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TUCoPS :: Phreaking Technical System Info :: wiring.txt

Standard Copper Color Codes





CPWG - Standard Copper Color Codes
Jan 30 2003

This is the first installment of the Customer Premises Wiring Guide,
which will teach you everything you need to know about customer premises
wiring from a technician's perspective. Enjoy!

-Strom Carlson



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STANDARD COPPER COLOR CODES
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Multi-pair telephone wiring follows a standard set of color codes to aid
in quick pair identification and correct maintenance of line polarity up
to the subscriber's equipment. There are two standard color codes, one
for up to three pairs of wire and one for four pairs and up, although
the latter is used in three-pair and two-pair cable quite frequently.

The first one, being rather simple, is easy to remember. It is commonly
called the BRGY color code for reasons which will become clear in a
moment. The colors are:

Tip 1 - Green
Ring 1 - Red
Tip 2 - Black
Ring 2 - Yellow
Tip 3 - White
Ring 3 - Blue

The moniker BRGY comes from the wiring of a standard RJ-14 two-pair
modular jack, in which pair 1 is wired to the center two pins and pair 2
is wired to the outer two pins. Ring and tip wires are alternated to
ensure that current never flows in the same direction on adjacent wires,
thus reducing crosstalk.

For cables containing more than three pairs of wire, the 5x5 color code
comes into use. Wire pairs in this sceme are identified by a combination
of one of five primary colors and one of five secondary colors. Tip
consists mainly of the primary color with a repeated band or stripe of
the secondary color, and Ring consists mainly of the secondary color
with a repeated band or stripe of the primary color.

PRIMARY
1 - White
2 - Red
3 - Black
4 - Yellow
5 - Violet

SECONDARY
1 - Blue
2 - Orange
3 - Green
4 - Brown
5 - Slate

Note that 'Slate' is telco-speak for 'Grey' so as to avoid confusion
when the color names are reduced to two letters. The two color sets
combine to mark up to twenty-five pairs of cable as follows:

1 BL/WH
2 OR/WH
3 GR/WH
4 BR/WH
5 SL/WH
6 BL/RD
7 OR/RD
8 GR/RD
9 BR/RD
10 SL/RD
11 BL/BK
12 OR/BK
13 GR/BK
14 BR/BK
15 SL/BK
16 BL/Y
17 OR/Y
18 GR/Y
19 BR/Y
20 SL/Y
21 BL/V
22 OR/V
23 GR/V
24 BR/V
25 SL/V

In cables consisting of more than twenty-five pairs, each twenty-five
pairs of wire is segregated into a binder group. The binder groups
consist of a thread or yarn in the color combinations used for 25-pair
cable - i.e. the first binder group is wrapped in white and blue, the
second in white and orange, and so on, up to 600 pairs. Beyond that,
super groups are wrapped in single colors, starting with the primary
colors and moving through the secondary colors, allowing for up to 6000
pairs in a single cable.



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