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Author Topic: Voltage sag solution?  (Read 1914 times)

Mike Sokol

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Re: Voltage sag solution?
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2017, 01:02:37 am »

Perhaps you could talk the school into buying a cord(or a genny)-but where will it be next year?  OTOH, if you buy a heavy cord (or genny) then you are THE provider with the right gear to do this simple gig.  You know what you are doing and it  is an easy call for the administrator to call David and check that box for the graduation.  Make it easy for them to hire you and make it easy for yourself to do the job and in the long run you'll come out ahead.

You'll also find that once you have the proper gear for THIS particular gig, your ability to do other gigs will increase. For instance, if you purchase an inverter generator or power distro system (fatter cable ;D), that will enable you to do other outside gig that need remote power. For many small sound companies that's a lot of their profitable work for the summer. In my own case we've been building up power distribution systems which allows us to do even more festival gigs this summer than before, as well as cross-rent to other sound companies in the area. So we have a 3-phase, 400-amp distro with cam-locks and 30-amp stage stringers, a 100-amp 120/240-volt distro with 20-amp quad drops, a 30-amp/120-volt distro system that works with our EU3000i genny, a pair of EU2000i generators for some of our picnic gigs that need a few mics with canned music, and a Honda 1000 watt genny that's great for field weddings or the car dealership tent gigs that are out in the middle of a parking lot where we would need 100 feet of cable ramps just to reach the nearest power outlet. We started small, then kept adding more power distro systems as our summer customer base has grown. Perhaps next year we'll add a trailer mounted genny with 25 to 40 kW. In the meantime we'll rent in the big generators when we need them until we're doing enough gigs of that size that it makes sense. If you build it they will come.. And until you build or purchase your own gear, you can alway rent a genny from an RV dealership or rental house in your area.

David Allred

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Re: Voltage sag solution?
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2017, 08:01:30 am »

I know that the Hondas are quiet, but how quiet?  If I run a 50 ft cord to the genny, it will be 70 ft from the audience, with the audience facing the genny dead ahead on the middle of the football field.  If I move it off axis (direction of sight) and to the side, it will be within 30 ft of the nearest seat.  The setting in super quiet, the only road is 250 yards away, and a heavy tree line and school buildings in between.
Genny sound > Jimmy Johnson > genny sound > Tammy Thompson > genny sound > Willie Williamson
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Mike Sokol

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Re: Voltage sag solution?
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2017, 08:23:58 am »

I know that the Hondas are quiet, but how quiet?  If I run a 50 ft cord to the genny, it will be 70 ft from the audience, with the audience facing the genny dead ahead on the middle of the football field.  If I move it off axis (direction of sight) and to the side, it will be within 30 ft of the nearest seat.  The setting in super quiet, the only road is 250 yards away, and a heavy tree line and school buildings in between.
Genny sound > Jimmy Johnson > genny sound > Tammy Thompson > genny sound > Willie Williamson

The Honda inverter generators are really quiet, but I also bring along a Clearsonic drum absorber and set it in front of the genny facing the stage and audience. Plus I have a 50-ft 10-gauge extension cable which I run from the twist lock receptacle on my EU3000i to the stage distro. This moves the genny back 50 feet from the stage. Of course, a direct connection to the power grid is silent, but sometimes you don't have that option. 

TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Voltage sag solution?
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2017, 08:50:22 am »

I know that the Hondas are quiet, but how quiet?  If I run a 50 ft cord to the genny, it will be 70 ft from the audience, with the audience facing the genny dead ahead on the middle of the football field.  If I move it off axis (direction of sight) and to the side, it will be within 30 ft of the nearest seat.  The setting in super quiet, the only road is 250 yards away, and a heavy tree line and school buildings in between.
Genny sound > Jimmy Johnson > genny sound > Tammy Thompson > genny sound > Willie Williamson
Not all Hondas are created equal.  You want a EU series model - they sound like someone a block away is mowing their lawn.  Mike gets all fancy with a drum shield to direct the sound away.  A piece of plywood works equally well, if you can put the generator somewhere a piece of plywood isn't a visual abomination.  I've done a number of weddings in secluded locations with no other human made noise and it's not a problem.
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dick rees

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Re: Voltage sag solution?
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2017, 09:00:04 am »

You can take the EU info to the bank.  Quiet enough without a shield, more so with.  There are quieter  alternatives, but they're either much more expensive (battery bank/inverter) or visually obtrusive involving a vehicle or vehicle-sized component.

The first time I used my EU2000 set behind an 18 inch high wall i was asked when I was going to start it up.  It was already running...
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Voltage sag solution?
« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2017, 01:53:38 pm »

It is a simple repeat gig.  Middle school graduation at a football field.  1 mic and music during their walk up the track and into the stands.  I had one reboot of the amp during music only when I pushed a bit.  If I can get through the first 5 mins, the rest is cake.  The school is running cords.  They are heavier than 16 awg (that I listed).  I can have them (or do myself) run a 2nd line from the end zone scoreboard.  I am also going to see if anyone has a small Honda genny, or one that maybe a parent can loan to the school.  If I can get the amp on a separate run (or genny) I shouldn't have any problems.

You're lucky you were invited back. You need to make doubly sure that you won't have this problem the next time, and explain to the school exactly WHY the problem occurred and how you plan to prevent it. It really doesn't matter WHEN during the gig your peak load is, you need to be prepared for the peak load ANY time during the gig.

The right equipment is the right equipment every time. Being a "small" gig is no excuse for having inadequate equipment or power.

I have learned to NEVER trust someone else's power cords. I always bring my own. Most people abuse their cords horribly. Don't be surprised if the supplied cord is missing a ground pin, is missing the jacket, has gobs of tape around it, or is horribly twisted -- all indications of possibly damaged conductors. Don't be surprised if the female end doesn't grip the male end of your cord/distro securely. Besides, their cords will probably be some hideous color like orange, yellow, or fluorescent green accented with dirt. The visual obtrusion will be more distracting than the sound of a Honda EU genny humming away in the background. (At least the sound of the genny won't show up in photographs.) A spool of black SOOW of appropriate gauge and industrial-duty connectors will be your friend.
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David Allred

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Re: Voltage sag solution?
« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2017, 03:07:47 pm »

You're lucky you were invited back. You need to make doubly sure that you won't have this problem the next time, and explain to the school exactly WHY the problem occurred and how you plan to prevent it. It really doesn't matter WHEN during the gig your peak load is, you need to be prepared for the peak load ANY time during the gig.

The right equipment is the right equipment every time. Being a "small" gig is no excuse for having inadequate equipment or power.


They provided power, and are again this year.  They knew up front that power was a potential issue.  They were not concerned.  In discussing the problem and offering solutions, I just asked and the principal just bought a predator invertor recently.  They begged me back immediately at the conclusion.
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dick rees

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Re: Voltage sag solution?
« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2017, 04:43:37 pm »

They provided power, and are again this year.  They knew up front that power was a potential issue.  They were not concerned.  In discussing the problem and offering solutions, I just asked and the principal just bought a predator invertor recently.  They begged me back immediately at the conclusion.

No, no and no.

If they're providing power for your use you should spec a real generator provided by a professional power outfit and certified by a licensed master electrician.  Never mind the event:  the issues are safety and liability.  I won't bother to make a detailed list of the faults and potential pitfalls but cut straight to the chase.

Do not work in situations like this.  If they can't pony up enough money to pay you to do it right (bring your own power), then just walk away.  Losing a "job" like this is no loss at all.  That's the plain, unvarnished truth.
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Mike Sokol

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Re: Voltage sag solution?
« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2017, 06:57:20 pm »

If I were doing this gig, I would find someone to rent me a Honda EU2000i to verify it can run your sound system and that it was quiet enough. Then you can have it as a value adder for any outside gig. I regularly charge an extra $100 to $200 per gig to "bring the genny", depending on the size. Since you can buy an EU2000i for under $1,000 https://www.amazon.com/Honda-EU2000I-2000-Inverter-Generator/dp/B005ND19AE then once you rent it out 10 times you own it and it's a money maker for you.

Note that the subject of the correct power for a gig is so important that this particular forum was created. I didn't ask for it... PSW asked me to start and moderate it since power is needed for EVERY gig. Don't believe it? Shut off the power sometime and try to do a show. 

Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Voltage sag solution?
« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2017, 01:54:49 am »

I just asked and the principal just bought a predator invertor recently.

For those following along: reading between the lines, I believe this "predator invertor" is a generator sold by Harbor Freight Tools.
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