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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => AC Power and Grounding => Topic started by: Pierre Foster on December 27, 2017, 11:41:27 pm

Title: Multi-voltage Distro
Post by: Pierre Foster on December 27, 2017, 11:41:27 pm
I have searched high and low for a Distro (preferably rack mount) that meets my needs but I am starting to think that what I seek does not meet code so it isn't offered.

The input of the Distro is not as important as the output but generally I use 50a CS from generators. My problem is that I need a mix of 120v and 240v outlets as my amplifiers are all 240v but other rack equipment is 120v.

If this configuration is against code then I understand completely but if not can someone point in the right direction if such a distro exists.
Title: Re: Multi-voltage Distro
Post by: Mark Cadwallader on December 28, 2017, 02:02:00 am
Yes, you can get distro assemblies with both 240v and 120v recepticles. Motion Labs is one reliable brand; Indu-Electric is another. Both make listed, code compliant devices. Whether or not they have a standard model that meets your needs is another question. You might need a custom panel to give you what you want.
Title: Re: Multi-voltage Distro
Post by: Pierre Foster on December 28, 2017, 09:50:04 am
Yes, you can get distro assemblies with both 240v and 120v recepticles. Motion Labs is one reliable brand; Indu-Electric is another. Both make listed, code compliant devices. Whether or not they have a standard model that meets your needs is another question. You might need a custom panel to give you what you want.

Thanks for that info Mark glad to know I'm not in search of some mythical creature. I did also find a company after my initial post called Entertainment metals that seems to sell all the components to build my own rac pac. I know the first concern will be the fact it isn't UL listed however I am in the Cayman Islands and while we do have electrical inspectors I would be fine with one of these self built racpac's
Title: Re: Multi-voltage Distro
Post by: Tim McCulloch on December 28, 2017, 11:11:01 am
Thanks for that info Mark glad to know I'm not in search of some mythical creature. I did also find a company after my initial post called Entertainment metals that seems to sell all the components to build my own rac pac. I know the first concern will be the fact it isn't UL listed however I am in the Cayman Islands and while we do have electrical inspectors I would be fine with one of these self built racpac's

IIRC, *assemblies* from Entertainment Metals are UL Listed.  I suggest a phone call to them if Listing is a requirement down in the Islands.
Title: Re: Multi-voltage Distro
Post by: Ray Aberle on December 28, 2017, 11:18:29 am
I did a generator rental recently where the electrical inspector was satisfied just based on the distro being UL-listed. Never mind the "Indoor Use Only" printed right next to the UL-Listed mark, and we were outside, in between rain showers.... haha. Oh well. Didn't notice, or didn't care.

As alluded to, "UL-Listed" =/= "Code Compliant." Your AHJ may have certain expectations that, if you don't meet, will end poorly.

As for ML, WhirlWind, EMG, etc- for an assembly to be UL listed, they have to submit the overall design of (the distro, rackpack, etc) to the UL people for certification. So, they're less apt to do truly custom work (as in a RackPack that takes a special connector in or creates a special mix of outputs, beyond what they already have publicized on their website), since the UL-certification would be cost prohibitive for a one-off or limited production run item.

So, it depends on the style of connector you need for the 240V connection. You may also find it easier to purchase an off-the-shelf unit and just swap out the one connector you need to change. (I know many people with typical "construction" spider boxes will swap the L6-30 out for an L14-30, since in this area, AV peeps CAN use L14-30 but probably CANNOT use L6-30.)

-Ray
Title: Re: Multi-voltage Distro
Post by: Pierre Foster on December 28, 2017, 11:50:07 am
IIRC, *assemblies* from Entertainment Metals are UL Listed.  I suggest a phone call to them if Listing is a requirement down in the Islands.

Thanks Tim, listing is not a requirement however I do still want to be safe. I have sent them an email so let's see if they respond.
Title: Re: Multi-voltage Distro
Post by: Pierre Foster on December 28, 2017, 11:55:13 am
I did a generator rental recently where the electrical inspector was satisfied just based on the distro being UL-listed. Never mind the "Indoor Use Only" printed right next to the UL-Listed mark, and we were outside, in between rain showers.... haha. Oh well. Didn't notice, or didn't care.

As alluded to, "UL-Listed" =/= "Code Compliant." Your AHJ may have certain expectations that, if you don't meet, will end poorly.

As for ML, WhirlWind, EMG, etc- for an assembly to be UL listed, they have to submit the overall design of (the distro, rackpack, etc) to the UL people for certification. So, they're less apt to do truly custom work (as in a RackPack that takes a special connector in or creates a special mix of outputs, beyond what they already have publicized on their website), since the UL-certification would be cost prohibitive for a one-off or limited production run item.

So, it depends on the style of connector you need for the 240V connection. You may also find it easier to purchase an off-the-shelf unit and just swap out the one connector you need to change. (I know many people with typical "construction" spider boxes will swap the L6-30 out for an L14-30, since in this area, AV peeps CAN use L14-30 but probably CANNOT use L6-30.)

-Ray

Thanks Ray, I definitely understand why companies would be reluctant to stray away from their off the shelf designs. What I need isn't very complicated and there are man industrial spider boxes out there that offer what I want. I'm just having a hard time finding it in a rack mounted version.
Title: Re: Multi-voltage Distro
Post by: Henry Cohen on December 28, 2017, 12:27:53 pm
Yes, you can get distro assemblies with both 240v and 120v recepticles. Motion Labs is one reliable brand; Indu-Electric is another. Both make listed, code compliant devices. Whether or not they have a standard model that meets your needs is another question. You might need a custom panel to give you what you want.

Motion Labs RaC Pac (https://www.motionlabs.com/products/rac-pac/)
Whirlwind catalog (http://whirlwindusa.com/media/uploads/powerlink_full_line_catalog_2016_web_low.pdf), page 7.
Lex Products (http://www.lexproducts.com/products/entertainment/powerrack-rolling-distribution-racks/enclosed-rack-mount-power-distribution)
Title: Re: Multi-voltage Distro
Post by: Mark Cadwallader on December 29, 2017, 01:34:39 pm
Pierre, depending on the exact configuration you need, you might consider two panels: the first for 240v, and a second with 120v, both using a CS 50A in and thru so they can be "daisy chained" together.  That "off the shelf" combo might be cost-effective, especially if you want to use fully listed assemblies in a rack mount format.

As an example, you can look to see how 200A 3-phase distos mix and match panels to provide a mix of recepticles. Your solution would omit the 3-phase feeder panel, of course.

Title: Re: Multi-voltage Distro
Post by: Pierre Foster on December 30, 2017, 09:06:59 pm
Pierre, depending on the exact configuration you need, you might consider two panels: the first for 240v, and a second with 120v, both using a CS 50A in and thru so they can be "daisy chained" together.  That "off the shelf" combo might be cost-effective, especially if you want to use fully listed assemblies in a rack mount format.

As an example, you can look to see how 200A 3-phase distos mix and match panels to provide a mix of recepticles. Your solution would omit the 3-phase feeder panel, of course.

Thanks for this Mark, I think you fully understand what I am trying to achieve. None of the companies listed previously offer a single rack mount unit that accepts a 50a cs and has a mix of 120v and 240v outlets. Purchasing one of each may be the only way to go. 
Title: Re: Multi-voltage Distro
Post by: Mike Sokol on December 31, 2017, 07:53:55 am
Yes, you can get distro assemblies with both 240v and 120v recepticles. Motion Labs is one reliable brand; Indu-Electric is another. Both make listed, code compliant devices. Whether or not they have a standard model that meets your needs is another question. You might need a custom panel to give you what you want.

Whirlwind makes all kinds of custom rack-mount distro panels with both 120-volt and 240-volt receptacles. You can get Edison or PowerCon outlets on the 120-volt side, as well as a variety of twist-lock and feed-thru configurations. See http://whirlwindusa.com/catalog/power-electrical-distribution/distro/plr-distros for the catalog.   
Title: Re: Multi-voltage Distro
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on January 03, 2018, 04:13:58 pm
As for ML, WhirlWind, EMG, etc- for an assembly to be UL listed, they have to submit the overall design of (the distro, rackpack, etc) to the UL people for certification. So, they're less apt to do truly custom work (as in a RackPack that takes a special connector in or creates a special mix of outputs, beyond what they already have publicized on their website), since the UL-certification would be cost prohibitive for a one-off or limited production run item.
I am not a UL expert, but I just submitted an order to Whirlwind for several power distribution items, none of which are specifically listed on their catalog (different combinations of IO than stock modules), but all will be UL-listed.  Apparently they don't have to submit each detailed config to UL if they follow certain construction parameters.

On a related note, Whirlwind's new SKB case distros might be good options for a lot of people - half the price of a rack distro and 20% of the weight.  No main breaker and no metering, but a nice intermediate step between spider boxes and full-bore rack distros.

http://whirlwindusa.com/catalog/power-electrical-distribution/distro?product-family=plr-skb
Title: Re: Multi-voltage Distro
Post by: Pierre Foster on January 04, 2018, 04:31:24 pm
Thanks for all the info guys, I think I just need to look at my power needs differently. What I had in mind would likely have to be a custom build so it's back to the drawing board for me.
Title: Re: Multi-voltage Distro
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on January 04, 2018, 05:15:42 pm
Thanks for all the info guys, I think I just need to look at my power needs differently. What I had in mind would likely have to be a custom build so it's back to the drawing board for me.
As I posted above, custom isn't necessarily prohibitive, assuming what you want is a legal configuration.  Call up Whirlwind and/or MotionLabs and I'm sure they can both help you.
Title: Re: Multi-voltage Distro
Post by: brian maddox on January 04, 2018, 07:57:13 pm
As I posted above, custom isn't necessarily prohibitive, assuming what you want is a legal configuration.  Call up Whirlwind and/or MotionLabs and I'm sure they can both help you.

Our company recently had a custom distro built by MotionLabs and i was SHOCKED at how cheap it was.  I've used their stuff for decades but i've always thought it was much more expensive than it actually is.

Granted, it was someone else paying for it.  They might not have seen it precisely as i did....