Company Switch


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Senior Team
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A large power tap that lighting, sound, automation, and motors can be "tied-in" to. Usually in the theatre they come in 100, 200, and 400 amp varieties, and are often located on the upstage side of the proscenium wall and/or offstage/upstage. They usually are 120/208VAC, 3Ø WYE-connected, 5 wire (red, blue, black, green "ground", and white "neutral") 3 phase. They usually have a large circuit breaker, or 3 cartridge fuses, attached to E1016 Camlok-style receptacles, or more commonly lugs that "tails" (bare stripped cable at one end and female connector at the other) can be connected to. Five feeder cables, usually 4/0 (pronounced four-aught), are used to carry the power to a power distribution panel ("distro") or a dimmer rack. Standard sizes are 100A, 200A, and 400A (per leg). See also disconnect.

Modern types have safety features built in that will cut the power from flowing if any of the doors are opened or leads removed, to avoid injury and/ or death from dangerous high voltage.

One purpose-built example from Lex Products-PowerGATE.

Another from

And since it was the first hit returned by Google:

See also the thread , particularly
Some further thoughts on company switches:

1. The vast majority of touring equipment uses E1016 Cam-Loks [or compatible] as the connection method.
2. All single conductor feeder systems require a Qualified Person, per the NEC.
3. There is a significant size and cost premium on company switches that have enclosed connection chambers, bare end tie ins (tails), and shunt-trip breakers.
4. Perhaps we ought to be thinking of specifying "minimalist" company switches that meet the NEC but get rid of all this other gack that is seemingly designed to make the connection point safer for unqualified personnel--which is not allowed anyway under the NEC rules for single conductor feeders. I suggest E1016 Cam-Loks as the only termination method.
5. If you need bare end connections, how about an accessory that plugs into the Cam-Lok outlets and gives you a UL-listed termination block in a box?
6. As for sequential interlock systems--the industry has spoken.


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