The Blue View - Creating Your Own Breaker Panel Labels

breaker panel When Nine of Cups was built in 1986, the designer provided several spare breakers in the DC distribution panel to make the job of adding new equipment and electrical circuits easier. All these spare breakers on our main breaker panel were used a long time ago as we added gear, and  over the years, we have added even more circuits, resulting in several fuses and breakers located in various locations around the boat. One of the things I wanted to accomplish here in Durban was to add a small sub-breaker panel to the electrical system on Nine of Cups, and re-organize at least a few of the added circuits.

the labels provided

Marcie brought the new breaker panel back with her when she returned from the States. The panel has a small, clear, backlit window adjacent to each breaker, so that each breaker can be labeled and its function clearly marked. It also came with a sheet of “standard” labels that could be peeled off and placed over the windows. Unfortunately, not one of the circuits I was adding to the panel could be accurately described by the labels provided.

blank labels

Making my own labels wasn't quite as straightforward as it might have been. Since the little windows are backlit, the labels needed to be a reverse image... the background needed to be black and the letters clear. This wasn't really all that hard using text boxes in Open Office Writer, but it did take a little experimentation to get the fonts and box size optimal. I printed each label on clear label stock, then applied a small square of laminating plastic over the ink to protect it from scratching and smearing. Then I stuck each label in place, and the result was quite acceptable.