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cat5 color standards
thinking, perplexed
mendel
A recent conversation on #unix got me wondering how popular various cat5 colour standards are. Answer the following based on whatever set of standards you
prefer -- the one your job uses, the one you believe is industry standard, the
one you think is the One True Standard even though no-one uses it, and so on.
All I ask is that you be internally consistent.

Poll #243648 Ethernet cable colour-coding

What colour should a normal ethernet cable be?

Blue
18(51.4%)
Grey
7(20.0%)
Red
0(0.0%)
Purple
1(2.9%)
Yellow
1(2.9%)
Green
0(0.0%)
Black
2(5.7%)
Some other (consistent) colorr
0(0.0%)
No standard colour
6(17.1%)

What colour should a crossover cable be?

Blue
2(6.2%)
Grey
2(6.2%)
Red
8(25.0%)
Purple
2(6.2%)
Yellow
7(21.9%)
Green
2(6.2%)
Black
1(3.1%)
Varies
1(3.1%)
Some other (consistent) colour
3(9.4%)
No standard colour
4(12.5%)

Is there a reason that crossover cables should be that colour?

Do you have other standard cat5 cable colours (eg. serial line, temporary patch, trunking, power-over-ethernet)?


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My "standard" CAT 5 cords are beige or grey.

Cat 1 cable (used mostly for analog telephony, in my experience) seems to be predominately white.

At Adelphia, crossover cables given to customers with ghetto ancient cable modems were green (???).

I recently converted my home to IP telephony, so I had to whip up POE cables. Home Depot had white Cat 5 available cheaply, so I used it to make my POE cables so I could tell the difference between it and my normal grey or beige cables. Any better suggestions for POE?

After spending one entire summer assembling blue Ethernet cords for hours at a time, it is impossible for me to fathom that they can come in any other color. :-)

(Deleted comment)
Regular: blue or grey, and crossover (in my world): red or yellow.

Anything else outside of a machine room or network closet always strikes me first as a 'designer color'. :)

I don't have a huge network in my home office, so I tend to use a variety of colors for "normal" ethernet cabling. Following the purple cable from the hub to one of the computers is a lot easier than attaching little labels to either end and trying to read them from a distance. This scheme only really works if you have fewer computers in a particular hub than available colors, so your mileage may vary.

For me, orange has always been crossover (so I don't accidentally pull the wrong cable from the big spaghetti mess of unorganized cabling shoved into the steamer trunk in the closet) and red has been DMZ (so I don't accidentally put a computer on the public internet). Every other color is fair game.

We still have about a hundred miles of Alcatel standard beige on a spool in the back, so everything is beige. We label with actual words or symbols to distinguish type.

wow, using different colours for different types? now that's a good idea. all our cables at home are grey, no matter what type they are. crossover has red ends and a cross marked on them in black permanent pen. the uni supplies green cat5, and blue was provided with my router and WAP. so i'd have to assume that blue is standard, apart from homemade which tend to be grey :)

I have no idea whatsoever what colors they should be.

I do however have a short yellow crossover cable that has sentimental value, since aevil made it for me. :-)

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