Every technical facility must adhere to industry standards. The broadcast plant is an amalgam of audio, IT, video, cable TV, telephone, and RF wiring. Each of these industries has their own standards. The broadcast engineer or technician might have a strong background in one or more of these areas, but not all of them. The mark of an experienced engineer is the ability to operate in all of these domains simultaneously, to follow industry standards, when appropriate, and to establish new standards when necessary.
|#||Primary Color||Secondary Color|
Primary-colored conductor is hot lead. Secondary-colored conductor is cold lead.
|#||Station Wire||Twisted Pair|
Old Western Electric Standard used Tip for Ground. The Central Office Ground was Positive. Modern station equipment is generally balanced and polarity-insensitive. Common practice in non-telephone circuits calls for Tip as hot lead, Ring as cold lead.
Aside from the types of network cables, their Category, pair twist rate, wire size, insulation thickness, characteristic impedance, and data rate, there are two wiring standards: EIA/TIA 568A and 568B. Our facilities use the 568B standard.
In general, we recommend that you purchase pre-made cables of the needed lengths with male ends already installed. The only time that you need to crimp male ends on network cable should be a special occasion. For instance, when an RJ-45 connector is needed in a non-ethernet application. Field connections will most often consist of terminating a network cable at a female connector with a 110 tool. For instance, at a patch panel or wall plate.
Since the EIA/TIA 568A+B standards evolved from the Western Electric/Bell System Standards, the connector, the wire colors, and their arrangement follow their original designations. The connector is RJ-45, with 8 positions and 8 conductors. The wire colors are the first four pairs of the WE color code: blue, orange, green, and brown, paired with white. Pair 1 is in the center of the connector. Pair 2 is split on both sides of the first pair, but in reverse order. Pair 3 is on the left side of the connector and pair 4 is on the right side of the connector.
We recommend that you refer to the color code printed on the connector or in the packaging that comes with your connectors, or view a trusted web site. This will avoid confusion that might arise from any description we could give you here.
We have established other standards, as a facility might require, but these are usually based upon existing standards. For instance, multiple runs of Belden 8451, which has a black jacket, are often identified with colored tape, using the Western Electric color standard. Cable 1 would have a single blue tape on each end. Cable 2 would have a single orange tape on each end. If a cable has a single red tape on the end, it is the right channel of a stereo pair.