February 28, 2013

453 words 3 mins read

Securing your Apple adapters in conference rooms

Modern IT is an increasingly Mac-friendly endeavor. One of the major annoyances (in my book) with Macs is the use of adapters and dongles. It isn’t so much that adapters are required, it’s that in shared spaces (such as conference rooms) you need to have them easily accessible AND removable, but not-easily wandered off with. This last requirement is the most troublesome for me because people seem to love to go wandering off with VGA and network adapters from conference rooms. They may have dozens of the damn things back at their desk (because I readily provide them to my users), but they’ll accidentally walk off with another. I found a solution to securing all types of Apple adapters in our conference rooms, and it costs about about $0.10 USD.

What you need: A VGA cable, an MDP to VGA Apple Adapter, 4 zip ties roughly 8-9” in length and something to cut the zip ties (wire cutters, needle nose pliers, etc).

2013-02-13 12.32.26
Step 1 — Loop two of the zip ties in on themselves, fasten/tighten only a few clicks in.

2013-02-13 12.32.59
Step 2 — Put the two looped zip ties over the adapter and the end of the VGA cable. Fasten the 3rd zip tie to the 4th, tightening only a few clicks.

2013-02-13 12.33.49
Step 3 — Run zip tie of the 3-4 combo through the two loops (zip ties 1 and 2). Tighten down (just a few clicks) the other side of the 3-4 combo (making a big loop)

2013-02-13 12.34.14
Step 4 — Tighten down the ties (1 and 2) around the adapter and the VGA cable. The trick: You want to tighten them down just enough so that the looped ties can’t slide over the adapter, but not so tight that they prevent the zip ties loops from moving (and the big 3-4 loop from moving also). Basically, you want to balance security and the ability to adjust the adapter/cable positioning. Too tight and you wont be able to remove the adapter.

2013-02-13 12.34.54
Step 5 — Clip the ends of zip ties as close to the catch as you can.

2013-02-13 12.35.34
Step 6 — Enjoy your newly secured adapter

2013-02-13 12.35.50
Step 7 — Make sure you can detach the adapter.

It might take a couple of tries to get the right tightness and zip-tie placement exactly correct, but it’s worth it. Since I started doing this, I haven’t lost a single adapter ($0.10 zip ties are a small price for not losing $30 adapters en masse). Remember, even though my demonstration was with a VGA cable & VGA adapter, this works well with other adapters such as Ethernet. You can also attach multiple adapters to a single cable (e.g. USB & Thunderbolt Ethernet to a single CAT5).