Getting Electricity to non-electric battens.

Andy Haefner

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Location
USA
Every year for multiple events, my school uses light fixtures (typically 2 moving heads) on a batten, we routinely run extension cords off the batten to power them, however i thought of an idea. Currently we have dead hung electrics, which could supply power to the bar, obviously it isnt the best idea to "cheat" because if anybody moves the lineset... well you get the rest. I was thinking about possibly using a retractable power extension to chain power without straining any cables. What are your thoughts on this?
 

josh88

Remarkably Tired.
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Location
Ypsilanti, Michigan
I have jumped power to another batten like that before but just used regular power, and a genie/ladder and then coiled/tied of the excess. If you're worried about someone moving the lineset, lock it out so that once it is hung nobody can change the height.

Alternatively, how does power get to those electrics? is is a raceway or drop boxes? if its boxes, just shift a box over to the batten you need power on.
 

BillConnerFASTC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Location
Clayton NY 13624
I'm not a big fan of reels, and caution you on the difficulty and expense of getting one with cable that meets code for stage. (Boy, that's a common issue here.) There are means of rigging a jumper. Besides the manual coil it up from a ladder or platform, it might be possible to find a proper way to swag it from a lift line of the pipe that moves so its near horizontal when that pipe is down and goes upward at an angle when that pipe is in play position. Lots of issues that could make that not possible. Easiest might be to feed it from the floor if you can drop from the batten. And just leaving a swag from end of one batten to the other can work. Without knowing plan and section, hard to come up with the best solution, but I doubt reels are it. If not expense and code, just the horizontal pull on both these pipes may cause worse problems.
 

SteveB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Brooklyn, NY
I have jumped power to another batten like that before but just used regular power, and a genie/ladder and then coiled/tied of the excess. If you're worried about someone moving the lineset, lock it out so that once it is hung nobody can change the height.

Alternatively, how does power get to those electrics? is is a raceway or drop boxes? if its boxes, just shift a box over to the batten you need power on.
Which begs the question is the "power" available on a dead hung electric from a dimmer ?, and are you swapping to a relay or constant ?.

If not you are wasting your time running cable to dimmed circuits and might as well run off the batten to dedicated power.
 

John Palmer

Active Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2014
Location
Cerritos, CA
The reel style extension cords that are available at the local big box store are not appropriate. There is a disclaimer on most of those reels that the cord is supposed to be fully extended for use. The heat build-up inside the reel housing would significantly derate the cable. Also, depending on the mover, it could be drawing near capacity for an extended period increasing heat.
Don't do it!
A cable pick is the way to go.
I run cable from a distro to battens all the time. I pick up the cable off the end of the batten, so that there is slack to fly the battens in without disturbing the cable pick.
It takes a little work and some trial and error, but once you have the trims and distances worked out, it goes quickly.
Take care,
John