SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,006 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Interested in everyone's thoughts on that age old challenge of labeling cables.

I've been reading about self laminating wire wrap labels which seem to be labels you print and stick on the wire and then the rest of the label (sticky clear plastic) wraps around the wire to keep the label affixed. Obvious question is, how well do they hold up ? Sticky things don't always stay stuck. :D

The more expensive and professional choice seems to be heat shrink tubing that you print on and then shrink it right on to the wire, but I would think that would only work on cables that didn't already have ends on them, cables you are making yourself. I do make cables, but I don't make all of my cables.

How do you label the wires on your boat ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,503 Posts
About two years ago, I purchased a Brother p-touch labeling machine. I also picked up some water proof tape for that machine. I am glad I did it. It is easy to use and easy to see once it is placed on a wire or cable. Worked great on the electric panel also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Cheapo option

The following trick only works if it is convenient disconnect the end of the wire.

I strip the jacket off landlubber Romex wire, and cut it down to one inch bits, which make a perfect surface to write on with a Sharpie. Then, I use that no-shrink tubing to label my wire. It does not look fancy :eek: but, being over 45 years old, I really enjoy being able to write in big, legible letters.

I also use a printing machine that produces neatly printed adhesive labels, but my experience has been that these labels fall off over time (I suppose that, like me, my bilge pump is entitled to crunchy snacks from time to time), and that they can become illegible because of heat/light/chemicals.

Most Electricians will be overjoyed to provide you with bits of unwanted Romex for free.

Cheers,

Y.
 

·
Glad I found Sailnet
Joined
·
3,842 Posts
On our Beneteau, the wires have little pieces of tape with numbers on them. The tape looks kind of like this:

-----------------------------------
| 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 |
-----------------------------------

Two pieces of tape are used for the 2 digit numbers. (And 3 for 3.) Not sure where you can get this tape. I can ask Beneteau if you want. If so, send me a PM so I definitely see your response it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,942 Posts
bene you can get a number book at any electric supply, i have even seen them at home depot.

there is a labeling system that uses heat shrink you can right on, once shrunk the ink gets absorbed by some kind of coating on the heat shrink. dont know where to get it but is not cheap and you cant use a lighter it burns the coating
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,006 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great suggestions! Thanks everyone.

About two years ago, I purchased a Brother p-touch labeling machine. I also picked up some water proof tape for that machine. I am glad I did it. It is easy to use and easy to see once it is placed on a wire or cable. Worked great on the electric panel also.
On panels and circuit boards when I want to label things with small labels I use pieces of white mailing label - I just write what I want on the label, cut it out, stick it on the surface, and then I cover it in multiple coats of clear finger nail polish which dries clear and hard. The result is really good, cheap too. I don't think this would work for larger labels because the whole reason it works is that the polish dries hard, but if it were drying across a large area I think it would be more like laminating than applying a coat of hard plastic.
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
993 Posts
You can also get the self-fusing silicone labels for marking wires. They're tough and the writing ends up under the label, and protected by the label itself. One caveat—to remove these labels, you have to generally cut the wire. :)

A quick and dirty way to do it is to use white electrical tape and write on it with an ultra fine tip sharpie.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,006 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
994 Posts
There are so many choices when it comes to labeling wires. Some will work way better than others especially being in the marine enviroment. In the past when I have done wiring jobs for people before I even started the work I had drawn up wiring schematics/diagrams before any work work was done. After explaining the diagrams and how the system was going to be added and approval from the owner I would find a local industrail equipment manufacturer that had the $5K printer that did heat shrink labels. I could typically give em 20 or bucks to print all the labels and a set of spares. This way when I did the job I had the right size labels for the wiring. Most big electrical supply houses will have the printers as well it might cost a lil more but well worth it to have a label that is legible and will stand up to the marine enviroment.

Just my $.02

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
There was a brother ptouch on buy.com for less than $10. I bought it a 9.99 and on tuesday it was 6.99. bummer. but shipping was free :) Can't be much simpler. Tapes are available in film.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,006 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
There was a brother ptouch on buy.com for less than $10. I bought it a 9.99 and on tuesday it was 6.99. bummer. but shipping was free :) Can't be much simpler. Tapes are available in film.
Is that the kind that prints on the clear labels that you wrap around the cable ?
 

·
Sea Dweeb
Joined
·
143 Posts
Precisely. You can get clear or solid film. I use solid background black type and protect with clear heat shrink tubing. You can us clear but is harder to see on some wire and still need to be covered with heat shrink
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
In Canada, a marine electronics expert put me on to the Active Electronics Depot stores (10 across the country and a website) for wire numbering and clear heat shrink. Given we can't get coloured wire any more, seems like there is a shift to labelling wires. Numbers for small wires, and text labels and clear heat shrink for larger cables. Can use an Excel spreadsheet to record all the numbers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,317 Posts
For the large diameter cables you an print labels with your PC at any font size and then use clear heat shrink tubing to seal them to the cable. Easier done with large cables where you can slip the heat shrink over the lug fitting.
 

·
.
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
For the large diameter cables you an print labels with your PC at any font size and then use clear heat shrink tubing to seal them to the cable. Easier done with large cables where you can slip the heat shrink over the lug fitting.
hey look..it's the cry baby.....

mummy let you out today???..this has nothing to do with sailing...what are you doing here???

the bad wolf will eat you RUUUUNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!:laugher :laugher :laugher :laugher :laugher

BU!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
For the large diameter cables you an print labels with your PC at any font size and then use clear heat shrink tubing to seal them to the cable. Easier done with large cables where you can slip the heat shrink over the lug fitting.
This is a great idea. My problem is that I can't get that well organized. I usually end up at the boat and start wiring, so I need a portable, on the spot system.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top