Technicians can use label sticker books to label cables, but these stickers are small, and it takes time to write tiny numbers on them to identify the location. Another way technicians label cables is the "flag method." When you use the "flag method," a piece of the tag hangs off the cable-leading to a big mess. This piece of tape hanging off the cable often gets snagged by a surrounding object or cable during moves, adds, and changes. Also, a technician will usually use a sharpie marker to write notations on labels. You risk losing important location information with a sharpie marker if the marker smudges off the cable, and you will not be able to confirm the number on the label.
There is a way to avoid such a mess. Wrap a 11/2-inch-long piece of colored tape (white, gray, or red) around the cable instead of using the "flag method." When you wrap the tape around the cable, there is no piece of tape hanging off that could snag onto any surrounding objects or cable during moves, adds, or changes. You may still use a sharpie marker to write the location on the tape. The tape acts as protection for the notation when an overlapping piece of the tape covers it.
- On a 11/2-inch-long piece of colored tape, write the label number on the top half and again on the bottom half. Leave a space in the middle of the tape.
- Do not "flag" the tape on the cable, but wrap the cable with the tape so that the bottom number covers the top number. The top number is preserved by tape wrapped over it.
- To view the preserved label number, peel the tape up. This protected notation written in sharpie marker will appear the same as when you first wrote it.
Use different colored tape for location numbers that require A, B, and C's. If you have one color cable and each location has more than one cable to the location, then different colored tape will help identify the cable.
Eric Chouinard is a project manager for Netswork, Inc. headquartered in Pleasanton, CA, Netswork, Inc. designs and implements sole-source communications solutions for voice, data, and video enterprise-wide networks.