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Author Topic: PowerCON extensions and jumpers. . .SO or SJ?  (Read 1629 times)

Tim Hite

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PowerCON extensions and jumpers. . .SO or SJ?
« on: March 10, 2017, 02:35:41 am »

Seeing a lot of SJ cable PowerCON extension/jumper cords for sale. Need to buy or make a few. I assume these need to be SO to be meet code, or am I missing something?
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John Rutirasiri

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Re: PowerCON extensions and jumpers. . .SO or SJ?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2017, 08:44:00 am »

Seeing a lot of SJ cable PowerCON extension/jumper cords for sale. Need to buy or make a few. I assume these need to be SO to be meet code, or am I missing something?

The "J" in SJ refers to "Junior" or cables with 300V-rated dielectric.  The "SO" without the "J" refers to 600V-rated cables with heavier jacket.
The common Neutrik NAC3FCA and NAC3FCB connectors are rated for 250VAC and 20A.  To my knowledge there isn't anything specific that says you need to use SJ or SO cables with PowerCon connectors.   The cable has to be of the sufficient gauge to handle the current draw.  I use 12/3 SJOOW cables.

John R.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: PowerCON extensions and jumpers. . .SO or SJ?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2017, 09:04:45 am »

The "J" in SJ refers to "Junior" or cables with 300V-rated dielectric.  The "SO" without the "J" refers to 600V-rated cables with heavier jacket.
The common Neutrik NAC3FCA and NAC3FCB connectors are rated for 250VAC and 20A.  To my knowledge there isn't anything specific that says you need to use SJ or SO cables with PowerCon connectors.   The cable has to be of the sufficient gauge to handle the current draw.  I use 12/3 SJOOW cables.

John R.
The Cliff's Notes version is that if it's on the floor, it's supposed to be SOOW: NEC 520.68A(1) Conductors for Portables "Flexible conductors, including cable extensions, used to supply portable stage equipment shall be listed extra hard usage cords or cables."  SOOW is "Extra hard usage"; SJOOW is "Junior hard usage".

The article goes on to discuss exemptions to the extra-hard service rules, but the exemptions basically boil down to cables that are physically protected (off the ground), and short (less than 6.6' on the floor/less than 20' in the air).

That said, this is one of those grey areas, as Whirlwind sells UL-listed Powercon power distribution with SJOOW jumpers:

http://whirlwindusa.com/catalog/power-electrical-distribution/cables/nac3-length (if you look at the full-res picture you can read SJOOW on the cable)

http://whirlwindusa.com/catalog/power-electrical-distribution/stringers/pl1-420-wh

For additional background and reading:
https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/powercon-prices.41109/

« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 09:17:43 am by TJ (Tom) Cornish »
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John Rutirasiri

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Re: PowerCON extensions and jumpers. . .SO or SJ?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2017, 09:26:59 am »

Good to know, TJ...thank you.

John R.
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Tim Hite

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Re: PowerCON extensions and jumpers. . .SO or SJ?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2017, 11:59:53 am »

The Cliff's Notes version is that . . .

Thanks dude, most helpful forum post I've read this year.

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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: PowerCON extensions and jumpers. . .SO or SJ?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2017, 12:03:08 pm »

Seeing a lot of SJ cable PowerCON extension/jumper cords for sale. Need to buy or make a few. I assume these need to be SO to be meet code, or am I missing something?

There has been past discussion here about this (I'm too lazy to look it up for you), and one of the sticking points is that 12 AWG SOOW cable apparently does not fit in the strain relief chuck of the PowerCON connectors. 14 AWG SOOW might fit, but then you're limited to 15A: you'll need upstream overcurrent protection set at 15A.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: PowerCON extensions and jumpers. . .SO or SJ?
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2017, 12:17:49 pm »

There has been past discussion here about this (I'm too lazy to look it up for you), and one of the sticking points is that 12 AWG SOOW cable apparently does not fit in the strain relief chuck of the PowerCON connectors. 14 AWG SOOW might fit, but then you're limited to 15A: you'll need upstream overcurrent protection set at 15A.
I have at least a dozen 12-3 SOOW Powercon jumpers.  Most of mine are Coleman cable brand and they fit fine.
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Erik Jerde

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Re: PowerCON extensions and jumpers. . .SO or SJ?
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2017, 12:23:22 pm »

There has been past discussion here about this (I'm too lazy to look it up for you), and one of the sticking points is that 12 AWG SOOW cable apparently does not fit in the strain relief chuck of the PowerCON connectors. 14 AWG SOOW might fit, but then you're limited to 15A: you'll need upstream overcurrent protection set at 15A.

I have vague memories of this thread too.
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Tim Hite

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Re: PowerCON extensions and jumpers. . .SO or SJ?
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2017, 02:30:38 pm »

There has been past discussion here about this (I'm too lazy to look it up for you), and one of the sticking points is that 12 AWG SOOW cable apparently does not fit in the strain relief chuck of the PowerCON connectors. 14 AWG SOOW might fit, but then you're limited to 15A: you'll need upstream overcurrent protection set at 15A.

I've got some PowerCON ends on the way, and some 12/3SOOW. . .I'll let you know. According to spec it would all go together fine. . .
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Ed Hall

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Re: PowerCON extensions and jumpers. . .SO or SJ?
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2017, 03:20:57 pm »

IIRC the blue and white PowerCON connectors will take the 12/3 SO with some persuasion.  The PowerCON True1 will only take 12/3 SJOOW. The SOOW does not fit. Heaven knows I have tried.  I too wish Neutrik would come out with a slightly larger collar to accommodate the SOOW.

TJ I'll have to look at the Coleman SOOW. Fortunately I'm very much in the lounge level too. I can't recall ever seeing an AHJ. But I'd much rather be code compliant none the less.


Here's the link to the previous post regarding the True1 connector
Neutrik True1
« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 03:49:45 pm by Ed Hall »
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