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Dangerous To Connect 2 L3m's And 2 L3s's Into One Socket?

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Is it dangerous/not advised to plug all 4 of my speakers into 1 heavy duty power strip which would then simply be plugged into a wall socket? And if it is safe, is it also possible to still plug something into the 2nd input of that wall socket without tripping the circuit breaker?

Diagram below:

L3M                   L3M                  L3S                 L3S
  |                         |                        |                      |
  |                         |                        |                      |
  |                         |                        |                      |
  ---------------------POWER STRIP -------------------
                                      |
                                      |
                                      |

                              Wall Socket


thanks in advance my friends! :)

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The actual rated electrical power consumption of the L3M and the L3S is 250W. So even with 4 connected to a single power strip, you'd be at 1000W. Assuming you have a 15A power strip, you'd still be well under the 1800W capacity. So you should be fine. Actually, using a power strip is usually a good thing to do. Assuming its fused, it gives you another level of circuit protection.

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I did a sound gig a little over a week ago.  Everything on the stage was run off a single outlet.  Not necessarily my preference but more of a necessity based on the room.

 

I had my Monster power conditioning power strip plugged into one outlet of the wall.  From there, with a series of more power strips and extension cords there was the following;

2 L3s

2 L3t

3 L2t

1 Bose L1 model II

1 Traynor keyboard amp

2 keyboards

1 Fender Mustang amp

1 ampeg bass amp

1 Fender Floor effects pedal

2 Yorkville Led lighting modules (4 LED pars total).

 

Ran the whole night without a hitch...I'm not sure what the total draw would be on this but it worked out.

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That is quite a lot on one circuit. I imagine, though, that most of the time the speakers aren't drawing anything near their rated wattage. The 250W rating would be at the maximum output.

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That is quite a lot on one circuit. I imagine, though, that most of the time the speakers aren't drawing anything near their rated wattage. The 250W rating would be at the maximum output.

Is there some type of gadget/meter that can be connected to the wall plug that would report the amount of watts that are being used at any point it time on that plug/circuit? It would be interesting to see the watts being added up as more connections or power are added to this connection.

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Wow Phil, I definitely overestimated the power consumption of the speakers. I'm not very knowledgable in electricity so I based my error off of the L3M's being 1400w and the L3S's being 1200w. I will look online to learn more as well but is there maybe a simple explanation as to why the speakers are 1400 and 1200 watts yet actually only consume 250w of power each? I also agree with NW-Harry about whether there's a gadget out there can "report the amount of watts that are being used at any point it time on that plug/circuit".

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Let me see if I can answer a few questions here ...

 

Amplifiers never develop their full continuous power when playing music. It depends on the material (live being the least demanding and recorded being the most) but typically music will only drive an amp to about 1/8th of it's continuous rating. It will however drive it to it's full peak rating so the peak rating is really a better indicator of amplifier sound quality in my book.

 

Because of this UL has manufacturers list the power needed for an amp while it is producing 1/8th power. This is the wattage requirement you see printed on gear. Sometimes subs running highly compressed music (EDM) run closer to about 1/3rd power. It just depends what the material is and how loud you are driving the system. So as a general rule you should be fine running 4 or 5 Line 6 speakers from a single breaker.

 

Lets talk about wall sockets. Typically the standard Edison wall socket (USA) is a 15a socket (garden variety wall socket). In your house it is usually attached to a 15A breaker, but in a commercial building (club, hotel, etc) it is probably connected to a 20A breaker. Always having more available than you need is desired. If you use a typical power strip it will have a 15a breaker in it, which is required by UL. So by using these strips you will never get any additional advantage if you plug into a 20a breaker because you will first be limited by the breaker in the strip.

 

I recommend using "quad boxes" as they do not have local breakers in them so you will likely get the benefit from a bigger breaker.

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Thank you, dboomer, for that explanation. I got the 250W off of the spec sheets for the speakers (the L3M is here, for example). I wasn't actually aware of the UL rule for speaker load ratings, but it makes sense. I often here people say "a watt is a watt", and that's true, but it depends on the actual load condition and when that will actually be seen. The acoustic side of dealing with speakers is much more complicated than the electrical side, at least when we're talking about power ratings and all that.

 

As far as the electrical load side, dboomer is correct too. Using a 15A power strip essentially acts like a bottleneck on the circuit if you're dealing with 20A breakers. If you need the extra 5A, there actually are 20A strips available. Personally, like I mentioned before, I appreciate having the extra circuit protection. The breaker at the board is really designed to protect the wire that's connected to the breaker, not necessarily the equipment downstream. Also, if you do accidentally trip the breaker in the strip, it's a heck a lot easier usually to reset that breaker rather try to find the panelboard in many venues.

 

For load monitoring, what you would need is ammeter. Ideally, you'd want one that could record peak demand over a certain time period. It would be an interesting little project to hook one up during a show to see the types of draws you get. There are a few meters I've seen that plug into a receptacle, but I think most of those are designed to measure energy, kWh. That really won't help in trying determine the peak loading of the circuit.

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To be honest, I didn't even think about how much draw I was going to pull.  It was just so weird to be in a room where there so few electrical outlets.  I mean it's this really big room and I had to go into a closet behind the stage to find a single outlet.  But to be fair it held up.  I'll have to have a closer look at my Monster Power Strip, maybe it's one of those that is 20A.  It cost me $200 and it always gives me nice clean power but I have never really looked at what any of the ratings are.  I just assumed they were all standard 15A.

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wow, more than enough information and very interesting stuff as far as UL and the 1/8 power rule. Thanks so very much dboomer and Guru!

I'll maybe look into getting one of those ammeters, as that would be a cool little gadget to have when playing as various venues and just to feed my curiosity :)

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  I'll have to have a closer look at my Monster Power Strip, maybe it's one of those that is 20A.  It cost me $200 and it always gives me nice clean power but I have never really looked at what any of the ratings are.  I just assumed they were all standard 15A.

 

If it has a 15A plug on it it will also be required to have a 15A breaker in it.  A 20A plug has one blade turned sideways and are not common.  You would probably do better using a quad box and not the power strip.  Most modern gear has regulated power supplies and doesn't benefit from external conditioning.

 

Even though the quad box will be rated for 15A there is no breaker in it so you will pick up extra current capacity when running sound equipment if it is plugged into a 20A wall breaker typical at commercial buildings. 

 

Something like this ...

 

http://www.markertek.com/Cables/Power-Extension-Cables/TecNec/SSPC-25.xhtml

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Two things:

 

1) The StageSource Speakers are said to draw 250 Watts at 1/8 power. At FULL power they would approach 1.5 Amps apiece for brief periods of time.

 

2) Check out the Power Monitoring For Dummies device manufactured by P3 International. Model P4455:

 

www.p3international.com

 

This device will tell you how much power you are drawing (up to 15A) in 6 units of measure:

 

Watts / VA (Volt Amps) / Volts / Amps / KWH (Kilowatt Hours) / Elapsed Time

 

AND there is a "Pro" mode if the previous is not enough for the nerds out there. This device is NOT expensive and I HIGHLY recommend it to keep an eye on power consumption. The last thing you want to do is trip a circuit during the best solo you have ever performed!!!

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Is it dangerous/not advised to plug all 4 of my speakers into 1 heavy duty power strip which would then simply be plugged into a wall socket? And if it is safe, is it also possible to still plug something into the 2nd input of that wall socket without tripping the circuit breaker?

 

Diagram below:

 

L3M                   L3M                  L3S                 L3S

  |                         |                        |                      |

  |                         |                        |                      |

  |                         |                        |                      |

  ---------------------POWER STRIP -------------------

                                      |

                                      |

                                      |

                              Wall Socket

 

 

thanks in advance my friends! :)

 

 

The actual rated electrical power consumption of the L3M and the L3S is 250W. So even with 4 connected to a single power strip, you'd be at 1000W. Assuming you have a 15A power strip, you'd still be well under the 1800W capacity. So you should be fine. Actually, using a power strip is usually a good thing to do. Assuming its fused, it gives you another level of circuit protection.

 

 

That is quite a lot on one circuit. I imagine, though, that most of the time the speakers aren't drawing anything near their rated wattage. The 250W rating would be at the maximum output.

 

 

Is there some type of gadget/meter that can be connected to the wall plug that would report the amount of watts that are being used at any point it time on that plug/circuit? It would be interesting to see the watts being added up as more connections or power are added to this connection.

 

 

Wow Phil, I definitely overestimated the power consumption of the speakers. I'm not very knowledgable in electricity so I based my error off of the L3M's being 1400w and the L3S's being 1200w. I will look online to learn more as well but is there maybe a simple explanation as to why the speakers are 1400 and 1200 watts yet actually only consume 250w of power each? I also agree with NW-Harry about whether there's a gadget out there can "report the amount of watts that are being used at any point it time on that plug/circuit".

 

 

Thank you, dboomer, for that explanation. I got the 250W off of the spec sheets for the speakers (the L3M is here, for example). I wasn't actually aware of the UL rule for speaker load ratings, but it makes sense. I often here people say "a watt is a watt", and that's true, but it depends on the actual load condition and when that will actually be seen. The acoustic side of dealing with speakers is much more complicated than the electrical side, at least when we're talking about power ratings and all that.

 

As far as the electrical load side, dboomer is correct too. Using a 15A power strip essentially acts like a bottleneck on the circuit if you're dealing with 20A breakers. If you need the extra 5A, there actually are 20A strips available. Personally, like I mentioned before, I appreciate having the extra circuit protection. The breaker at the board is really designed to protect the wire that's connected to the breaker, not necessarily the equipment downstream. Also, if you do accidentally trip the breaker in the strip, it's a heck a lot easier usually to reset that breaker rather try to find the panelboard in many venues.

 

For load monitoring, what you would need is ammeter. Ideally, you'd want one that could record peak demand over a certain time period. It would be an interesting little project to hook one up during a show to see the types of draws you get. There are a few meters I've seen that plug into a receptacle, but I think most of those are designed to measure energy, kWh. That really won't help in trying determine the peak loading of the circuit.

 

 

wow, more than enough information and very interesting stuff as far as UL and the 1/8 power rule. Thanks so very much dboomer and Guru!

 

I'll maybe look into getting one of those ammeters, as that would be a cool little gadget to have when playing as various venues and just to feed my curiosity :)

Hi Guys:

 

Regarding these posts, please see MY post under "surroundguy", posted Aug 26th, 2016, 4:29 PM so I don't have to repeat here. Thanks and please respond with any comments!

 

Jeff P.

Atomic Purr Sound and Studios, LLC

Green Valley, AZ

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Regarding the gear litesnsirens hooked up, someone mentioned that speakers do not draw their max requirement continuously. In the same vein, I doubt that all the gear mentioned was being used at the same time. 2 keyboards? Were there 2 keyboard players in the group? Did one musician play both at the same time? When a piece of equipment gets turned on there is a bump in current draw, then that level out. If the circuit is open but the equipment is just sitting there, very little current will flow through that circuit.

-

On another note, it seems like someone taught me long ago that it's a good thing to hook up as much gear as possible to the same circuit. Not that you want to test and see if you can overload the capacity, but by using the same power source you cut out a lot of the potential issues with ground loops that can arise from using outlets that operate on different circuits that are not in complete phase with each other. Then again, that must have been so long ago that could be confused and just plain wrong.

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For the sake of any of my fellow Europeans...

 

We run at 240V

 

In the UK, a standard "mains" circuit would have a 32A breaker, however a standard UK wall outlet is limited to 13A by means of a fuse within the plug of the device you are connecting.

 

13A at 240V gives us a single outlet maximum wattage of 3120W.

 

Putting that into context, that's *theoretically* 12 Line6 speakers on a single outlet

 

Right, so I've never actually pushed it that far, but I have run eight, plus the rest of our gear off a single, though I wasn't 100% happy about doing so.

 

My normal preference is to run a power line down each side of stage, each from a separate wall outlet/socket. The two sockets can be on the same ring without any issue, but I prefer two separate outlets.

 

Might seem a little OTT, but I really hate domestic "4 gang extensions" and the likes, so I have a complete customisable power-rig all interconnected with Neutrik Powercon couplers and a variety of different lengths of H07RN-F rubber outer 2.5mm core cables to interconnect the outlet pieces. I then have powercon boxes with UK socket outlets (3 with 6 each), powercon boxes with IEC outlets (2 with 10 each) and a variety of powercon splitters

http://kelseyacoustics.co.uk/product-category/power-distribution/floor/

The IEC powercon boxes were custom made for me by Kelsey.

 

I ban domestic power cables from our stage, and from the stage of any band I do sound for, and they all plug in to my power rig. Guys in the band with me think I'm mad, but the rig has never yet let us down!

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Hello SiWatts69:

 

Nice post! I live in the USA, so don't deal with 240v, but I too am VERY particular about my power on stage (and all other cabling for that matter)! I use 6x Furman P-1800 AR VOLTAGE REGULATOR / POWER CONDITIONERS (15 amps each, 11,160 watts total)   http://www.furmansound.com/product.php?div=01&id=P-1800AR   for everything (2 on stage for PA, 4 at FOH for mixer & racks). Expensive, but you've never heard anything as quiet or reliable (as long as the mains hold up).

 

I may be a little obsessive, but I have even replaced all of my removable power cables with expensive shielded power cables as these are the most prone to emitting 60 cycle hum.

 

ALL of my audio cables are star quad (2 twisted pair) for the balanced audio and single-twisted pair for any unbalanced cables, all with Neutrik gold XLR & 1/4" connectors. I do everything I can think of to reduce the possibility of induced noise. I'd bet I have one of the quietest live sound reinforcement rigs in this country!

 

I really appreciate the fact that you understand and care about these points seemingly as much as I do. In my 3 plus decades doing live sound, I have seen some of the SLOPPIEST cabling in the world! Whether it is by ignorance or they don't care I don't know, but I'm glad I'm not alone on this planet in trying to do things right!

 

4x L3Ms (mains), 4x L3Ss (mains), 8x L2Ms (6x stage monitors and 2x audience delays if needed),  32-Channel Mixer

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