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Old 29-02-2012, 02:10   #1
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Rewiring Cable Marking Systems

Hi Everyone,
I'm about to start re-wiring up my new switch board. Doing the lot actually. Does anyone know of a cheaper cable marking system similar to Grafoplast system, but not so expensive. Their starter kits start at $500, so I'd really like to explore much cheaper ways of marking cables.

Ted - Tasmania.
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Old 29-02-2012, 02:50   #2
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Re: rewiring cable marking systems

There are many wire/cable markers available. Most below $40. A search for wire marker show them.
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Old 29-02-2012, 03:29   #3
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Re: rewiring cable marking systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedsherrin View Post
Hi Everyone,
I'm about to start re-wiring up my new switch board. Doing the lot actually. Does anyone know of a cheaper cable marking system similar to Grafoplast system, but not so expensive. Their starter kits start at $500, so I'd really like to explore much cheaper ways of marking cables.

Ted - Tasmania.
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Originally Posted by Me-and-Boo View Post
There are many wire/cable markers available. Most below $40. A search for wire marker show them.
Well not so many in Tasmania I think
We use Brady at work but they aren't cheap either see: Wire & Cable Marking - Wire Labels - Cable Labels | Brady Australia

I personally don't see the need if one does a really neat job oneself and produces schematic, wiring and connector diagrams but I understand that others prefer marked wires!

Sometimes to be cheap, we find an apprentice with a neat hand and have them hand write markings on white (or yellow) heat shrink with a fine laundry marker. Sometimes we over shrink this with clear heat shrink. Done well, it looks very classic - bit like the old quality hand drawn schematics
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Old 29-02-2012, 04:31   #4
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Re: Rewiring Cable Marking Systems

I use the ones that RS Components sell. They are like a fabric sticker and come in a booklet. Not the tidiest looking, but do the job and are reasonably priced and easy enough to use.

They sell a few types of the same thing, here is an example...
Buy Cable Markers ER - Book, Wire Marker; WBC Vinyl Cloth; Tab; 3 x 5 in.; Pocket Pack Wire; 460 Thomas & Betts WM-1 online from RS for next day delivery.

If you want to go wild on the RS site, here's a category link..

http://australia.rs-online.com/web/c...cable-markers/
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Old 29-02-2012, 04:36   #5
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Re: Rewiring Cable Marking Systems

Thanks guys,
I like the idea of using a p touch with small writing, sticking this on the wire and then using clear over the top of it (thanks Reefmagnet for the idea).

I really can't find anything that is cheap at all. Not by the time you purchase all the components..

I like the idea of marking them because it makes locating each end of the wire so much easier and as you would know, wiring on a boat can get complicated.
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Old 29-02-2012, 04:47   #6
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Re: Rewiring Cable Marking Systems

I just totally rewired my boat, well almost - batteries go in this weekend - and used the fabric labels. One already partially used book was enough for all the wiring with only a couple of letters running out (I used 2 to 3 letter codes for the wires). One benefit is they fit all wire sizes (they break apart like a salada biscuit). I was also able to reposition them down along the cable quite easily as I trimmed the wires at the final connection. I also used those nylon ties with the rectangular writing area and labelled all the bundles as well. These were something like $7 for 100 and you write on them with a fine point sharpie marker.
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Old 29-02-2012, 05:35   #7
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Re: Rewiring Cable Marking Systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedsherrin View Post
Hi Everyone,
I'm about to start re-wiring up my new switch board. Doing the lot actually. Does anyone know of a cheaper cable marking system similar to Grafoplast system, but not so expensive. Their starter kits start at $500, so I'd really like to explore much cheaper ways of marking cables.

Ted - Tasmania.

Different colour wire ?
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Old 29-02-2012, 05:40   #8
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Re: Rewiring Cable Marking Systems

I picked up a couple of 3M Scotchcode wire markers on e-Bay for $15 plus shipping. They look easy enough to use.

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Old 29-02-2012, 06:03   #9
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Re: Rewiring Cable Marking Systems

I used to use address labels (hand &/or computer printed /w numbers & words), with clear thin-wall heat shrink over.
Address Labels | Return Address & Mailing Labels | Avery
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Old 29-02-2012, 06:16   #10
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Re: Rewiring Cable Marking Systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedsherrin View Post
Hi Everyone,
I'm about to start re-wiring up my new switch board. Doing the lot actually. Does anyone know of a cheaper cable marking system similar to Grafoplast system, but not so expensive. Their starter kits start at $500, so I'd really like to explore much cheaper ways of marking cables.

Ted - Tasmania.
Ted,
3 weeks ago whiile our new boat was pulled for a survey we totally pinged out every wire and color coded them all to check everything as my new boat had been hit by lightning. We totally made up a color coded "ladder" diagram. Boat is over 140' and has lots of electronics, lightning protection TVs, DVD's etc. Do not like the labels as they fall off over time and are very hard to read sometimes like a 3 versus an 8 which you find after you blew something up! Have opened many rooftop a/c's esp Trane and you find just piles of the number labels off the wires and on the cabinent bottom. Esp cool when Trane was using all black wires and just the number tags lining the bottom like bad confetti. After enough people blew enough sh*t up they went back to color coding and killed the labeling unless painted into the wires ends. Same problem we had with water to water/air heat pumps. We use a small labelmaker to mark unmarked breakers and to put the model & s/n under the elec cover in case "someone" steals the nameplate or paints it over.

So we have been using different colors of nail polish and clearcoat over for decades. Works very well plus you can trace wires quickly and visually. We also use a sharpie and a white sharpie early on when no diagram exists. And is IMHO cheaper as we use the dollar store variety. Then we put the color code into a CAD program and now we have an excellent wiring diagram. Among other things am an Electrical Engineer and NEVER had any trouble with any inspections or inspectors. And Chicago is a big union town! Quite the opposite.

Course you might have a problem if you are color blind!

John
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Old 29-02-2012, 06:21   #11
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Re: Rewiring Cable Marking Systems

I would suggest sheetlabels.com. I'm about 1 1/2 years retired from the broadcast industry and my last company did tons of new installation involving thousands of cable labels. The size of the label is chosen so that the white portion of the label just fits around the cable and the clear portion wraps over it. The fellows who made the labels used a laser printer, but it is possible to use an ordinary injet printer. The label format can be set up using software from someone like Brady.
I am in the prolcess of redoing my electrical and I don't use labels or multicolored wire, but I make lots of documentation notes. If I run into a loose wire or a wire that was from early on, a fox and hound can quickly sort it out. As a BSE I often had to sort out an installation done by others that didn't have our wire labeling and documentation, so a relatively simple installation, such as a boat isn't much of a problem. One trick installers would do is to make up 3 labels and prelabel a group of cables on both ends, reserving one set of labels. After the bundle was terminated on one end, the wires could be dressed and identified at the other end, trimmed, and relabeled with the remaining labels and terminated.
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Old 29-02-2012, 07:08   #12
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Re: Rewiring Cable Marking Systems

I use the roll of numbers shown by knottybuoyz for the temporary marking of conductors. I have found that, with time, the adhesive fails.

For permanent marking, I have used this industrial quality label maker (and its predecessor) for years with excellent results. DYMO Global The nylon labels have a very strong adhesive that is very resilient in the marine environment. The unit has a street price of about $125and the 3/4" nylon tape (p/n 18489) sells for about $20/roll.

Charlie

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Old 29-02-2012, 08:13   #13
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Re: Rewiring Cable Marking Systems

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Originally Posted by Johnny Cruiser View Post

So we have been using different colors of nail polish and clearcoat over for decades. Works very well plus you can trace wires quickly and visually. We also use a sharpie and a white sharpie early on when no diagram exists.

Course you might have a problem if you are color blind!

John

Didn't quite follow that - how does the "sharpie" and the "white sharpie early on" relate to marking wires with colored nail polish? What do you do with the white sharpie?
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Old 29-02-2012, 10:17   #14
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Re: Rewiring Cable Marking Systems

I use a Dymo label maker and make both a "tag" that wraps around the wire with a number, plus a small print word description (sometimes with a arrow to indicate the direction of the terminals!) that I stick on lengthwise.

You can get paper, plastic or clear plastic label strips.

I like the idea of clear heat shrink wrap...will have to get some.

The nail polish/clearcoat is also good, but ideally you have to have a "master diagram" and I'm not sure if I could tell between two shades of nail polish in low-light conditions.
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Old 29-02-2012, 10:24   #15
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Re: Rewiring Cable Marking Systems

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Originally Posted by tedsherrin View Post
Thanks guys,
I like the idea of using a p touch with small writing, sticking this on the wire and then using clear over the top of it (thanks Reefmagnet for the idea).

I really can't find anything that is cheap at all. Not by the time you purchase all the components..

I like the idea of marking them because it makes locating each end of the wire so much easier and as you would know, wiring on a boat can get complicated.
I agree. Plus the P Touch comes in handy for a lot of other labeling to be done on board too:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: TOOLS FOR THE SAILOR: BROTHER P-TOUCH LABEL MAKER
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