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Title: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Mike Sokol on April 17, 2014, 09:30:54 PM
I'm doing a large graduation next month and need to do some very long AC and speaker cable runs over a grass soccer field. There's no budget for 300 ft of yellow-jackets, so I'm thinking about some form of "pins" every few feet that could be used to secure these cable runs down on the grass. Could be sort of like a croquet wicket but only a inch or two wide. Any ideas for a source for a few hundred of these pins? Any other cable securing ideas?
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Tom Bourke on April 17, 2014, 09:59:03 PM
I have found a heavy and flexible SOOW to lay very nice on its own in grass.  Tape a flexible audio line to it should be good.  The times I have needed to pin stuff I used thick fencing wire and cut my own.  Watch out for what may be below the surface of the turf.  Hate to nick a sprinkler line!
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: frank kayser on April 17, 2014, 10:00:45 PM
I'm doing a large graduation next month and need to do some very long AC and speaker cable runs over a grass soccer field. There's no budget for 300 ft of yellow-jackets, so I'm thinking about some form of "pins" every few feet that could be used to secure these cable runs down on the grass. Could be sort of like a croquet wicket but only a inch or two wide. Any ideas for a source for a few hundred of these pins? Any other cable securing ideas?


Without sounding flip, you could cut up some wire coat hangers - get two "ground staples"about an inch or two wide  out of each hanger.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Mike Sokol on April 17, 2014, 10:03:43 PM

Without sounding flip, you could cut up some wire coat hangers - get two "ground staples"about an inch or two wide  out of each hanger.

I did think of that, but the school media department wants to buy something "official".
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Jay Barracato on April 17, 2014, 10:10:34 PM
Hi Mike,

They are called landscape staples or landscape pins. You should be able to get them at Lowes or home depot where the landscape fabric is.

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Frank DeWitt on April 17, 2014, 10:15:59 PM
Do a Google image search for tent stake and pick the one you like. 
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Mike Sokol on April 17, 2014, 10:20:15 PM
Hi Mike,

They are called landscape staples or landscape pins. You should be able to get them at Lowes or home depot where the landscape fabric is.

Perfect, thanks a bunch...
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Nils Erickson on April 17, 2014, 11:06:50 PM
These landscape pins work great, I use them every summer for a concert-in-the-park series I do; similar to the above postings, I found them in the garden department of my local hardware store.  One tip: bring gloves and something to drive them in with, because after a few hundred feet you may have sore hands...

Cheers,
Nils
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Steve M Smith on April 18, 2014, 04:27:51 AM
Metal skewer type tent pegs:

http://www.outdoorcampingdirect.co.uk/7-inch-steel-skewer-peg-10pk-ca003.html?gclid=CIaB59DO6b0CFaQfwwodPIEAcA~~~


Steve.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Lyle Williams on April 18, 2014, 05:41:12 AM
Use cheap 12" traffic cones along the run if you are worried about trip hazards.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: jasonfinnigan on April 18, 2014, 12:28:17 PM
If they only want an "official" thing there are cheaper brands than yellow jacket. but still going to be costly. Anyway if it's 10/3 gauge cable it usually lays well in grass and is not much of a trip hazard as on a hard surface.

http://www.cabletiesandmore.com/MediumDutyDOCC.php

http://www.cabletiesandmore.com/CTAM-heavy-duty-rubber-cable-protectors.php#quick1
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: frank kayser on April 18, 2014, 12:36:59 PM
Perfect, thanks a bunch...


Yeah, those landscape pins are perfect, and considering your time, MUCH CHEAPER than cut up coat hangers.  ::)
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Mike Sokol on April 18, 2014, 12:52:14 PM

Yeah, those landscape pins are perfect, and considering your time, MUCH CHEAPER than cut up coat hangers.  ::)

Hey, I sometimes make about $1 per hour on these gigs... How much do you make?  ;D
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: jasonfinnigan on April 18, 2014, 12:54:44 PM
Hey, I sometimes make about $1 per hour on these gigs... How much do you make?  ;D

School gigs always feel like doing charity work, at least around here they want A LOT for nothing. I think doing some small amount of pro bono work per year is actually good for a businesses reputation though.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Mike Sokol on April 18, 2014, 01:00:03 PM
School gigs always feel like doing charity work, at least around here they want A LOT for nothing. I think doing some small amount of pro bono work per year is actually good for a businesses reputation though.

I'm an adjunct professor at this school, and we'll be using my live-sound students to set this up and run the gig. I'll get an extra stipend payment for this, but they do want a lot of stuff for nearly nothing. Oh, and everything has to be perfect, of course. We're expecting 5,000 to attend with around 1,200 graduating, I think. Now if I could only figure out how to charge admission...  ::)
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: jasonfinnigan on April 18, 2014, 01:01:18 PM
I think. Now if I could only figure out how to charge admission...  ::)

There's many ways... just likely not legal ;)
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Brook Hovland on April 18, 2014, 01:07:25 PM
Cut up hangers (or any item that could be accidentally left in the soccer field after the event) create sharp edged weapons and if any someone were to fall on one wrong, the cost of the hangers could escalate sharply.  (pun)


Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Tim McCulloch on April 18, 2014, 04:53:24 PM
I'm an adjunct professor at this school, and we'll be using my live-sound students to set this up and run the gig. I'll get an extra stipend payment for this, but they do want a lot of stuff for nearly nothing. Oh, and everything has to be perfect, of course. We're expecting 5,000 to attend with around 1,200 graduating, I think. Now if I could only figure out how to charge admission...  ::)

We charge market rate for commencements, graduations, etc.  Sometimes we're more expensive than our competitors but our clients find we deliver a superior level of service as our designs give the client far more control over zoning for coverage and alignments.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Ray Aberle on April 18, 2014, 09:29:32 PM
We charge market rate for commencements, graduations, etc.  Sometimes we're more expensive than our competitors but our clients find we deliver a superior level of service as our designs give the client far more control over zoning for coverage and alignments.

Wait a minute, people get what they pay for?? Haha.

But yeah, it's a good point: I'll quote out the best I can, without sacrificing quality. But, people return to us because we're easy to work with, know our stuff, have great sounding and well-maintained gear, and still come in within budget.

People hire Tim's company cos he's a freaking rockstar. :D

Had a Relay for Life come last week and inquire; they'd heard great great things from the other staff partners about us. I still have to make it very clear they're hiring us for sound/lighting services, and NOT to be a DJ!

-Ray
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: jasonfinnigan on April 18, 2014, 09:33:31 PM
NOT to be a DJ!


You mean we aren't the only ones who have to do that? I always have to reinforce that we don't DJ or MC we will gladly play walk-in and intermission songs but NO DJ services. We are doing a 5K run tomorrow, theres suppose to be a band playing for most of the day though.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Ray Aberle on April 18, 2014, 09:42:18 PM

You mean we aren't the only ones who have to do that? I always have to reinforce that we don't DJ or MC we will gladly play walk-in and intermission songs but NO DJ services. We are doing a 5K run tomorrow, theres suppose to be a band playing for most of the day though.

I'll prop myself. I have a good "Radio voice." I started my business as a DJ company, doing weddings, school dances, and such, and so have gotten very good at not only making clear and concise announcements, but also to be able to engage and entertain an audience.

However, when I do events such as a Relay for Life, I have been letting their staff partner know that I view them as I experienced in the Boy Scouts, where it was a youth-run organization-- I feel that the youth/committee should be running the event! I'll bring the gear, I'll help out where needed, but I really want to see them in charge of their entertainment. The caveat there, of course, is that I am charging more then "Joe Schmoe's DJ Service" is, but I am also bringing a lot more gear out to the event. Because of this, though, I'm also not going to be prefacing every announcement with "Hi this is Ray with Kelcema Productions your go to dj for any event weddings school dances corporate events holiday parties- whether you have 20 people or 3,000, we bring the party to you!!!" (run-on intentional) and then "oh (in a quieter voice) here's that really IMPORTANT announcement that you're now not listening to cos you tuned out my commercial..."

One Relay I picked up last year, the previous DJ not only did that, during their luminaria ceremony, the guy and his wife plopped down in chairs on the stage to watch, and refused to move! Needless to say, he wasn't brought back last year.

Relays pop up every year on here, on average, and people compare rates. Most of the ones I am doing this year are at least a grand each... the average DJ comes out for $300 or less in this area.

No 5K (or other event for that matter) for me tomorrow. Going on vacation. PDX to MIA, then Norwegian Cruise Line "Epic" for 7 days! First vacation in 7 years, so excited. :D

-Ray
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: John Moore on April 18, 2014, 11:00:00 PM
We  found U shaped stakes at Home Depot in the Garden Section and they worked out great..pin cables about every 60" and not too long so they do come out easy at tear down. Much better to deploy than have someone trip over a cord...
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Jason Raboin on April 19, 2014, 08:12:40 AM
Now if I could only figure out how to charge admission...  ::)

At a college commencement most of those in attendance have already paid over a hundred thousand dollars in the form of tuition for the privilege of hearing their child's name spoken.  It's really the most expensive ticket in town.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Mike Sokol on April 19, 2014, 08:22:47 AM
At a college commencement most of those in attendance have already paid over a hundred thousand dollars in the form of tuition for the privilege of hearing their child's name spoken.  It's really the most expensive ticket in town.

Yup... I've already had my oldest son graduate from college last year, and now have identical twin boys graduating next year. So I'll be paying double-price for graduation.  :o
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Steve M Smith on April 19, 2014, 09:06:09 AM
most of those in attendance have already paid over a hundred thousand dollars in the form of tuition

How much?!!!

How do people afford to get edumacated in your country?!!


Steve.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Ray Aberle on April 19, 2014, 09:56:18 AM
How much?!!!

How do people afford to get edumacated in your country?!!


Steve.
By setting out into a life of severe debt. Piled on top of usual college expenses, food, board, books, parties, trips, bad credit card decisions... It's a bad trap. Unless you are lucky to get enough scholarships to cover it, maybe go to school close to home and live with the parents, or whatever. And what's worse is that the financial aid you qualify for depends on how much your parents make, so if they make enough that (according to the government) they "could" pay your tuition, even if they're not going to, you are going to get screwed.

It's a shitty system.

Education should be the silver bullet. Schools should be palaces. It should be incredibly expensive for the government and absolutely free for the population. We're getting le---

Ugh, just dove into politics. Whoops. :-p

Just to say, it sucks. Some people avoid it.

-Ray "Didn't go to college, but now sometimes wishes he had" Aberle
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Tim McCulloch on April 19, 2014, 10:05:55 AM
How much?!!!

How do people afford to get edumacated in your country?!!


Steve.

A degree can still be had for much less that US$100k...
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Steve M Smith on April 19, 2014, 10:31:24 AM
Education should be the silver bullet. Schools should be palaces. It should be incredibly expensive for the government and absolutely free for the population.

I know we're going off topic now but I'm sure there have been enough suggestions for things to clip cable to the ground.

When I left school in 1983 I had a university place to study electronic engineering in London but didn't take up the offer.  If I did, the government would have paid all of the tuition costs and also given me a grant to help with living costs of, I think, 2,100 a year.

Over the last twenty years the system changed.  Students now have to pay their own tuition fees and accommodation but they are able to get a student loan at a very low interest rate.  Currently, tuition fees are between 6,000 and 9,000 per year.

You only start paying off the loan when your income exceeds 75% of the national average wage.  If you never earn that much, you never pay it off and after a while (I forget how long) it gets written off.

It's not a good system (although I think it's better than yours) but it does mean that just about anyone can go to university if their school grades are high enough.

Personally, I think the government should be paying the tuition fees as an investment in the citizens of the country.

-Ray "Didn't go to college, but now sometimes wishes he had" Aberle

I sometimes feel that way... Also, if I were to go to university now, I would study law instead of electronics.  You don't really know what you want to do when you are eighteen.


Steve.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Ray Aberle on April 19, 2014, 10:34:14 AM
A degree can still be had for much less that US$100k...
Yeah, you just have to be smart about it. I know people who will do community college for their first two years, then transfer to a big school, with most of their undergrad classes completed, for a helluva lot cheaper. My brother lived at home, parents paid for his first year, he worked enough that summer to pay for years two and three, and then got a scholarship to pay for year 4. So he graduated debt free. Living at home can sure be the ticket to save on the largest expense (room and board) after tuition.

As I mentioned above, I just didn't go. I signed up, was accepted, I think I paid $50 to confirm, and then just didn't go. Move-in day, someone calls me, "umm, are you going to be here?" Awkward. :P

Personally, I think the government should be paying the tuition fees as an investment in the citizens of the country.

Exactly.

-Ray
Title: College Tuition and etc....
Post by: Tommy Peel on April 19, 2014, 02:41:43 PM
I graduated from college in December(I'm 24) with a bachelors in Computer Information Systems(similar to Computer Science, but with less math and sciencey stuff); the first few years I was in college(at a small Junior/Community College where I changed majors ~3 times) I had some scholarship money to pay for classes and paid the rest out of pocket(I was working at a tractor shop at the time making decent money, tuition was around $1500 per semester). After I transferred to The University of Texas at Tyler(where I graduated with my degree) I started having to get student loans to cover the tuition(which was around $3-3.5k per semester)... I graduated with around $23k in student loan debt which isn't too bad compared to some of the stories I've heard. I'll have to start paying on it in June(6 months after graduation), but the payments won't be too bad as they base it off of my income. Anyway that's my college story; hopefully I'll be getting a better job soon.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Rick Earl on April 19, 2014, 03:27:47 PM
On the topic of cable management,  we have an outdoor graduation for 1200 graduates and 10,000 guests.   The ceremony is on video too, three camera shoot and streamed live .   Hard surfaces like sidewalks, we use yellow jacket, for the ground we use landscape staples. for areas where the cables cross a path, we staple AND place a heavy rubber mat of the cables.   After the main ceremony, we reset, contract the set-up to 3000 seats and then have the School of Law ceremony.   The cable staples work great for the speed and flexibility  of deployment.   
We are working towards a a complete networked audio approach, last year all inputs and outputs were via Dante'.  This year we will distribute audio over the university's network as a test for eventually distributing audio for video and FM broadcast.  We will still have to run cables but the bundles will be much smaller.  We are also looking at FOH power being installed to save a long run overground.

On the cost of college side, I am in a good position.  Our institution offers tuition remission for all dependents, so  my kids can go tuition free.  We also belong to tuition exchange, which is a network of colleges and universities that pool this benefit.  Right now my step daughter has the equivalent tuition waved at another college.   As long as she keeps her grades up (not going to be an issue), she has  4 years guaranteed.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Frank DeWitt on April 19, 2014, 04:27:56 PM

Personally, I think the government should be paying the tuition fees as an investment in the citizens of the country.
Steve.

Grove City college in PA is one of perhaps two colleges in the US that refuses to take any government money.  They sued the US government in order to have the right not to take the free money.   They say that one of the effects this has is a tremendous reduction in administrative costs to report everything to the government.  This has lead to much lower tuition.  When my son started there I was out of work.  When he graduated he and I were both debt free.

Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Jerome Malsack on April 19, 2014, 07:03:53 PM
After the event they will need pickup.  Lawn mower will not be good on a person when they fly out the shoot. 
When camping we take one extra tent stake to hook the loop in the ground and pull back up.   That was dealing with a stake 18 inchs deep.

Would be a good thing if you count the ones installed and verify clean up after by counting returns.  You would not want to be liable for an injury. 
Finding the lost pin would be a pain also. 

They should push in easy and if not then it would not hurt to move over a few inch's.  Should not need a hammer to drive. 
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on April 20, 2014, 06:39:08 AM
We  found U shaped stakes at Home Depot in the Garden Section and they worked out great..pin cables about every 60" and not too long so they do come out easy at tear down. Much better to deploy than have someone trip over a cord...
paint them orange so you can find them later, and count them so you don't leave any surprises.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Lyle Williams on April 20, 2014, 07:18:06 AM
... pretty hard to leave one in the ground - not being able to get your power lead back is always a clue ...     :-)
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on April 20, 2014, 07:36:49 AM
... pretty hard to leave one in the ground - not being able to get your power lead back is always a clue ...     :-)
You've never dropped anything before? :)
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Brook Hovland on April 20, 2014, 08:29:43 AM
... pretty hard to leave one in the ground - not being able to get your power lead back is always a clue ...     :-)

Nothing is obvious to some crew members!
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: George Friedman-Jimenez on April 20, 2014, 01:48:41 PM
It could happen that during the event someone stumbles over the cable, dislodges a landscape pin and puts the cable back in place. Then it would be easy to leave the clip on the ground when wrapping up the cables. The guy comes by on a lawnmower and launches the clip into someone's leg, or worse. Unlikely? Maybe, but it would seem to be important to account for all the clips, painting them orange is not a bad idea.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Mike Sokol on April 20, 2014, 02:07:48 PM
It could happen that during the event someone stumbles over the cable, dislodges a landscape pin and puts the cable back in place. Then it would be easy to leave the clip on the ground when wrapping up the cables. The guy comes by on a lawnmower and launches the clip into someone's leg, or worse. Unlikely? Maybe, but it would seem to be important to account for all the clips, painting them orange is not a bad idea.
We'll do a count. That's what student interns are for...
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Mark Cadwallader on April 21, 2014, 12:41:15 AM
I think a short length of surveyor's flagging tape tied to a landscaping staple would be faster, easier, cheaper, and more noticable than paint. YMMV. Mark C.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Tim Perry on April 21, 2014, 01:02:20 AM
Mike, I would suggest that any type of pin or pin, staple or stake will range from ineffective to detrimental as in adding to a trip factor.

When warranted, I use lengths of carpet liberated from the dumpster behind the local carpet  purveyor. 

Another plan might be to install temporary plastic fencing along the path of the cables. 

A lot depends on the circumstances, budget, level of paranoia, esthetics, etc.

<edit typo>

Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Jerome Malsack on April 21, 2014, 09:05:58 AM
Another option on the pin would be to use some yellow caution tape and cut off a section to put a nice easter bow on the pins. 
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Tim McCulloch on April 21, 2014, 09:12:58 AM
Mike, I would suggest that any type of pin or pin, stale or stake will range from ineffective to detrimental as in adding to a trip factor.

When warranted, I use lengths of carpet liberated from the dumpster behind the local carpet  purveyor. 

Another plan might be to install temporary plastic fencing along the path of the cables. 

A lot depends on the circumstances, budget, level of paranoia, esthetics, etc.

The universal audio answer:  "It depends..."  Some clients want safety, so they order Yellow Jackets only to discover that they're a big tripping hazard.  High contrast yellow & black?  Yep, because people walking in groups tend to converse, and when they're talking they try to look at each other (very human thing to do) rather than looking down to see where they're walking.  We had a client like that, insisting on cable ramps.  The next year they wanted cables buried.  We don't have a problem with that, but the city's park supervisors did...

The real issue here is that whatever you do it will not keep folks from tripping on their own damn shadows, let alone cables.  The key is to do whatever is necessary to pass the 'reasonable person' test should something bad happen and the case goes to court.  Because what is 'reasonable' can vary so widely it's almost impossible to give advice that serves to actually restrain the cables in a meaningful way that can also be seen as reasonable by a jury, but not impede pedestrian or vehicle traffic.

Sometimes just running the cable on the grass will suffice, other times you'll need miles of cable ramps.  It's mostly up to the client and venue management to determine their relative comfort levels.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Lyle Williams on April 21, 2014, 09:35:29 AM
The world is full of hazards and most people get around fine without getting killed or injured.

Where there is a hazard it should either be minimised, or made clearly visible, or a bit of both.

Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on April 21, 2014, 10:26:07 AM
The world is full of hazards and most people get around fine without getting killed or injured.

Where there is a hazard it should either be minimised, or made clearly visible, or a bit of both.

To a plaintiff's lawyer, there is not such thing as a 'reasonable precaution,' and some people make a living by finding any reason at all to sue you. If you posted people to warn everyone who is about to cross a cable, they'd probably still find some reason to sue you.

At least that's the way it is in the United States. Abuse of Justice is a basic human right here.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: frank kayser on April 21, 2014, 10:43:18 AM
Grove City college in PA is one of perhaps two colleges in the US that refuses to take any government money.  They sued the US government in order to have the right not to take the free money.   They say that one of the effects this has is a tremendous reduction in administrative costs to report everything to the government.  This has lead to much lower tuition.  When my son started there I was out of work.  When he graduated he and I were both debt free.


You have got to LOVE it!  SUE the government to NOT TAKE "FREE: Money!
Grove City just jumped to my top-ten colleges list.  Congrats.


Back to the real topic -


A small piece of nonstick plastic tape - like that used to mark paths, trees, etc.  Stick the pin through the tape, cut off about two inches or so.   I agree, a count before and after would be prudent.  Might want to keep count by run so if you come up short, you'll have a clue as to where to look.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on April 21, 2014, 10:57:10 AM
FWIW Just did an event Thursday evening that we have done for several years.  Roughly 300 feet of 10-4 SO laid out on grass right in the middle of roughly 800 people (mostly teens) congregating in low light conditions paying zero attention to where they are walking.  No cable ramps, no staples-and no problems.

That said it was a single run of power cable-no speaker/audio cables.  I think they would be more prone to creating a tripping issue.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Steve M Smith on April 21, 2014, 11:27:56 AM
The only time I ran a cable across grass, I got a spade and buried it!


Steve.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on April 21, 2014, 02:53:00 PM
The only time I ran a cable across grass, I got a spade and buried it!

But was it listed or rated for direct-bury application? I don't know how things are in the UK, but here in the US, an inspector would red-flag that if it wasn't. (The fact that he can't see something buried is beside the point. If there was an 'incident' you can be sure the question of whether or not a cable not rated for direct bury was buried without conduit at the required depth will be brought to question.)

Liability issues aside, it's pretty easy to use a flat spade or an edging tool to cut a slit in the sod and insert the cable an inch or two below the surface. You don't even have to turn the soil -- it's a minimally-invasive technique.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Mike Sokol on April 21, 2014, 04:27:35 PM
But was it listed or rated for direct-bury application? I don't know how things are in the UK, but here in the US, an inspector would red-flag that if it wasn't. (The fact that he can't see something buried is beside the point. If there was an 'incident' you can be sure the question of whether or not a cable not rated for direct bury was buried without conduit at the required depth will be brought to question.)

Liability issues aside, it's pretty easy to use a flat spade or an edging tool to cut a slit in the sod and insert the cable an inch or two below the surface. You don't even have to turn the soil -- it's a minimally-invasive technique.

I did a wedding gig once where I ran the snake through the garden next to the outside tent and they mulched over top of it. Totally hidden, but what a stinky mess two days later when I had to pull the snake out of the mulch.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Steve M Smith on April 21, 2014, 06:02:50 PM
But was it listed or rated for direct-bury.

No. Cable rated for burying underground is rated to be there permanently.  There is no cable I know of which would suffer any ill effects from being a buried an inch or two for a few hours then washed off.

I don't know how things are in the UK, but here in the US, an inspector would red-flag that if it wasn't.

Inspector? In thirty years, no one has inspected anything I have been involved in for electrical safety.  It just isn't done here - and I don't think it's needed either as there isn't really a problem.  All we get is a visit from the council's environmental health department (outside events only) who check sound levels in any residential areas.  They take a phone number and go off to measure around the area and say they will call back if there is a problem - they never have.

it's pretty easy to use a flat spade or an edging tool to cut a slit in the sod and insert the cable an inch or two below the surface.

That is what I did rather than dig a trench and bury it.

It was the multi-core and a single power cable.  This was back in 1988 when no one was too bothered about any regulations - if there were any at the time.


Steve.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Cailen Waddell on April 21, 2014, 09:52:46 PM
The college I used to work at, used to do an outdoor commencement ( then discovered that over 50% of the guests were standing around and not in the amphitheater). Anyway, we used the landscaping staples and the work well for keeping xlr down as well as some 8 pair sub snakes and 12/3 sjo. Anything bigger is a trip hazard stapled or not.  The smaller stuff was fine, especially of the ground was a little wet, things would sink in as they were walked on.  Major travel paths, like where the graduates all walked, we put down carpet. 


In 4 years the only person who fell was the grouchy old bitch in charge whose favorite phase was "we always do it this way" weather she was right or not.   Karma's a bitch...  All the graduates in 4" heels were fine (women's college)
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on April 21, 2014, 10:10:30 PM
but what a stinky mess two days later when I had to pull the snake out of the mulch.

You can bet , IF I pull a snake out of the mulch it will be a mess-but I might not wait for it to start stinking. ;D
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Tim Perry on April 21, 2014, 10:11:08 PM
The universal audio answer:  "It depends..."  Some clients want safety, so they order Yellow Jackets only to discover that they're a big tripping hazard.  High contrast yellow & black?  Yep, because people walking in groups tend to converse, and when they're talking they try to look at each other (very human thing to do) rather than looking down to see where they're walking.  We had a client like that, insisting on cable ramps.  The next year they wanted cables buried.  We don't have a problem with that, but the city's park supervisors did...

The real issue here is that whatever you do it will not keep folks from tripping on their own damn shadows, let alone cables.  The key is to do whatever is necessary to pass the 'reasonable person' test should something bad happen and the case goes to court.  Because what is 'reasonable' can vary so widely it's almost impossible to give advice that serves to actually restrain the cables in a meaningful way that can also be seen as reasonable by a jury, but not impede pedestrian or vehicle traffic.

Sometimes just running the cable on the grass will suffice, other times you'll need miles of cable ramps.  It's mostly up to the client and venue management to determine their relative comfort levels.

The ramps would come in handy for car shows where the $#@! cruisers want to drive over the cables... but at $90 to $180 per 3 ft section I decided on orange cones, carpet, rubber mats. 

The carpet is mostly to minimize dirt and just give the appearance of safety. 

Wedding jobs sometime threaten to get nutty with the "Playtex Living Install"  (no visible means of support).  That's the great thing about I pad mixing now. It's easier to say "yep I can do that".
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Lyle Williams on April 22, 2014, 02:19:45 AM
To a plaintiff's lawyer, there is not such thing as a 'reasonable precaution,' and some people make a living by finding any reason at all to sue you. If you posted people to warn everyone who is about to cross a cable, they'd probably still find some reason to sue you.

At least that's the way it is in the United States. Abuse of Justice is a basic human right here.

Minimising a hazard or making the hazard plainly clear are good things.  Just making a hazard less visible is a bad thing.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Tim McCulloch on April 22, 2014, 03:10:50 AM
Minimising a hazard or making the hazard plainly clear are good things.  Just making a hazard less visible is a bad thing.

Yepper.  This goes back to the so-called "reasonable person test."  What would a reasonable person in the same situation do to mitigate the potential hazard?

BTW, I will use this opportunity to plug the Event Safety Alliance, a non-profit collaboration between insurers, labor providers and production vendors to develop industry standards to enhance safety for technicians, artists and audiences.

And while I'm veering off, I'll also suggest that folks spend the relatively small amount of money to send yourself and all employees to Red Cross basic first aid training and CPR class.  Really.  Seriously, like a heart attack.

And since this is an electrical forum I'd be remiss if I didn't encourage qualified persons to take the ETCP's Entertainment Electrician certification test.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Steve M Smith on April 22, 2014, 04:04:30 AM
And while I'm veering off, I'll also suggest that folks spend the relatively small amount of money to send yourself and all employees to Red Cross basic first aid training and CPR class.  Really.  Seriously, like a heart attack.

Definitely a good idea.  The company I work for sent every employee to take a First Aid at Work course.


Steve
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Mike Sokol on April 22, 2014, 07:08:58 AM
Definitely a good idea.  The company I work for sent every employee to take a First Aid at Work course.


Steve

One of my students a few ago was a certified Red Cross Instructor, so he helped me write an article about Compression-Only CPR for shock victims for RVtravel.com -  http://rvtravel.com/?q=content/no-shock-zone-part-xii-emergency-care-shock-victims (http://rvtravel.com/?q=content/no-shock-zone-part-xii-emergency-care-shock-victims)

I'm updating and including this article for a Kindle book I'm writing on RV electrical safety to be published in May.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Steve M Smith on April 22, 2014, 07:19:24 AM
I am more aware of first aid now as my son is training to be a paramedic and is also a member of St John Ambulance.


Steve.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Frank DeWitt on April 22, 2014, 04:58:22 PM
Interesting how different events can be.   I show at a lot of antique engine shows.  Almost every engine has exposed moving parts, (Think cranks with a throw of about 10 inches up.  hot parts,  (some with open flame "ignition")  and pinch points everywhere.  Open flywheels range from 18 inches to 22 feet.

The dangers are clear.  The crowds are big.  No one gets hurt.  Here is a typical example.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiPKRPUcGl8
Be sure to watch the last engine.  Note people stay away but nothing KEEPS them away. Not even signs or instructions.

Note, I am not advocating any less concern or safety measures at shows involving sound systems and the public.  Just pointing out a different venue with different people.



Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Lyle Williams on April 22, 2014, 07:49:27 PM
Just walking down the street people know not to step in front of a bus, or hurl themselves down the subway stairs.

Just to survive in society we deal with hazards all the time.  Everyone is pretty good at this most of the time.

When we are setting things up it is good to divide our decisions into ones made for safety, ones made for simplicity/practicality, and ones made for aesthetic reasons.

Eg, Power leads across the grass would be a practical decision, permanent underground power would be safer but might require more money or time than you have available.

Choosing black power leads over orange leads is an aesthetic decision.  In most cases quite a reasonable one. But it is good to step back and think about each decision and why it is made.

Following some documented process can be a good thing.  It results in evidence that things weren't just thrown together at the last minute.  If the installation is in accordance with some generally accepted standard (or institutionally endorsed standard) then this would demonstrate that some care had been taken with the work and with people'e safety.
Title: Re: Running long power cables on grass
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on April 22, 2014, 11:26:18 PM
Interesting how different events can be.   I show at a lot of antique engine shows.  Almost every engine has exposed moving parts, (Think cranks with a throw of about 10 inches up.  hot parts,  (some with open flame "ignition")  and pinch points everywhere.  Open flywheels range from 18 inches to 22 feet.

The dangers are clear.  The crowds are big.  No one gets hurt.  Here is a typical example.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiPKRPUcGl8
Be sure to watch the last engine.  Note people stay away but nothing KEEPS them away. Not even signs or instructions.

I can't speak for everyone at every event, but a big part of safety is familiarity with the hazards. Most Many of the people attending an antique equipment show are familiar with the equipment and already know the hazards, and know better than to stick their hands there. At an outdoor concert, most people do not have an understanding of electricity, structural engineering, or audio production. The hazards are either not known or not well understood by them. They may not be expecting a cable there.

But that's most people, not all people. There will be both knowledgeable people and idiots at every event. We can just hope that the knowledgeable ones will look out for the idiots; at some events the ratio is better so the chances of an accident are smaller.