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Old 01-29-2012, 07:32 PM
William Slaughter's Avatar
William Slaughter William Slaughter is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 473
Default Decal Pro Pirep

The DecalPro system has been discussed here in the past, with mixed reviews, but I'd decided that it was worth a try and purchased the setup some few months ago. The ability to produce white text labels for the dark instrument panel was the goal. Today I finally sat down to give it a test run, and can report excellent results. First I did one of the supplied test images in a nice red metallic foil, and it came out perfectly. I then printed out the text for the annunciator lights for the Gretz heated pitot in white, and ran it through the process with no problems. Two for two, right off the bat! Here is the annunciator image applied to a dummy test piece:

Since the text was black, I did the switch console with DIY water-slide decals with good results, but I'm sticking to the DecalPro system from here on out.

William Slaughter
Houston, TX
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:29 AM
gordodavis gordodavis is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 45
Default Clear Coat?

I have been considering the Decal Pro system for my panel. How durable are the images? Are you planning on shooting a clear coat over top? Keep us posted on your results. There has been a lot of mixed reviews on this system, however I'm still favoring it.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:56 AM
N8RV's Avatar
N8RV N8RV is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Elkhart, Indiana
Posts: 1,186

I may yet give the Decal Pro system a try. I bought it, laid it all out intending to see if I could master the learning curve ... and never even tried it. I printed out some sticky labels and thought they looked OK and never looked back. Maybe that will be next weekend's project.

If not, I should just sell it. It's a shame to have it just sitting around collecting dust ...
Don McNamara
Peoria, AZ

Builder: RV-8 "Smokey"
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:57 AM
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Flyguytki Flyguytki is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fairbanks AK
Posts: 758

Smokey if you do look to sell it let me know, I am interested.

It may take awhile to perfect it but the results look great.

RV-7 N87DX Built, Flown, and Sold!
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:28 AM
William Slaughter's Avatar
William Slaughter William Slaughter is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 473
Default Clear Coat

At this time I'm not planning to clearcoat over the DecalPro lettering. Despite the "Decal" in the name, it is actually a form of dry transfer, and is supposed to be quite tough when fully set-up. If it does somehow get too beaten up, it can be removed (91% isopropyl alcohol) and re-applied. I'll be top coating the waterslide decals, however. As to the learning curve, it wasn't bad. I read the instructions, watched the tutorial videos on the website, then followed along with the instructions as I went. Admitedly, this is rather more "fiddly" than a Dymo label maker, but as a lifelong modeler, I found it straight forward. I followed the instructions precisely, and got a perfect result on my first (and second) try. Allow yourself plenty of time first time out and don't rush it - a methodical approach should serve you well.
William Slaughter
Houston, TX
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:10 AM
Sid Lambert Sid Lambert is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: North Atlanta
Posts: 1,120

I used the Decal Pro system. I will say the results are great BUT I'm not sure I have ever cussed or drank as much trying to get it to work.

Take your time and walk away because you will fail the first 10 tries. You have to start over if you do fail so you will be good at the first 4 steps fairly quickly.

When applying I had to hinge the graphic to make sure it was straight. There is no repositioning of this stuff.

I will have to redo my panel soon as I used rattle can clear-coat and it has failed already. I don't look forward to learning it again but the results are exactly what I want so I will do it again.
Sid Lambert

RV-7 Sold
RV-4 - Flying - O-320 Fixed Pitch - Red over Yellow

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Old 01-30-2012, 10:14 AM
moll780 moll780 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Austin TX
Posts: 347

I used one of these

with this

dirt simple, hasnt faded/peeled/moved in ~100 hours, easy to apply and modify.
Redid all my panel labels in 30 minutes.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:17 PM
N15JB N15JB is online now
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Denver
Posts: 566

I started with DecalPro, and while I found it doable, it was a lot of brain damage per label. I switched to the Brother PT 2430 PC and found that I could make perfect white or black on clear labels in seconds. I will never make another DecalPro label.

Jim Berry
RV-10(coming home from the paint shop next week)
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:26 PM
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kbehrent kbehrent is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Puget Sound Area, WA
Posts: 221

This had to be the most frustrating product I have ever tried to use. Followed the instructions to the letter and could not get it to work. Talk to the owner several times only to hear that the instructions were for decals, not really meant for lettering. Tried all of his tips and tricks, even sent him a PDF with all my labels to confirm that the lettering was big enough and that I had sufficient borders. Still no joy.

I was successful at creating decals, but labels are a different animal. They are way more fragile. I suggested to him that he create a instruction set for doing labels and maybe even a video demo like he does for logos/graphics. He didn't really seem to be interested in that. It's been several months, maybe he's done that.

Good luck with it, but be prepared to sink $200+ and not get it to work.
Kevin Behrent
TeenFlight Puyallup, President

EAA Chapter #326
Puget Sound, WA
Aerosport (Superior XP) IO-320 C/S, Precision Eagle EMS
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:57 PM
William Slaughter's Avatar
William Slaughter William Slaughter is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 473
Default Wow!

Hard to believe that we're all talking about the same product! As you can see in the picture above, the white label came out perfectly, and that was my second attempt ever. Just for the record, I have no financial interest in the company, and no axe to grind with those who like their stick-on clear labels; just wanted to share my results. As always, YMMV.
William Slaughter
Houston, TX
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