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Author Topic: Current measurement tool for Lounge Level?  (Read 1287 times)

Ned Ward

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Current measurement tool for Lounge Level?
« on: October 11, 2019, 12:30:46 pm »


OK, so while you can scour the owners manuals and webs to estimate current draw, what tools can be used to check how much current is being drawn on 15 or 20 amp circuits? We recently played at a church fundraiser where the circuits tripped and our keyboard kept resetting due to voltage dips.


Not looking for Fluke tester, but something that plugs into power to help folks understand how much power is being drawn from stage, PA, lights, etc.


This is less for full time show people, and more for those lower-rung fundraisers or festivals so that we know how many amps are being drawn...


thanks!

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Chris Hindle

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Re: Current measurement tool for Lounge Level?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2019, 12:40:24 pm »

Look for the Coffee Pot that was on his circuit......

Seriously though, I have a clamp on ammeter, and I made a handful of 1' long AC "plugs and sockets" that give me access to the inner conductors.
You'd be surprised how little current most audio stuff draws.
Except PM3K's...........
Chris.
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Andrew Broughton

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Rick Earl

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Re: Current measurement tool for Lounge Level?
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2019, 02:25:15 pm »

OK, so while you can scour the owners manuals and webs to estimate current draw, what tools can be used to check how much current is being drawn on 15 or 20 amp circuits? We recently played at a church fundraiser where the circuits tripped and our keyboard kept resetting due to voltage dips.


Not looking for Fluke tester, but something that plugs into power to help folks understand how much power is being drawn from stage, PA, lights, etc.

I keep one of these with me and use my regular clamp on meter: https://www.kleintools.com/catalog/test-measurement-accessories/line-splitter-10x


This is less for full time show people, and more for those lower-rung fundraisers or festivals so that we know how many amps are being drawn...


thanks!
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Jeff Bankston

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Re: Current measurement tool for Lounge Level?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2019, 02:30:38 pm »

Look for the Coffee Pot that was on his circuit......

Seriously though, I have a clamp on ammeter, and I made a handful of 1' long AC "plugs and sockets" that give me access to the inner conductors.

Thats the same things I use.

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Frank Koenig

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Re: Current measurement tool for Lounge Level?
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2019, 02:54:56 pm »

OK, so while you can scour the owners manuals and webs to estimate current draw, what tools can be used to check how much current is being drawn on 15 or 20 amp circuits? We recently played at a church fundraiser where the circuits tripped and our keyboard kept resetting due to voltage dips.

Kill-a-Watt. I've had one for years. It's awesome.
http://www.p3international.com/products/p4400.html

--Frank
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Current measurement tool for Lounge Level?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2019, 03:07:40 pm »

If the problem was tripping breakers the question is "what else was on that circuit?"

No Kill-a-What? is going to tell you that and without opening the service panel you won't get your ammeter clamp around the wire to see what other loading may be on that circuit.

You can know everything about YOUR gear's current demands but unless you supply the distro and get a power tap, you don't know who or what is sharing your circuits.  This is why I went to tapping power long before it became fashionable... ;)
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Jeff Bankston

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Re: Current measurement tool for Lounge Level?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2019, 03:37:39 pm »

I worked as a commercial electrician and wired up new businesses etc. Some of the plans had several receptacles near each other and another(s) some distance away on the same circuit. I have done trouble shooting before and it can take a while finding all the recepts that are on the same breaker. Once the owner/tenant moves in they might have all kinds of stuff running off a circuit that has recepts spread out. Best thing to do is pull the panel cover and clamp a meter on the circuit thats tripping to see if there is a current draw. Could be computer(s), small refrige, etc. I wired up a couple of night clubs and the stages had there own separate circuits but that doesnt mean another electrician hasnt come along and tied a coffee pot recept to a stage j-box.
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Frank Koenig

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Re: Current measurement tool for Lounge Level?
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2019, 03:39:20 pm »

No Kill-a-What? is going to tell you that and without opening the service panel you won't get your ammeter clamp around the wire to see what other loading may be on that circuit.

Fair enough. If there's a problem with the building wiring the standard PSW answer is hire an electrician. If you're going to play electrician yourself, a pleasure I would not deny anyone, get the professional tools which would include a good Volt-Ohm-milliammeter, a clamp-on AC current probe, and possibly some sort of power-quality logger.

If you're trying to figure out what YOUR stuff draws, and the loads are less than 15 A, the Kill-a-Watt is an excellent tool. It shows, voltage, current, power, apparent power, power factor, and can integrate power to give total energy. Not bad for ~$30. And no batteries!

--Frank
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Ed Hall

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Re: Current measurement tool for Lounge Level?
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2019, 04:05:42 pm »

Look for the Coffee Pot that was on his circuit......

Seriously though, I have a clamp on ammeter, and I made a handful of 1' long AC "plugs and sockets" that give me access to the inner conductors.
You'd be surprised how little current most audio stuff draws.
Except PM3K's...........
Chris.

I have similar. Made it from some spare parts so it cost me nothing except the 5 minutes to assemble it. Iíve tested most of the gear running at FTB so I already have an idea of what it draws.

It lives in my tool kit along with the meter. I meter EVERYTHING before I plug anything in.

I donít use a PM3K.  ;)
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Re: Current measurement tool for Lounge Level?
¬ę Reply #9 on: October 11, 2019, 04:05:42 pm ¬Ľ


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