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FOH Cable Runs for Outdoor Amphitheater

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Peter Kowalczyk:
We're gearing up for another summer concert series at my local regional park amphitheater, and my contact at the department told me yesterday that they're prepared to act on my recommendation to install some buried / permanent wire runs out to front of house.

I was going to recommend:

Qty 4 Shielded Cat 6A terminated in EtherCON
Qty 8 110-ohm STP for DMX or analog Audio, terminated in Qty 4 each XLR(F) and XLR(M) Pairs on each end
Qty 2x 20A circuits
Qty 1 6" PVC Conduit with a pull cord for future expansion or temporary snakes.

I'm probably the most frequent technical user of this space, and this is more than enough for my needs now and in the foreseeable future.   There is one event happening for a second year where they did have a nice old-school Gamble EX56 analog setup at FOH, and I assume they pulled an analog multicore for that, but unsure the details.  I'm going to try to reach out to them.

For a sense of scale, the stage here is a concrete slab about 40' wide plus wings and 30' deep, FOH position is about 100' back on the gently raked lawn, and the lawn seating ends another 150' behind that. 

If you were coming in to work in a space like this, are there any other cable runs you'd like to see?

Thanks!

Dave Garoutte:
Make sure you terminate all cables to a waterproof box with panel mounts.  No loose cables. well labeled.
You might consider two separate pipes, one for the permanent install and one for the optional pull.

David Sturzenbecher:

--- Quote from: Dave Garoutte on March 12, 2022, 02:34:34 AM ---Make sure you terminate all cables to a waterproof box with panel mounts.  No loose cables. well labeled.
You might consider two separate pipes, one for the permanent install and one for the optional pull.

--- End quote ---
Two pipes would be required.  The open one should be at least 8 with no bends and each end should have draining provisions.

I second having the permanent cables terminate to a plate housed in a weatherproof box.


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Steve-White:
What Dave and David said.

I would run the 120V stuff in a 3-wire style and not two separate runs.  L1 + L2, single neutral. ground and run it in a metallic conduit.  Also go up a wire size to 10GA for all 4 conductors.  This is the cleanest way to run single phase AC.  Allows for future changes such as an isolation transformer and keeps everything at a single ground potential for the audio and minimizes line voltage drop.

Make another 3-wire style run dedicated to stage lighting, and a utility outlet for fan, coffee maker, phone charger, etc.  Sharing a single metallic conduit is fine for the AC line.

Control lines are fine in non-metallic.

A spare empty conduit run is something we always did on work like that or even in residential for areas that had limited access.

Do it right, do it once.  :)

Jason Raboin:
You could just increase the quantity of network runs and then use ethercon to XLR on either end as needed.  More flexibility that way.

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