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Indiglo Tracer

Make cables easier to track!
  [vote for,

In large volume networking systems it can be very difficult to track a cable through a mass of other identical cables to find the other end.

I propose that a strip of electro luminecent plastic(like indiglow) be molded into the cable sheath at time of manufacture. A small clip on device with pins designed to pierce the sheath at designated points where the strip power feeds separate slightly provides power to the strip. This lights up the strip for the entire length of the cable. Such a system would allow the cable to be provided in rolls and cut to length on site with attachment points at 1 or 2 foot intervals.

jhomrighaus, Mar 21 2008

Hackaday: Glowing patch cables http://hackaday.com...owing-patch-cables/
"He states that this would allow easy identification of specific cables in the mess." [Spacecoyote, Mar 28 2009]


       I have a feeling I've seen cables that can light up light that, though I can't for the life of me remember where.
DrCurry, Mar 21 2008

       Electroluminescent cables do indeed exist.   

       Consider a standard Cat5e UTP cable with RJ45's on the ends. If the cable sheath had striated EL components, the RJ45 could be adapted to make contact at the cable grip point.   

       This is a really good idea, and would look soooooooo cool in a darkened server room ......
8th of 7, Mar 21 2008

       Yes, but what about equally standard PL56's with either STD69's or TLA's on each end? In this case, the EL components won't get the power they need from the SUV return line, and the whole system will crash like a DC9 in an SS-Cat5.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 21 2008

       My thought on that Maxwell is that there would be areas located and standard intervals of say 1 foot where contact points are molded into the sheath on either side of the tracer. The power tool would simply strap around the cable,line up with the tracer and prick to contact the terminals. Come to think of it, you would not even need to have designated points, just have a 3 stranded tracer, the center being EL the to outer being the contact terminals, the tool just lines up and the connection is made bight tightening the tool up snuggly on the line, the points do not penetrate in to the inner core just the sheath.
jhomrighaus, Mar 21 2008

       Are you getting power from the network cable? If so, there'd be a pulse of light as data is sent, which I think would look impressive.   

       If the cables go to a router or some other single point, you could have a separate power source daisy-chained at that end, so they all light up. Design it to have brighter lights without draining power from the router, and still flash in sync with network activity.
Amos Kito, Mar 21 2008

       "In the news today, the World Wide Web has been crashed once again when a network engineer in Toledo, OH experienced a seizure from all the flashing cables. We now go live to the scene...."
jhomrighaus, Mar 21 2008

       How about using a dye ?nano spheres? in the cable casing that has a phosphorescence at a specific a frequency. A special torch/laser that puts out different frequencies would be needed. No power, no interference. Different boxes of cable would have to be used in the initial wiring or the dye would need to be sprayed/wiped on.   

       On second thoughts, all of these methods replace the cable.   

       How about a local shake/vibration placed on the wire casing that can be tested for but doesn't interfere.
wjt, Apr 01 2009


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