Modern Telephone Cable Color Code

There is a web page here that has another explanation and a bit more. On terminal blocks the TIP is the first wire of a pair. The TIP conductor may carry a majority of the first or major color and a minority of the second or minor color. Some cables use both colors on each wire with more of one than the other to make out which is tip and which is ring and other cables have each wire of the pair a solid conductor. So the wire with the most white is the tip and the one with mostly blue is the ring, and so on.

The first colors are BLUE ORANGE GREEN BROWN SLATE. The second colors are WHITE RED BLACK YELLOW VIOLET. After the first 25 pairs, the first bundle of 25 are wrapped in a WHITE BLUE ribbon and the second 25 are wrapped in a WHITE ORANGE ribbon, etc. After 600 pairs are thusly identified, the first 600 pair bundle is wrapped in a WHITE BLUE ribbon, etc. until 600 pairs is reached with a violet/brown ribbon on the last 25. After that the first bundle of 600 pairs is wrapped with a white/blue ribbon, etc.

PAIR TIP RING
1 WHITE BLUE    
2 WHITE ORANGE    
3 WHITE GREEN    
4 WHITE BROWN    
5 WHITE SLATE    
6 RED BLUE    
7 RED ORANGE    
8 RED GREEN    
9 RED BROWN    
10 RED SLATE    
11 BLACK BLUE    
12 BLACK ORANGE    
13 BLACK GREEN    
14 BLACK BROWN    
15 BLACK SLATE    
16 YELLOW BLUE    
17 YELLOW ORANGE    
18 YELLOW GREEN    
19 YELLOW BROWN    
20 YELLOW SLATE    
21 VIOLET BLUE    
22 VIOLET ORANGE    
23 VIOLET GREEN    
24 VIOLET BROWN    
25 VIOLET SLATE    


"One way to remember the ring colors is Bell Operators Give Better Service (Blue, Orange, Green, Brown, Slate)."

"For the tip conductor you can use Why Run Backwards You'll Vomit." (For White, Red, Black, Yellow, Violet.)

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This page updated 13 March 2014. Thanks John.