Cable Numbering Scheme? FREE cabling and networking Helpdesk

Question by Joe Burke posted 03 May 2000
icon Cable Numbering Scheme?
Thank you for offering this free service.
I have inherited an 800 device LAN/WAN. I would like to develop a cable map but I'm not sure how to start. Do you have any suggestions on how to number cables, devices etc. that will make administration easier? Do you know of any inexpensive programs, white papers or HowTo guides that can assist me? Right now there is not a numbering scheme in place.

I appreciate your time!


Joe Burke
Network Administrator
Calgary Co-operative Assoc. Ltd.
Calgary, Alberta Canada.

Answer by Dmitri Abaimov posted 11 May 2000
icon Dear Joe,
For the purpose of the cabling administration there is a standard published in 1993 called TIA/EIA-606.
It provides guidelines for the cabling system administrators for labeling all the parts of telecommunications distribution system. There is just one remark here - it's just guidelines, not a strict requirement. So, as the owner of the system that you inherited, you are able to implement whatever seems to be more appropriate for you.
What usually is done - just briefly:
* denote every part of the cabling system with it's own prefix like
for spaces:
WA for work areas;
TC for telecommunication closet;
ER for equipment room.
for pathways:
WW for wireway;
CN for conduit;
CT for cable tray
for cables:
U for UTP cable;
O for optical
Since jacks are attached each to its own cable, they aren't numbered specifically, but bear cable's mark.
I assume that your spaces are numbered already since the system is in use, so if you know that you TC is located in room labeled "206", it becomes TC206.
For cross fields and workarea outlets it's very convenient to use one numbering scheme, so choose either sequential cross connect positions numbering or workareas numbering. When you count cross positions, start from left top to right bottom. When you count outlets, include room number first and then start from the door clockwise. Left (top) jack in the outlet is the first, right (bottom) is the second.
When you print labels for outlets, include "WA", then room number, then jack=cable=cross field number. So it's going to look like "WA207-12". Or alternatively, you may use application ID with jack number like "WA207-A12" for analog voice jack. But I wouldn't recommend it since the application may change in the future.
Next, you have to keep updated records for the connections you're administering. For simple table use four columns:
First - equipment port ID
Second - cross field ID
Third - work area jack ID
Fourth - name of the person, who made the last change for this particular channel.
This type of record may be kept in simple Excel file. There are some software titles that allow you to do many more complicated tricks like assets management, work orders creation etc. But you'll need to invest substantial amount of money to get this type of software and then you have to allocate quite some time to fill the data in the database before you start to use the program.
Joe, that was rather quick overview and obviously not a complete guidelines like TIA/EIA-606. For more detailed information on the standard, I would suggest that you visit one website with pretty good TIA/EIA-606 review. Browse here : to read it.
And if you need any more details, please do not hesitate to contact me or use free online helpdesk.
With regards,
Dmitri Abaimov, RCDD

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