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We are moving to TIA-606-B for labeling. I have read most of the TIA-606-B standard. Some parts I have only skimmed, while others I have studied in depth.

I do not understand the rationale behind the identifiers for Cabling Subsystem 1 links (formerly known as horizontal links).

The standard has this to say (TIA-606-B, section 5.1.7.1):

For TIA-606-A compatible administration systems,
the Cabling Subsystem 1 link identifier shall
have a format of either:

    f1s1.x1y1-r1:P1 / f2s2.x2y2-r2:P2 (Cabling Subsystem 1 link
    terminated on patch panels on both ends)  

or  

    fs-an (Cabling Subsystem 1 terminated on a work area outlet)  

The f1s1.x1y1-r1:P1 / f2s2.x2y2-r2:P2 format makes sense to me. You have both a near-end and far-end identifier. You have floor, space, and XY grid coordinates. You know where the cable should be connected both ends.

Where it gets weird to me is the fs-an format for cables terminated on a work area outlet. Because it is terminated on an outlet, I no longer care about having both near-end and far-end identifiers? How am I supposed to locate the other end of the cable in a warehouse the size of two football fields?

Am I misinterpreting the TIA-606-B standard as it applies to Cabling Subsystem 1 links? What is the proper format for the identifier?

What follows is not part of the question - it is a definition of the fs-an format:

fs-an is defined as follows:

fs= the TS identifier for the location of the patch panel or termination block on which the cable terminates. This portion of the identifier is optional for a class 1 administration system limited to a single equipment room or an administration system limited to a single computer room.

a= one or two alpha characters uniquely identifying a single patch panel, a group of patch panels with sequentially numbered ports, a termination block, or a group of termination blocks, serving as part of the horizontal cross-connect.

n= two to four numeric characters designating the port on a patch panel, or the section of a termination block on which a Cabling Subsystem 1 link is terminated in the TS. Enough numeric characters must be used for this portion of the identifier to accommodate all Cabling Subsystem 1 links in a distributor.

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  • Did any answer help you? If so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you can post and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Jan 5 at 1:49
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What you are reading about the fs-an label is for the label on the WAO. That points you to the termination in the TS. Remember that your terminations in a TS are fixed, while the work area outlet, itself, may move, especially if it terminates in modular furniture.

It is very common to need to know from the WAO where to go to complete a connection in a TS, but it is much less common to need to from a TS where a WAO is. For example, you connect a device at a work area, then you need to make the connection in the TS, but you usually don't make a connection in the TS, then need to find the WAO to connect a device. The formats of both guidelines are aimed at letting you identify where to make connections. In any case, you should have building drawings showing the WAOs, preferably approved by an RCDD.

TIA-606-B is really a set of guidelines. You are free to add or use whatever makes sense to you, but whatever you choose must be applied consistently and uniformly to every area, and it needs to be communicated to any vendors involved.

It establishes guidelines for owners, end users, manufacturers, consultants, contractors, designers, installers, and facilities administrators involved in the administration of the telecommunications infrastructure.

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  • If we are free to add or use whatever makes sense to us, then I think I will propose that we treat the open area of the warehouse as one big TS (there are two other TS in that warehouse). The steel framework of the warehouse has structural members on the X every 25' and on the Y every 5'. This would make horizontal link identifiers look something like 2B.AD-24:12 / 3E.C11-1:1. Second floor, space B, grid AD, rack unit 24, port 12 to third floor (30' up actually), space A (the top third of the open area of the warehouse, truss C, girder 11, surface mount block 1.
    – Xevious
    Mar 1 '17 at 19:46
  • I suppose this also edges on the discussion of whether names should have information in them - or, just be names. I would rather for people to not have to consult a drawing to find where a cable terminates. The extreme end of that is using just a unique serial number on both ends of the cable and merely keeping it's termination points in a database / spreadsheet / text file. That approach is somewhat appealing - no reprinting labels when cables move or are reused. However, I feel it is better to be able to look at the label and know where it goes without consulting a document.
    – Xevious
    Mar 1 '17 at 19:53
  • If you move the WAO, then you will still have no idea where it is, unless you re-label. The appeal of following the guidelines in the standard is that your vendors should all be familiar with them. It really doesn't come up that you need to trace from the TS to the WAO. If it does then you are doing something wrong. It may be that you just want it to be orthogonal, but that would be wrong thinking. The idea of the labeling is to tell you where to make a connection on the other end, and a WAO only has one connection possible.
    – Ron Maupin
    Mar 1 '17 at 20:01
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this may be late but I spent last night trying to figure out the rationale work area outlets being labeled fs-an instead of the more sensible as you said, f1s1.x1y1-r1:P1 / f2s2.x2y2-r2:P2.

Here's why: f1s1.x1y1-r1:P1 / f2s2.x2y2-r2:P2 is physical whereas fs-an is logical assignment of identifier.

Also, consolidation points.

Since backbone cabling between TS are relatively fixed and rarely do we expect relocation in there, the identifier is terse to ease identification - oh this is a backbone cable that terminates on TS f2s2 in rack x2y2 at patch panel row r2 on port P2.

Whereas for work area outlets especially those that use consolidation points, wiring could be reconfigured as requirements change. Heck, it's even possible to have a work area outlet terminated on a different floor as the TS.

The TS doesn't have to know where the outlet is, but the outlet must know where in the TS the other end is. If you notice:

a= one or two alpha characters uniquely identifying a single patch panel, a group of patch panels with sequentially numbered ports, a termination block, or a group of termination blocks, serving as part of the horizontal cross-connect.

n= two to four numeric characters designating the port on a patch panel, or the section of a termination block on which a Cabling Subsystem 1 link is terminated in the TS. Enough numeric characters must be used for this portion of the identifier to accommodate all Cabling Subsystem 1 links in a distributor.

the a part could refer to a single or a group of patch panels, plus n could take in 2-4 numeric characters for port numbering. This clearly meant a logical way of identification. (the most ports a patch panel can have, to my knowledge is 48. Why go to the hundreds?)

For example in a TS with two racks, with 20, 24-port panels in each, summing 480 total port count:

You could have D001 to D240 numbered in the first rack and D241 to D480 in the second. It doesn't matter.

Or you can separate identification by type of cable- S001 to S240 for Cat 6, F001 to F240 for Cat 5e.

Or how the cable is terminated- C for ceiling outlet, W for work area outlet, U for underfloor outlet.

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