Building on the “What’s in my toolbag” series that I revisited last week with the Fluke LinkSprinter, I wanted to talk about the next new item in my tool bag. This week we will take a look at a product called SergeantClip. The SergeantClip is used to help with cable management and switch replacements. I purchased these a few months back partially based on a post by Matt Norwood on his blog over at InSearchofTech as well as I was looking for a way to make swapping out switches easier.
Swapping out switches or a line card on chassis can be a royal pain in the you-know-what. Many times cables are not labeled, or if they are labeled they are actually mislabeled, and we typically need to do the swap fast as downtime is has to be kept to an absolute minimum. Even if the cables are labeled, we still want to be sure we put the cables we disconnect back into the proper port and that is where the SergeantClip helps you shine. They have two primary designs, a 6–port version that is great for 24–port switches/line-cards and a 12–port version that is great for 48–port switches/line-cards.
They both work the same, so here is the 12–port version opened up and ready for cables. It just clips open and closed, and it is very secure when closed and does not pinch your cables. The one thing that I would have liked to see with the 12–port design is an additional hinge on the top and bottom. When you are working in a tight space with lots of cables, the upper and lower open arms tends to get in the way of other cables. It is not that much of a problem, just takes a bit longer to work the clip into a bunch of cables.
If you look at the clip from the top you will see that each cable has sufficient space around it. There is no pinching of the cables, they are snug but not crimped.
Here I have used the clip to hold together 12 patch cables. If you noticed, I have left one slot open – and when you go to reinsert this into the switch, you will know which one was not cabled.
I used these for a customer migration the other week. At this site we had to replace the existing switches with an new stack that was more appropriate for their network. We configured the new switches to match the existing switch configs, so we had to make sure that we cabled the switches back up the same way. For the swap we installed the SergeantClips on the cables so that we could be sure that we cabled them back up the same.
As you can see, when we unplugged the cables form the switch, the cable grouping stayed the same and we know where each cable had to be reconnected to.
When you have a few of these clips you can do a whole switch. You just need to make sure you know which clip went to which section. Here I wish that the clips had been color coded or numbered – I might add some nail polish to them to that we know what order they should be in. I guess you could also print out some p-touch labels and number them, so there are ways to make it easier.
Here is how I actually store my clips so that I do not lose them. I use a 12” patch cable and clip the SergeantClips on it. It works great and the customer realizes what they are as soon as I pull them out of my tool-bag.
I purchased the Large Starter Bundle for myself as that was what I was looking for. All their prices are in British Pound Sterling, so be aware of the currency conversion if you are in another country. I am very pleased with my clips and they help me swap out the customer switches in no time, versus taking the time to label every cable at 2AM.
If you are interested in getting the SergeantClip, check out their website here – LINK.