isn't the biggest deal in the world, but it does swing around enough for me to notice while I'm driving. I usually seek to minimize distractions while driving, and this is a really simple fix, so Yay!

These are the clips:
They come 20 to a package:

Installing them is a bit fiddly. The tape is certainly not as good quality as the best 3M stuff, but, it seems to stick if you press and hold them in place for half a minute. Again, we'll see if they hold over time. The biggest part of keeping them stuck on is to put them where they are not under any strain but still guide the wire. This goes for larger wires and even piping things in the engine bay. Work with the material, not against it. Things will last longer that way.

Here is a look at the clips installed:
They are all out of the way and prevent the wire from swinging willy nilly into my knee. Cool.

Then I decided to really test these thing's capacity:

That is the pretty thick 6' long USB charging cable that reaches up to my phone that is on a window mount right next to the pillar. It was a bit of a struggle, but they clip on. I would not want to clip anything thicker than this with these, but, the hold on to the wire very securely without pinching it too much.

Here's how I ran the cable with the clips:
So far, they are all still stuck on, even after the chilly temps we had in the area. I'm surprised that they are keeping the thick USB cable in place, even if I did use enough of them. If they hold up for a while, I'm going to use them to properly secure the cable all the way over to the window mount.

Hurrah for cable neatness!