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Author Topic: power for a large mobile production  (Read 16082 times)

g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: power for a large mobile production
« Reply #50 on: January 04, 2015, 05:34:05 pm »

IME, generally speaking generators do not require permits to operate (especially the small portables) because, according to the NEC, they provide "portable power" and use UL listed ready-made "plug & cord",  where as tie-ins are "temporary power" (a separate area of the code) that requires "wire splicing." In most municipalities' adoption of the NEC, the former can be performed by "qualified" individuals, where as the later can only  be performed by licensed electricians.

Guy Holt, Gaffer
ScreenLight & Grip
www.screenlightandgrip.com

Again, my experience differs.  IF you're in a situation where commercial, contracted or self-provided (MN metropolitan areas) generators are your power, you still pull a permit and are inspected.  Festivals, fairs etc are where I DO see inspectors.  You must be a licensed electrician to pull a permit in such (public) situations. 

The exception is generators under a certain size.  It has been 5KW in the past, but I believe it may have been raised about 50%.  My Honda EU3000i is exempt from permitting, but I HAVE had my stage wiring inspected where the larger part of the Fairs requires inspection.

I think there are as many variations and exceptions as their are municipalities and inspectors.  I'm sure we've all seen inspectors on "golden time" walk through and pass/ignore things that are patently dangerous...
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Mike Sokol

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Re: power for a large mobile production
« Reply #51 on: January 04, 2015, 06:20:52 pm »

IME, generally speaking generators do not require permits to operate (especially the small portables)

The big generator exception is doing outside gigs in Washington DC for presidential inaugural events. I've done a bunch of these gigs, and while getting the generators in wasn't too difficult with nary an inspector on site,  getting in extra fuel to run them was the big problem. To a secret service guy, a 5 gallon blitz can of gasoline or diesel looks like a potential bomb, so keeping anything extra on hand wasn't going to happen. And you're never going to get any kind of pickup truck in the parade route with a big fuel tank in the bed, so there's no gas or diesel coming into the secured areas on inauguration day. So we only ran the generators long enough for a sound check, then shut them down. We were told that if we ran out of fuel, then that was our problem and we would have to do without power. Yikes...  :o
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Cosmo

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Re: power for a large mobile production
« Reply #52 on: January 08, 2015, 05:58:14 pm »


I have not seen any mention of union labor.  If you are performing at a venue that has I.A.T.S.E. stagehands, your labor costs will probably be higher.

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Tim McCulloch

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Re: power for a large mobile production
« Reply #53 on: January 08, 2015, 06:07:14 pm »

I have not seen any mention of union labor.  If you are performing at a venue that has I.A.T.S.E. stagehands, your labor costs will probably be higher.

I am not aware of ANY high school or church gymnasium that is staffed by IATSE labor under a collective bargaining agreement with the school or church.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2015, 06:12:24 pm by Tim McCulloch »
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Mike Caldwell

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Re: power for a large mobile production
« Reply #54 on: January 08, 2015, 08:02:58 pm »

You have a large and diverse list of equipment your planning on using. Do you have someone who can make it all play night after night......after night and know how to trouble shoot it not if but when something goes wrong.
Did you plan cabling and cases in the master plan.

TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: power for a large mobile production
« Reply #55 on: January 09, 2015, 08:49:09 am »

Again, my experience differs.  IF you're in a situation where commercial, contracted or self-provided (MN metropolitan areas) generators are your power, you still pull a permit and are inspected.  Festivals, fairs etc are where I DO see inspectors.  You must be a licensed electrician to pull a permit in such (public) situations. 

The exception is generators under a certain size.  It has been 5KW in the past, but I believe it may have been raised about 50%.  My Honda EU3000i is exempt from permitting, but I HAVE had my stage wiring inspected where the larger part of the Fairs requires inspection.

I think there are as many variations and exceptions as their are municipalities and inspectors.  I'm sure we've all seen inspectors on "golden time" walk through and pass/ignore things that are patently dangerous...
Dick, when I talked to your generator guy this summer, he said the number in Minneapolis is 10KW before permits and inspections are required.  Cost for a permitted, delivered, fueled, picked up generator for a day is ~$1000.

To the OP - I'm not sure what you're planning to charge for your events and who your clients will be, but the only practical way I can see the size of your show working in the gym-du-jour is to do extensive pre-show coordination and education of your potential client on your exact power needs, factor in the cost of a professional connection to the building's electrical system (bonus points if the system is upgraded to provide permanent cord and plug access such as multiple 14-50Rs or a company switch panel), and develop a network of electricians to use in your intended service area.  If this is not feasible, I would work very hard to develop a plan to slim down your show to run on available power.

Sounds like a fun endeavor - hopefully you can do enough research to understand all of the "less fun" elements - insurance, transportation, cases, cables, permits, security, labor pool, storage, repair, etc., and still have a working business plan and customers willing to pay what your event actually costs.
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: power for a large mobile production
« Reply #56 on: January 09, 2015, 08:54:34 am »

Thanks for the update, TJ.  My reference came from long back when I was working with the MRES solar trailer and just beginning to research having my own power for backup.  I'm glad the limit is being raised instead of rolled back...
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Re: power for a large mobile production
« Reply #56 on: January 09, 2015, 08:54:34 am »


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