[tig] HDTV colour

Martin Euredjian ecinema
Wed Jul 30 18:20:39 BST 2003

David L. Tosh wrote:

> My standard has always been black.
> I can't find any advantage to "overloading" cable color with particular
signal types.

This could get as bad as the Mac vs. PC discusions.

I'm with you on this one David.  I can't remember the last time I opted to
use anything other than black coax.  Sure, some of the audio/timecode cable
ends-up being gray, but I think that's a matter of what's "standard".

Color is neat but I think the extra effort it takes to maintain and support
almost guarantees that your plant will eventually not follow the rules.

The same applies to overly complex cable labeling.  It simply makes no
sense.  In my experience, if you are reading a lable it is for three

 1) You need to know where to attach the end you are holding.
 2) You need to find the other end.
 3) You need to find it in a print.

There is a possible fourth reason:  You are trying to figure out how you
ended up in the back of a rack holding a cable.  You don't remember the last
24 hours of your life and hope to hell the cable lable might lend a clue
that could help bring you back to an alternate reality.

Option four aside, that, to me, means a simple uncomplicated cable number
(print reference), a "from" and a "to".  Simple enough.

As far as the cable numbering goes.  I used to use simple sequential
numbers.  Using AutoCAD and a bunch of custom routines it is a simple matter
to maintain a counter for a project/facility and have AutoCAD automatically
assign sequential cable numbers to you newly finished design.  Fully
automatic, no need to burn hours hand numbering.

Later on, while Geoff Hayden and I worked at Hollywood Digital, we discussed
this very topic at length prior to starting on a new build.  We came up with
a variation on the theme that I think addresses the three items I listed
above very well.  It does not, regrettably, address item number four.

We attached a two character code to each print: AA, AB, AC, ... and so on.
Cables would be assigned sequential numbers within a print.  In this fashion
you would have AA001, AA002, etc.  And, on another print, CD001, CD002, etc.
Cables got their prefix at the point of origination (signal source) or, in
the case of a bidirectional signal, where it made more sense.

While this sounds complicated, a bunch of custom code for AutoCAD automated
the whole cable number assignement procedure to the point of executing one
command when done with a project (or to add new cables to an existing
design).  Add to this automated "from" and "to" signal name assignment (from
the very symbol of the device the cable connects to) and you have a huge
time saver.

Let me take you to the back of a rack now.  You've read the cable label and
figured out why you are standing under that blasted air conditioning duct
holding a cable in your hand.  You are troubleshooting a system and need
information on how a particular subsystem is wired.  Your read the label
once more and note the number: "BC152".  You now go to your prints and pull
out the "BC" print.  Finding the cable and the system it relates to is as
simple as it can get with this approach.

Let the religious wars begin!

Martin Euredjian
eCinema Systems, Inc.
voice: 661-305-9320
fax: 661-775-4876
martin at ecinemasys.com
ecinema at ieee.org

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