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Author Topic: Distributed Power  (Read 16288 times)

Jared Koopman

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Distributed Power
« on: December 20, 2013, 12:10:03 pm »

Hello,

My company is small time and the majority of what we do is "use whatever they give you" electrical service. That being said, I (think)would very much like to have a distribution point for all of our equipment if for no other reason than it keeps things neat and tidy and looks professional.

Basically I would like a 5-6 point distribution (Main L, Main R, FOH, Backline, Lighting). so 150 AMP service for 6 legs?

Is there a way that input can be either 3-phase or single phase? Or does would I need to have 2 separate distribution racks for each type?

What do you recommend I do? I assume there is something already out there that does this so is there one you recommend?

Thanks
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Distributed Power
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2013, 12:26:00 pm »

Hello,

My company is small time and the majority of what we do is "use whatever they give you" electrical service. That being said, I (think)would very much like to have a distribution point for all of our equipment if for no other reason than it keeps things neat and tidy and looks professional.

Basically I would like a 5-6 point distribution (Main L, Main R, FOH, Backline, Lighting). so 150 AMP service for 6 legs?

Is there a way that input can be either 3-phase or single phase? Or does would I need to have 2 separate distribution racks for each type?

What do you recommend I do? I assume there is something already out there that does this so is there one you recommend?

Thanks
Hi Jared.  There isn't really a one-size-fits-all solution, unfortunately.  There are basically 4 levels of distribution:

1. Run extension cords all over the place
2. Run extension cords to a "poor man's distro"
3. Small dryer plug distro - NEMA 14-50P or Cali-plug to a spider box, or the like - provides usually 6 20A circuits from split phase power.  Requires the venue to have a NEMA 14-50P or Cali receptacle
4. Large single or 3-phase camlok distro.

All the audio you mention will fit comfortably on 3 20A circuits.  Options 1 and 2 are workable at that size.  Your next step up is option 3, and the cost is pretty manageable.  This would give you a little bit of room to add some lighting.  Option 4 is probably beyond where you should be looking at the moment - it's $6000 - $10000 to get a real distro, feeder, and a few breakout boxes.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Distributed Power
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2013, 02:21:55 pm »

Hello,

My company is small time and the majority of what we do is "use whatever they give you" electrical service. That being said, I (think)would very much like to have a distribution point for all of our equipment if for no other reason than it keeps things neat and tidy and looks professional.

Basically I would like a 5-6 point distribution (Main L, Main R, FOH, Backline, Lighting). so 150 AMP service for 6 legs?

Is there a way that input can be either 3-phase or single phase? Or does would I need to have 2 separate distribution racks for each type?

What do you recommend I do? I assume there is something already out there that does this so is there one you recommend?

Thanks

Yes and no.  Leprecon offers single (split) phase 120/240v or 3 phase 120/208v input.  It operates by mechanical interlock.  In essence, half of the the "Z" leg connections get switched to the "X" leg and the other half to the "Y" leg in single phase mode; in the 3 phase mode it operates like you'd expect.  You can see it near the bottom of the rack in the back view in this PDF  http://www.leprecon.com/productfiles/VXMX280047C1.pdf  That's a dimmer rack but the same concept applies.

You'd use 3 phase distribution to your amp racks, stage stringers and other stuff.

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc
« Last Edit: December 20, 2013, 02:31:18 pm by Tim McCulloch »
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Nils Erickson

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Re: Distributed Power
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2013, 02:38:56 pm »

Hey Jared,

I use both options 2 and 3 that TJ listed above, depending on the gig and what is available.  They work great and it does very much tidy things, up as you said.  I have a motion labs distro http://www.motionlabs.com/c-83-50a-125250v-in-thru.aspx in my amp rack with a 50 amp Cali connector on it; this breaks out to six 20 amp circuits, and makes it easy to distribute power all over the stage and to front of house.
My smaller rig has a "poor man's distro" http://www.triktags.com/power.htm that lets me combine the ground from several circuits.

Both systems use similar cabling (except the feeder of course), so a couple of trunks of cable can go with either system.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,
Nils
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Jared Koopman

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Re: Distributed Power
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2013, 03:03:05 pm »

Hi Jared.  There isn't really a one-size-fits-all solution, unfortunately.  There are basically 4 levels of distribution:

1. Run extension cords all over the place
2. Run extension cords to a "poor man's distro"
3. Small dryer plug distro - NEMA 14-50P or Cali-plug to a spider box, or the like - provides usually 6 20A circuits from split phase power.  Requires the venue to have a NEMA 14-50P or Cali receptacle
4. Large single or 3-phase camlok distro.

All the audio you mention will fit comfortably on 3 20A circuits.  Options 1 and 2 are workable at that size.  Your next step up is option 3, and the cost is pretty manageable.  This would give you a little bit of room to add some lighting.  Option 4 is probably beyond where you should be looking at the moment - it's $6000 - $10000 to get a real distro, feeder, and a few breakout boxes.

THanks TJ.

So...currently we are doing #1 which is fine for a majority of the venues we work in. How do I do #2? I am not a DIY'r when it comes to electrical so do I need to hire an electrician and ask him to "build me one of those?" If so what am I telling him to build and what are the restrictions and "no-no's"?

Jared
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Distributed Power
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2013, 03:05:18 pm »

THanks TJ.

So...currently we are doing #1 which is fine for a majority of the venues we work in. How do I do #2? I am not a DIY'r when it comes to electrical so do I need to hire an electrician and ask him to "build me one of those?" If so what am I telling him to build and what are the restrictions and "no-no's"?

Jared
You're in luck - a recent thread on this very topic, including a link to Tim Padrick's build with pictures:
http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,147370.0.html
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Jared Koopman

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Re: Distributed Power
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2013, 03:07:43 pm »

Yes and no.  Leprecon offers single (split) phase 120/240v or 3 phase 120/208v input.  It operates by mechanical interlock.  In essence, half of the the "Z" leg connections get switched to the "X" leg and the other half to the "Y" leg in single phase mode; in the 3 phase mode it operates like you'd expect.  You can see it near the bottom of the rack in the back view in this PDF  http://www.leprecon.com/productfiles/VXMX280047C1.pdf  That's a dimmer rack but the same concept applies.

You'd use 3 phase distribution to your amp racks, stage stringers and other stuff.

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc

So more along the lines of these items? http://www.leprecon.com/productfiles/PwrDis.280061B.pdf

I have stage stringers from Ampshop. I have looked at his website at their distribution productions and the descriptions leave a bit to be desired so I am not really sure what I am looking at.

Would I be looking at either of these products
http://www.ampshop.com/images/h50pnl.jpg
http://www.ampshop.com/images/kdistro.jpg

Or this one
http://www.ampshop.com/images/2srp.jpg

Thanks!
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Jared Koopman

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Re: Distributed Power
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2013, 03:10:40 pm »

Hey Jared,

I use both options 2 and 3 that TJ listed above, depending on the gig and what is available.  They work great and it does very much tidy things, up as you said.  I have a motion labs distro http://www.motionlabs.com/c-83-50a-125250v-in-thru.aspx in my amp rack with a 50 amp Cali connector on it; this breaks out to six 20 amp circuits, and makes it easy to distribute power all over the stage and to front of house.
My smaller rig has a "poor man's distro" http://www.triktags.com/power.htm that lets me combine the ground from several circuits.

Both systems use similar cabling (except the feeder of course), so a couple of trunks of cable can go with either system.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,
Nils

So forgive my ignorance how does this work. If the service to the breakout is 50A how can you have 6 x 20amp circuits off that?
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Distributed Power
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2013, 03:14:31 pm »

So forgive my ignorance how does this work. If the service to the breakout is 50A how can you have 6 x 20amp circuits off that?
You get 50A times 2 legs, sort of 100A total (kind of sort of).  Since it's extremely unlikely that all circuits are operating at full capacity, 3 20A circuits are powered off each 50A leg, and that amount of oversubscription is fine. 
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Distributed Power
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2013, 03:17:49 pm »

So more along the lines of these items? http://www.leprecon.com/productfiles/PwrDis.280061B.pdf

I have stage stringers from Ampshop. I have looked at his website at their distribution productions and the descriptions leave a bit to be desired so I am not really sure what I am looking at.

Would I be looking at either of these products
http://www.ampshop.com/images/h50pnl.jpg
http://www.ampshop.com/images/kdistro.jpg

Or this one
http://www.ampshop.com/images/2srp.jpg

Thanks!
Your first link is the only switchable 3-phase/single-phase distro I'm aware of.  I'm not sure if it's a listed product or not.  AmpShop products are not, AFAIK, which may not matter most of the time, something that isn't a big deal if it's a branch breakout box, but may be more important for the main distro.

3-phase distros can be operated on single phase power by not powering up the C-leg, however this typically (other than the switchable Leprecon) means that as much as 2/3 of the distro receptacles are not fully powered, depending on configuration.  This may or may not be a big deal, but I still stick to my opinion that your next stop is a spider-box, and/or a MotionLabs RackPack, which is pretty much the same thing.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Distributed Power
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2013, 03:17:49 pm »


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