FlightAware Discussions

Question for those with more antennas than dongles

How do you keep track of which coax goes to which antenna for when you want to change antennas connected to your dongle? Just label them with tape and a sharpie? Or is there a better, neater way?

I have multiple ham radio aerials, I’ve used these to tag the coax.

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Tape or self-adhesive label and a pen usually.
A label printer does a neat job too.

Tried that before but I had problems with the glue on the labels being to weak and the labels would fall off.
Perhaps things have improved since this was “some time” ago (like 8 years or so).
But the labels do look nice :slight_smile:

I fold the label around the cable into a ‘P’ shape so the two glue-faces can stick to each other
(alignment of the text is less critical like this!)

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Did the same, looks neat, but didn’t work. Now I use paper tags and clear tape.
Perhaps I should buy some new cartridges and try again. Thing may have improved since last time I tried :grin:

A couple of other techniques I’ve used using heatshrink:

Print your label on ordinary paper, then cut into a narrow strip.
slip an appropriate length of clear heatshink onto the cable with the label.
Apply heat.

use a ball point pen and simply write onto a length of coloured heatshrink
slip it onto the cable and apply heat.

Both look good, but you need to remember to do it before attaching the connector.

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I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve forgotten that when I tinker with electronics :grin:

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There are two types of radio hams, Those who admit to having soldered on the body of a PL-259 or N-Type and then noticed part of the connector sitting on the desk.

Then there are the ones who won’t admit it. They’ve done it but they just won’t admit it :joy:

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I can get a package of 50 different colored zip ties with a rectangle for writing or sticking on a label here for around US$2.00. I may do that, then by the time the Sharpie markings are illegible I’ll have already trained my brain as to which color is for what antenna. Thanks for the ideas!

All of my coax cables already have the connectors. The places I buy them from do a much nicer job of attaching them than I ever could.

I use number labeled zip ties at both ends of the cable and Sharpie labels on the wall plate. The antennas are located in my attic with the 25 foot cables are routed within the wall to a wall plate with SMA connectors. The dongles are Sharpie labeled with a letter. I have more dongles than antennas.