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Author Topic: MORE POWER?! :-O (Electrical, that is)  (Read 3265 times)

Sam Costa

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MORE POWER?! :-O (Electrical, that is)
« on: April 24, 2018, 11:48:50 pm »

Ok, I think I will now be content with audio power, however... Lurking underneath is another evil that rarely gets looked at. How much amperage will suffice?! and how to find a resolution should something happen.

Quick rundown of what I plan on using (amplification wise) at 70% of the shows I do:

1 - QSC 6.0's on Sub duty (dedicated to 1x 20amp breaker)
1 - QSC 4.0's on Low duty (dedicated to 1x 20amp breaker)
1 - QSC 4.0's on Mid duty  (dedicated to 1x 20amp breaker)
1 - PLX 3402 on High duty (dedicated to 1x 20amp breaker)

Without getting to crazy, I typically bring my own power distro just in case I need to "suicide slice" into the house panel. It's basically a metal panel like you would see in a home or garage with Square D breakers.
My distro panel has 6x 20amp breakers on a single phase system (4 wire) and it works great, just a pain sometimes to spend the extra time to wire it all in and run cabling, making sure I don't kill myself, etc..

There is the occasional venue which has sufficient power and dedicated receptacles to pull power from, but running cabling from several different areas of the venue can be a bit silly (and unprofessional) I always get a bit cautious when using the venues wall plugs/receptacles and whether or not I will blow a breaker during the performance (which always sucks)..

Sooooooo....
I'm not an electrician, and any help would be greatly appreciated if I'm missing something.
Is there a better way/method to power my system and still have enough power for the stage to run guitar cab, bass rig, keyboards, LED lighting, etc off of 2 remaining 20amp breakers?


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Tim McCulloch

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Re: MORE POWER?! :-O (Electrical, that is)
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2018, 12:43:02 am »

Is there a better way/method to power my system and still have enough power for the stage to run guitar cab, bass rig, keyboards, LED lighting, etc off of 2 remaining 20amp breakers?

Give everyone in the audience a hand cranked magneto to charge deep cycle batteries, the PA runs from an inverter.  No crowd?  No PA, acoustic show for the bartender and wait staff. ;)

The reality is that you can probably run that rig for "indoors-sized" gigs on a pair of 20 amp circuits.  Subs and HF on one, lows and mids on the other...

Back line draws very little these days as well.  One circuit could do the stage and LED lights.

I think 6 20 Ampere circuits are just right for outdoors or when you'd run the rig harder - splitting the amplifiers out as you suggest.  Lights and back line don't really change...
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Rick Powell

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Re: MORE POWER?! :-O (Electrical, that is)
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2018, 12:55:12 am »

Iíve got a question. How are you tying into the house panel? Are you carrying a variety of double 40 amp breakers, and hoping you can find two empty slots on the panel? Tying into the main lugs while they are hot? Using a set of clamps on the lugs? You call it a suicide slice for good reason.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: MORE POWER?! :-O (Electrical, that is)
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2018, 01:13:28 am »

Ok, I think I will now be content with audio power, however... Lurking underneath is another evil that rarely gets looked at. How much amperage will suffice?! and how to find a resolution should something happen.

Quick rundown of what I plan on using (amplification wise) at 70% of the shows I do:

1 - QSC 6.0's on Sub duty (dedicated to 1x 20amp breaker)
1 - QSC 4.0's on Low duty (dedicated to 1x 20amp breaker)
1 - QSC 4.0's on Mid duty  (dedicated to 1x 20amp breaker)
1 - PLX 3402 on High duty (dedicated to 1x 20amp breaker)

Without getting to crazy, I typically bring my own power distro just in case I need to "suicide slice" into the house panel. It's basically a metal panel like you would see in a home or garage with Square D breakers.
My distro panel has 6x 20amp breakers on a single phase system (4 wire) and it works great, just a pain sometimes to spend the extra time to wire it all in and run cabling, making sure I don't kill myself, etc..

There is the occasional venue which has sufficient power and dedicated receptacles to pull power from, but running cabling from several different areas of the venue can be a bit silly (and unprofessional) I always get a bit cautious when using the venues wall plugs/receptacles and whether or not I will blow a breaker during the performance (which always sucks)..

Sooooooo....
I'm not an electrician, and any help would be greatly appreciated if I'm missing something.
Is there a better way/method to power my system and still have enough power for the stage to run guitar cab, bass rig, keyboards, LED lighting, etc off of 2 remaining 20amp breakers?

You mean better than a non code compliant load center (that box is only rated for installation), connected by a non-licensed electrician, accepting all the liability of touching the venue box. 

If the venue doesn't have a 240 connection for you then they can't be expecting that level of a system.  You need to scale back and deal with the power that is provided.

IMHO a good powered system is a must have for these smaller venues as they don't want all the cases associated with the amps.  A set of Yamaha DSR112's and JTR 212's is a nice compact system for these types of venues. 
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: MORE POWER?! :-O (Electrical, that is)
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2018, 04:53:43 am »

You mean better than a non code compliant load center (that box is only rated for installation), connected by a non-licensed electrician, accepting all the liability of touching the venue box. 

If the venue doesn't have a 240 connection for you then they can't be expecting that level of a system.  You need to scale back and deal with the power that is provided.

IMHO a good powered system is a must have for these smaller venues as they don't want all the cases associated with the amps.  A set of Yamaha DSR112's and JTR 212's is a nice compact system for these types of venues.

+100.

What you're doing is dangerous. Stop before someone gets hurt.

Do you ever get close to the limits on the system you have?

Chris
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Lyle Williams

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Re: MORE POWER?! :-O (Electrical, that is)
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2018, 06:39:37 am »

Get some $20 green power meters.

Get some real readings from the gear when it is being run as hard as you expect.

Because so many people buy on horsepower, everyone who is selling gear overstates the horsepower supplied.

Audio gear is only a few percent efficient at converting electrical power into accoustic power.  If a 20A amp isn't generating about the same heat output as a 20A bar heater, it isn't drawing anything like 20A continuous.
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: MORE POWER?! :-O (Electrical, that is)
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2018, 07:00:11 am »


Audio gear is only a few percent efficient at converting electrical power into accoustic power.  If a 20A amp isn't generating about the same heat output as a 20A bar heater, it isn't drawing anything like 20A continuous.

Those amplifiers are actually pretty efficient, as are most modern ones. Older class AB weren't great, though. It's the speakers where you're dissipating most of the energy input as heat.

Chris
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Lyle Williams

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Re: MORE POWER?! :-O (Electrical, that is)
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2018, 10:14:46 am »

True.  My comment should have referred to the correct parts, but the principle in sound.  If 95% of the energy must come out as heat, little heat = little power consumption.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: MORE POWER?! :-O (Electrical, that is)
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2018, 01:13:56 pm »

+100.

What you're doing is dangerous. Stop before someone gets hurt.

Do you ever get close to the limits on the system you have?

Chris

I also want to add not being arrogant, I would think most of us that have electrical chops have done some live tie in work.

I know many hotels just have load centers mounted on boards for distro but that doesn't make it right.

For small work I use a UL listed distro for an APC UPS.  It works great and has a breaker per outlet.  Find them on eBay all day long for $50.00  They are about the form factor of a snake stage end.

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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Sam Costa

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Re: MORE POWER?! :-O (Electrical, that is)
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2018, 07:29:31 pm »

Iíve got a question. How are you tying into the house panel? Are you carrying a variety of double 40 amp breakers, and hoping you can find two empty slots on the panel? Tying into the main lugs while they are hot? Using a set of clamps on the lugs? You call it a suicide slice for good reason.

Well,  I remove the House front access panel,  run the tails through the bottom of the house panel, Tie in the two hot legs , Neutral, ground and connect my cam-Loks to my end of the panel/whip and turn my breakers on.
I know it sounds crazy, and Iím sure some of you have done this method before, I know it sounds crazy, and Iím sure some of you have done this message before (Maybe even still doing it, w maybe even still doing it, who knows)  but I have consulted with several licensed electricians in my area and they have all said that this is the simplest way to connect my distribution panel.

Other venues (very few) actually have a 50amp distro so Iíll bring my spider box and 50amp cable and connect that way.

I know there are some really nice looking (and legal) power distros out there from Lex products. Could be worth looking into and having a nice distro near the stage in a rackmount.
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Re: MORE POWER?! :-O (Electrical, that is)
¬ę Reply #9 on: April 25, 2018, 07:29:31 pm ¬Ľ


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