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post #1 of 7 Old 01-17-2017 Thread Starter
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Wire labeling

I've been using MaineSail's excellent advice for labeling wires:Wire Labeling Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com

The results are beautiful and robust. The only downside is that it's quite time consuming and a bit tedious. I was doing a lot of wiring last winter and it really adds up. However it is a small downside and absolutely worth the results.

But recently I came across a label maker that prints directly on heat shrink tubing, and I was wondering if anyone has tried this before:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...111e53907c45b4

and here is the tubing:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...00d0710f602a6c

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post #2 of 7 Old 01-17-2017
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Re: Wire labeling

The reviews on Amazon kind of speak for themselves... 4,3 out of 5 stars.. 103 reviews.
Apparently the sizes run smaller than expected...

1/4" tubing = 1/8" bit
1/2" tubing = 17/64" bit
3/4" tubing = 29/64" bit

I'm going to order some myself. Thanks for the link!
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Re: Wire labeling

Mads from sail life loves his. He soaked labels in salt water, oil and other chemicals and has had good results.

https://youtu.be/SmIwlBfHLWM?t=374

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post #4 of 7 Old 01-17-2017
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Re: Wire labeling

Quote:
Originally Posted by bristol299bob View Post
I've been using MaineSail's excellent advice for labeling wires:Wire Labeling Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com

The results are beautiful and robust. The only downside is that it's quite time consuming and a bit tedious. I was doing a lot of wiring last winter and it really adds up. However it is a small downside and absolutely worth the results.

But recently I came across a label maker that prints directly on heat shrink tubing, and I was wondering if anyone has tried this before:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...111e53907c45b4

and here is the tubing:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...00d0710f602a6c
A few thoughts..

#1 The tubing diameters are not what they state. My machine was stated to go to 3/4" but that is the flat width of the tape not the round ID...

#2 The tubing gets very, very expensive. You will be amazed at how fast you go through a 5' @ $24.00 (4.80 per foot) to 5' @ $49.00 ($9.84 per foot). I really can't stress enough how expensive the tubing gets per foot of label. For example I buy the TZe tapes which are 26.2' for about $9.00 or 0.34 per foot. The clear heat shrink I use for 2GA to 2/0 wire is an actual 3/4" ID and runs me $1.56 per foot. This gives me an all in label cost of about $1.90 per foot for larger wire gauges and well under $1.50 per foot for smaller wires..


While it is a good tool for smaller wires 18GA through 12GA it is marginal at best above that. I rarely use it....

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post #5 of 7 Old 01-17-2017
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Re: Wire labeling

It just makes good sense to label wiring.

I have no intention of buying all of the different abyc colors and using them as they prescribe.

I didn't know Maine Sail was the 'pbase guy' I had been looking at for a long time and had bookmarked. I'm a newbie here. MS, your stuff is killer...thanks!

While the shrink-over-label is def pro work, I'll prob go with a simple wrap type. I'll rewire in stages (to save my brain) and really want to stay away from creating another/more birds nest of confusion. It's too important.

Routing is also a biggy for me...properly secured and out of the way.

Good thread!
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-17-2017
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Re: Wire labeling

Coming as I do from an industrial background, I use a labeling system from an industrial products company called Panduit, with the one I use, having both numerals and alphabetic symbols. I keep a small note book in a niche below my electrical panels containing the "Codes". Some of the simpler, LNB= lights navigation bow=Bow Light. LNM=lights navigation masthead. LCF=lights cabin forepeak. LCSP/S=lights cabin salon port/starboard. NMFD=navigation multi. funct. display. etc.,etc.. I use accepted marine wiring color codes as much as possible and make notations as needed for any variations. I place the labels approx. 4"to 6" from fixture and termination at electrical panel.

Last edited by seabeau; 01-18-2017 at 10:38 AM.
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-17-2017
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Re: Wire labeling

I've got a Rhino 5200, which is the next model up from the 4200 you linked to. It's a really good unit. There's no doubt that the Dymo tubing is expensive but if you're only using it here and there or if you have a scoped project and aren't using it professionally for project after project, the cost isn't bad. I usually get ~10 labels/ft with small print sizes (but still big enough for 50 year old eyes), which amounts to about 50 cents per label for the smaller sizes.

As Maine points out, the tubing sizes listed are for a flattened tube, you need to multiply that by 2/pi=0.64 to get the wire diameter each size will cover.

I wouldn't buy the Dymo labeler just for the tubing labels but the Rhinos are good label makers and if you have one, the tubing is a nice added capability.
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