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Cable inventory

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Cable inventory

Postby baward » Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:55 pm

After about 100 years of pretty randomly plugging stuff in and scrabbling around on the floor to find out what might be inserted where, I thought it is time to properly organise my input cables. Even though I don't have tons of gear, I have about 18 channels of analogue input that I regularly use. Even though I can see the clear benefits of a patchbay, I am not using one at present.

I've got as far as keeping tabs with paper and pencil as to what's what, but I wonder what other folk use? I've recently bought a Mr-Label system, although I am yet to implement it.

Thanks!
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Re: Cable inventory

Postby Bob Bickerton » Mon Jan 06, 2020 7:15 pm

I use a tape labelling system around the connectors which is colour coded by length. So “20 Blue” would be number 20 of a 5m length.

It gets a little confusing because I have long and short 5m lengths ;)

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Re: Cable inventory

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:43 pm

:headbang: I have long and short memory lengths these days but, sadly, they aren't colour coded......
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Re: Cable inventory

Postby nathanscribe » Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:54 pm

The most colourful thing in my studio is the language I use while trying to untangle a heap of all-black cables with identical jacks on each end.

I did make a couple of looms with electrical tape of different colours and patterns on the jacks. Even just using a couple of colours (for, say, left and right) and then writing on it with permanent marker is better that nowt.
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Re: Cable inventory

Postby ef37a » Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:40 pm

More years ago than I care to remember XLR cables were ID'ed with tape as per the resistor colour code, e.g Brown/black was 10mtrs Red/black 20mtrs. They were plugged together and wound up on Kmal drums.

Because PVC tape goes sticky and peels it was protected by clear heat shrink. The plugs also had Blue HS over the plug rear. This stopped the then Cannon clamp screws coming out but was mostly to ID OUR cables and stop the BBC and ITV blokes from 'mistaking' them for their own!

Of course, the system would not work today because I doubt one in 10,000 readers of this and other audio forums have ****** CLUE what the resistor code is!

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Re: Cable inventory

Postby blinddrew » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:33 pm

Used to know, but haven't needed to for at least 25 years so, funnily enough, it hasn't stuck! :)
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Re: Cable inventory

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:37 pm

At a push I think I could remember (learned it at my pappy's knee don't-cha-know) but on the rare occasions I build anything I look it up to check I'm right :blush:
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Re: Cable inventory

Postby Folderol » Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:07 am

I'm so steeped in this now that when I see any of the preferred values I instantly think the complete number, not the colour band values. For other values, I'll think something like 2, 5, k rather than red, green, orange
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Re: Cable inventory

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:44 am

I guess it's a bit like reading music, see the code/dot on the stave and think the number/note?
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Re: Cable inventory

Postby ef37a » Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:12 am

Oh yes Drew, 'use it or lose it' !
It is so burned into my hind brain like Will that I doubt I shall ever forget it. What defeats me is the 'weeness ' when I cannot resolve the colours and the 'new' four band system banjaxes me! I just keep my trusty Fluke handy.

Tell what IS tricky for old electronics techs? Snooker scoring!

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Re: Cable inventory

Postby James Perrett » Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:18 am

As a beginner I used to think 'why bother when you can use a meter to find the value' but, in my later teens as I amassed more components I realised that it was much easier to learn the code rather than find the meter every time I wanted a resistor. Fortunately Practical Wireless included some handy cards free with one issue around the same time that featured the resistor colour code.
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Re: Cable inventory

Postby ManFromGlass » Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:48 am

I don’t build many diy projects so the internet would be my place to find resistor values when needed.
As for cable labeling (and I think there is another thread here somewhere with some good alternatives) I tried those small sticky numbers. But being older I found by the time I traced a longer cable I forgot what the number was on the other end. One day when I’m so inspired I will give the cables people names on both ends. So I will know that "Fred" connected to the ribbon mic is connected to mic pre #2
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Re: Cable inventory

Postby blinddrew » Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:19 am

I like that idea. :)
In the shop in Amsterdam we named all the tools (it started with a Stanley knife). We decided that all screwdrivers were called Eric; our two most used ones were red and blue so you'd here comments across the floor like, "lob me Eric the Red please Bert."
I don't if they wete simpler times or if we were just simple... ;)
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Re: Cable inventory

Postby Wonks » Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:51 am

Or the fact that you were 'in Amsterdam'. ;)
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Re: Cable inventory

Postby Moroccomoose » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:10 am

I haven't used the resistor code since A levels! But isn't it just the rainbow...Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain...With Black and Brown tagged on the front and white on the end, Black being 0 and white 9. Last colour is number of zeros?

Then the tolerance band.silver for 10% and gold for 5%....

Didn't google, honest!

Did I pass the test Dave?
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Re: Cable inventory

Postby Folderol » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:37 am

Moroccomoose wrote:I haven't used the resistor code since A levels! But isn't it just the rainbow...Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain...With Black and Brown tagged on the front and white on the end, Black being 0 and white 9. Last colour is number of zeros?

Then the tolerance band.silver for 10% and gold for 5%....

Didn't google, honest!

Did I pass the test Dave?
9/10
There is no Indigo, instead grey is 8.
There are two more tolerance colours these days Red (very common) and Brown

Having Red as a tolerance band can make it quite difficult working out the value when some manufacturers don't put the required gap between this and the value bands :protest:
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Re: Cable inventory

Postby ef37a » Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:01 am

Folderol wrote:
Moroccomoose wrote:I haven't used the resistor code since A levels! But isn't it just the rainbow...Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain...With Black and Brown tagged on the front and white on the end, Black being 0 and white 9. Last colour is number of zeros?

Then the tolerance band.silver for 10% and gold for 5%....

Didn't google, honest!

Did I pass the test Dave?
9/10
There is no Indigo, instead grey is 8.
There are two more tolerance colours these days Red (very common) and Brown

Having Red as a tolerance band can make it quite difficult working out the value when some manufacturers don't put the required gap between this and the value bands :protest:

Yeah, could not get on with the 'new' system at all, just slapped them on a meter

Was not aware of that nemonic Mo'. Why would anyone need to know the colour sequence of the rainbow?

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Re: Cable inventory

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:14 am

Probably to work out resistor values? :smirk:

Mine was Roy G Biv
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Re: Cable inventory

Postby Folderol » Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:09 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Probably to work out resistor values? :smirk:

Mine was Roy G Biv
Oh. You knew him too :lol:
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Re: Cable inventory

Postby Kwackman » Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:15 pm

I learnt "Black Beetles Running On Your Garden Brings Very Grey Weather".
I think it originally was ".....Good Weather", but "Grey" meant one colour less to remember!
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