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Labeling cords

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jtpagett wrote:

I use colored electrical tape and a sharpie. Still readable after 3 years .


That is exactly what I do. I'll label 1-4 & 5-8 (9-12 & 13-16 as well) in different colors so when i'm hunting for a specific channel i can at least hit the correct 'quadrant' at the outset.

I also use the electrical tape/sharpie method in labeling my extension cords. mini trees get a color and numbered in order, mega trees get a color and numbered in order. that way, when i'm at the controllers behind the fence, i can look at an extension cord, know what it powers, use my channel spreadsheet and know where it goes. definately makes installation and/or troubleshooting much easier.

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There are quite a few products made for labeling wire. (Dad was an electrician.) I've used the ones on radio shack (item number is in another post above) without problems. Home depot sells a couple of different packages of stickers. You can also check your local electrical supply house, as they will have a bunch of products.

However, I have to tell you, I worked with my dad MANY times and we labeled everything with sharpies.

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This is a hidden gem for a new user how to. I had just finished lableing my controllers with a Brother Touch lable maker I use. Each controller has every cable identified. Output cables for Channels 1 - 16 are each labled 1-16, input/power cables are labled with two lables - one lable is the UNIT number (01, 02, 03,etc) then the second lable is which side of the contoller it powers 1-8, or 9-16.

Inside and outside the unit box is another UNIT lable.

That way - without having to open any unit, I see which unit is which - and for everyone, which input/output cables are assigned.

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I label all mine with a silver sharpie as well.

Also label my power cords as 01A and 01, the A tells me that's the main power cable to the PC Card and channels 9-18 inside, the 01 for channels 1-8.

I don't really need to label the power cords explicitly with the channels they control, because this simple system works for me. This way I know to plug in 01A first and 01 second, although it really doesn't matter how you plug them in, I just prefer to plug in the power to the circuit board first {A designator}.

And my silver sharpie markings are still as crisp and clear as when I did them back in 2010.

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For the LOR plugs, I use a silver sharpie. The controller is marked with a black sharpie. $3 a piece. It doesn't wear off, but will come off easily enough with a scratch pad.

Used the label maker for the extension cords. They're labeled per prop, so I know exactly where they go.

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I use the Rhino 1000 from Lowe's with these labels. I have controllers that have 4 seasons on them and no fading or missing labels.

Edited by aemnky

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Yep silver sharpie. Also someone here made an extension cord label suggestion. for a 50-footer = 50A, 100-footer=100A, etc. Go up the aphabet and the double if past the 27 (or however many letters are in the alphbet. I would suggest not using I, O and maybe L.

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That's howi label my cords. Find it gives the most flexibility since the cords are not marked to indicate a channel.

Makes it easy when trying to trace cords at night.

I have made wiring harnesses for my arches using SPT wire and zip ties. For these I do label the controller and channel. The advantages of not having to locate the segment to match the channel, priceless. I can also have a helper set the arches up.

We are able to get 4 arches up and running in under 25 minutes.

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Another idea if someone wants to easily identify length of cord along with numbering would be to label a 100 ft cord like 99H for Hundred feet, or 99F for Fifty feet, or 99T for Twenty-Five feet. Where 99 would be whatever the cord number/designator is.

---Michael

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For the dongles, I'm getting pretty good wear out of labeling them with a siver sharpie. I label both the END, and the side. I label the end, in that I can grab all 8, turn them towards me, and read them without having to twist them around. I label the sides, so that I can find things when they have cords plugged into them.

On cords, I'm at a point where I either don't label them at all, or I label them for what they went to. Those labels I do make are rather time consuming, but very durable.

I start by laser printing pages of cord descriptions double sided (same text back to back) white text on black, on Write in the Rain paper (tyvek) This then gets cut out, and laminated in thermal laminating ID badge pockets. (2 or 3 per pocket) These then get cut apart, hole punched, and cable tied to the cables. These tend to hold up really well, and seldom get torn off. I even use the same type of labels on some of the brackets, as they have specific positions where the mounting holes line up on the building.

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I had tried a few things in the past, from colored wire ties to different color coded electrical tape. In most cases I do end up using a Brady IDPAL label maker with Nylon cloth tape, pretty similar to the Brother PT-7600. I have to admit being lucky and I had one in my drawer from a couple of networking jobs... And I love to stick those labels on everything from wall wart power supplies to all king of cables, hard drives and other gear. As long as the batteries are fresh, the labels come out pretty nice....

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For the LOR plugs, I use a silver sharpie. The controller is marked with a black sharpie. $3 a piece. It doesn't wear off, but will come off easily enough with a scratch pad.

Used the label maker for the extension cords. They're labeled per prop, so I know exactly where they go.

I wouldn't use a scratch pad, then you're going to scratch the controller box or the cords!

If I need to redo something if I made a mistake, believe it or not, a simple large pink pencil eraser WILL erase the Silver or Black Sharpie markings off the controller or cords. Takes a bit of doing{rubbing hard} and you may go through a few of them doing it this way, but NO DAMAGE to the controller box or cords.

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Silver Sharpie - Cheap and last forever!

Yep, that is for certain. Marked my controller dangles 3 years ago and haven't had to redo or touch them up at all in those 3 years! No fading, no missing parts of numbers, every one is still as it was the day I marked them. And to be honest, I thought I'd probably have to redo them at least once, maybe twice a year out in weather and sun. But here it is 3 years later and still as clean and clear as the very first day marked!

Best, and probably the CHEAPEST {and least time consuming} aspect of this hobby! :D

Edited by Orville

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Denatured alcohol will usually erase modern sharpie. Acetone definately will..

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The labeling machine actually works well if you print two of each number on the label with about an inch and a half in between, then wrap the label around the cord and stick the label to itself. Makes it clear and easy to see when everything is plugged in, and has lasted over 5 years now.

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I see all these suggestions, but what does Light -O-Rama used ? I've had my controllers for 4 years now, and the are all still on the cables.. Does LOR sell the labels that are on the controllers ?

Edited by Larry Leonhardt

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White-Out in a Pen works great, and lasts a long time!

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Another thing that I got (not sure whats its called got it at garage sale) is a plastic embedder!

There are little metal tiles that you add to a little device, spell out what you need, (kinda like a stamp) and you heat it up, touch it to some plastic it melts in the letters/ numbers BOOM permanently labeled I fill the inside with white out to see it better and I have 6 year old strings that are labeled perfectly. My "friend" borrowed it I need to go get it back now that i mention it... :ph34r:

Edited by Arteom

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I use TESTORS Modelpaint and a smallbrush,label each end of the cord,many different colors to chose from. so marking on different colored extension cords is not a problem,it will last for years,even in the harshest of conditions.clean up is easy with acetone or paint thinner.

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I noticed everyone is using labels or markers to mark their plugs. I take an old soldering iron and burn the channel numbers into each plug housing. Nothing to wear or fall off. However, they are a little harder to read in the dark.

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I noticed everyone is using labels or markers to mark their plugs. I take an old soldering iron and burn the channel numbers into each plug housing. Nothing to wear or fall off. However, they are a little harder to read in the dark.

Have you ever heard of that "Written in Stone"? Hope your as good at planning as the author who did right in stone. This is my 4th year and I find myself moving a few items from say the left side to the right side of my display. What would I do now with that burnt in plastic now? True it wont fall off or wear off, but I will take those options so I can change my display.

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