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Author Topic: Identifying your own cables  (Read 13060 times)

Steve Oldridge

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Re: Identifying your own cables
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2015, 12:41:10 pm »

Hello, I have a question. I do lighting and sound, but often do it with other companies. I was curious if anyone had a technique to marking your cables in a way to quickly identify which are yours. I have thought about using tape, but I feel like taping up each cable ends up looking tacky. Does anyone have a professional technique to "marking" your companies cables that looks professional? Thanks for any input!
I used to cut lengths of 1/2-inch wide duct tape (the real silver stuff, not the fabric "duck" stuff available most places) and wrap it around all metal pieces such as stands, mics, and female end of XLR cables.  Easily identifiable, and it sticks well.
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Roland Clarke 1964

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Re: Identifying your own cables
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2015, 03:15:35 pm »

Mine are the good ones! ;)

Seriously speaking, labelling is the only way to go.  Striking mic's and cables really quickly after a gig also reduces the chances for taking "loses". :)
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Stephen Kirby

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Re: Identifying your own cables
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2015, 05:59:23 pm »

  Striking mic's and cables really quickly after a gig also reduces the chances for taking "loses". :)

Big time, put on some music and clear the stage as quickly as possible.  Mics first, then mic cables.  Then work my way back through the monitor and the cables associated with them.  By the time I finish that and have been on stage watching things, the band has usually cleared out.  If anything got messed with in the mains, the walk out music would have stopped.  After they're gone, turn everything off and go through the mains cables.  Just have to watch out for any "help" you don't know.
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Roland Clarke 1964

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Re: Identifying your own cables
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2015, 07:40:12 am »

Big time, put on some music and clear the stage as quickly as possible.  Mics first, then mic cables.  Then work my way back through the monitor and the cables associated with them.  By the time I finish that and have been on stage watching things, the band has usually cleared out.  If anything got messed with in the mains, the walk out music would have stopped.  After they're gone, turn everything off and go through the mains cables.  Just have to watch out for any "help" you don't know.

I do exactly the same thing.  A little bit of low playback music stops anyone messing with mains, Main speakers or leads.  Also if we "lend" anything, such as lead or mains plug, I have someone up on stage to reclaim things quickly before they get walked off with.  In the last ten years I haven't lost anything that I am aware of, "won" a few mic stands, guitar stands, music stands and odd leads that have been left by bands.  Usually I have been able to track the owners down and get them to collect from me, or someone local to the show, but I still have a round cast base, mic stand that for the life of me I don't know where it came from! :)
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Identifying your own cables
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2015, 01:02:34 pm »

We bought a roll of blue quad core cable and made our own.
Also, we made lots of custom lengths, so I labeled them all with the length.
That speeds up setup too.
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Al Keltz

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Re: Identifying your own cables
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2015, 01:28:11 pm »


Brady (and probably others) make self laminating white + clear tail labels. The clear tail wraps around the printed label to protect the text. Here's an example.


http://www.bradyid.com/bradyid/pdpv/B33-272-427.html


- Al
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Kevin McDonough

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Re: Identifying your own cables
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2015, 05:07:45 am »

Wow, a lot of great suggestions here. I do really like the idea of shrink wrap with company info printed on it. That seems like the most legit and clean looking, but is there a way to put shrink wrap on a cable without having the remove the ends on it?


3:1 heatshrink is your friend here!  :)

We use simple computer inkjet labels printed with a black background and our logo, same as you would print addresses onto for envelopes, wrap them around the cable and and then cover them with clear heatshrink. Works really well and lasts forever. However custom printed heatshrink would work the same way, in either case you need 18mm shrink that shrinks with a 3:1 ratio. 

At it's 18mm size, with a little persuasion (a touch of stretching if needed by putting it over the end of pliers or scissors and opening them a few times)  it'll go over a male XLR barrel while it's still on the cable so you dont have to take the ends off or resolder things.

You'll still need to strip ends of for speakon cables or power, but not having to do XLR, jack etc takes a huge amount of the work away.

And because its 3:1 it still shrinks down enough to grab onto usual 6ish-mm xlr/signal cable. The 3:1 also makes the side walls much thicker once it's shrunk, much more hard wearing.

In addition to the logo, we also put a colour code on ours for length that we carry through all our cables, power, signal, speaker etc. Makes it much easier to find what you're looking for when you're digging through a trunk. And we can cut the heatshrink a little longer if extra info has to be added, add strips printed from a label printer for pin swaps, bridging adaptors, etc etc. 

green = "short"
yellow = 3m
blue - 5m
purple = 10m
red = 15m
brown = 20m

only had a blue cable handy here at the house, cant see a black one to show you a more common example of what it looks like.



Just remember though, if you're not doing it with stickers and you're getting custom heatshrink printed you need to stretch your logo/text vertically by the ratio of the heatshrink, either 2 or 3 times, so that when you shrink it onto your cables it's brought back to the normal dimensions  ;D

« Last Edit: July 16, 2015, 08:39:27 am by Kevin McDonough »
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Gordon Brinton

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Re: Identifying your own cables
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2015, 07:58:23 am »

I place brightly colored nylon cable/zip ties at the business end of all cables. It generally lasts for years and is more difficult for scoundrels to tamper with it.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2015, 08:02:39 am by Gordon Brinton »
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Rob Spence

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Re: Identifying your own cables
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2015, 11:05:35 am »

I place brightly colored nylon cable/zip ties at the business end of all cables. It generally lasts for years and is more difficult for scoundrels to tamper with it.

Yikes, shredded hands I see.


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Stephen Kirby

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Re: Identifying your own cables
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2015, 12:38:36 pm »

Was making up some cables with right angled XLRs for clip on drum mics the other day and remembered something with heat shrink that I'd forgotten.  After you shrink it down, let the cable hand straight until it cools.  I laid a cable on the workbench as I went to another and the heat shrink took a set with a curve in it.
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Re: Identifying your own cables
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2015, 12:38:36 pm »


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