For the SAS>SATA breakout cables....I tried a lot of different things. In the end...I'm not unhappy, but I may tinker more later. But for now...here is how I did the breakouts
I ordered some shorter cables. 18 inches was the shortest I could find. They came in red, and included the # of the cable down on the cable where I will sleeve it.
So....I pulled out the trusty label maker...
...and created some little bitty stickers to put up on the connector head.
Then I used some red and white electrical tape to cover the cable in the color sleeve I would be using. I also wrapped all 4 cables up together for about 2/3 of the cable.
With a lot of coaxing, I was able to get all 4 cables into one SATA sleeve (MDPC-X). It fits nice and snug, and should look clean coming off the Areca card. However, I'm not thrilled with the breakouts. The cable on the breakouts is much narrower than standard SATA cable, and its just about impossible to stretch the sleeve tight enough. It leaves some "puffy" slack, which I do not like. Also, because there is some slack....it is nearly impossible to secure the sleeve to the cable with just heatshrink. In the end, I melted some sleeve at the tip and compressed it so that there was a small area that was tight around the cable....and then used some superglue to secure a bond to the cable.
Also, for the heatshrink on the connector and where it separates into the breakouts...the shrink is too large. I only had either MDPC-X SATA sleeve (which would not fit) and some large 1.5 inch shrink....which doesn't contract very tight around anything. I need to order some shrink that is closer to 1 inch....and redo these.
Even if there are some things I would like to do to change them....they are much better looking now than if I had done nothing to them.