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Author Topic: Labeling Coax  (Read 9933 times)
KE4VVF
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Posts: 61




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« on: February 25, 2012, 08:59:13 PM »

I admit it.  I'm an Antenna Junkie.  My house looks like a porcupine.
I currently have 6 antennas and use LMR400 or RG213U. Soon I'll be adding at least 3 more antennas.   

It's very easy to confuse all those runs of coax. I tried using paper labels with wide clear packing tape but they don't stick very well or take kindly to being handled.  Then graduated to colored zip ties but they don't make enough colors for 9 antenna runs.

How do you permanently label your coax cables to eliminate confusion?
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LA9XNA
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Posts: 106




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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2012, 12:40:24 AM »

Narrow dymo tape and transperant heat schrink is a good way.
Another way is to use heat schrink and just write on it with a permanant marker.
Heat schrink is avalable in a lot of colours the most common are white, blue, red, yellow, black and transperant.
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AD5X
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2012, 04:48:54 AM »

I use a Sharpie silver permanent marking pen and write directly on the coax jacket.  Works great.

Phil - AD5X
« Last Edit: March 06, 2012, 03:59:44 AM by AD5X » Logged
K1CJS
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2012, 08:22:31 AM »

I may be going out on a limb here, but one of my prior setups had an access bulkhead where the antenna feeds from outside terminated.  Each feed was through a barrel connector, and each feed was marked with the antenna that it came from.  Simplest way to do it, in my opinion.  I've since cut my antenna farm down to size (only two) and have no need of such a setup anymore.  Before you ask, my bulkhead panel is long gone.
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SWMAN
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2012, 08:53:30 AM »

 I use small 4 inch zip ties with the plastic tabs on them, works great.
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WX7G
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2012, 09:09:59 AM »

Sharpies and tyraps with the label tags are good if you can get close enough to read them. Your method of colored tyraps is good and can be expanded using multiple tyraps; Five tyraps means coax #5.

If you like binary use two colors; one for 0 and another for 1 in a 4-bit word (good for coax 0-15). Coax #5 could be white, white, red, red.
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KD2BHP
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2012, 10:36:06 AM »

I may be going out on a limb here, but one of my prior setups had an access bulkhead where the antenna feeds from outside terminated.  Each feed was through a barrel connector, and each feed was marked with the antenna that it came from.  Simplest way to do it, in my opinion.  I've since cut my antenna farm down to size (only two) and have no need of such a setup anymore.  Before you ask, my bulkhead panel is long gone.

this is what our club does with the 10 or so antennas at the clubhouse... seems to work well

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K3AN
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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2012, 07:16:25 PM »

"Coax #5 could be white, white, red, red."

I think that's either a 3 or a 12, depending on which color is zero and which is one. BTW, is the binary code read with the PL-259 held in the left hand or in the right hand?

The silver marking pen is the way to go. Write whatever you want right on the black outer jacket of the cable.
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NA4IT
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2012, 04:30:22 AM »

Seriously, as for colored tape bands, they do work, with a small chart near the connections that tells which one is which. If you run out of colors, you could use Red/Yellow, Blue/Green, etc.
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WX7G
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2012, 05:24:29 AM »

"Coax #5 could be white, white, red, red."

I think that's either a 3 or a 12, depending on which color is zero and which is one. BTW, is the binary code read with the PL-259 held in the left hand or in the right hand?

The silver marking pen is the way to go. Write whatever you want right on the black outer jacket of the cable.


The binary number would be written starting from the connector just like one would write a label (that's the convention used on labeled military cables). One must remember which color is zero and which is 1.
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KB1NXE
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Posts: 309




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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2012, 07:27:30 AM »

I use a Brady iDPAL labeller for all my cables.  Not just the COAX, but the power and other interconnect cables get labelled as well.  One line for the source, the 2nd for the destination.  It does 2, 3 or 4 lines (depending on your label tape width and Font).  But, it's not cheap.
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K8GU
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« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2012, 11:45:24 AM »

I also use a labeled bulkhead.  It's simple.  It's expandable.  And so on.

To further complicate things, I have switched monoband filters (HF) or monoband amplifiers (VHF) on each band in the shack.  So, each cable should be connected only to the appropriate bulkhead connector.  I label the indoor cables with regular label-maker labels covered with clear packing tape (although clear heatshrink is a more elegant solution).
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AD7GU
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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2012, 11:35:10 AM »

had to re-coax a state police command post (i.e. an old rv) the roof held approx 14 antennas. we used the following:

hf band (cb) got green electrical tape
vhf bands got yellow electrical tape
uhf bands got blue electrical tape
800 Mhz and above got red tape

after that, additional tape was used using the telephone marking system (slate, green, etc. sorry it's been several years since that project) i just remember being on the roof for about 3 weeks. (at least we were inside a building)

then we made a drawing for the shop records and included a set in the command post
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N3BSZ
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Posts: 57




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« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2012, 09:36:17 AM »

Tower leasing companies (American Tower / Crown Castle) use either tape bands as others posted or metal tags clamped on with with either stainless steel cable ties or black.  Make sure you tag the top and bottom of the cable for upgrading etc.

I know if you did not mark them and the leasing company was doing work, they would cut your cable.  It is harsh, but you never did it twice and always checked to make sure they did not fall off.
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W2RWJ
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Posts: 181




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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2012, 02:42:26 PM »

It's very easy to confuse all those runs of coax. I tried using paper labels with wide clear packing tape but they don't stick very well or take kindly to being handled.  Then graduated to colored zip ties but they don't make enough colors for 9 antenna runs.

I use Panduit self-laminating labels:  http://www.panduit.com/Products/ProductOverviews/IdentificationandLabelingSystems/index.htm

That being said, I made brass tags for our club repeater's feedline as it's new home is on a public safety tower / site.  Link: http://www.sarex.us/temp_pix/n2mo_tags.jpg
« Last Edit: March 14, 2012, 02:44:21 PM by W2RWJ » Logged
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