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FOH Cable Runs for Outdoor Amphitheater

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Mike Caldwell:
Some people coming in may still use their own snake and drive line regardless of what you install.

8 inch is a good suggestion on the open conduit, actually I would call
that the minimum.

Keep a pull rope in it and I would suggest before someone just ties
their snake to the rope to pull it through that first they tie a big rag
to the rope to do a test pull to see if the conduit has filled with water.

Brian Jojade:

--- Quote from: Mike Caldwell on March 12, 2022, 12:26:25 PM ---Some people coming in may still use their own snake and drive line regardless of what you install.

8 inch is a good suggestion on the open conduit, actually I would call
that the minimum.

Keep a pull rope in it and I would suggest before someone just ties
their snake to the rope to pull it through that first they tie a big rag
to the rope to do a test pull to see if the conduit has filled with water.

--- End quote ---

100% this!  Even if the tube is properly installed to drain completely it can end up filled if rodents decode to plug it up a bit.

Recommended installation, if in a flat area would be to have the tube crown slightly with the high spot in the middle so any water would not want to flow through the pipe.

Cap the ends when not in use.  I personally like to have a long enough pull rope that I can leave it attached to each cap so there's no chance of it 'accidentally getting pulled out of the tube.  The extra length can simply be stuffed into the tube when capped.

Dave Garoutte:

--- Quote from: Brian Jojade on March 12, 2022, 04:11:33 PM ---
Cap the ends when not in use.  I personally like to have a long enough pull rope that I can leave it attached to each cap so there's no chance of it 'accidentally getting pulled out of the tube.  The extra length can simply be stuffed into the tube when capped.

--- End quote ---
Right, make the pull rope at least twice the length of the tube, and permanently attached to the caps.
Put a knot or ring at the center point to attach your snake.

Tim Hite:

--- Quote from: Peter Kowalczyk on March 11, 2022, 06:24:19 PM ---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!

--- End quote ---

If I were dong it, I'd go ahead and run 50A 125/240 or 50A 3 out to the FOH position. That would give you enough for follow spots in the future, and the cable cost increase in minor. Get a spider box for FOH. You'll need a 1" rigid PVC conduit for this run and 4-5 6AWG THHN copper wire.

For the signal cable runs, I'd be looking at fusion welded SDR 41 HDPE rather than PVC. I have a distributor in Sparks, if you need. They make sweep 90's with a long radius to allow for fishing cables and you can do radius bends with the pipe, as well.

I don't know that I'd put anything in the cable run if all the venue has is outside vendors. Let providers pull their own snakes, as needed.

There s an amphitheater here in Rancho Mirage that has done something similar. Then providers came and damaged the in house cable runs. When I arrived to advance a show, I pointed it out. Everyone was pointing fingers at each other. Someone from teh city decided to get upset with me for pointing out the damage.

Dave Garoutte:

--- Quote from: Tim Hite on March 13, 2022, 06:41:03 PM ---There s an amphitheater here in Rancho Mirage that has done something similar. Then providers came and damaged the in house cable runs. When I arrived to advance a show, I pointed it out. Everyone was pointing fingers at each other. Someone from teh city decided to get upset with me for pointing out the damage.

--- End quote ---
It the in-house cabling is terminated at plates on both ends, what can you mess up? It's just plugging in xlr's or ethernet.

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