For many of us, having a neat set of charging cables for our devices is a pipe dream from a distant technological utopia. The MOS magnetic cable organizer is good, but at $40 it’s a bit pricey for its purpose. So listen friends, don’t suffer in silence anymore because it shouldn’t be like this — some magnets, metal and glue are all you need to clean up your cable system once and for all.
Magnets — how do they work?
Good question, but completely irrelevant. All you need to know is that you will need as many small magnets as you have cables — and I don’t mean just old magnets. We need rare earth neodymium magnets and luckily you can buy a pack of 50 on eBay for about $10 or $5 from Amazon. I bought them in 3 x 2 x 1 mm — after reflection they are good for the job, but too weak, so you may want to get something more.
If your local junkyard has a lot of discarded electronics, you will also find neodymium magnets in a variety of electronics. Hard drives tend to contain two ridiculously huge and very strong ones — they’re useless for this project as you’ll never unplug the cables again, but pick them up anyway if you’re going to (and hey, they might even be bitcoins lying around on them too!)
Here is the plan: we’re going to put one of these tiny magnets on each of our charging cables, on the underside if they’re oriented. The magnetic field won’t interfere with electricity, but when you install the magnet, make sure it has clearance from the body of the device — plug it in first to see how far the charger cable goes. In this case, older iPhone charging cables with dock connectors that have a magnet on the underside also make it clear when you plug them in which way they should be oriented.
There are several approaches you can use here:
- Hot glue from a glue gun: during testing, I found that this option was too messy for tiny magnets and too weak — the magnet was so strong that it would stick the cable once and then just pull away when it stuck to the metal. , With bigger, flatter magnets that you can encase in glue, this might be better. It is also the least likely to cause long term marks on your cable system, being fairly easy to scrape off.
- Super glue: with the help of a precise applicator, it was the best option and also the strongest. However, this is more of a long term solution and removing the adhesive could mean scraping the cable with a knife. Be sure to wait until the glue is completely dry before testing its strength.
- Attachment to a magnet: the ugliest option of all, but potentially better if you prefer to mount the magnet on a cable rather than a hard cable head. Also the best option if you have large magnets, but I actually had quite a hard time positioning the smaller ones using this method.
- Insert a magnet into some Sugru then wrap it around the cable. It is most similar to the original MOS Organizer. Unfortunately, Sugru is more expensive pound for pound than gold. (ok i came up with this but it’s still really expensive compared to super glue) so like a cheap scrunger I didn’t even bother to try it.