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Author Topic: Labeling Coax  (Read 21963 times)

Posts: 1209


« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2012, 11:22:57 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.

Interesting but what if you have 3 radios with coax (same type) from each running in a cable tray and terminating at the bulk head (or in my case, an array of antenna switches) and for some reason decided to disconnect all three at once. How would you know which coax feed went to what radio and where to connect it to the labeled antennas unless the coaxes themselves were marked some how.

All of my cabling inside the shack (permenant jumpers, coax feeds to antennas, whatever) are marked on BOTH ends (except at the antenna ends of feed lines entering the shack, for obvious reason) with local end connection point and the opposite end termination point so when I look at a cable that is loosed from the rig and hanging, I can see it goes to Radio #1 and Antenna Switch #2 position 1. My antenna switching array is setup so every antenna is available to any radio ONE AT A TIME OF COURSE. I have 6 antennas and 3 radios and a bunch of switches. So far it works great and fits my needs to a Tee.

Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp

Posts: 6251

« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2012, 08:34:57 AM »

Interesting but what if you have 3 radios with coax (same type) from each running in a cable tray and terminating at the bulk head (or in my case, an array of antenna switches) and for some reason decided to disconnect all three at once....

The original post was referencing ANTENNA runs, not jumper runs.  In any event, there is nothing wrong with marking the jumper coax cables too--or just avoid disconnecting them all at once.  The original post follows:

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?

If you can't avoid disconnecting everything, get a cable TV pinger used to trace CATV cables--or make one.  When I was working as a building superintendent, I got one to help me find the ends of unmarked cables so proper connections could be made, either house antenna or commercial cable connections.  You put the pinger at one end of the cable and the indicator is used to locate the other end.  With the appropriate adapters, it works well for any other type antenna cables too--if I need it to.  73!

Posts: 13065

« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2012, 10:18:20 AM »

I use colored tape on each end of cable(s) in question so you do not have to worry about reading labels. Simply look for color you need which can be on a easy to read reference chart if needed.

Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..

Posts: 4

« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2012, 01:23:47 AM »

Colored electrician's tape is durable and can be recognized from a distance. 

On the radio shelf system I apply a small stripe of color just below each nest where a radio resides, including an empty nest for guest's radio. Because I have access to the back of the shelf system, I apply the stripe on the rear of the shelf too.   I use the same respective colors for labeling front panel switch position and rear connectors of the rig selector switch.  One stripe of that color identifies the coax for each radio. 

A second coax selector switch has its positions and cables identified by two stripes of color and same for the respective nest where the load ( matchbox, dummy load, Z match, autotuner) resides. 

If I move different radios in and out of the shelf system there is usually no reason for re-labeling.  Guest operators seem to pick up the logic of the system easily:  choose a radio, turn the radio selector switch to that color.  Choose an antenna coupler or dummy load, turn the load selector to that double stripe color. 

Labeling test leads is another matter.  This system allows me to select a test lead from a tangled mess with a minimum of effort.  A violet tape stripe means that the other end has the same fitting as this end.  White means that the other end is an alligator clip,  Blue means that the other end is a banana plug, and so forth:  Green for BNC, red for UHF, Yellow for 1/4 inch phone plug, brown for RCA plug, black for mini phone plug.  This system is not perfect, but it is a time saver. 

Posts: 137


« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2012, 04:52:59 AM »

You might go to a truck stop or trucking company and see if you can get some metal numbered security seals. Just don't forget where you put the list of what number = what cable...

Here is were you can order some...

Posts: 42

« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2012, 06:51:42 PM »

In the broadcast industry, we use laminated labels by a Brady labeler. (IDxpert)

You can type up to two lines depending on font style. The label wraps around the cable and the clear tail protects the print. I have cables that are 20 years old that still can be ID'ed perfectly. They even work on cables outdoors, but break down after a couple of years in the elements.

Good luck-

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