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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => LAB Lounge => Topic started by: Steven warner on April 03, 2011, 02:26:13 am

Title: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: Steven warner on April 03, 2011, 02:26:13 am
I came across a cheap reel snake that I have decided to rebuild. I have no idea what the best way is to label the male ends.
     I would like something highly visible and least half decent looking. The only thing I have thought of so far involves plastic print outs under clear heat shrink. I would really like to do something better, thoughts? 
Title: Re: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: Tim McCulloch on April 03, 2011, 02:37:38 am
I came across a cheap reel snake that I have decided to rebuild. I have no idea what the best way is to label the male ends.
     I would like something highly visible and least half decent looking. The only thing I have thought of so far involves plastic print outs under clear heat shrink. I would really like to do something better, thoughts?

Do you want them to look pretty or do you want to be able to read them?

For the latter, white paper artist tape and a Sharpie.  You'll freshen them in about 6 months and replace them every year or 2, depending on how much you handle them.. but you'll be able to read the numbers in low light.

For the former, the channel numbers hot-stamped on heat shrink tubing with a clear shrink cover... looks really nice, lasts a long time and is almost impossible to read under low light. The imprint seems to always be opposite the latch mechanism, which means you probably can't see the stamping when it's plugged in.

The various snake builders sell heat shrink kits, but you'll be surprised at what they cost.  The artist tape and Sharpie looks very attractive...

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc
Title: Re: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: Jordan Wolf on April 03, 2011, 03:01:32 am
I came across a cheap reel snake that I have decided to rebuild. I have no idea what the best way is to label the male ends.
     I would like something highly visible and least half decent looking. The only thing I have thought of so far involves plastic print outs under clear heat shrink. I would really like to do something better, thoughts?
Look for something like this at your local hardware store or electric/electronic supply house. 

(http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/300/35/3522b020-d5d3-441f-8830-878da5b6be50_300.jpg)
After wrapping the strip around the desired channel, use clear heatshrink to cover it.  I like to leave about 3/4" overlapping each side of the number strip.  You may also want to make the label about 4"-6" from the connector, in case you need to cut off some of the cable for repair at a later date.
Title: Re: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: Frederik Rosenkjśr on April 03, 2011, 03:24:52 am
Learn the standard electronics color code and use Neutrik plugs with color coded rings and caps. This is by far the fastest as you can spot every plug miles away - don't have to twist and turn each one to find and read the number. Suddenly your hands will be the only bottleneck in how fast you can patch.
Title: Re: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: Dave Dermont on April 03, 2011, 06:18:46 am
The Radio Shack Self-Laminating Cable Markers (http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103486#) are cheap, and you can put them on with the connector on the cable.
Title: Re: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: Dave Bigelow on April 03, 2011, 07:34:25 am


Tape and a sharpie is my vote. What happens when the snake has to be put on the other side of the stage and all those pretty ended cables don't reach now? Or if one goes bad and you don't have the time to fix it for a few gigs? Or you let a buddy borrow a handful of cables and he takes all of the odd numbered ones up to 15?

To me the only permanent marking on a cable should be the one that shows ownership.



Title: Re: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: Mac Kerr on April 03, 2011, 09:21:35 am

Tape and a sharpie is my vote. What happens when the snake has to be put on the other side of the stage and all those pretty ended cables don't reach now? Or if one goes bad and you don't have the time to fix it for a few gigs? Or you let a buddy borrow a handful of cables and he takes all of the odd numbered ones up to 15?

To me the only permanent marking on a cable should be the one that shows ownership.

A snake without channel numbers is worse than useless.

On silver connectors you can just use a Sharpie right on the connector. I find I have to do this on rental snakes where the only label was the printed jacket, or Brady numbers where the clear shrink has yellowed. A big Sharpie number right on the connector is very easy to read.

You may be able to buy a set of pre-engraved connectors from Whirlwind or one of the other big snake manufacturers.

Mac
Title: Re: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: John Halliburton on April 03, 2011, 10:35:41 am

Tape and a sharpie is my vote. What happens when the snake has to be put on the other side of the stage and all those pretty ended cables don't reach now? Or if one goes bad and you don't have the time to fix it for a few gigs? Or you let a buddy borrow a handful of cables and he takes all of the odd numbered ones up to 15?

To me the only permanent marking on a cable should be the one that shows ownership.

A snake without channel numbers is worse than useless.

On silver connectors you can just use a Sharpie right on the connector. I find I have to do this on rental snakes where the only label was the printed jacket, or Brady numbers where the clear shrink has yellowed. A big Sharpie number right on the connector is very easy to read.

You may be able to buy a set of pre-engraved connectors from Whirlwind or one of the other big snake manufacturers.

Mac

Great suggestions so far-I've used Sharpie on silver Neutrik XLR, Brother lablemaker and clear shrink, board tape and Sharpie, and yellow electrical tape(narrow rolls in a few colors are available).

Engraved sets are sold by Whirlwind.  There might be 2-3 weeks of lead time involved. 

I wish Neutrik would do a couple of things:

1.  Make an XLR shell with a flat intentation "ring" sized to hold a piece of the Brother label tape, preferably the 1/2" wide stock, but I'd live with either narrower tape too.  I feel that a recessed bed for the label on the male shell would last quite a long time without getting damaged, and custom patch snake labeling would be improved, and if you were really worried about it, clear shrink could still be used over the label and shell.

2.  Engraved male shells.  I'd think laser engraving would be fastest and easiest.

Best regards,

John
Title: Re: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: Dave Bigelow on April 03, 2011, 11:25:40 am

Tape and a sharpie is my vote. What happens when the snake has to be put on the other side of the stage and all those pretty ended cables don't reach now? Or if one goes bad and you don't have the time to fix it for a few gigs? Or you let a buddy borrow a handful of cables and he takes all of the odd numbered ones up to 15?

To me the only permanent marking on a cable should be the one that shows ownership.

A snake without channel numbers is worse than useless.

On silver connectors you can just use a Sharpie right on the connector. I find I have to do this on rental snakes where the only label was the printed jacket, or Brady numbers where the clear shrink has yellowed. A big Sharpie number right on the connector is very easy to read.

You may be able to buy a set of pre-engraved connectors from Whirlwind or one of the other big snake manufacturers.

Mac


Haha, I wasn't saying not to label it!  ;)

I end up with different people in monitor world half the time so I let them do whatever they understand the most. Some guys get lost when it is just numbers and have to keep going back to the input list. If it makes more sense to the guy to label the cable "SR GTR 2" on each end then so be it. As long as it comes up right for me out at FOH I don't care if they write former girlfriend's names on the ends.


Edit: The reason I think the only thing permanent should be the engraving of the company that owns the cable is that we do all kinds of stuff and the cables could get moved from work box to work box. For all I know the LD could have all of what would be my number 4s in the air if they went and robbed them without asking.
Title: Re: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: Mac Kerr on April 03, 2011, 11:52:44 am
The reason I think the only thing permanent should be the engraving of the company that owns the cable is that we do all kinds of stuff and the cables could get moved from work box to work box. For all I know the LD could have all of what would be my number 4s in the air if they went and robbed them without asking.

I'm curious how the LD got your snake tails up in the air. No one in this thread is talking about labeling mic cables. Remind the LD he should be using DMX cables.

Mac
Title: Re: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: Steven warner on April 03, 2011, 12:14:21 pm
Thanks guys for all the suggestions. I was amazed when I did several searches and turned up next to nothing, seems like someone could make some money making custom numbered end sets that are engraved or even just labeled strain reliefs that fit neutrik ends
Title: Re: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: Dave Bigelow on April 03, 2011, 12:40:53 pm
The reason I think the only thing permanent should be the engraving of the company that owns the cable is that we do all kinds of stuff and the cables could get moved from work box to work box. For all I know the LD could have all of what would be my number 4s in the air if they went and robbed them without asking.

I'm curious how the LD got your snake tails up in the air. No one in this thread is talking about labeling mic cables. Remind the LD he should be using DMX cables.

Mac

Misread it earlier. Oh well, shit happens.

Like "LD"s can remember that stuff
Title: Re: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: TomBoisseau on April 03, 2011, 07:08:13 pm
Thanks guys for all the suggestions. I was amazed when I did several searches and turned up next to nothing, seems like someone could make some money making custom numbered end sets that are engraved or even just labeled strain reliefs that fit neutrik ends

Actually, somebody does.  Whirlwind supplies their snakes (or at least some of there snakes) with numbered male connectors, white on black, that are very easy to read.  They are essentially a Neutrix design but have a "flat" area on the side with a nicely permanantly labeled number.  I have been able to order them through my local dealer. Just specify what numbers you want.


http://whirlwindusa.com/catalog/bulk-connectors-multipins-adapters/audio-connectors/inline-connectors

Tom
Title: Re: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: Nate Conti on April 03, 2011, 08:32:06 pm
I came across a cheap reel snake that I have decided to rebuild. I have no idea what the best way is to label the male ends.
     I would like something highly visible and least half decent looking. The only thing I have thought of so far involves plastic print outs under clear heat shrink. I would really like to do something better, thoughts?

buy these and print a label with a label maker and put them on it.

http://audiopile.net/products/Adaptors_Connectors/XLR_Cord_Ends/Colored%20Rings/XLR_Colored_Rings_CR_cutsheet.shtml
Title: Re: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: Randall Hyde on April 04, 2011, 03:05:19 pm
I came across a cheap reel snake that I have decided to rebuild. I have no idea what the best way is to label the male ends.
     I would like something highly visible and least half decent looking. The only thing I have thought of so far involves plastic print outs under clear heat shrink. I would really like to do something better, thoughts?

Get yourself a Dymo D1 labeler; purchase the expensive (and permanent) polyester tape.
You'll find the labeler comes in handy for a million and one things on your rig, not just the snake cables.  I paid something like $180 for a "professional" labeler. A $40 one from Office Max will work just as well. The  important thing is to get good D1 tape (polyester rather than vinyl). The vinyl tape is quite a bit less money, and okay for non-permanent stuff (or stuff that doesn't have to suffer through mechanical stress all  the time), the polyester tape is far better for cables and such.
Title: Re: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: Nate Conti on April 04, 2011, 08:59:50 pm
I came across a cheap reel snake that I have decided to rebuild. I have no idea what the best way is to label the male ends.
     I would like something highly visible and least half decent looking. The only thing I have thought of so far involves plastic print outs under clear heat shrink. I would really like to do something better, thoughts?

buy these and print a label with a label maker and put them on it.

http://audiopile.net/products/Adaptors_Connectors/XLR_Cord_Ends/Colored%20Rings/XLR_Colored_Rings_CR_cutsheet.shtml
Title: Re: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: Gus Housen on April 05, 2011, 02:24:30 pm
Just go get any cheap label maker from office max.
Title: Re: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: George Dougherty on April 06, 2011, 01:06:14 am
buy these and print a label with a label maker and put them on it.

http://audiopile.net/products/Adaptors_Connectors/XLR_Cord_Ends/Colored%20Rings/XLR_Colored_Rings_CR_cutsheet.shtml
Guessing you're not talking about the XXR rings there.  Not sure why Neutrik went with those when the others with the flat spot for a label work so much better.  You can find the XCR rings elsewhere for about $.25/ea.  I like dealing with Mark and Liz, buy a lot of stuff through them, but their pricing on the rings isn't as good as elsewhere.

Skip the label maker and just use a sharpie.  Labels will peel off, Sharpies can be re-written as they fade.  I've been using the XCR rings to color code for length and writing an identification number on both ends of mic cables for several years now.  It's nice when you have to trace a loose cable back to the snake box.
Title: Re: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: Tim Padrick on April 06, 2011, 10:55:48 pm
The usual numbered heatshrink is too hard to read in low light.  I like a large number on the XLR, and color coding using the resistor color code.
Title: Re: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: thomas jones on April 07, 2011, 01:39:10 am
What's the matter with the screaming across the room and pulling the cord till the connector rips off method?
Title: Re: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: Randall Hyde on April 07, 2011, 04:02:59 pm
Labels will peel off,
If you get the permanent polyester labels (Dymo D1), this will be far less of a problem that you think.
Title: Re: I need suggestions on how to label male xlr ends
Post by: Mark Chrysostom on April 07, 2011, 04:10:51 pm
What's the matter with the screaming across the room and pulling the cord till the connector rips off method?

Nothing is wrong with this, as long as we're using your cables.
Title: Basic Labeling Practices
Post by: Paul Dershem on April 08, 2011, 12:24:58 am
I've been using a P-touch label maker and "Cable/Wire Labels" to establish ownership; these, I position about a foot from each end of the cable, covered in clear heat shrink tubing.

I spray paint one end of 1/4" instrument cables with glow-in-the dark paint to make ownership plain from 20 feet (guitar players  ::) ).

I started out numbering both ends of cables with silver Sharpie, but switched to letters to reduce confusion.

What kinds of labeling schemes are the rest of you using, and how are you using color-coding? Do you label for length?   

Are there certain labeling practices that are fairly consistent accross the industry?