Control/Dimming Best price on Multi/Soca cable?

DenGas144

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Location
Westchester
I've been asked to research and eventually purchase multi/soca cables for the company I work for. I've always taken for granted that theses cables have been available but never put much thought into pricing, features, wire gauge, etc... Now that I'm the one in charge of these purchases I'd like to make sure I purchase a cost effective and durable cable.

- Cables will be used for s4's with 750w lamps
- Break out with minimum 3' tails
- (1) 100' and (2) 50' runs of multi/soca
- Not a permanent install

Any advise in respect to distributors, pricing, brands to stay away from, features I might not consider, etc, would be much appreciated!!
 

JD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
North Wales PA

DenGas144

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Location
Westchester
Not all Soca is the same. If this is a portable system, then you want to explore how flexible the cable would be after sitting in a cold truck. Also, what the strain relief is like on the connectors. Like anything else, ask 12 people and you will get 12 answers! Always found Lex Products to be pretty good- http://www.lexproducts.com/products/entertainment/powerflex-cable-assemblies
Thanks JD! Lex is the first company I checked out but wanted to explore my options. Thanks for the reply!
 

WayfarerAM

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Joined
Jan 3, 2016
Location
Bakersfield, CA
We use TMB for our multis, just had a pallet delivered the other day. They will build and cable to your specs at a decent price.
 

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Senior Team
Senior Team
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Joined
Nov 24, 2005
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
TMB and lex both will do you well. Both are close to you so shipping won't kill you. Best bet would be to hop in the car and pick it up in person. It won't ship cheap.
 

DuckJordan

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Joined
Oct 7, 2009
Location
Doesnt matter
My normal job I use soco all the time. We've got Lex stuff and some older tmb stuff I much prefer the Lex the connectors seem to hold up better. Good thing to note is the outer jacket of the Lex is a little thicker making longer runs hard to fit in a small case

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

MikeJ

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Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Location
Here and There
Molded Lex connectors are also guaranteed for life. You do have the cost of shipping the cable back to get it fixed, but it still speaks to a the quality of the cable. Though 14ga would probably be enough for your application, I see no reason to buy anything but 12ga. If your needs grow, you will be glad to have the extra capacity. Also, unless you ever plan to use the soca as speaker cable, just get 14 wire, not 18/19.

The lex jacket is VERY soft and easy to work with, but you have to be careful when pulling around sharp edges, or cutting tape off with a knife. TMB seems to be a little more cut resistant, but a little less flexible. They are both good cables though.

However, connectors on TMB, The LEX connectors you can solder yourself, and a couple others very similar ones that screw together, are not the best. They are constructed of 3-4 parts that screw together, some lefthand, and while it is a strong connector, stagehands are stupid and often cannot figure out how loosen just the locking collar, and will go to town with the brute force of an ox, and end up loosening all the other parts of the connector. To make matters worse the next time that cable gets used, all the parts will just spin and another stagehand won't be able to figure out how to tighten a breakout on to it, and a bunch of pins will arc and burn up your connector.

Basically just double check all your connections. I'm not sure what manufacturers use them, but I like the old school Amphenol clam shell type of connector, simple reliable, and the outer shell can be replaced without replacing the connector itself.
 

ship

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Location
Illinois
TMB has the best cable on the market for their ProCable line. Avoid the lesser line of plugs and cable. For sure do 12/14 if spending the money with any brand. And TMB can also do the molded I'm belive, Lex where I work for normally buys from, but we have also had serious quality control issues with - even on the molded. Bulk rush orders no doubt. Lex has as with all others good quality overall and in bulk, I seem to get lot number issues with them. Lot number problems - this even if I was primary mover for their specification for quality. Never ever had a problem thru TMB, and all brands warranty their cable.

Molded plugs seemingly the way to go, but once one fails due to an arc spark or what ever, it has to be cut off in making the cable shorter. I'm not a fan of solder connections in that it might be that the person doing it is properly trained and has the proper tools for doing so - at least a 40 watt iron and assuming soldering ability, but after that, it's liquid electricity within the phases of the plug at some point in the future - and without any way of knowing when. Who knows when it might fail. I'm more a fan of an overall investment of like $500 worth of pinning and crimp tools, but still soldering a grounding ring with copper foil from a Cam Loc plug. There is no brand of Soco plug on the market that has figured out how to provide a grounding ring which won't fail. Endless discussions with Lex in improving their's but still on the fence. Molded plugs at least in theory solve grounding ring problems.

Recently bought some Soco cable from ACT when the other two brands were too busy. Their cable is also well respected and they used the Veam connector also well trusted. Good end results, and Creative Stage Lighting has good stuff as another source. Samples of Star Cable have never been good for any of their cable - sorry in many samples sent over the years - as with Kupo cable/plugs.s

My guys like stainless steel for all plug and panel mount tyes. Very expensive but never wear out other than if spun heads of the plug. I like them also but it's a huge investment. Spun inserts for the pins is a huge problem and one that becomes systemically bad as a system gets older. Watch that keyway especially on the keyway of the panel mounts for getting stripped. Bad keyway will quickly become a huge problem for the furture in spun insert heads and in general constant replacements. Soco is a huge investment over time in needing watching and replacement - also not helped by the "spin the dial" types that try to line up a keyway for it by way of not looking just twisting.
 
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