ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 6   Go Down

Author Topic: Stage drops  (Read 15530 times)

Jay Barracato

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2025
  • Solomons, MD
Stage drops
« on: July 16, 2014, 06:39:30 pm »

Last weekend I refused to let a band roadie (did the setup but didn't mix or anything) use their own stage drops at the front of the stage.

One of the drops I did approve was a Hubbell 4-plex with the low profile plastic box. One I rejected was the same but broken and held together with tape. As he was moving it, the box clearly opened to show the supply wire.

He also has a bunch of metal drops in various states of repair, that I totally refused. My front line in this venue has 12 outlets available as molded tri taps that I pointed out before setup, I never did figure out why that wasn't enough, possibly he was just used to using what they had.

My concerns were based on the height of the stage and the fact that these boxes are easily accessible to the audience. As a matter of fact they are right where people tend to put their drinks, hands, bags and all the other things they find inconvenient to hold in a bar. Audience members were far more likely to come in contact with them than the band members.

The poor condition of many of the cables they had did not leave me confident about the condition of any of them. Rather than checking each cable for safety, a blanket NO was a better answer within our time constraints.

I am still not sure about the Hubbell 4-plex. While a neat idea as a drop they look a bit fragile (or these were really rode hard) and probably need constant checking.

Just a reminder that no matter hold good your power distribution scheme is, someone may walk up and try to set up something that is potentially hazardous.
Logged
Jay Barracato

Rob Spence

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3484
  • Boston Metro North/West
    • Lynx Audio Services
Re: Stage drops
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2014, 07:32:54 pm »

I have a bunch of quad boxes with Powercon in/out. One has a gfci in it so anything downstream is also protected.
On a small stage I will put 2 boxes upstage and a couple of power strips with 13' cables (and no off switches) that can be used for pedal boards.
Larger stages get the upstage set and also a downstage set.
I often gaff over house outlets so I know where everyone is getting their power and the whole rig is on one safety ground.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
Logged
rob at lynxaudioservices dot com

Dealer for: AKG, Allen & Heath, Ashley, Astatic, Audix, Blue Microphones, CAD, Chauvet, Community, Countryman, Crown, DBX, Electro-Voice, FBT, Furman, Heil, Horizon, Intellistage, JBL, Lab Gruppen, Mid Atlantic, On Stage Stands, Pelican, Peterson Tuners, Presonus, ProCo, QSC, Radial, RCF, Sennheiser, Shure, SKB, Soundcraft, TC Electronics, Telex, Whirlwind and others

Mike Sokol

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3361
  • Lead instructor for the No~Shock~Zone
    • No~Shock~Zone Electrical Safety
Re: Stage drops
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2014, 08:38:00 pm »

I have a bunch of quad boxes with Powercon in/out. One has a gfci in it so anything downstream is also protected.
On a small stage I will put 2 boxes upstage and a couple of power strips with 13' cables (and no off switches) that can be used for pedal boards.
Larger stages get the upstage set and also a downstage set.
I often gaff over house outlets so I know where everyone is getting their power and the whole rig is on one safety ground.

I have a bunch of the Whirlwind distro boxes with Powercon In/Out connections which work great. It's also fun to freak out the stage crew who assume they're using Speakon connectors. 

I've never thought of gaffing over the house outlets, but that's a great idea. But that won't stop the guest artist from plugging in a guitar amp with an open ground. I find that a quick check with a NCVT like Fluke VoltAlert or Klein NCVT-1 will find a stage amp with a floating chassis from an open ground.
Logged
Mike Sokol
mike@noshockzone.org
www.NoShockZone.org

Geoff Doane

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 856
  • Halifax, NS
Re: Stage drops
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2014, 09:22:43 pm »

My front line in this venue has 12 outlets available as molded tri taps that I pointed out before setup, I never did figure out why that wasn't enough, possibly he was just used to using what they had.


It may just be a matter of being familiar with what he already has, although that's no excuse for it being in such poor repair.  It's usually the venue outlets that are falling apart after being abused by an endless parade of musicians and their roadies. 

Like Rob, I try to use my own distro as much as possible because I know it works and there won't be any unexpected ground loops.  And the scariest thing I've seen lately was a muso with his pedal board powered by a Speakon!  I mentioned to him that they now have a "proper" connector for doing that.  Says he,"Yeah, but if I lose this cable, I can gets the parts to make another ANYWHERE".  I guess I can't argue with that logic.  ::)

GTD
Logged

Lyle Williams

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1556
Re: Stage drops
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2014, 05:27:18 am »

The minimum standard you accept ends up being the maximum amount of protection you can rely on.
Logged

Mike Sokol

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3361
  • Lead instructor for the No~Shock~Zone
    • No~Shock~Zone Electrical Safety
Re: Stage drops
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2014, 06:20:09 am »

And the scariest thing I've seen lately was a muso with his pedal board powered by a Speakon!

I once had a bass player bring his amp into my shop for repair and while I had it opened up noticed that the safety ground wire inside was cut and taped off. So it had an intact ground pin on the power cord that wasn't connected to the chassis. He told me one of this stage crew had done that for him to stop the humming. Assume nothing!  ???
Logged
Mike Sokol
mike@noshockzone.org
www.NoShockZone.org

frank kayser

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1543
  • Maryland suburbs of Washington DC
Re: Stage drops
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2014, 11:15:01 am »

I once had a bass player bring his amp into my shop for repair and while I had it opened up noticed that the safety ground wire inside was cut and taped off. So it had an intact ground pin on the power cord that wasn't connected to the chassis. He told me one of this stage crew had done that for him to stop the humming. Assume nothing!  ???
Ain't it grand to have such helpful stage crew who has your best interest at heart?  :-\
Logged

Josh Millward

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 713
  • Meridian, MS
Re: Stage drops
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2014, 03:34:49 pm »

And the scariest thing I've seen lately was a muso with his pedal board powered by a Speakon!  I mentioned to him that they now have a "proper" connector for doing that.  Says he,"Yeah, but if I lose this cable, I can gets the parts to make another ANYWHERE".  I guess I can't argue with that logic.  ::)

GTD

Along those same lines, one of the scarier things I have seen in the lighting world was an outfit that was using NL-8 connectors as the means to connect their light bars to the dimmer rack. I mean sure, they are rated for 20 Amps per contact, but that doesn't mean it is okay to use them as power connectors!!!

I guess NL-8 connectors are way cheaper than Soco connectors, so he has that going for him.

Good grief... I can't believe some people think this kind of thing is acceptable.
Logged
Josh Millward
Danley Sound Labs

Mike Sokol

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3361
  • Lead instructor for the No~Shock~Zone
    • No~Shock~Zone Electrical Safety
Re: Stage drops
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2014, 04:22:28 pm »

I guess NL-8 connectors are way cheaper than Soco connectors, so he has that going for him.

"Yeah, but if I lose this cable, I can gets the parts to make another ANYWHERE"  Hah!!! ;D
Logged
Mike Sokol
mike@noshockzone.org
www.NoShockZone.org

Jonathan Johnson

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3124
  • Southwest Washington (state, not DC)
Re: Stage drops
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2014, 04:41:36 pm »

I mean sure, they are rated for 20 Amps per contact, but that doesn't mean it is okay to use them as power connectors!!!

When I was in Guatemala on a mission trip in 2000, I observed a fluorescent light fixture in a house that was wired with 17AWG galvanized steel electric fence wire. I could've reached up and touched that wire.

My grandmother's house (wired by my grandfather) had a receptacle in the living room that was wired with aerial telephone wire (copper clad steel, maybe 18 AWG, untwisted single pair). Thankfully the only thing ever plugged in was a table lamp. The house has since been completely rewired.

Grandpa's workshop had a receptacle for which the only way to disconnect the power was to either pull the electric meter or cut the wires. There were no switches, fuses, or circuit breakers to get in the way. (Also since rewired.)

Missing and broken coverplates is probably the most common electrical problem you'll see out in the wild. Ironically, it's also the easiest and least expensive to fix; it requires absolutely no training beyond operating a screwdriver.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 04:44:13 pm by Jonathan Johnson »
Logged
Stop confusing the issue with facts and logic!

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Stage drops
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2014, 04:41:36 pm »


Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 6   Go Up
 



Page created in 0.048 seconds with 25 queries.