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Author Topic: Custom labels for 12v switches  (Read 3624 times)
TomCat
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« on: June 25, 2007, 08:51:55 PM »

After doing some research, I've found 12v switches that come in two sections...a snap-in switch base with the proper connections for the intended purpose, then lighted tops with the switch function printed in white, so it's lit when the headlights are on.
Anyone know where I might get some custom printed?

Jay
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2007, 09:00:24 PM »

Jay,

Would a Brother P-Touch labeler work?  The tape is available in many sizes and there's a white (text) on black (background) that might work for you.  See http://www.advizia.com/brother/modelDetail.asp?PkgID=353482&User=tapesacc&Advisor=Sub&Rnd=136.  I'm not sure how much light will pass through, but it might be worth a try.

David
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2007, 02:46:12 AM »

Any place that does trophy's will be able to do custom lettering on black plastic with adhesive back. The lettering would stand out in white.

HTH

Paul
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JackConrad
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2007, 04:26:01 AM »

The Brother P-Touch has a clear tape available with white or black letters.  I used this tape (with white lettering) on our flat black instrument panel. Although our dash is not backlit, this tape should work with backlighting.  Jack
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2007, 06:15:33 AM »

Jay:

If I correctly understand what you are asking, I have been running down a similar path.  I think you are looking for the switch label (aka: "Legend") to light up on the switch top, while the remaining area surrounding the letters or symbol remain darkened while backlit.

Perhaps the Brother P-Touch has something to offer that does this, but I'm not sure.  I have Casio's version of the home labeller device and have run into a snag.  It has 90% of the functionality to do what I want. It will printed black letters on a white (or clear) tape. Now, if it only had the capability to print the negative image. If I could get it to print the entire background black, while leaving the letters unprinted (white or clear), I would have exactly what I need.  Maybe some other brand has the negative image capability.

You mentioned you found a particular style of switch. By any chance are these one of Carling's switches like the Contura?  I was looking at the Contura line, which is also modular and allows you to assemble different style pieces.  They seem to cater to the boating community and have a library of switch labels to choose from.  You maybe able to find the labels you are looking for that already exist.

Check out   http://www.carlingtech.com/pdf/vl_serswitlegends.pdf

I'm not sure exactly what I'd use it for, but I picture myself pulling into a campground after a long drive and hitting the "drop anchor" switch.   Cheesy
« Last Edit: June 26, 2007, 11:07:05 AM by WEC4104 » Logged

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TomCat
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2007, 10:11:05 AM »

Many thanks to all who took time to answer.

WEC,

Yes, those are the Contura switches I was seeking. And knowing how expensive the J or V series switches will be, I'm more likely to go to the big truck salvage yard, harvest what I need in style/function, then have Carling make new lighted inserts to reflect my intended function.

Thanks!

Jay
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2007, 10:27:50 AM »

Jay:

These switches can also frequently be found on eB@y.  I'd suggest two searches, one for "Contura"  and the other for "boat switch".

Good luck...

Wayne
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« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2007, 10:41:15 AM »

Jay,

I sent you and email.  I may have a solution for you.  I can custom print on clear vinyl and use the plotter to cut it to your custom application size.

Brandon
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« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2007, 10:50:10 AM »

Dry transfer lettering, available at craft stores, scale model hobby shops and some office stores, might be one way to do it.
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Cary and Don
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« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2007, 08:41:04 PM »

Custom labels are so expensive,  I bought an engraver and can do my own panels.  It has made layout a lot more flexible.

Cary and Don
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« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2007, 08:53:30 PM »

I think Jay was asking about switches that were backlit so that the letters in the labels lit up when the headlights turned on.  Perhaps someone can explain better how to do this with dry transfer letters or an engraver.   I can't see how either of these would create letters that light up.
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« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2007, 09:16:59 PM »

The Brother labeler that Jack and I mentioned has white (text) on black (background) tapes available.  The light should show through the white.  This will give the backlighted look without being hard to see in the daylight.  The Brother labelers are at office supply stores and are anywhere from around $30-100. 

David
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« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2007, 09:39:54 PM »

David:

I took a look at the referenced website from you earlier post, and I am struggling to understand the white on black process.   As I see it, these are basically thermal printers which use heat to transfer an ink image to a predetermined background substrate.  You only have two colors two deal with, the color of the background material (tape), and the color of the ink on the thermal ribbon.

If Brother offers a "White on Black" cartridge, I am thinking that the tape material is solid black. The white image is overlayed on top of the black and is visible from the front surface. But if the original tape material is solid black, it should still have the layer of black underneath the white, preventing the backlit light from passing through.

If the white is printed on top of black, how can the back light  shine through?
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« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2007, 03:48:12 AM »

The advantage of dry transfer lettering or black on clear label is that there is no background.  Done carefully, dry transfer lettering will look more professional because there is no clear vinyl in the background.  With dry transfer lettering, use black on amber switches and white on red or green.  This will provide good visibility in the daytime.  At night, the lettering will show up as dark against the backlit surface.  This effect is best with the black lettering but still effective with the white.

Engraving works because it changes the light diffusion in the engraved channel.  I would presume that this would require a handheld engraver.  It takes a very steady hand to get professional lettering results with a hand engraver.  I drink too much coffee for that.
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DavidInWilmNC
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« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2007, 05:56:05 AM »

I'm not exactly sure how they work.  There is no 'ink' like in a normal printer.  Somewhere (I'll hunt for it) I have a link to how these work and the compsition of the labels.  That might help.  Also, I've seen where people have used a PC to print these.  You choose white text on a black background.  Of course, it'll be on paper, but a bit of thick packing tape over several labels printed on normal 8 x 11 paper makes a durable surface.  You then cut them to fit the available space.  I've done this when I had a switch that had a small, pop-off piece that was lighted from behind.  I put the label behind the plastic and you couldn't tell it was done on a used $5 LaserJet.

David

David:

I took a look at the referenced website from you earlier post, and I am struggling to understand the white on black process.   As I see it, these are basically thermal printers which use heat to transfer an ink image to a predetermined background substrate.  You only have two colors two deal with, the color of the background material (tape), and the color of the ink on the thermal ribbon.

If Brother offers a "White on Black" cartridge, I am thinking that the tape material is solid black. The white image is overlayed on top of the black and is visible from the front surface. But if the original tape material is solid black, it should still have the layer of black underneath the white, preventing the backlit light from passing through.

If the white is printed on top of black, how can the back light  shine through?
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