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Ideas On Taming The Power Cord Connection

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#1 jaminjimlp

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 10:39 PM

After our last gig I was thinking about this, possibly taking a good thick extension cord and cutting it and different lengths to get from one side of the stage to the other, from the first L3T and L3S and then passing by each of the 3 L2M monitors of course before coming back to the other side of the stage and passing by my other L3s and L3T then back to the M20D where I have a monster pro power conditioner 3500. Each stop I would install a utility box with a duplex receptacle. I'm thinking of maybe cutting the power cords of each speaker because they seem to be kind of long so that they're the perfect Lenth to come to the floor behind unit tied in directly to the utility box, then possibly adding the Line 6 link cable to the extension cord with tape. I think this would make for a pretty quick hook up just roll out the extension cord and connect everything at each stop. I think this would definitely tidy up the mess.

Any questions comments or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Let me know how you guys deal with it.
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#2 SiWatts69

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 03:49 AM

I've set up an entire power rig. The only thing I would add to it is power conditioning, but at this stage we;'ve not had any issues that would call for it.

 

For my power rig, every bit of stage power is drawn from up to four separate wall outlets (depending upon what is available when we get there.

 

At full deployment, I aim for two power outlets on the wall at each side of stage.

 

On the side where the M20d is to be located:

RCD protected plug into 2x 5m lengths of 2.5mm heavy duty rubber coated mains cable (16Amp rated). Each is terminated by a blue Neutrik PowerCon connector (PowerCon IN).

These then plug into a 1U rack mounted 2-way PowerCon splitter I've made. Concealed behind the plate, I split off from each PowerCon IN, to a 1U distribution board; One is standard 13A UK sockets (6 in the 1U unit) and the second is an IEC distribution board (12 IEC outlets in a 1U unit). Each powercon source then loops back out of thePowerCon splitter via Grey PowerCon outlets (1 for each) So already, I've got 6 13A UK sockets and 12 IEC sockets where the M20d is. These are used to power the M20d, router, my radio mic receiver and IEM transmitter, plus our guitarists rig.

 

Each of the two PowerCon OUT's are then extended to behind the StageSource stack.

One run is terminated with a 4 way UK socket distribution board (read that as a "4-way extension cable") so the cable is made up as PowerCon OUT (grey) to Duraplug 4 gang mains

Second is terminated with a single IEC plug. Cable made up as PowerCon OUT (grey) to IEC mains. That IEC is then plugged in to a Schurter 5 way fused IEC splitter block which powers the StageSource L3m and L3s on that side of stage PLUS the lighting rig on that side of stage

 

For the other side of stage I've constructed PowerCon 2 way splitter boxes.

So, after an initial 4m run from each RCD protected wall plug, we hit the first PowerCon split point. At this point, I can then tap off either for a 4 way UK sockets board or an IEC plug into IEC splitter box (4 way) then daisy chain powercon onwards out of the second powercon output. I can keep doing this until I run out of cable or connectors. One run will terminate front centre of stage with 2 IEC plugs for the 2 l2m's we're running as floor monitors.

 

I built four 2way powercon splitter boxes using these: http://www.canford.c...-PIECE-Box-only

The Schurter IEC splitters are these: http://www.canford.c...PBLOC-4740.3000

 

These are the two rackmount distribution panels:

http://www.lindy.co....ains-plug-p4054

http://www.lindy.co....h-uk-plug-p4211

 

Rackmounts are mounted into a Gator shallow 3U ABS case and when not in use, ALL except 3 pieces of the puzzle fit in the back.

Used a total of 50m of 2.5mm 3core Heavy Duty Rubber mains cable.

 

Lengths made up as:

 

2 of RCD wall plug -> PowerCon IN (blue), 5m

2 of RCD wall plug -> PowerCon IN (blue), 4m

2 of PowerCon OUT (grey) -> PowerCon IN (blue), 5m

1 of PowerCon OUT (grey) -> PowerCon IN (blue), 2m

4 of PowerCon 2 way splitters (one in, two out)

3 of PowerCon OUT (grey) -> Duraplug FC4134BLK, 2m

5 of PowerCon OUT (grey) -> IEC Female, 2m

1 of PowerCon OUT (grey) -> IEC Female, 4m

 

I did a full power audit of requirements before setting it all up and took into account relative positions and quantities of wall sockets that we might encounter and worked back from there.

Everything is protected by RCD at the wall outlets.

As much as possible, it will be the IEC multiways that are used for the PA itself and lighting (all LED) with the uk mains outlets being used by bass, guitar and keyboard players.

 

The rest of the band think I'm pretty mad! Whole setup cost was about £400 and about 4 hours work though I already had the gator case but have factored that in to cost.

 

The real beauty of powercon is that you can tap off whatever you need at that point in the line (so long as you have splitters) making it pretty flexible.

 

I did look initially at doing it wall with IEC but as each "union" is limited to 10A it restricts the total capacity of each run. With PowerCon I can use the full 13A available at the wall outlet. 4 separate wall draws gives me 32A to play with but we're nowhere near needing it. I believe the total current draw for everything on our stage at full belt is only 15A so it could, in theory, all be powered from 2 wall sockets if that is all that is available.


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#3 SiWatts69

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 10:00 AM

possibly adding the Line 6 link cable to the extension cord with tape. I think this would make for a pretty quick hook up just roll out the extension cord and connect everything at each stop. I think this would definitely tidy up the mess.
 

You can buy cable of this nature; ie combined 3 core power with DMX built into a single outer sheath.

 

To be honest though, I'm not keen on the idea of long runs of low level signal cable (DMX) strapped to mains cable, just for the possibility of cross talk. Not sure whether my concerns would carry any merit, but it's not something I'd seek to do.


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#4 JeffersteinVS

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 12:16 PM

Thats funny you posted this. Ihad this exact idea saturday at our show


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#5 SiWatts69

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 01:29 PM

Further to your initial thoughts Jim, have you taken into account the total combined load of all your stagesource speakers. I don't think I'd want to run more than 4 on a single outlet... But our wall outlets are only 13amp fused and yours may be more stateside.

IIRC an L3t or m draws somewhere between 2-2.5amps, the subs around 2 as with the L2's. 2 of each would be our full 13amps. This would, to my mind, be asking for trouble. Certainly over here, it would be unwise as it'd be drawing VERY close to the max the fuse can handle. A slight surge, the fuse pops and your great ministry falls into silence.
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#6 SiWatts69

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 04:35 PM

Just checked the specs and the L3's, L2's and subs all list a power consumption of 250W... so 1750W for your 7 speaker rig.

hat halves my amperage usage from above (though the amperage is based on 240V not the 120V you have stateside

 

UK consumption: 7.5amps

US consumption: 15amps

 

Your Monster is listed at a maximum output of 1800W

 

I'd still be a little cautious with how much extra you add to a single 1800W conditioner as your seven stagesource are pretty much going to max it out.


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#7 dboomer

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 08:46 PM

I would recommend saving your money on "power conditioners".  For the most part they are useless unless you are willing to spend big $$$ for a SurgeX.  In any case I would not use them on the speakers where thay can make things worse.

 

If you wanted to add an extra layer of protection for the mixer you could use an UPS



#8 jaminjimlp

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 06:44 AM

Just checked the specs and the L3's, L2's and subs all list a power consumption of 250W... so 1750W for your 7 speaker rig.
hat halves my amperage usage from above (though the amperage is based on 240V not the 120V you have stateside
 
UK consumption: 7.5amps
US consumption: 15amps
 
Your Monster is listed at a maximum output of 1800W
 
I'd still be a little cautious with how much extra you add to a single 1800W conditioner as your seven stagesource are pretty much going to max it out.


If I did not need this stupid iPad I would bust it right now!!! I just lost 20 minutes work on replies to everybody's comments when I went to a different tab and came back it was all gone don't you love it.

The monster power pro 3500 can handle 15 amps at 120 volts which is what we have over here in the states, there is a real-time voltage and amperage read out on the front of this power conditioner so you can effectively see what your equipment is drawling at any particular time, at Idle all of our equipment, an SGX2000 express, Avid 11 rack, a set of digital drums and my FCB 1010 foot controller, an MP3 CD player and our dream stage system is pulling about 2.4 amps when I crank it really loud The most have ever seen the system drawl is about 3.4 amps. Hey I'm all about the overkill on making sure that there is plenty of headroom for whatever I'm doing so I guess I'm a little "mad" as well. Next time during the set up at a gig I will definitely crank it wide open and see what the Amp drawl is and report back, I do have 13 years of experience being a an electrician around DC Maryland and Virginia so that really helps whenever I'm looking at power issues.

@DB... We had a gig where we had really extremely bad power hum in the system and no way to fix it on an all day gig years ago with our old sound system and other gigs where we had bad ground hum situations that couldn't be fixed, ever sense I been using The monster PowerPro 3500 http://www.monsterpr...ay.asp?pin=2140 And we have not had any problems like that.
I have thought about using a UPS as well.
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#9 SiWatts69

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 07:11 AM

our dream stage system is pulling about 2.4 amps when I crank it really loud The most have ever seen the system drawl is about 3.4 amps.

 

Genuinely gob-smacked at that Jim. I've no reason to doubt what you say the Monster reports, but it does seem awfully low to me. My calculations were all based on the specifications published by Line6 for power consumption. I guess their listed specs are rather generous.

 

Nice to know your background in electrics... at least your Lord shouldn't be taking you away from us for making an error in your own arena!


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#10 JeffersteinVS

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 08:07 AM

do you recomend a regualr surge over one with filters?


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#11 jaminjimlp

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 07:27 AM

Genuinely gob-smacked at that Jim. I've no reason to doubt what you say the Monster reports, but it does seem awfully low to me. My calculations were all based on the specifications published by Line6 for power consumption. I guess their listed specs are rather generous.

 

Nice to know your background in electrics... at least your Lord shouldn't be taking you away from us for making an error in your own arena!

 

I have an amprobe as well and I will take some "real world" measurements with it as well as take a video at our next gig so you can see the amp read out wile in action....  cheers!!!

you know the old saying   

"Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see." -Benjamin Franklin
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#12 jaminjimlp

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 07:36 AM

do you recomend a regualr surge over one with filters?

SurgeX is what DB suggested and I took a look at them on google and there web page and they are quite pricey, the Monster unit I use has not let me down and has a 5 year warranty. 

 

or a ups for the M20D


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#13 dboomer

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 11:24 AM

@DB... We had a gig where we had really extremely bad power hum in the system and no way to fix it on an all day gig years ago with our old sound system and other gigs where we had bad ground hum situations that couldn't be fixed, ever sense I been using The monster PowerPro 3500 http://www.monsterpr...ay.asp?pin=2140 And we have not had any problems like that.
I have thought about using a UPS as well.

 

So it may have been a help to your old gear.  But using Line 6 mixer and speakers together via L6 link removes any hum problem automatically as there is no direct ground connection (there's an optical link) so in this case there will be no improvement from a filter.

 

Filters can cause startup issues with gear that uses switch-mode power supplies (such as our mixer and speakers ... and almost everything else new these days).  Pretty much all of what is built into such filters is already built into most new gear these days so you don't really get much for your money.  SurgeX (and you can tell from the price tag) is a different beast.  Personally I wouldn't spend the money for one, but it could offer some small improvements if you truly have dirty power.

 

Another disadvantage is that using most power strips such as yours limits you to a 15A (USA) service.  If you used a simple quad box (no circuit breaker) then in a commercial building I would expect you would be plugged into a 20A service.  That could be an advantage if you are driving speakers hard.  The current draw you see on the back of the speakers is what the speakers draw when they are producing 1/8th power.  This is what is required by UL and ETA underwriting labs for certification.  This is about what powered speakers draw in operation but if you drive subs really hard it can get to double or triple this number.

 

A UPS otoh is basically a battery backup in case the AC power goes down.  It would save you from having to reboot.  A moderately priced one would work fine with the mixer but it would take a big expensive one to power the speakers and personally I wouldn't recommend that.



#14 jaminjimlp

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 07:20 AM

So it may have been a help to your old gear.  But using Line 6 mixer and speakers together via L6 link removes any hum problem automatically as there is no direct ground connection (there's an optical link) so in this case there will be no improvement from a filter.

 

Filters can cause startup issues with gear that uses switch-mode power supplies (such as our mixer and speakers ... and almost everything else new these days).  Pretty much all of what is built into such filters is already built into most new gear these days so you don't really get much for your money.  SurgeX (and you can tell from the price tag) is a different beast.  Personally I wouldn't spend the money for one, but it could offer some small improvements if you truly have dirty power.

 

Another disadvantage is that using most power strips such as yours limits you to a 15A (USA) service.  If you used a simple quad box (no circuit breaker) then in a commercial building I would expect you would be plugged into a 20A service.  That could be an advantage if you are driving speakers hard.  The current draw you see on the back of the speakers is what the speakers draw when they are producing 1/8th power.  This is what is required by UL and ETA underwriting labs for certification.  This is about what powered speakers draw in operation but if you drive subs really hard it can get to double or triple this number.

 

A UPS otoh is basically a battery backup in case the AC power goes down.  It would save you from having to reboot.  A moderately priced one would work fine with the mixer but it would take a big expensive one to power the speakers and personally I wouldn't recommend that.

 

so is surge protection built in as well? dose the potential of "start up issues" negate my 3500's protection against power surge? and could the start up issues cause any damage to my speakers?    


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#15 dboomer

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 08:15 AM

I guess it depends on what you expect surge suppression to be. I don't think anything can protect you from a lightening strike. What surge do you ever expect to see?

Most new gear these days is rated to work from 90 a 240 vac without switching anything. So if you are normally running on 120v and accidentally plugged into a 240 line there should be no problem.





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