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Old August 23, 2008, 07:55 AM
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Lithotech Lithotech is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: North Vancouver Rain Belt
Posts: 409

Great guide! Sure to help a lot of folks!

Fan tails are perfect for noobs to sleeving, the lines are short so use little material, and monetary risk of damage is very low!

A few tidbits of info from my experiences:

I have found the sleeving kits to be utter crap. You will rarely use the larger sizes, and there is barely enough of the smaller material to do a system. The nylon braid is not very good quality, and over priced. It doesn't expand or flex very well, lower heat rating, and dull colors.

All the cables in your computer (except the ATX line, and possibly the 12V 4 pin PCIe, EPS 8 pin) can be sleeved with 1/4 inch sleeving. I buy it in 10 foot lengths for less than $5 a pack (including tax) from here:

RP Electronics - Test Instruments , Power Supplies , Inverters , Electronic Project Kits and more!

Search for Flexible Sleeving. Burnaby, BC location. They do ship!

This stuff is aircraft quality.

I use 1/4 inch shrinktube with 1/4 inch sleeve, plenty of slack to fit over the sleeve and wire, and shrinks to a tight fit. 3/8ths shrink is a little big for this. The heatshrink tubing is a couple bucks for a 3 foot length.

A 10 foot pack is plenty to do an entire system including fans.

For the main ATX line, I use the 1/2 inch Split Braid sleeving. This stuff is great, you can apply it without taking off the connector which is a big risk if you don't get the wires back in exactly right (BOOM!). The only problem is you can't apply heatshrink on the ends, so I just use a ziptie. Also, it's only stocked in black.

PCIe lines will be a tight fit, so I use 1/4 inch split braid for this. Sata lines are difficult to remove the connectors, so I leave them alone. They route easy enough and usually hide perfectly so you don't see them anyway.

I have a variety of tools for removing the connectors, Sunbeam makes a kit with 4 or 5 tools, and there are also some new selections at NCIX (will be trying one or two in the near future).

To cut this stuff, I heat a box cutter knife with a propane torch, then cut the sleeve on a small piece of 2x4 wood. You get a perfect end every time with no fraying.

I keep a variety of colors in stock at all times, built up over time as I needed new colors or replenish stock. I keep it all in an old briefcase, so when I need to do sleeving I just grab my kit and everything is there.

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