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Cable labelling?

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Cable labelling?

Postby Arpangel » Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:32 am

I need to label my cables, I normally use a bit of masking tape wrapped around a plug or socket, but they come off or fade over time, this is terrible, and I need a more reliable more legible solution.
It's something I've never investigated, so I'm wondering what most folks here use? I don't really want to mess around with computer labelling, but maybe something a bit more basic, and instant.
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Re: Cable labelling?

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:15 am

I have not found a reliable way of 'labelling' them as such but use small, coloured zip ties to identify them, most have two of different colours, on each end so it's fairly easy to see that red/blue is the lead vox mix and is plugged into CH1 for example. They also act as identification of a sort, unless somebody else on the gig is using the same system (which hasn't happened yet).

I have a computer based labeller but, on a cable, the labels don't stay put for long, I tried putting clear shrink wrap over them but that leaves you with a section of cable that is much stiffer than the rest.
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Re: Cable labelling?

Postby Arpangel » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:23 am

Sam Spoons wrote:I have not found a reliable way of 'labelling' them as such but use small, coloured zip ties to identify them, most have two of different colours, on each end so it's fairly easy to see that red/blue is the lead vox mix and is plugged into CH1 for example. They also act as identification of a sort, unless somebody else on the gig is using the same system (which hasn't happened yet).

I have a computer based labeller but, on a cable, the labels don't stay put for long, I tried putting clear shrink wrap over them but that leaves you with a section of cable that is much stiffer than the rest.

Yes, it's not that easy.
I use a multicore snake for my main mixer wiring, and that has coloured plugs, better than nothing. I think I'm going to put bits of coloured tape on my instruments, and match them up with tape on mixer channels, and effects etc, I know a few people who do this, it's easy to see what's going on at a glance.
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Re: Cable labelling?

Postby The Elf » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:27 am

I use something similar to this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dymo-S0946320-Manager-Handheld-Keyboard/dp/B006O87KUA/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=label+printer&qid=1570008274&sr=8-6

I actually also have one of these. Although it's more flexible I find it a bit unreliable: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004G6NVKU/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The labels they produce are actually quite robust, and will happily stay stuck to cables IME.
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Re: Cable labelling?

Postby Aural Reject » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:42 am

Depends what you're doing.

You can get all sorts of things like coloured boots for the plugs - which you can use on both ends if you're not worried about what things look like on the 'stage' end.

For cable length indicators I adopted a system of just using different colours of insulating tape at the stage box end...so when something comes out of a box you can tell whether it's 1.5m, 3m, 5m, 10m etc just by the tape colour.

For my multis, the males are colour coded as well as numbered for plugging them into stuff.
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Re: Cable labelling?

Postby Arpangel » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:51 am

Aural Reject wrote:Depends what you're doing.

You can get all sorts of things like coloured boots for the plugs - which you can use on both ends if you're not worried about what things look like on the 'stage' end.

For cable length indicators I adopted a system of just using different colours of insulating tape at the stage box end...so when something comes out of a box you can tell whether it's 1.5m, 3m, 5m, 10m etc just by the tape colour.

For my multis, the males are colour coded as well as numbered for plugging them into stuff.

I do the coloured insulation tape thing too, but I find after awhile they just peel off.
I did use Dymo for mixer labelling, that was OK, but the tape thing in plugs written on looks really bad, I mean, even beyond my standards! It's not a big deal, but it just looks awful, especially with my unreadable scrawl!
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Re: Cable labelling?

Postby Aural Reject » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:03 am

For example....obviously you'd have to faff about with your plugs...and like I said, I wouldn't want those on the stage end for visual reasons but YMMV.

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Re: Cable labelling?

Postby Arpangel » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:09 am

Aural Reject wrote:For example....obviously you'd have to faff about with your plugs...and like I said, I wouldn't want those on the stage end for visual reasons but YMMV.

Image

Good idea, but I'd have to rewire the plugs, ooh-er... :o
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Re: Cable labelling?

Postby Mixedup » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:10 am

I tend to use cable ties with a label area I can either write on (beware fading ink!) or stick things to (I prefer an old fashioned Dymo embosser to a label printer, though you can't fit as much info on there).

That and coloured collars on the connectors for snakes. And coloured cables for different things...

This is the sort of cable tie I mean...
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Re: Cable labelling?

Postby DC-Choppah » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:19 am

This!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFalc_JWG3w

I get it here:

https://www.redco.com/Wire-Labels/


This is used also for aircraft wiring and other harsh environments. It does not fade and does not come off. The cable remains flexible at the label.
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Re: Cable labelling?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:32 am

https://cpc.farnell.com/c/cable-leads-c ... re-markers

Lots of options for clip-on or wrap-on cable marking systems....
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Re: Cable labelling?

Postby forumuser840717 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:16 pm

Arpangel wrote:
Aural Reject wrote:For example....obviously you'd have to faff about with your plugs...and like I said, I wouldn't want those on the stage end for visual reasons but YMMV.

Image

Good idea, but I'd have to rewire the plugs, ooh-er... :o

For the current range of Neutrik XX Series XLRs you could try these:

Image

Or for the older X Series there are these:

Image


The second image also shows how to fit them to connectors. The advantage over the 'proper' coloured boot being that you easily can retrofit them to the connector after it's been fitted to a cable without needing to do any soldering. (They also do similar things for their 1/4" jacks)

The older design are a little bit more clunky but do include a little flat area which can take something like a small Dymo label whereas the XX versions include a transparent ring which can have small paper (or whatever) labels inserted under it.

If you're making up new cables you can also use a coloured ring and a coloured boot to create two-colour combinations or, for mobile use with cables which might go missing in the wild, employ the transparent ring to put your contact details under and the coloured boot to mean something else. (It's not as good as permanently marking things in some way but it can help in those 'that's my cable...no, it's mine' moments on a quick pack down.


With a bit of care, it's also quite feasible to wrap paper labels around the XLRs (taking care to leave the latches clear) and cover these with a piece of transparent heat shrink to stop them peeling off. Adhesive lined heat shrink will be more permanent but can make ink run on some types of label or ooze glue around their edges when fitting but a bit of trial and error will find the workable solution.

Or bigger labels can be wrapped lengthways around the cable itself and covered with transparent heatshrink though, as someone else mentioned above, that does give you a bit of stiffer cable which which might be an issue for cables which need to clamp into shock mount cable grips or the like.
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Re: Cable labelling?

Postby Music Wolf » Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:43 pm

Easy

If it's neatly coiled under / over method and it works - it's mine
If it's tangled up like a piece of spaghetti and thrown in a bag together with non-functioning leads - it's the bass player's
If it's been left at home - it's the singer's
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Re: Cable labelling?

Postby N i g e l » Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:02 pm

forumuser840717 wrote:With a bit of care, it's also quite feasible to wrap paper labels around the XLR

I wrap paper labels around the cable and overlay with transparent tape,
Its a bit like the Hellerman tape label despenser thing.

Print or Biro the description onto a strip of paper, wrap around cable and tighten it up, wrap transparent tape around to hold in place.

Also very easy to take off with a blade without damaging the cable.

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Re: Cable labelling?

Postby ManFromGlass » Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:18 pm

I used to put 3 dots near each connector with White Out error correction fluid. The stuff sticks to anything and lasts forever. Especially on fingers. So my cables were 3 dots.

In the studio I’ve migrated from wasting too much time tracing cables to putting numbers on each end. I found printed numbers on sheets in duplicate that have a sticky backing. As the studio cables don’t move much they stay on well enough.

But some great suggestions here. I’m liking those coloured rings!
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Re: Cable labelling?

Postby blinddrew » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:35 pm

Music Wolf wrote:Easy

If it's neatly coiled under / over method and it works - it's mine
If it's tangled up like a piece of spaghetti and thrown in a bag together with non-functioning leads - it's the bass player's
If it's been left at home - it's the singer's
Wait, were you in the same band as me about 10 years ago?
;)
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Re: Cable labelling?

Postby SimonZ » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:08 pm

Finally I found these, self laminating cables for inkjet printer on A4 sheets, 280 labels for £6.99...........

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Label-Self-Laminating-Around-Cable-Labels/dp/B07HGWQPTN/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_229_t_0?_encoding=UTF8&refRID=2NFGPDRVD60T9AHVS1AN&th=1

I have an Excel template if anyone needs one :thumbup:
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Re: Cable labelling?

Postby The Elf » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:00 pm

SimonZ wrote:Finally I found these, self laminating cables for inkjet printer on A4 sheets, 280 labels for £6.99...........

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Label-Self-Laminating-Around-Cable-Labels/dp/B07HGWQPTN/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_229_t_0?_encoding=UTF8&refRID=2NFGPDRVD60T9AHVS1AN&th=1

I have an Excel template if anyone needs one :thumbup:
Ooh, yes please!!!
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Re: Cable labelling?

Postby Arpangel » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:20 am

forumuser840717 wrote:
Arpangel wrote:
Aural Reject wrote:For example....obviously you'd have to faff about with your plugs...and like I said, I wouldn't want those on the stage end for visual reasons but YMMV.

Image

Good idea, but I'd have to rewire the plugs, ooh-er... :o

For the current range of Neutrik XX Series XLRs you could try these:

Image

Or for the older X Series there are these:

Image


The second image also shows how to fit them to connectors. The advantage over the 'proper' coloured boot being that you easily can retrofit them to the connector after it's been fitted to a cable without needing to do any soldering. (They also do similar things for their 1/4" jacks)

The older design are a little bit more clunky but do include a little flat area which can take something like a small Dymo label whereas the XX versions include a transparent ring which can have small paper (or whatever) labels inserted under it.

If you're making up new cables you can also use a coloured ring and a coloured boot to create two-colour combinations or, for mobile use with cables which might go missing in the wild, employ the transparent ring to put your contact details under and the coloured boot to mean something else. (It's not as good as permanently marking things in some way but it can help in those 'that's my cable...no, it's mine' moments on a quick pack down.


With a bit of care, it's also quite feasible to wrap paper labels around the XLRs (taking care to leave the latches clear) and cover these with a piece of transparent heat shrink to stop them peeling off. Adhesive lined heat shrink will be more permanent but can make ink run on some types of label or ooze glue around their edges when fitting but a bit of trial and error will find the workable solution.

Or bigger labels can be wrapped lengthways around the cable itself and covered with transparent heatshrink though, as someone else mentioned above, that does give you a bit of stiffer cable which which might be an issue for cables which need to clamp into shock mount cable grips or the like.

The coloured rings could take care of the tape peeling off.
I've got lots of effects cabling, going to the rack, and pedals, that tends to get re-patched now and again, I've got red tape on the right channel cables, leaving the left black, but beyond that it can get a bit confusing. Aesthetics aren't that important, as long as I can see what's going where.
Those wrap around paper labels my be a good idea too.
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Re: Cable labelling?

Postby baward » Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:00 am

SimonZ wrote:Finally I found these, self laminating cables for inkjet printer on A4 sheets, 280 labels for £6.99...........

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Label-Self-Laminating-Around-Cable-Labels/dp/B07HGWQPTN/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_229_t_0?_encoding=UTF8&refRID=2NFGPDRVD60T9AHVS1AN&th=1

I have an Excel template if anyone needs one :thumbup:

Yes please!
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