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Thread: Marking extension cords

  1. #1
    Supporting Member rgsparber's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    Phoenix, AZ
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    Marking extension cords

    I own a bunch of 25í, 50í, and 100í extension cords. Seen side by side, their lengths are clear. But by themselves or if stretched out, it is hard to know. Iíve tried attaching tags but they either tear off or rot off in the Arizona sun. So now Iím trying a new approach - color code bands.

    The cords are mostly orange so I canít use that color. Brown also doesnít show up very well. Not a problem.

    Borrowing from the resistor color code, I use the following codes:

    25í - red band next to green band
    50í - green band next to black band
    100í - two black bands

    Since the colors are bands around the cord near the male plug, they are always easy to locate.

    Iím using a paint pen which might survive the sun.


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  2. #2
    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
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    Those Sharpie paint pens are the cat's meow. I hate painting, especially when it's just to make a small mark on something. I keep mine stored horizontally and they never seem to dry out.

    I have a lot (too many) 1/4" hex inserts for SHCS. A spot of paint on the tip of the metric ones does wonders to keep them separated. The very tip on these seldom sees any wear so the paint lasts a long time.

    Another use is labeling metal stock. With four pen colors you can put a four digit on stock. A cross reference file on your computer relates the number to the stock type and associated information. The file is, of course, machine searchable so finding what you need is easy.
    When you need a piece of stock remember to cut it from the end that doesn't have the color code - DAMHIKT.

    The resistor code uses black to represent zero and black doesn't offer much contrast on dark metals. Think of using white in place of black, or use one of the metallic colors (gold, silver, copper). Gold contrasts well with most dark colors.
    Regards, Marv

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  3. #3

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    Apr 2013
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    Not color coded, but have done microphone cables at my church this way - P-touch label on the connector on each end, listing the length. 10, 15, 20, 25 ft Also, Alpha designators A - A - A - A - A, B - B - B - B - B, etc. Makes it easier to grab the right cord when you're sorting out devices - 'Hey, this mic for Joe is connected to Cable C, what port is it plugged in to ?" and such.

  4. #4
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    Dec 2020
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    3m makes a pack of several colors of electrical tape that could be used. Put on properly, it will stay on. Just remember to cleanly cut the end of the tape when done wrapping it, and don't stretch it till it breaks off. Doing so makes the adhesive fail.

  5. #5
    Supporting Member mccwho's Avatar
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    Jan 2020
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    I tried all kinds of ways to mark my cords, sharpe, paint, tape, just to many ways to mention them all. They all eventually fell off or wore off.
    I ended up using zip ties.
    1 for 25', 2 for 50", etc..
    They never wear off and never come off. I guess a person could use colored zips if you want, but why?

  6. #6
    Supporting Member Toolmaker51's Avatar
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    Rick's approach is reasonable, just as varied color electricians tape. Red not an ideal choice; those pigments are quickest to fade.

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    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

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