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Author Topic: Standard Lighting Twist-Lock?  (Read 3167 times)

Duncan McLennan

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Standard Lighting Twist-Lock?
« on: February 29, 2008, 07:15:33 pm »

What's the industry standard twist-lock used on dimmer packs?  I've seen instruments with L6-20 on them, but that doesn't make a lot of sense because they've all been 120V systems.  Shouldn't they be L5-20?

Are the L5-20 and L6-20 intermateable?
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dcm
Waterloo & London, Ontario

Gabriel Duschinsky

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Re: Standard Lighting Twist-Lock?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2008, 12:27:48 am »

L5-20 is pretty much the standard around here...

L6-20 are mostly used (and designed) for 208-240v operation, for example to power moving lights (some are more efficient running on 208 or 240v than on 120v).


Gabriel.
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Gabriel Duschinsky
FX Productions, Inc.

Duncan McLennan

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Re: Standard Lighting Twist-Lock?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2008, 12:46:03 am »

Is there any reason an L6-20 would be used in a 120V system?  At the moment I'm thinking of a specific install in which I used to work.  Two CD80 packs, system at 120V as far as I know, all static fixtures, nothing intelligent.  Every twist lock was an L6.  

From the looks of it, it seems that the L5 has one pin that is narrower than the L6.  Would a male L5 fit into a female L6?
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dcm
Waterloo & London, Ontario

Michael Ardai, N1IST

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Re: Standard Lighting Twist-Lock?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2008, 09:11:20 am »

No, they won't.  That's one of the features of the twistlock connectors - you can't (without really forcing/bending) connect different types together.
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Brian Ship

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Re: Standard Lighting Twist-Lock?
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2008, 09:45:35 pm »

Using L6-20 connectors on a dimmer is a really bad idea and lots of reasons not to do such a thing.   No so much for the 208v gear normally powered up by such a plug not working when plugging into such a dimmer pack - shouldn't, more on if by accident a 120v piece of gear gets plugged into a 208v output to what ever elese such a theoretical standardized plug might be available to power up.   If 208v, even 240v power is not avalable, why use the wrong plug anyway?   If such power is avalable you run the risk of seriously damaging gear if not injuring people by use of the wrong connector types.   I would recommend strongly getting the dimmers changed for L5-20

20A 125v verses 20A 250v ratings should not be mixmatched.   Why at home would you have a say air conditioning window unit outlet 6-15 or 6-20 that is fed by two hots and a ground of a three wire single phase with a different form of plug than by Edison?   Why not just make such an outlet Edison is much similar to your question.   Answer... safety.  Why even if 120v, not just make all outlets say for the air conditioner 15 amp (5-15) normal ones instead of the (5-20) T-Shaped neutral 20A outlets and use a different plug?   All goes into why there is a NEMA code plug system.  Only difference between what you ask is locking "L" in front of the NEMA code verses straight blade.   5 is 125v, 6 is 250v with two hot legs.   Bad Karma in any mixing of the two.

Sure... you could use a L6-20 plug for your 120v dimmers.   In doing so, which leg is the neutral?   Such a plug is not designed to designate a neutral verses hot connection and such interpetation could in the line get switched over many times.   That could be a safety hazzard for screw based or pre-focus based light socket fixtures.   125v rated plugs have a hot and neutral terminal properly marked as to which is which.   Non-NEMA and or 250v plugs do not determine in such a case as one might want to make a unsafe and improper use of it which is to be the neutral verses the hot.  This makes for an unsafe condition.
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Duncan McLennan

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Re: Standard Lighting Twist-Lock?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2008, 01:11:38 am »

I understand that, but what's more my problem is that I don't know what kind of connector is actually on a 'standard' twist-lock dimmer pack.

I'm a little confused as it seems at points like you're talking about a split phase wiring scheme, which I'm most definitely not.  L6-20 is a three conductor connector unless I'm mistaken?

The issue I see here, is if you have a dimmer with built in twist-locks on the rear panel (like the CD80 packs) that can run on both single phase 120V and 240V, it would have to have nema 6 connectors to meet code.  This is all I'm really wondering about.
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dcm
Waterloo & London, Ontario

Rob Timmerman

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Re: Standard Lighting Twist-Lock?
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2008, 01:13:23 pm »

I don't know of any dimmers that can output 120v or 240V from the same module, although I know of many that will take 120V phase-neutral input in several forms (single phase, split phase, 3-phase), and even some that will take 3-phase delta power.  So the output connector would be chosen appropriately for what the dimmer can output.  Normally, this is an L5-20 (although twistlock connectors aren't that popular for dimmer outputs outside of permanent installations, in my experience).  L6 is a connector that has 2 hot legs plus ground.  There is no neutral, and it is intended for line-line loads.

As far as an L6 being a 3-conductor connector, that's correct.  But there are several types of 3-conductor twistlock connectors, all non-interchangable.  L5, L6, L7, L24, L8, L9, L10, L11, L12, and L13 are all 3 conductor twistlock connectors, in a variety of voltages, and with 1, 2, or 3 hot legs in the plug.  Use the correct plug for your application, and you won't damage equipment or people.
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Duncan McLennan

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Re: Standard Lighting Twist-Lock?
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2008, 07:20:40 pm »

Thanks Rob, that clears it up for me.
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dcm
Waterloo & London, Ontario
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