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generator help for newby

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charles strickland:
I will be running sound on a generator for the first time and need some help on choosing the right one for the job. My rig consist of (monitor rack)  2 x plx 3150  ( mains biamp )  plx 3602 and 2502  ( sub )  ma 5000  ( foh )  m32  +  2 DL16  NOT sure about backline. was told it would be a rock act.  lighting is 8 led par cans. Thank you for your time, Charles.

TJ (Tom) Cornish:

--- Quote from: charles strickland on October 19, 2019, 11:02:16 pm ---I will be running sound on a generator for the first time and need some help on choosing the right one for the job. My rig consist of (monitor rack)  2 x plx 3150  ( mains biamp )  plx 3602 and 2502  ( sub )  ma 5000  ( foh )  m32  +  2 DL16  NOT sure about backline. was told it would be a rock act.  lighting is 8 led par cans. Thank you for your time, Charles.

--- End quote ---
A Honda EU 6500 or EU7000 would be my first choice. You may be OK on an EU 3000, but you’ll have more margin with the 6500 or 7000 since you have two circuits to split your load between.

Note that nearly every generator - even many form Honda - other than the EU series are EXTREMELY loud and are not suitable for event power. The EU series generators are quiet and provide regulated power. Inexpensive construction generators produce unregulated power designed for power miter saws and air compressors and sound like a freight train.

Luke Geis:
The easy way is to add up all the max current draws that are listed on each product. The PLX 3602, for instance, is probably drawing somewhere around 9-10 amps at full boar ( possibly more, and perhaps less ) while the 3150 is pulling at least 8 amps. The mixer is probably around 150 watts and so on and so forth. When you get all the numbers converted into watts you will know what your potential max draw will be. The lights are probably about 30 watts each and a rock band doesn't pull as much as you would think. A bass guitar amp is probably around 300-400 watts while a guitar amp is roughly 150 watts for a 100-watt model. The keyboards are maybe pulling 100 watts. I usually factor 1000 watts of draw for a typical rock band and have never had a problem.

In general, a basic PA system and band can fit onto a generator capable of 6400 watts, but it is a very tight squeeze! Most powered speakers draw around 600 watts apiece at full go, so when you have 2 subs, 2 mains, 4 monitors, a band and peripherals you are very close to 5,000 watts of draw when used at full capacity. We don't usually make every speaker clip all at once, so you have a very little amount of breathing room.

Most generators are only rated for around 80% of there peak capacity though. So a 6400-watt genie may only be able to handle roughly 5,000 watts of a continuous draw, some more and some less. A 6500-watt generator is probably about the smallest you can go with and not worry too much with a very basic PA system. When you start running 2 dual 18" subs, a 5-6 mix monitor rig and a sizable lighting package ( even with LED ) you are really in need of a real genie that produces real power and has 50 amp outputs, tie in's or camlock.

charles strickland:
thanks for the info, I have a motion labs 50 amp distro so I think i will go a little over kill and look at one with a 50 amp twist. good advice on the noise issue,

Mike Sokol:

--- Quote from: TJ (Tom) Cornish on October 20, 2019, 03:19:06 pm ---A Honda EU 6500 or EU7000 would be my first choice. You may be OK on an EU 3000, but you’ll have more margin with the 6500 or 7000 since you have two circuits to split your load between.

Note that nearly every generator - even many form Honda - other than the EU series are EXTREMELY loud and are not suitable for event power. The EU series generators are quiet and provide regulated power. Inexpensive construction generators produce unregulated power designed for power miter saws and air compressors and sound like a freight train.

--- End quote ---

TJ is spot on. I did a very similar show last year with a Honda EU3000 and it worked just fine for 99% of the time, except for the final note on a metal band when every instrument did the finale hit. The generator went into self-protect mode with the power going down for about 2 seconds, muting the PA. Lucky for me we had UPS backup power on both digital mixing consoles, so when the power came back on in 2 seconds, so did the sound. If you don't have Battery Backup UPS units on your consoles and digital stage box, you will want to add them for gigs when you're running on generator power. Even the inexpensive Backup UPS Systems (less than $100) from APC work just fine with my M32 consoles and digital stage boxes.

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