Filed under: Cable Identification, Cable Management, Cable Ties, Clips and Grommets
Cables are used in a variety of setups from homes to industrial use and when there are multiple cables all in the one area it can be problematic to find the one you need to work on without causing an interruption with others, especially when they are all the same colours. This is where the use of cable identification can come in handy for large or smaller cable bundles and wires. But what types of cable identification are there to choose from you ask? Well here is a quick guide to some of the different choices you can use for your cable setups.
Types Of Cable Identification Options
Identification Tags: Identification tags for cables are similar to that of dog tags. They generally feature a small cable tie with a tag attached that consists of a designated serial number or the name of what the cords are used for. These types of identification tags come in a variety of colours for optimal viewing at any time. They can also be available in customizable and blank options for you to easily write on for easy attachment and naming of your cables.
Heat Shrink Labels: Heat shrink labels are exactly as their name sounds. These labels are designed to shrink around the cables permanently when exposed to heat. These heat shrink labels generally feature the name or number of the cable printed on it, although can be customizable depending on the type use. These are great for permanent cable identification purposes of smaller wiring in commercial or residential areas.
Wire Markers: Wire markers are similar to that of any other cable identification product. These markers are designed to wrap around smaller cables and wires and generally feature a number and letters printed on them, although some may be customizable. These wire markers are great for home theatre setups and other residential or electrical wiring applications.
Cable identification is important to help you choose the right cables when it comes to unplugging, changing, fixing, or replacing your cables. So if your cables are messy or the same colour, then why not choose one of the cable identification products available for your application.
Filed under: Cable Identification, Cable Wraps, Electrical
Whether you’re a professional or just a DIYer, it can be a great asset for you to have electrical tape in your toolbox at all times. Electrical tape is designed to be used for a variety of demanding and challenging uses which can be anything from protecting water pipes to repairing minor electrical wiring damage. However there are times when this special tape should and shouldn’t be used and here are some tips on where best use your electrical tape to help make your job easier.
Don’t Use Electrical Tape as a Replacement for Wire Nuts
It is important when using electrical tape on electrical wiring such as light switches, outlets, and junction boxes that the tape is used as a temporary measure and not a permanent measure. The reason for this is that with close contact to bare wiring the tape may heat up causing it to degrade over time. This can be problematic especially if it is in contact with something associated with you or your family members. To make sure your family is protected at all times it is best to substitute electrical tape with wire nuts for permanent installations.
Use Only on Minor Cord or Wire Damage
Electrical tape can be used to repair minor wire or cord damage, although it shouldn’t be used if there are frays, cracks or exposed bare electrical wiring. If you have cords that have a nicked or cracked outer sheath but the inner insulation is intact then you may use electrical tape for a safer repair. If the electrical wiring is exposed it may cause the electrical tape to heat up causing a fire hazard. It is also advisable not to cover the electrical tape with flammable materials such as cloths or rugs to also reduce a fire hazard.
Stretch the Tape as You Wrap
When applying electrical tape it is important to wrap it around the object properly to ensure that it works accordingly to how you need it to. To apply correctly it is designed to be stretched slightly allowing for it to adhere better to the object you are wrapping. Applying it loosely may cause complications with insulation protection leading to wire exposure.
Spray With Dielectric Spray
Spray the electrical tape with a clear coat enamel or another selected dielectric spray. This spray can help to protect the tape better and is able to provide increased insulation properties. When applying this spray it is important to turn off the power supply to the cabling until the spray is cured or dried.
When it comes to printing labels for larger commercial scales it can be hard to find a system which is able to handle the tough and rigorous demands that are set on it. Well whether you’re a large or small business owner, if you are looking for a labelling device that can handle a challenge then the Brady TLS 2200® Thermal Labelling System is the right one for you.
Tips When Choosing Your Label Printer
Labelling can be an important aspect of any business. Labels are beneficial for many reasons to help not only provide identification of products but also tell when the product may go out of date. There are many different features of a labelling system that is beneficial and should be considered when purchasing. These include:
Portable Design: Having a portable and lightweight device is beneficial over fixed devices because they are more convenient. Having a portable device means that you are able to take it to any location or any room with ease. This can be beneficial large production factories where products are kept in different rooms.
Multiple Printing Options: Whether you’re a large business or a small business the more printing options with a labeller the better. Most label printers feature only one setting that prints simple labels, although you don’t have to settle for this. Printers such as the Thermal Labelling System provide advanced printing options including die-cut labels, bar coding, and banner printing. It is also a good idea to use a label printer that can cater for many different applications. The Brady’s Printer System is great for circuit boards, patch panels, and wire and cable markers.
Thermal Transfer Printing: For those that don’t know thermal transfer printing is the process where material is successfully applied to paper by easily melting a coating of ribbon which stays glued to the paper where the print is applied. This printing method can be more beneficial than other methods because it can produce smear free labels. Choosing a label printer that features thermal transfer printing can create more time saving without having to wait for labels to try.
Memory Settings: There is nothing worse than having to re-put in the same label design or setting when making labels day after day. Label makers such as the Brady TLS 2200® Thermal Labelling System allow you to easily provide memory settings for storing your newly created and frequently used labels which gives you a chance of bringing up the labels from the previous day quickly. Label printers such as this can be beneficial for larger retail offices which require a pull up of different designs labels for multiple products.
So whether you’re a large or smaller business owner, when purchasing a label printer is can be beneficial to take everything into consideration to make sure you purchase the one that is most beneficial for your business needs.
Filed under: Cable Bundling, Cable Identification, Cable Management
On the working site it is important that optimal safety of all personal is taken into consideration. This is also important where there is piping that contains hazardous material. Although when pipes aren’t marked accordingly, it can be hard for workers to know which one they can move and touch without causing risk to themselves. This is where the Brady Self-Sticking Vinyl Pipe Markers come into play.
Colours Mark The Pipe With Pipe Markers
These pipe markers are great for identifying the hazardous status of the pipes, the directional flow and the contents of the pipe for overall safety. They are made from B-946 Vinyl material which is perfect for use in both indoor and outdoor applications, and contain adhesive backing which allows for easier handling and installation when used.
Because of their high gloss finish, they feature a clear print which promotes high visibility when in use. The best part of all is that they are available in a number of different styles and colours which clearly label the right pipe for added safety. Because of their special pressure sensitive acrylic adhesive properties they won’t loosen or melt and can stick permanently in place for long term application.
Ideal for use in hazardous material plants, processing plants, and indoor and outdoor labelling applications, these labels meet all the ANSI A13.1-2007 requirements needed to help with keeping your plant fully up to code requirements which can help to avoid fines. With various colours available along with blank markers, they can provide any industry with an easy to colour code method that is perfect for keeping your workers safe at all times of the day and night.
So when it comes to safety where hot, cold, or highly hazardous piping exist why not bring your business up to the standards necessary with Brady Self-Sticking Vinyl Pipe Markers.
Filed under: Cable Bundling, Cable Identification, Cable Management, Cable Wraps
Have you ever installed cables within a cover to find that you are putting holes in the cover to re-route cables to different applications needed? Well with the Spiral Wrap and Wire Wrap you don’t have to anymore. Created for easy re-routing in mind, this wrap is perfect for use with any application where A/V cabling and other wires may be in use.
Cable Wrap Just Got Better With Spiral Wrap
Because of its unique design it is perfect for re-routing cables with its breakout spiral appearance. It features a thick polyethylene plastic which is designed to prevent abrasions as well as keeping pets away from it. These cable wraps are designed with an extremely versatile flexibility which allows for the cables to be used in almost any area or application. It comes available in a variety of colors which makes it perfect for use in almost any room of a home to easily match with your surrounding décor.
Because of its design it is generally available by the foot or in a spool of 100ft for larger and more demanding projects and applications. It is great for AV cables and other entertainment wiring and can organize a number of cables into the one neat and organized bundle. It is also great for any home or business application, and is designed with a durable casing which can easily multiple fit with most sized cables. This cable wrap is easy to install and provides optimal covering of all you’re wiring with ease. Not only that they can easily provide high cable management for long term installation which is great for many residential and commercial applications.
So if you are in need of cable and wiring protection where you can re-route cables in all directions, then why not try the Spiral Wrap and Wire Wrap cable wrap and see how your application becomes neater and more user friendly.
Lesser-Known Fact: Cable labeling is a lot more fun when the wire markers remind you of the Spokey-Dokes you used to snap onto your bike wheels back in elementary school.
Yes, I went there. I just compared a very interesting new form of wire marker to the ’80s bike accessory that left baskets and handlebar streamers in the dust as they went zooming down the street to the neighbor kid’s house with an unmistakable “slide-clack-slide-clack-slide-clack-slide-clack” and blur of neon colors. Meet the next wave of cable-labeling awesomeness: Clip-Tags Plastic Wire Markers from HellermannTyton®.
Clip-Tags are so simple, yet so functional. They have a tube-shaped design that’s open along one side, so they can be easily slipped onto cables and wires, even if the cables are preterminated with larger connectors, or are already in use and can’t be unplugged to have, say, a heat-shrink sleeve label slipped over the end. That’s the “Spokey-ness” of them – a small, plastic, bead-like object that’s designed to snap around another object in any configuration you choose.
Clip-Tags are available in single digits ranging from 1 to 9, so you’re free to apply multiples in different combinations to create any number or code you need. They’re easy to apply, too – Clip-Tags come packaged on a unique flared applicator that lines up right against the cable you’re labeling so that you can simply slide a number into place, wherever you need it to be. There’s no need to wrestle around with these things – they’re very straightforward.
Another cool feature is that because Clip-Tags are only one digit long and have the ability to move a little bit, they still allow the labeled area of a network cable to flex and bend, unlike other wraparound labels that tend to add a degree of rigidity. So if your cables need a little wiggle room, these are perfect.
Plus, they’re just like Spokeys… did I mention that?
The cookies were set out,
The hors d’oeuvres were hot
Festivity was cranking
But the tunes, they were not.
The music had started,
Then the stereo went “pop”
So we scrambled for speakers
And an iTunes’d laptop.
When what to my greatest chagrin did appear?
But some tangled-up cables
And a great sense of fear.
In the end, music played
Our guests, overjoyed.
But anonymous cables
I have learned to avoid!
Inspired by the classic poem “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement C. Moore
Filed under: Cable Identification, Heat Shrink Tubing, Label Printers
Patch cords can be a tricky bunch. First of all, they all look the same – it can be almost impossible to tell them apart. And I think that they had a little network cable meeting and planned it that way. It’s like they’ve taken the oldest decoy trick in the book to the extreme: when one misbehaves, they all gang up together like an army of clones, looking the same, so that the poor IT tech sent in to troubleshoot can’t visually separate the real culprit from the rabble of imposters surrounding it. Who knew that mere cable could be so devious?
So right off the bat, it goes without saying that patch cords need labels – at least they do if you want to remain in possession of your sanity when you deal with them. But depending on where the cables are located, you need to give some thought to what you use. In well-ventilated areas where heat doesn’t really get the chance to build up, sticker-style labels work fine on patch cords. But if they’re cooped up in an enclosure with hot-running servers or in an otherwise warm environment, the toasty conditions can eventually cause the label adhesive to fail. After a while, you can end up with a bunch of gummy, unidentifiable patch cords and a pile of fallen-off labels on the floor below them. That’s no good.
To keep your patch cords labeled for the long haul, I recommend using a nice tube-style heat shrink label, like the ones in Brady’s IDxpert™ line. IDxpert™ heat shrink labels come in cartridge form, so that they can be used in conjunction with Brady label printers. You just load in the heat shrink cartridge, type the legends you want to use into your label printer, and let it rip. Once they’re printed, slip the sleeve-style labels onto your patch cords, and shrink them into place with a heat gun. No slipping around, no peeling off, just labels that stay exactly where you need them… on those pesky little patch cords.
Filed under: Cable Identification, Desk Cable Organizers
Four short years ago, I had no idea what “cable management” was, or the types of products it entailed. But ever since I got into this business, I’ve turned into a complete organization geek who actually gets excited whenever the newest, shiniest wire organizer comes my way. It’s pretty amazing that people are still coming up with new ways to tame messy cords, because it’s seemingly all been done. I’ve used cord organizers that looked like a turtle’s shell, a yoyo, a spine (believe it or not), and cartoony zoo animals. And those are just the tip of the iceberg.
Why all of the weird and whimsical designs? Because cable management is boring. Boring but necessary. Yet the necessity of it all becomes a little less mundane if you can use products that add fun and novelty to practicality. Heck, that’s what keeps my attention. Keep thinking of ways to make cable management interesting, and you’ll keep me on the line.
But what if you’re a regular non-geek who doesn’t need to be amused by their wire management devices? What if you just want something that will keep your computer cables in line, and prevent them from falling behind your desk when you unplug them? In that case, I’d fast-forward right past the cord winders and wire-hiders, and bring you to a screeching halt right in front of the Keep-a-Cable. This cord anchoring system is cheap, simple, and pretty much as no-frills as they come, but you know what? It works.
Here’s how: The Keep-a-Cable is basically a flat, flexible piece of plastic that has peel and stick adhesive on one side, and cable slots on the other. You just peel off the backing, adhere the Keep-a-Cable to the back of your desk (behind your computer), and then pop your cables into the slots (you can see a live-action video demonstration of this here). These slots are wide enough so that the cables can move freely, but narrow enough so that connectors can’t slip through and fall to the floor. When you need to plug a peripheral into your computer, you can just reach to the back of your desk and grab the corresponding cable, instead of crawling around on the floor to find it. Then, when you’re done, you just unplug and leave the cord resting in the Keep-a-Cable, ready to go for next time.
Oh, how I love 3M™ products! I can’t seem to live without Command™ hooks and picture hanging strips, and I always have Post-Its on hand so I can jot down notes that will keep me in line. And talk about the tape. But just when I started to think that 3M products had infiltrated every possible aspect of my home and life, I came across a new little gem that will soon be joining the ranks of My 3M™ Stuff quite soon: the ScotchCode™ Write-On Wire Marker Dispenser.
It has a look and size that’s pretty similar to your average tape dispenser, except that instead of tape, it holds a roll of pre-cut, stick-on cable labels. Sounds pretty handy, right? It’s great for around the house, and even small office or retail environments – you know, places where you may have to label a few cords every now and then, but can’t really justify the need for, or purchase of, a full-fledged label printer. The ScotchCode™ lets you write on and dispense one label at a time, without any big to-do or programming – just scribble what you need to on the exposed writing field, pull the label from the dispenser, wrap it around the wire of your choice, and you’re done.
Word to the wise – if you’re one of those people who will be going down in history for your chicken-scratch handwriting, you may want to avoid this one, because it’s an entirely legibility-driven product. But if you have a knack for penmanship, this is a great time and money saver, and I feel pretty confident saying that you won’t regret it.
Okay, now that my little handwriting side-note is over with, you probably want to know a thing or two about the labels themselves. They’re made out of oil, dirt and heat resistant vinyl, and they prevent themselves from smudging, thanks to a clear, self-laminating overlay. And they also come in refill rolls, so you don’t need to buy a new dispenser every time you run out of labels.
One more thing about the ScotchCode™ labeler – it’s packaged with attention to detail. I don’t know about you, but I love it when businesses are considerate enough to provide thoughful and convenient extras with their products, and 3M is no exception. The ScotchCode comes with a super-fine-point permanent marker, which makes things really easy. I’ve used similar products before, and each time, I’ve had to try multiple pens because nothing was fine enough for laying down tiny print. But this brilliant company has taken the trial and error out of the equation by being professional enough to provide a pen that’s designed specifically for small writing. So simple, but so genius.