The cables in a computer really know how to make a mess inside your case. And if that wasn’t enough, they’re also not very aesthetically appealing. They can also get caught in the fans or get damaged on sharp edges. To solve these problems, Vantec have introduced a “Cable Sleeving Kit”

The cables in a computer really know how to make a mess inside your case. And if that wasn’t enough, they’re also not very aesthetically appealing. They can also get caught in the fans or get damaged on sharp edges. To solve these problems, Vantec have introduced a “Cable Sleeving Kit”. With it, you can put all the cables into sleeves. It has a dramatic effect on the visual appeal of your computer, and at the same time provides a protecting vinyl cover for your cables. To increase the visual impression even more, they have also introduced molex connectors in varying colors. I’ll be checking those out some other time. Besides just looking good, the molex connectors also have small grips which make them easier to remove when the hard drive just won’t let go of them.
Moreover, Vantec has also introduced a so-called “Slot Protector Kit” which will keep dust and dirt from getting into the PCI and RAM expansion slots. I’ll also be examining these in the near future.

Before we continue with this article, I want to mention that modifications done to the power supply can be very hazardous if one doesn’t make sure the power supply is completely discharged. Please be very careful when doing modifications, and make sure there is no electricity left in the power supply. The people at NordicHardware take no responsibility for any injuries done to you or damage to your equipment.


Package containing cable sleeves.

Vantec’s cable sleeves come in different colors. In the picture above, you can see the red and yellow ones. Both are fluorescent, which means they emit visible light when illuminated by ultra-violet light. The sleeving kit comes tightly packaged. It’s amazing to see just how much stuff is fit into the package.

Contents

The package contains the following:

  • 304.8 cm (10 ft) * 3.17 mm (1/8″) Sleeving.
  • 304.8 cm (10 ft) * 6.35 mm (1/4″) Sleeving.
  • 152.4 cm (5 ft) * 9.53 mm (3/8″) Sleeving.
  • 152.4 cm (5 ft) * 12.70 mm (1/2″) Sleeving.
  • 10 tie wraps.
  • 30.48 cm (1 ft) 9mm Heat Shrink Tubing.
  • 30.48 cm (1 ft) 20mm Heat Shrink Tubing.
  • 15.24 cm (6″) 25mm Heat Shrink Tubing.

Sleeving 1/8″

Sleeving 3/8″

Sleeving 1/4″

Sleeving 1/2″

Heat shrink tubing

Tie wraps

One package contains enough cable for at least two “sleevings”, depending on the amount cable you have in your computer. Everything in the package has the same color except for the heat shrink tubing which are slightly darker. The thing I got caught up on was that the package stated a red color, while it was actually more orange. A small miss by Vantec. But I think it only concerns the red color, since the yellow was as promised, yellow.


Package containing molex connectors

I’ve also decided to test the Vantec EZ-Grip Molex Connector Kit at the same time. These are replacement connectors that come in different colors. Vantec has even placed small grips on the top and bottom of the molex, making it much easier for removal. In the picture you see red and yellow connectors (all are females). The colors are as promised, even though the red ones still look more orange, but still better than with the sleeves.

Contents

The package contains the following:

  • 10 Molex Heads.
  • Installation guide
  • One Molex Remover (more on this later)

Molex Heads

Comparison with a regular Molex

Comparison with a regular Molex

Comparison with a regular Molex

Beside the color, there isn’t much difference between the molex heads. The biggest difference is that Vantec has added small grips to enable easier removal of the molexes. A smart solution that can really be a time-saver when struggling with connectors that won’t budge. Hiper has implemented a similar idea with their Hiper Type-R 480W. We hope to see more manufacturers doing the same.
One disadvantage with this package is that it only comes with female molex connectors. This means that one cannot replace the male connectors, floppy connectors, or the ATX connector. This felt odd since one usually has more than just female connectors in the computer.

Vantec Slot Protector Kit

Slot Protector Kit

Vantec has also designed a product which fulfills two functions. It protects the PCI- and RAM- expansion slots from dust and dirt, and at the same time adds even more fluorescent bling to the computer.

Contents

The package contains the following:

  • 5 PCI-slot Protectors.
  • 3 RAM-slot Protectors.

PCI-protectors

DDR-protectors

The product actually makes some sense for computers that rarely get cleaned and just collect dust. I have to state once more that I’m still disappointed with the colors. The color doesn’t feel as solid as with the molex connectors, it’s a little transparent. But that’s an individual thing, I guess, but I’d prefer that they used the same plastic for all products.


It is not hard to sleeve a power supply. It can be a bit tricky in the beginning, but once you get hang of it the procedure becomes relatively easy. The hardest cable of all to sleeve is the ATX-cable. Rather than letting you tear your fingers bloody (as yours truly did) I’m going to show you how to easily sleeve an ATX-cable.









ATX-cable

If you’re lucky the manufacturer has already sleeved the ATX-cable for you, so you might not have to do anything with it. But if you’re unfortunate enough not to get a pre-sleeved one, or for any reason need to re-sleeve it, I thought I should show you how to easily do it yourself. Rather than dishing out 200 SEK for an “ATX-Remover” I’m also going to show you how to make small, handy tools for removing the connector.











Tool 1
Tool 2

The left image shows a pair tweezers I’ve filed down. But if you have no pair you’re willing to sacrifice I have an alternative. The “legs” consist of a piece of metal I found. You might have to do some trial-and-error testing with the size before both will fit.












Some metal
Usage











Pair of tweezers
Usage

Of course, there are other things one could use for separating the wires from the ATX-connector. But before you begin it will be a good idea to note the position of and each and every wire. If you’ve got more than one power supply in your possession you can obviously just compare colors, but otherwise there’s no other option than making a note of color-scheme.








ATX-cable

You won’t need to remove all wires, only about half of them. Then just fold the plug into the cable-sleeve with the loose wires after. Just don’t forget the heat shrink tubing before reattaching the wires to the plug.











Beginning
Halfway through











Sleeve and shrink-fit tubing in place
Done!

The heat shrink tubing is most easily shrunk with a heat gun. If you don’t have one a regular lighter will work, though there’s a risk you will stain the tubing with soot. It might even work with a high-output hairdryer.






Once the ATX-cable has been sleeved about 70% of the job is done. The other cables are much easier to sleeve and take a lot less time.









Molex




For removing the molex plugs I use the “molexremover” included in the kit. A rather nifty little tool that easily removes the plugs, so there’s no need to manufacture your own.








Molexremover

It’s no bigger than approx. 4 cm. In principle it’s a tube one fits over the pins, and then a metal rod pushes the pins out of the plug.













The Molexremover
The Molexremover depressed












Test of function
No major problems


It saves some time using this remover when (re)sleeving your power supply, and it functions as it should. A good decision by Vantec to include this tool, though I miss the equivalent tool for removing ATX-connectors.

Returning to the business of sleeving, what remains is relatively simple. Start by removing all plugs. Then measure the required lengths of sleeve. A rule of thumb is as much sleeve as the wires are long, plus an approximately two-three cm extra.












Measure..
..cut..












..thread..
..shrink-fit tubing..











..reattach plug..
..and done!


And of course other cables may be sleeved as well. The connectors will then look a bit different and are different to remove. For a floppy-connector you can use a small screwdriver or equivalent and simply depress the small lock-pins holding the connector in place. They are to be located on the topside of the connector.











Off with the connector
Sleeving, heat shrink tubing











Heat
Shrunk and ready .

Then it’s just a matter of reattaching the shell of the power supply and everything’s done. Worth considering though is the fact that a power supply may still be holding a charge even after it’s been unplugged from the wall, so it’s best to wait a while before putting a screwdriver to it.








Done!

It’s quite the makeover, compared to what it looked like before. The power supply now has a much cleaner look to it. Besides looking better it now also promotes better airflow throughout the system.








A big problem with today’s computers is their tendency to collect dust over time. Vantec put some thought to it and came up with something they call slotprotectors. Basically they’re just covers to be put over vacant PCI- and RAM-slots, but for those who can’t get enough of fluorescent stuff in their machines they are also quite attractive in their design. Installation is a no-brainer and only takes a few minutes, if even that.














Vacant RAM-slots
Installation









And the result




It’s no more difficult for the PCI-slots either. Same thing; just push them in where they fit.














Vacant PCI-slots
Done

There is really nothing negative to say about these products. They protect against dust, so they do their job. My only complaint is the color. I would have liked it to be more solid, and not semi-transparent as it sometimes feels. But definitely a product for those who are protective of their stuff and want as much fluorescent stuff in their system as possible. Add a little black-light and they will glow in a nice ambient orange-ish color.





Vantec have done a good job with their products, though a catch is their choice of colors. The red paint was not red at all, but rather orange. Disappointing to get something else when you’re expecting something red. That aside their products are quite smart and the aesthetical appeal is not exactly a minus. I would have liked to see a tool for removing the ATX-connector and a few more molex plugs than just female ones though. Why not include some male plugs and maybe even an ATX-connector? Pet peeves of course, but having to mix white and red molex plugs feels odd. However, I do have to give them kudos for the grip on the molex plugs—a very smart solution to the problem with tightly fitted plugs. Something all power-supply manufacturers should adopt. As mentioned earlier Hiper already got on the train with the launch of their “EZ-grip.”









The result



The result is a clear improvement. The cables feel easier to handle now and the overall aesthetics of the system have been taken to whole other level with all the former big ugly cables out of the way. The installation is not trivial, but it’s worth the effort if you want tidier and better looking cables. Vantec have done a good job.












The result


DELA

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