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Old 03-18-2015, 06:11 PM   #1
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Label those switches...

I think I have come up with a nice solution to label those un-marked switches, along with any other identification needs you may have around the RV.



I found an on-line supplier that will do single quantities without no minimum. They are made out of plastic, and are engraved from what looks like the same stuff that name tags are made of.

They are small too. These are 3/8" high x 1" long and about 1/16" thick. They have self-adhesive on the back.

They cost $1.70 for a single line, and $1.80 for the two line.

I also tried a single long label:



This one is 1/4" high x 3" long, but I did not like it as much. It cost $2.40

These are about the smallest labels they make. They also make much larger sizes, but these are perfect for labeling switches.

Shipping was a$3.00 via USPS, and I got them in about 4 days from ordering.

The place I bought them from was Carolina Laser, Inc - Legend Plates | Electrical Panel Tags | Carolina Laser, Inc

For the record, I get no benefit from this - I just found an inexpensive source for labels and thought I'd pass it along.
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:40 PM   #2
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Those are great. I'm going to order some for my switches as well. Might use different colors for each since my switches are at floor level and hard to see and get to.
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:31 PM   #3
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sweet! thanks for the tip!
I was hoping to find some letter decals or even a template that I could use to paint on some labels approx 1/4in high
I just ordered a set, opted to do one short 1/4in x 1in plate for each switch. I'm guessing they'll center up well enough over each switch.
worth a try for $10
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:43 PM   #4
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FW

Thanks for the tip and link.

Looks like they'll be getting some Thor business.

Wonder if they offer a group discount
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Old 03-19-2015, 02:12 AM   #5
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Thanks for the heads up, FW. I will need some of these, too!!
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Old 03-19-2015, 02:26 AM   #6
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Thanks FW. I'll check them out as well!
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Old 03-19-2015, 08:20 PM   #7
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Yep, they look good! Reasonable price too
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:46 AM   #8
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I use one of these:

Amazon.com: Brother PTD400AD Label Maker With AC Adapter: Electronics

Attaches to my laptop or (mine at any rate) can be used stand-alone. You can get labels that are of various widths and colors with various letter colors. You can even put little jpg files on the labels...

Wide selection tapes and the length of each label is up to you. They even make "security" label material that is super sticky and hard to remove. Bright yellow and orange for "warning" labels...I've got a big shoebox of various label cartridges.

A bit "high-tech" (I'm a retired systems integrator), but, I use them all around the house, the shop, autos, ATVs and RVs. If I need to label something (my wife's homemade jelly flavors or bulk spices, too) this is my "go to" device.
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:01 PM   #9
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Webslave;

I have a printer similar to what you have. It is a bit different though as it does not do graphics, and the labels are likely a different material. However, I have found that if the labels are used outside (or anywhere the sun can reach it) they don't do well and quickly yellow, as the tapes are not UV rated.

Have you had any such issues?

The labels I am using are made of phenolic plastic and are 0.060 thick, which is a lot more durable than the label machine I have.

Still, I don't know what the long term durability is for these labels either. I should contact the company and ask about the UV characteristics.
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:19 PM   #10
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Brother does (or did; I have some) make some label material that is rated for outdoor use; stickier adhesive, and UV resistant. I made some modifications to our X2 ATVs 8 years ago and the labels are still "as good as new".

Your labels or more precisely, small plaques, are certainly classier and I suspect, more UV resistant than most labels if not because of the materials used, then because they are engraved, but, I suspect that they may become brittle with age and may develope some distortion and or hazing (small hairline cracks). With the printed labels, any defects are easily corrected; I just print a new label. Instant gratification...
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:21 PM   #11
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I received an answer from Carolina Laser. The labels are indeed UV rated except for the brushed silver and gold.

I ended up ordering another set as I found a few other things I wanted to label (and I don't want to go overboard here with making labels and dorking up my RV), but this time - I also ordered a yellow with black lettering label showing the clearance of the RV - i.e. how tall the bridge must be for me to drive under it and retain my air conditioner unit intact on the roof.

I will affix it to the upper windshield frame under the sun visor (I will have to lower the sun visor to see it, so it will normally be out of sight).

While my coach, being a Class C, is not as tall as most Class As, I have encountered three situations last year where I had to avoid a low bridge. I had to think for a second to remember what the height of the coach was.

Generally, I think standard for interstate overpasses are 13'-6", when you get into towns and such, that is where I find the low bridges; railroad overpasses, etc.
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Old 03-20-2015, 07:13 PM   #12
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I ran into a couple situations on neighborhood roads with a weight limit, and at the time in the heat of the moment I completely blanked on my weight... so i made up a simple paper one on the computer and printed it, and stuck it to my dash with some museum putty I had handy. So far so good, but yours is a good idea, the phenolic one will look much better.

Re overpass clearances.... I remember when all bridges seeded to be marked with their heights. Not so anymore in FL. You just have to ass-u-me that it's ok..... I noticed in TX recently, that everything is marked with a height.
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Old 04-02-2015, 04:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FW28z View Post
I received an answer from Carolina Laser. The labels are indeed UV rated except for the brushed silver and gold.

I ended up ordering another set as I found a few other things I wanted to label (and I don't want to go overboard here with making labels and dorking up my RV), but this time - I also ordered a yellow with black lettering label showing the clearance of the RV - i.e. how tall the bridge must be for me to drive under it and retain my air conditioner unit intact on the roof.

I will affix it to the upper windshield frame under the sun visor (I will have to lower the sun visor to see it, so it will normally be out of sight).

While my coach, being a Class C, is not as tall as most Class As, I have encountered three situations last year where I had to avoid a low bridge. I had to think for a second to remember what the height of the coach was.

Generally, I think standard for interstate overpasses are 13'-6", when you get into towns and such, that is where I find the low bridges; railroad overpasses, etc.
FW

I like the idea of the clearance and weight labels. Unfortunately I did not see this post before I submitted my order for light and slide labels. The order was submitted yesterday morning and I received shipment confirmation about an hour ago. After that order comes in I'll see what else I'd like and submit a second.

Also, regarding clearances. The 13 ft 6 in is the maximum height allowable for a vehicle. Special permits are generally required for vehicles running over 13' 6". During my interstate highway travels the lowest overpass I have encountered is 14' 1" and they had over height detectors along the road to warn folks and direct them to a detour if required. That was a 12 mile, 3 overpass, section of I95 in NC.
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Old 04-06-2015, 11:38 AM   #14
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Thanks for the link FW28Z. My labeles look great, and a relative bargain at less that $2 each



You can see the yellow square on my light switch, I have written about that before..... asked my then 5 year old for a sticker to label the light switch, she produced this little sticker, approx 1mm thick. It's great because in the dark, we can feel for the sticker and push it to turn the lights on.

I see in another current thread a photo of a similar switch bank that has nice painted on labeling, similar to my master switch. I would love to hear Thor's reason why some of their coaches come with labeled switches while others are blank.
????????????????
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Old 04-06-2015, 11:53 AM   #15
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Very nice. I have not had a chance to put mine on yet... wanting to wait for above freezing temperatures so the tape will adhere sufficiently (yikes).

Another Idea I just had. Those switch bezels just pop right off. You might be able to get your local engraver to engrave directly on the switch bezel. You of course would have to fill in the area with a pen - but they make pens especially for that purpose (I have a couple).

And if it gets ruined, you can buy a new bezel blank from JR Products (the company that makes the switch bezels).

These days, many engravers have NC Routers that can handle such material.
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Old 04-06-2015, 12:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FW28z View Post

Another Idea I just had. Those switch bezels just pop right off. You might be able to get your local engraver to engrave directly on the switch bezel. You of course would have to fill in the area with a pen - but they make pens especially for that purpose (I have a couple).

I actually thought of popping them off and doing my own stencils and paint a few months ago. & it did cross my mind about engraving them, but i quickly dismissed the idea as too much trouble for me in my situation.... especially after you posted this source!

I don't readily know an engraver, although I'll bet the local trophy store could do it.... but I work in the opposite direction and can never get there when they are open. For other folks though, it's maybe even a better idea..... since it would be more permanent.
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Old 04-06-2015, 01:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FW28z View Post
Another Idea I just had. Those switch bezels just pop right off. You might be able to get your local engraver to engrave directly on the switch bezel. You of course would have to fill in the area with a pen - but they make pens especially for that purpose (I have a couple).
Another thought - since Carolina Laser does custom work it may be possible for them to make a bezel that fits with the engraving in place. Since these are the same switches, at least design wise, that are on the flat control panel there may be the possibility of going from a switch bezel to a flat panel switch plate. The switch plate could then be made to whatever size is needed for your satisfaction. For the bezel the font size is limited to the size of the bezel. The size of the switch plate would be limited to the real estate available.
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Old 04-06-2015, 02:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
Thanks for the link FW28Z. My labeles look great, and a relative bargain at less that $2 each



You can see the yellow square on my light switch, I have written about that before..... asked my then 5 year old for a sticker to label the light switch, she produced this little sticker, approx 1mm thick. It's great because in the dark, we can feel for the sticker and push it to turn the lights on.

I see in another current thread a photo of a similar switch bank that has nice painted on labeling, similar to my master switch. I would love to hear Thor's reason why some of their coaches come with labeled switches while others are blank.
????????????????
Really interested in putting these in my 31L, too. The size looks to be 1/4" tall, but how wide are these? 1"?
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Old 04-06-2015, 02:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blw2 View Post

Definitely need these for my 31L. Dimensions look to be about 1/4" tall x 1 1/2" wide... is that right?
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Old 04-06-2015, 04:17 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstankov View Post
Since these are the same switches, at least design wise, that are on the flat control panel there may be the possibility of going from a switch bezel to a flat panel switch plate.
I have another company that has made me switch panels, called Front Panel Express: Front Panel Design Software and CAD Conversion Service: Home I had thought about going with them for the switch labeling (making a new plate), but then ran across Carolina Laser for the labels. Being a lot less expensive, I gave them a try.

While I am sure Carolina Laser could do the job in plastic, front panel express does it in anodized aluminum.

Here are a couple of panels Front Panel Express made for me:


E450 Upper Dash Panel








Front Panel Express did the front and rear panel (the panel the switch mounts to). The panel itself is my own design, and you can design them with a CAD software you download. I recessed the switch handle with hex standoffs so you cannot inadvertently flip the switch by banging it with your leg (it will be mounted in the lower dash compartment of my towed vehicle).

They also do single quantities, but since they are made of aluminum, they are a bit more expensive.

I suppose the deciding factor between a plastic panel vs aluminum one is cost vs. durability.
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