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Best way to label cables ? Studio Headphones
Old 31st December 2010
  #1
Gear Addict
 
rjay's Avatar
 

Best way to label cables ?

Not very slutty ... but, having just had to unplug two PC's in a hurry and then suddenly realise that every cable was black and leading to places far away that I can't see, what is the best way to mark each end of a cable with a handwritten tag ?

Doesn't need to look particularly professional but needs to be hardwearing.
Old 31st December 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Hi
Since this is 'after the event' (premade cables) your choices are a bit limited.
The 'cheap and dirty' might be decent white or silver duct tape and a 'sharpie' indelible marker. Clip on cable ties with 'writing area' are available, used with a marker as well as plastic clip on cable numbers (may unclip if messed with) or 'write on labels', basically sticky tape but with a 'white' area to write on. The choice is yours!
I found the 'Dymo' type sticky labels can look great but jump off the cable when you turn your back.
Matt S
Old 31st December 2010
  #3
Old 31st December 2010
  #4
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Yoda117's Avatar
 

rjay,

is there a reason you don't want to get/borrow someone's label maker to do this? For most of my stuff (both in the studio and while on the road), I used a Dymo label maker to do precisely what you're talking about. Much cleaner / more professional looking in the long term.

I know this is the low end section, but surely either you have or know someone with a decent label maker than can handle this task.

That said, I've found the easiest/quickest thing to do is use some good duct or painter's tape and a sharpie. It's helped me out on more than a few occasions.
Old 31st December 2010
  #5
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rjay's Avatar
 

Thanks for the suggestions

Yoda117 ... I don't know anyone who uses a label maker !
Old 31st December 2010
  #6
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Hammer Mark's Avatar
Colour coding is best. I label both ends of every cable with a unique combination of coloured electrical tape that can be identified from across the room.
Old 31st December 2010
  #7
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BudgetMC's Avatar
I used to use color coding.

Now I name them.

Annie, Bob, Cletus, Dan, Erika, Fred, Gabe, Henry, Ira...

Makes it kinda sad when one gets a short, though...
Old 31st December 2010
  #8
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IMO, duct tape sucks because it leaves to much residue and starts looking funky. then, when you try to get it off...it just bites.

I've been using color coded vinyl electrical tape..the nice stuff doesn't leave as much crap on your cable and it gives a decent range of colors (for me). Sometimes at Home Depot, always at electrical houses
Old 31st December 2010
  #9
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Liquid Shadow's Avatar
 

I color code all of my XLR cables. I use a strip of masking tape on each end, and then draw colored stripes around it with a marker.
Old 31st December 2010
  #10
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Eric Pederson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BudgetMC View Post
I used to use color coding.

Now I name them.

Annie, Bob, Cletus, Dan, Erika, Fred, Gabe, Henry, Ira...

Makes it kinda sad when one gets a short, though...
What name would you give to a gender bender cable LOL ?
Old 31st December 2010
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Pederson View Post
What name would you give to a gender bender cable LOL ?
Pat, of course.
Old 31st December 2010
  #12
wearing your cables like a g-string is all the labeling you will ever need.


not really for the faint of heart I'm afraid.
Old 31st December 2010
  #13
on a more serious note, I've seen spray paint, pipe cleaners, tape and labels used.

if it's gonna get stolen though, it's gonna get stolen.
Old 31st December 2010
  #14
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mhs2xs's Avatar
 

I buy the smaller, cheap zip ties in assorted colors (same color on each end of course). Then if I use the cable for something else, I'll cut em off and change the colors if necessary.
Old 31st December 2010
  #15
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mhs2xs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sameal View Post
wearing your cables like a g-string is all the labeling you will ever need.

LOL...heh Is that the Mostanki brand?
Old 31st December 2010
  #16
Gear Maniac
I printed out some.....well heavy paper as my printer would allow, followed by, I dont know the name of it but its like clear transparent sticker coating.

Basically printed out labels....left some blank for future then applied the sticker coating...using a hole punch then using those Garbage ties to connect to the cables and snip off the excess.

Adding the sticky stuff made the labels long wearing and you cant really write on them....forcing me to use another label.

Works for me!
Old 31st December 2010
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Lot's of good ideas, I've used many of them and they all work. I prefer a label maker for studio cables. Neat and specific, no chance for error (except for the inevitable brain fart, but specific labels make it easier to sort out when it happens).

For stage use (where cables are often routed for length and may not go to the same places every time) I like the colored electrical tape mentioned previously since it is easy to see from a distance. I color code both ends of my stage cables, so if I forget which one is which I can usually sort it out from the board quickly and easily.
Old 31st December 2010
  #18
Lives for gear
 

A real and good quality cable label maker is pricey, but worth it for some. I've been using Brother label makers (I have a pair of them) which is not a 'real' cable label maker and is not much better than a tape-based solution. The nice thing about them is that you can label the cable and the destination.

Most tape based solutions are awful long term. If you are lucky they dry out and fall off. If you are not lucky, they gum up and fall off and gum up other stuff. I hate it, but I have used this answer (with colored electrical tape) along with silver sharpies for numbering.

The colored wire tie idea is a good one. There are also wire ties with flags for writing. Not very pretty but they work very well. And if you write on them with pencil, they can be erased and reused.... if you use a soft leaded pencil. But then it is possible to smudge the writing.
Old 1st January 2011
  #19
Gear Maniac
$10 got me all the materials I needed. I dont see myself running out of labels any time soon.
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