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Title: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Jamin Lynch on October 17, 2014, 01:38:11 pm
I'm looking to upgrade my stage power drops. I've seen these for a while. I can't find any info on Whirlwinds' website. I think they are UL listed. Do you think these would be considered safe for outdoor stage power use? I like that they have GFI's and a pilot light along with Powercons.

http://whirlwindusa.com/catalog/power-electrical-distribution/edison-boxes/pl1-420-gfi

Thanks
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Mike Sokol on October 17, 2014, 03:40:11 pm
I'm looking to upgrade my stage power drops. I've seen these for a while. I can't find any info on Whirlwinds' website. I think they are UL listed. Do you think these would be considered safe for outdoor stage power use? I like that they have GFI's and a pilot light along with Powercons.

http://whirlwindusa.com/catalog/power-electrical-distribution/edison-boxes/pl1-420-gfi

Thanks

I have several these for my own distro and they're GREAT. Al Keltz from Whirlwind is a member on this forum, so I'm sure he can answer any of your questions. Yes, I would consider these to be safe for outdoor stage power.
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Ray Aberle on October 17, 2014, 04:28:36 pm
I have several these for my own distro and they're GREAT. Al Keltz from Whirlwind is a member on this forum, so I'm sure he can answer any of your questions. Yes, I would consider these to be safe for outdoor stage power.

I only use PowerCon right now for my powered VRX, but gosh, this looks like it could be an easy way to add a much more reliable solution as well. What did these cost you, Mike?

-Ray
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Jamin Lynch on October 17, 2014, 04:52:42 pm
I only use PowerCon right now for my powered VRX, but gosh, this looks like it could be an easy way to add a much more reliable solution as well. What did these cost you, Mike?

-Ray

Ray,

They are a little expensive. That's why I haven't already bought these.
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: frank kayser on October 17, 2014, 04:56:21 pm
I only use PowerCon right now for my powered VRX, but gosh, this looks like it could be an easy way to add a much more reliable solution as well. What did these cost you, Mike?

-Ray
Ray,
Full Compass has them in the catalog for $200.91, without any feeder.
http://www.fullcompass.com/product/443981.html
frank
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Cailen Waddell on October 17, 2014, 07:45:56 pm
Check our the Chauvet power stream. We use them all over the place.


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Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Jamin Lynch on October 17, 2014, 07:51:56 pm
Check our the Chauvet power stream. We use them all over the place.


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Those look nice, but I need Edison outlets
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Cailen Waddell on October 17, 2014, 07:55:07 pm

Those look nice, but I need Edison outlets

Right sorry - didn't look closely at the picture on my phone screen....


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Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Lyle Williams on October 17, 2014, 09:51:04 pm
If you want it to be solid and weatherproof, buy something built for the construction industry.  Sadly, it will probably come in your choice of bright yellow or bright orange.
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: frank kayser on October 17, 2014, 10:23:35 pm
If you want it to be solid and weatherproof, buy something built for the construction industry.  Sadly, it will probably come in your choice of bright yellow or bright orange.
There's always O.A. Windsor - variety of "rubber" boxes, put a GFCI in each slot - choose a GFCI device that also has a light.  Just don't use the downstream wires when connecting them - wire them all parallel - that way if one trips, it won't take the whole string, and the light on the GFCI will provide for quick troubleshooting.  Be a bit more expensive that way (not $200 expensive) but will be well worth the extra cost when something leaks and does not shut everything on the stringer down - just that leaky device.

Here's a Leviton hospital grade one http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ProductDetail.jsp?partnumber=WT599-HGR&section=65735&minisite=10251

If you set the box up with Powercons in and out (another added expense) your stringer becomes very customizable - putting power just where you need it. Kinda like the Whirlwind...
Just a thought...


And the O.A. Windsor boxes are legendary here. (and they're all black!)
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Nils Erickson on October 18, 2014, 01:02:26 am
I have a pile of the OA Windsor boxes and I think they work great.  They are similar to what you have shown here, but they are rubber and the outlets face sideways.  I had them made with a receptacle that lights when power is applied.

I like that it makes all of the stringers customizable per show.  I use powercon cabling for the all of my systems now and have been very pleased with it so far.

Hope that helps Jamin...

Nils
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Tim Padrick on October 19, 2014, 03:24:43 am
WW also has units with 3 phase inlets, split to individual 120s, with a breaker on each.  And others.
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Mark Cadwallader on October 19, 2014, 03:04:54 pm
I'm looking to upgrade my stage power drops. I've seen these for a while. I can't find any info on Whirlwinds' website. I think they are UL listed. Do you think these would be considered safe for outdoor stage power use? I like that they have GFI's and a pilot light along with Powercons.

http://whirlwindusa.com/catalog/power-electrical-distribution/edison-boxes/pl1-420-gfi

Thanks

Jamin, the .pdf brochure on this series of drops shows that the unit is UL listed (from the WW website).  Mark C.
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Jamin Lynch on October 19, 2014, 11:44:53 pm
Jamin, the .pdf brochure on this series of drops shows that the unit is UL listed (from the WW website).  Mark C.

OK, I found it. Just had to do a little digging.

Thanks
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: George Dougherty on October 20, 2014, 12:03:24 am
I like the OA Windsor boxes being rubber because I can toss them wherever I want power and have a volunteer string the feeder between them.  Don't know that I'd want to chuck metal boxes around the stage for the stage or the life of the boxes.

The idea of parallel wired GFI lighted outlets sounds really cool.  Wish I'd thought of that when I built everything.
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Jamin Lynch on October 20, 2014, 01:12:06 pm
I'll have to wait on the Whirlwinds for a while.

This is what I'm currently using. I know they aren't really made for outdoors, but I don't do many outdoor events. Maybe 2 this year. Adding GFIs would make me feel better inside or outdoors.

Would proper wiring method be to change out one outlet to a GFI in each box?

Thanks
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Ray Aberle on October 20, 2014, 01:32:07 pm
I'll have to wait on the Whirlwinds for a while.

This is what I'm currently using. I know they aren't really made for outdoors, but I don't do many outdoor events. Maybe 2 this year. Adding GFIs would make me feel better inside or outdoors.

Would proper wiring method be to change out one outlet to a GFI in each box?

Thanks

Depends on how you want to manage it. You can add one GFCI to the FIRST box, and wire it so it's output handles the second recept in that box, plus the output tail- then everything downstream is protected. But, if that GFCI trips, it kills the whole string. How I think OA Windsor does it is the wire is one long string (for a stinger setup) and each box clamps onto the appropriate wires. So, if the GFCI in one box trips, it only affects that box. You could wire boxes with the pass through in the same manner. But then each box MUST have a GFCI in it.

-Ray
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Jamin Lynch on October 20, 2014, 01:50:20 pm
Depends on how you want to manage it. You can add one GFCI to the FIRST box, and wire it so it's output handles the second recept in that box, plus the output tail- then everything downstream is protected. But, if that GFCI trips, it kills the whole string. How I think OA Windsor does it is the wire is one long string (for a stinger setup) and each box clamps onto the appropriate wires. So, if the GFCI in one box trips, it only affects that box. You could wire boxes with the pass through in the same manner. But then each box MUST have a GFCI in it.

-Ray

I don't always use these in a "stringer" fashion. They get used for various power applications. So I guess I would have to add a GFI to each box.
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: frank kayser on October 20, 2014, 01:53:50 pm
I'll have to wait on the Whirlwinds for a while.

This is what I'm currently using. I know they aren't really made for outdoors, but I don't do many outdoor events. Maybe 2 this year. Adding GFIs would make me feel better inside or outdoors.

Would proper wiring method be to change out one outlet to a GFI in each box?

Thanks
One GFIC in each box, with the protected feed through to only the other outlet.  Feed for the next box in the string, that would come from the original incoming wire to the first box.  Each box would then a) have a pilot light and b) trip separately, not affecting the downstream box(es) in case of fault.


And yes, if used in a non-stringer fashion, wire them as above.


Of course, you do know those work boxes you now have are a no-no, (not just for outdoors, but indoors, as well)  - for one reason that those knockouts could be knocked out inadvertently, exposing the wiring within.  But, as you plan to replace them soon, I'll just give you a small slap on the wrist for using them.  ;)   


frank
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Jamin Lynch on October 20, 2014, 02:04:55 pm
One GFIC in each box, with the protected feed through to only the other outlet.  Feed for the next box in the string, that would come from the original incoming wire to the first box.  Each box would then a) have a pilot light and b) trip separately, not affecting the downstream box(es) in case of fault.


And yes, if used in a non-stringer fashion, wire them as above.


Of course, you do know those work boxes you now have are a no-no, (not just for outdoors, but indoors, as well)  - for one reason that those knockouts could be knocked out inadvertently, exposing the wiring within.  But, as you plan to replace them soon, I'll just give you a small slap on the wrist for using them.  ;)   


frank

"Ouch" I'm trying.  :'(

Is it just the knock outs that make these a no no, or is there something else too?
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: frank kayser on October 20, 2014, 02:20:10 pm
"Ouch" I'm trying.  :'(

Is it just the knock outs that make these a no no, or is there something else too?


Answering that is well above my pay grade.   :-X   
I do know about the knockouts from other discussions here, but beyond that, I'm just like you:
Waiting for the Electrician (or someone like him).


We're all learning, and once things are brought to our attention, it takes time (and money) to correct.  If the wiring is good, and the boxes are in good condition, you may not meet code with the inspector, but they SHOULDN'T cause you any problems, either. (IANAL, nor am I an electrician) YMMV.


frank



Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Rob Spence on October 20, 2014, 02:25:31 pm
"Ouch" I'm trying.  :'(

Is it just the knock outs that make these a no no, or is there something else too?

The boxes are for indoor permanent wiring only. 

Use outdoor boxes and proper strain relief on the wires. While not actually code compliant, I believe most folk would accept them in a weekend warrior setting.

I have two sets of boxes. One with metal outdoor boxes and one with plastic outdoor boxes. Both have Powercon in and out on them. I just place em on the stage where I want them and hook em up. I do have one box with a GFI outlet in it and it protects the output connector too. I use it for the stage stringer.



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Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Jamin Lynch on October 20, 2014, 03:03:25 pm

Answering that is well above my pay grade.   :-X   
I do know about the knockouts from other discussions here, but beyond that, I'm just like you:
Waiting for the Electrician (or someone like him).


We're all learning, and once things are brought to our attention, it takes time (and money) to correct.  If the wiring is good, and the boxes are in good condition, you may not meet code with the inspector, but they SHOULDN'T cause you any problems, either. (IANAL, nor am I an electrician) YMMV.


frank

Trying to make my "un-safe" boxes a little more safe until I can get the "safe" boxes I really want.
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Ray Aberle on October 20, 2014, 03:08:14 pm
Trying to make my "un-safe" boxes a little more safe until I can get the "safe" boxes I really want.
Which is a good thing! :)

Another issue with the indoor boxes is that you can see they have holes for nailing through-- those holes can allow water inside the box. Or dirt. Or worms. All of that can cause drama.
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Frank Koenig on October 20, 2014, 03:09:32 pm
Use outdoor boxes and proper strain relief on the wires. While not actually code compliant, I believe most folk would accept them in a weekend warrior setting.

I saw just this arrangement used for drops from the ceiling to work benches in a brand spanking new industrial lab. They used regular, cast aluminum "wet locations" boxes, Kellems-style braided strain reliefs, and indoor Nylon covers. It apparently passed inspection in Burlingame, California. --Frank
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on October 20, 2014, 04:43:05 pm
I saw just this arrangement used for drops from the ceiling to work benches in a brand spanking new industrial lab. They used regular, cast aluminum "wet locations" boxes, Kellems-style braided strain reliefs, and indoor Nylon covers. It apparently passed inspection in Burlingame, California. --Frank

I have used the same and been accepted by inspectors.  With the proper strain relief this things are safer and more durable than an extension cord, IMO.

One thing that can't be seen in the photos-and would be expected/inspected by most inspectors is a bonding jumper to the box from the  EGC. A lot of guys (usually non electricians) let the receptacle ground the box or vice versa.  Really doesn't take much to put a grounding jumper to each receptacle one to the box and tie them all together-remember this is about safety-not convenience.
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: jasonfinnigan on October 20, 2014, 04:51:35 pm
I saw just this arrangement used for drops from the ceiling to work benches in a brand spanking new industrial lab. They used regular, cast aluminum "wet locations" boxes, Kellems-style braided strain reliefs, and indoor Nylon covers. It apparently passed inspection in Burlingame, California. --Frank

Yep. Wet location boxes that use threaded holes instead of knock outs pass here as well for portable use. I don't use them but I can see them being useful if I don't have my quad box stage stringers. Use a plastic strain releif that screws on or one of those steel mesh strain reliefs.
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Scott Holtzman on October 20, 2014, 06:25:21 pm


Is it just the knock outs that make these a no no, or is there something else too?

They are ugly.  Look like they came out my wood shop in high school circa 1970

Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Ray Aberle on October 20, 2014, 06:48:55 pm
They are ugly.  Look like they came out my wood shop in high school circa 1970
I think he was asking "is there something else LEGALLY/in the electrical code that would make these improper to use?" as opposed to any aesthetic point of view.
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on October 20, 2014, 10:21:50 pm
"Ouch" I'm trying.  :'(

Is it just the knock outs that make these a no no, or is there something else too?

The only way to know for sure is to read the minutes of the NFPA 70 committee that adopted that section of code, and that may not even be sufficient; a transcript would give the best insight.

If a knockout gets knocked while the devices are energized, it could come in contact with a terminal screw, causing a small arc flash.

The mounting holes could permit insect, dust, and moisture entry.

On the other hand, most inspectors allow the permanent install of these boxes in exposed locations, so the primary concern probably is the higher likelihood of damage when used temporarily.

Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Scott Holtzman on October 20, 2014, 10:24:26 pm
I think he was asking "is there something else LEGALLY/in the electrical code that would make these improper to use?" as opposed to any aesthetic point of view.

I know that, and I was adding a point of levity and from a professional standpoint that aesthetics do matter.



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Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on October 20, 2014, 11:10:40 pm
Can anyone cite chapter and verse disallowing the knockouts?  I see two potential flags, first language that says "holes shall be adequately closed" the second indicating that boxes used on the floor must be specifically listed for the purpose.  My 2014 code book is in the truck so I can't give references.  It could be OSHA as well?  Curious-always learning!

The potential for knockouts to get knocked out is a problem-but as well I am not comfortable with a standard J-box on the floor/ground-just two easy to get liquids inside.
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Rob Spence on October 21, 2014, 01:13:55 am
Can anyone cite chapter and verse disallowing the knockouts?  I see two potential flags, first language that says "holes shall be adequately closed" the second indicating that boxes used on the floor must be specifically listed for the purpose.  My 2014 code book is in the truck so I can't give references.  It could be OSHA as well?  Curious-always learning!

The potential for knockouts to get knocked out is a problem-but as well I am not comfortable with a standard J-box on the floor/ground-just two easy to get liquids inside.

I suspect that the surface wiring boxes are listed for inside, permanent use fastened to a structure. Outside, temporary use or on a cord isn't a listed use.



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Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Ray Aberle on October 21, 2014, 10:32:07 am
I know that, and I was adding a point of levity and from a professional standpoint that aesthetics do matter.



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Ah, OK, your post wasn't clear that you were making a joke as opposed to seriously answering the question...

And yes, from a professional viewpoint, I agree that aesthetics do matter, but the legalities of the electrical code/moralities of not getting someone killed doesn't often take into consideration something looking pretty or not. :)
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Jerome Malsack on October 21, 2014, 11:47:45 am
So out of curiosity would an approved for outdoor use be workable onstage as temporary use? 

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=130902-427-PDB77550GY&langId=-1&storeId=10151&productId=4005491&catalogId=10051&cmRelshp=req&rel=nofollow&cId=PDIO1

Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Jamin Lynch on October 21, 2014, 12:21:57 pm
They are ugly.  Look like they came out my wood shop in high school circa 1970

Yeah, but these old, ugly, un-safe, POS boxes sure do work well....and didn't cost much.  8)
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Rob Spence on October 21, 2014, 01:41:34 pm
So out of curiosity would an approved for outdoor use be workable onstage as temporary use? 

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=130902-427-PDB77550GY&langId=-1&storeId=10151&productId=4005491&catalogId=10051&cmRelshp=req&rel=nofollow&cId=PDIO1

Depends on what you mean by approved.

I would expect that proper strain relief and rubber cord on a box with no extra openings (or potential ones - the box in your link has 6 potential openings, any of which could be poked like a knockout) would only get a glance. If beat up, might get a closer look.

I used ones sorta like that but with only one opening on each side and I trimmed the mounting tabs cleanly.



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Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Lyle Williams on October 21, 2014, 02:53:54 pm
If you go down the path of selecting a product that is formally approved for outdoor use, you end up with something like this (Australian example):  http://www.powersafe.net.au/shop/the-guardian/

Ie, something IP66 rated that is designed to sit in the rain for days.

That isn't what most of us are after.  People seem to want durable and black, but there seems to be no desire for the features that would make a stage drop exposed to the weather electrically safer than a $5 power strip.
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: frank kayser on October 21, 2014, 09:45:50 pm
Depends on what you mean by approved.

I would expect that proper strain relief and rubber cord on a box with no extra openings (or potential ones - the box in your link has 6 potential openings, any of which could be poked like a knockout) would only get a glance. If beat up, might get a closer look.

I used ones sorta like that but with only one opening on each side and I trimmed the mounting tabs cleanly.



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Those extra openings all appear to be threaded - one could add some screw-in plugs - stronger than the knockout portion, and if you were careful to do them all, I'd think that would make any inspector a little less apprehensive about their use (and abuse).
frank
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Rob Spence on October 22, 2014, 12:08:09 am
Those extra openings all appear to be threaded - one could add some screw-in plugs - stronger than the knockout portion, and if you were careful to do them all, I'd think that would make any inspector a little less apprehensive about their use (and abuse).
frank

Agreed!

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Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Robert Patch on October 22, 2014, 06:57:51 pm
Ray,
Full Compass has them in the catalog for $200.91, without any feeder.
http://www.fullcompass.com/product/443981.html
frank

Northern Sound & Light will save you another 15%.

http://www.northernsound.net/Sales/hardware/whirlwind/power-electrical-distro.html
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on October 22, 2014, 10:53:52 pm
Yeah, but these old, ugly, un-safe, POS boxes sure do work well....and didn't cost much.  8)

They'll be worth even less as scrap when an extra KO gets knocked out :)  More seriously, there can be quite a difference in the sturdiness of these KOs from one box to the next-probably depending on the skill/mood of the press setup operator.  I have seen some that can be easily pushed out with your fingers-and some that take a pretty good hit from a pair needlenose/ whatever to knock out-so just because you (or your buddy) get away with it for a while doesn't mean the replacement or the next one you do will be as sturdy.
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Tim McCulloch on October 23, 2014, 03:25:03 am
I know OA Windsor has been mentioned earlier, but I have to put in my thumbs up as well.  Ken usually has very competitive prices on genuine Hubbell connectors and outlets, too.

I doubt we'll replace any OAW boxes due to normal, heavy duty use.  They just last.
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: George Dougherty on October 24, 2014, 04:19:32 am
Those extra openings all appear to be threaded - one could add some screw-in plugs - stronger than the knockout portion, and if you were careful to do them all, I'd think that would make any inspector a little less apprehensive about their use (and abuse).
frank

By the time you buy a metal quad box plus fittings and screw in fillings for all the holes (the ones I used to use had at least 3 per side) it's probably a better use of time and money to get rubber ones from OA Windsor.  Ken sells the rubber boxes unloaded for under $80 if you want to save a few bucks and DIY. That's off the top of my head from last time I ordered.  Don't quote me on that as I'm pretty sure it's less but if production costs go up, it could be more.

I have zero regrets trading over and love how the outlets face sideways instead of straight up waiting for the rain to pour into them as well as all the other niceties already mentioned.  With powercon in/out I've never had a box come loose or had to tighten and rework anything like my old quad box stringer.  I also don't worry about anything shorting to ground if there's water anywhere around or a muso dumps their drink all over the stage.
Title: Re: Stage Power Drops
Post by: Kemper Watson on October 24, 2014, 07:58:07 am
So out of curiosity would an approved for outdoor use be workable onstage as temporary use? 

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=130902-427-PDB77550GY&langId=-1&storeId=10151&productId=4005491&catalogId=10051&cmRelshp=req&rel=nofollow&cId=PDIO1


You can find these with just one inlet, or a pass thru type outlet on opposite side. The cover has a rubber gasket. With the proper fittings, these get pretty water tight

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Carlon-32-cu-in-2-Gang-Type-2FSE-FS-Box-E9812E-CTN/100404112

A friend here bought these, from Ampshop:

http://www.ampshop.com/images/stringer.jpg

http://www.ampshop.com/distro.html