Tuesday, January 7, 2014

When I used my first Cable Label 2016

So having been a Tech from the RS232 days when we would run some screened four core cable to a “VDU” from a 25 way cinch plug, to a wall jack I made sure I numbered everything.

The so called “D” cinch plug cover was BIG so we just marked the number on the side with a marker pen and a small one on the back so you could see it when plugged into the PDP 11/34. The other end was a white MK face plate cut to receive a 25 way cinch socket, it had a smooth surface, so we used a product called Letraset, we would rub the number off on the top corner seemed to work well and looked great at the time.

The point here is the cable never had any marking on it we would test them with a OHMs meter all three wires and number them in order and beside broken cable, never had any problems.

The next labeling we worked with was twinaxial which was one basic line with a number of screens added, all the numbers used on the line normally on the data jack on the wall like 1/1 and 1/2 and on so you knew line one and device 2,3, or more the line just went on forever and the user could switch on or off on the wall plate. 

 Then came IBM token ring and Ethernet on a yellow cable “thick net” and then thin net all needed little or no labeling as one line or loop heading one place. No matter how hard I try I cannot recall any cable labels been used.

Then I was asked to install a Cat 4 cable UTP job, all new to me 4 twisted pairs and color coded seen nothing better. But now we have a DR site “Disaster recovery” and 400 cables to install around the building, I think the first time we marked each cable with a sharpie with little lines and pulled in bunches of eight and then labeled the patch panel and the data jacks. (No cable Labels yet)

The very first time I can recall using a cable labels was in 1984 on a new DR site, we had to install around 500 drops and they had to be removable under the computer room floor, the point of this was they would be installed ready in one location, but a unit next door could also be used if they did not need the UTP in that area.

We found a company that made groups of eight cat 5 cable installed in one PVC jacket, so we had to label each group A1 – A8 and B1 – B8 all pre terminated, we found that Krone (ADC) (TE) had the Patch panel that allowed the RJ45 to be removed and terminated each group of eight into a floor box with eight RJ45’s.

We labeled each RJ45 for the patch panel end with homemade wrap around cable labels, the main cable of eight with a BIG “A” and the jack box with normal card inserts A1 – A8 all the way up to ZZ-1.

After this we tended to label everything in some form or other until I moved to the USA in 1995 and had big projects on cruise ships to number, on the first few jobs we used hand held labels machines, we started each project with may be three hand held labeling printers and we always left the ship after 10 days with one. As soon as our back turned. GONE this just cost me a bunch of money in label machines and tapes.

Contact was made and each project we would pre print all the cable labels and a few extra for those extra runs that are always added at the end, we also took some spare to the project just in case. We also printed out patch panels labels and data jacks all ready just to stick on.

So now if we see any cable without a label we are on it and the question is when did you install your first cable label.

Graham Barker

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