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Vantec have a long established line of products designed especially for the enthusiast, with multi-coloured fans, component cooling devices and UV reactive components, along with low noise power supplies.

The two products I am reviewing today are the Blue UV Reactive EZ-Grip Molex Connector pack and the Black Nylex Cable Sleeving Kit. Both products come ready to be displayed in shops, with bright colours and information about the products.

The rear of the packaging for the cable sleeving kit has a small introduction that sums up the installation process, and provides comparison before and after pics to prove to the budding modder that cable sleeving is really required, and the packaging of the Molex kit provides a small description and instructions on disconnecting the packaged Molex cables from their male counterpart.

In The Packaging

The EZ-Grip Molex Connector Kit comes with:
• 10 Blue UV reactive female Molex plugs
• Female Molex de-pinning tool
• Instructions on how to replace existing Molex plugs.

The Cable Sleeving Kit consists of:
• 10ft of 1/8” Diameter Sleeving
• 10ft of 1/4” Diameter Sleeving
• 5ft of 3/8” Diameter Sleeving
• 5ft of 1/2” Diameter Sleeving
• 1ft of 9mm Heatshrink
• 1ft of 20mm Heatshrink
• 6” of 25mm Heatshrink
• 10 x Cable Ties

Installation


Well according to the brief instructions provided on the back of the cable sleeving kit’s packaging, installation goes as follows:
• Remove connectors
• Sleeve cables
• Secure sleeving
• Replace sleeving

The first cable I tested this method on was a fan power cable:

However, a little more explanation of the installation process is really required. I recommend sleeving a PSU while it is removed from the case.

First remove the Molex/FDD/SATApower plugs. Removing the Molex connectors were easy using the de-pinning tool bundled with the EZ-Grip connectors kit, slide it on, hold the other end of the plug and push down, but the FDD and SATA power connectors were slightly different.

Using a 0.9mm precision screwdriver, I pushed down the tabs keeping the FDD power pins in the socket, which allowed me to pull the pins out easily. With the SATA connector I used the same screwdriver to lift up the retainer of the plug allowing me to remove the cable and pin undamaged. I then used the screwdriver to lift the tabs on the FDD pins back to their original position.

Note: The method listed above may cause damage to either the pins or the socket of the power connector, do so with caution and at your own peril.

After removing the connector on the end of the cable, it’s time to add the sleeving. Vantec recommend that you cut a length a couple of centimetres longer than is required, possibly as the sleeving may contract slightly as it’s widened as the cables come through.

I can guarantee you that this process is by far the longest of the whole mod. Of the 5-6 hours I spent completing the sleeving of my PSU cables and fan cables, I would estimate that 80% of the time was spent trying to get the cables through the sleeving.

I found the easiest way to pass the cables through with out them snagging was to lower the tab that hold the pins within the connector, however as mentioned above this could possibly damage the pin. The SATA pins were a slightly different matter.

As you can see from the image, each SATA pin actually has three smaller connectors at the end of the pin, and these became snagged regularly while sleeving the cables. I recommend taking extreme caution while sleeving SATA cables.

The next step is to secure the sleeving to the cables. Vantec provide both heatshrink and cable ties to do this, however they do mention that electrical tape can be used. As I did not have electrical tape available, I used the provided heatshrink and saved the cable ties for later.

To use heatshrink, cut a length that will cover a decent section of the end of the sleeving, as well as roughly the same length of exposed cable, and slide it on. Once in position, using a cigarette lighter, hold the heatshrink a few centimetres above the flame and rotate it until the heatshrink has fully shrunken.

Note: As with any open flame and heat source, be careful, I managed to burn my fingers several times during the process.

The final step is to re-pin the connectors removed (or in this case replaced). If you flattened any tabs prior to sleeving, return them back to their original orientation, and then slide them back into the appropriate slots on the connector. They should click in place. After testing that the pins are secure, your cable is ready.

Once you’ve finished all the cables you want to sleeve, you have a nice looking, simple mod that also helps airflow in your system (provided you have decent cable management).

Here is what my system looked like before the mod, and after.

Before

After

Apart from all the wiring around the soundcards, it’s a great improvement in my opinion

Final Words

At roughly AU$17 for the EX-Grip Molex Connector Kit and $20 for the Cable Sleeving Kit, these products are pretty cheap, and if you have the time and patience needed to sleeve your PSU cables, it is money well spent.

Although the whole process can take quite some time, the end result is quite rewarding, there’s nothing like seeing hard work paying off, and this simple mod allows for more effective cable management, which overall helps with airflow, and keeping temperatures down for those high performance parts in your computer.

Not to mention with a case window showing off the insides of your pride and joy, having your cables nicely sleeved and tucked away increases the overall appearance of your machine greatly.

The Molex plugs are far easier to remove from devices than the standard, with the provided grips, makes them far more pleasurable to use for those who are constantly swapping out hardware. With a UV cold-cathode you’ll also get a nice shine as well.

I recommend these products to anyone who wishes to improve the look of their case, and has the time and patience to go through the ordeal.

Cable Sleeving Kit
EX-Grip Molex Connector Kit
Pros
Pros
• Very rewarding
• Cheap
• Comes with almost everything needed
• Greatly improves appearance
• Greatly improves cable management
• Cheap
• Easy to install
• Glow with UV light
Cons
Cons
• Extremely time consuming
• Possibility of damaging pins
• None



Contacts: Reviewer: Chris "DJ_Stick" Stannard

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