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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Labelling Everything - Is It Possible To Have Too Many? YES!

The Rarely Seen, Back Left View
    A while back I purchased a portable label printer to label all the connections and wires in my Solar Charging System installation. This type superseded the old Dymo style tape labelers..you know the ones you turned a daisy wheel to a letter and then squeezed to "indent" a plastic tape (sticky on one side) with the text. Very 70's technology. Worked well, but...you know me, I like newer, more multi-purpose gizmos. When I purchased this one I had all the best intentions of labeling everything..well not in a crazy way! But, rather each one of the transparent storage containers I use with an idea of what the contents would be. Never did get around to that! Recently, I needed to label an overhead panel in the helicopter I trailered home a few months ago and went to use my labeler. No dice, needed 8 more AA batteries AND a fresh cartridge of tape labels. There had to be a better way...and there was!

A Little Worse For Wear, But Still Functions Great!
So, the one I bought originally had a bunch of batteries and a small rubber keyboard with letters and symbols. It let me pick a couple of fonts and sizes. It used a roll of material in a cartridge that fed out an appropriate amount of label each time you hit PRINT. Squeeze the cutting lever and you had a label.Worked great too.  I've had it for years and years at this point. While researching the cost of labels and the sizes available, I found a great deal on a MUCH newer style with a rechargeable Li-ION battery pack and the ability to connect (via USB) to the computer for a only a few dollars more than a 3 pack of labels for the old machine! This one is a Dymo LabelManager 280. Seems like it was time for an upgrade! I am very glad I did. I am still going to use the labeler I have, but the new one is much easier to get customized labels out of.

Black on White AND White On Black!
I can print up to 1/2" wide labels in a multitude of colors. My old one could do a few different styles, but it was essentially black type on a few color backgrounds. Mainly I used white. The new one does all that too, but has lots of additional colors for both the text and the label itself. Best part? They have a cartridge that can do WHITE text on a BLACK background. Exactly what I needed for the helicopter's overhead panel. So rarely do things work out so perfectly. The included software with WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) software made figuring out the spacing and sizes for the labels simple. AND each one was saved to a file, if I need to print them again.

With USB!
The new one still has a small built-in keyboard to create "on the fly" labels in various fonts and sizes, but I like the software! I got the opportunity to play "What if?" a whole bunch of times before having to print anything at all. Saved lots of label material. Another real benefit is the larger, multi-line LCD screen on the new one. Sure beats the single line one the old one had. Of course, now I HAVE to begin labeling all the storage bins...and maybe some other stuff too! This could easily get way out of hand. I'll have to control myself.



If the price wasn't so easy on the pocketbook, I probably would have stuck with the old ones and simply purchased some more batteries. But now, I get to have my cake and eat it too.

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"
www.thewanderman.com

8 comments:

  1. It is much better and easier to just use your printer and adhesive paper. Not only can you print any color but you can make the font as large as you want. And, a lot less $.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob,
      I disagree. Most adhesive paper for common printers isn't designed for permanent labeling. After a while in the heat or in the sun, they will peel off. Also, water will destroy the paper, so outdoor or engine bay use is out. The vinyl plastic labels work great almost everywhere and are VERY thin, so will conform to most surfaces.

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  2. Uhhhh, does it have a name?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carl,
      The labeler is available in lots of sizes. the one I purchased is a Dymo 280 for about 25.00 with one label cartridge (WHITE label BLACK print)

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  3. I label things a lot also, and have recently taken up adding labels just for convenience. Like, under the hood of our cars now is the size of the oil drain plug and the filter number (so I know before I get under it).
    Labeling wires and hoses in the coach is an ongoing program that I may possibly complete before we sell the coach.
    Matt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Matt,
      I couldn't agree more! When i did the Solar Charging System install, I made sure to label all the wires and connections, since the wires come from different sets of panels and are all the same color, it was important to do right at the beginning.

      What do you mean, "sell the coach?" Never!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  4. I too have a portable label maker that I can attach to the computer...love it.
    As for the bins I have dedicated ones for dumping and one for arriving (electric and water). Those that hold multiple items will soon be numbered and have a brief list of contents. I'll have a notebook with a list of the containers with a detailed list of what is in them and where they are stored (basement, closet, linen). I can look at the list (or do a "find" in the electronic list) mixer #4 (closet), winter coat #6 (basement), and go pull that container without having to go through them all.
    A habit I picked up in the military. Plus it will help anyone who travels with me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vanessa,
      That is one great idea! Save a lot of extra text labeling!

      Rich "Wanderman"

      Delete

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