Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums > AC Power and Grounding

Is there a "Power Distros for Dummies" resource somewhere?

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Jason Lucas:
My knowledge of power doesn't go very far beyond standard 15 amp wall sockets and standard NEMA 5-15p connectors.

I know in more professional audio applications they use power distros. Where can I learn some of the basics of what makes up one and how they're hooked up?

Tim Perry:

--- Quote from: Jason Lucas on November 11, 2013, 12:38:46 AM ---My knowledge of power doesn't go very far beyond standard 15 amp wall sockets and standard NEMA 5-15p connectors.

I know in more professional audio applications they use power distros. Where can I learn some of the basics of what makes up one and how they're hooked up?

--- End quote ---

Yes, but it takes 2 to 4 years to read it.

Tim McCulloch:

--- Quote from: Jason Lucas on November 11, 2013, 12:38:46 AM ---My knowledge of power doesn't go very far beyond standard 15 amp wall sockets and standard NEMA 5-15p connectors.

I know in more professional audio applications they use power distros. Where can I learn some of the basics of what makes up one and how they're hooked up?

--- End quote ---

Mr. Perry is spot on.  I'm still trying to fully understand the NEC from 2005.  :-/

A "distro" is, in NEC-speak, a sub-panel.  Its line-side connection takes big, high ampacity wire and connects those wires to a bus bar for each hot leg, neutral, and earth ground.  The line side of a circuit breaker is connected to 1 or more hot leg buses and the load side is wired to an outlet of some kind (along with the neutral* and ground).  It's analogous to the electrical system in your home.

I suggest http://www.amazon.com/Electricity-Entertainment-Electrician-Technician-Richard/dp/0240809955/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384156647&sr=8-1&keywords=richard+cadena

It's not exactly "for dummies" but you'll find it much more useful than readying the National Electrical Code.  That comes later...

* some loads do not require a neutral, such as 3 phase motors.

Ivan Beaver:

--- Quote from: Jason Lucas on November 11, 2013, 12:38:46 AM ---My knowledge of power doesn't go very far beyond standard 15 amp wall sockets and standard NEMA 5-15p connectors.

I know in more professional audio applications they use power distros. Where can I learn some of the basics of what makes up one and how they're hooked up?

--- End quote ---
The whole "dummie" thing takes on a new meaning when you can kill people or burn down buildings or destroy lots of expensive equipment.

It is not something you "read", but rather something you learn-from people who know what they are doing.

Fundamentally it is pretty simple-if you understand the basics-but NOT something that should be taken lightly.

Jason Lucas:
Understood, I'm not trying to do a DIY sub-panel or anything right now, I just want to know more about power distros in pro audio applications, what makes up one, how they're wired, etc.

Our equipment has always simply been plugged into the nearest wall outlet, so we've never used a dedicated distro for audio equipment.

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