Local custom or standard practice?

STEVETERRY

Well-Known Member
"All multi-pole, multi-circuit connectors shall be clearly marked with the voltage of the branch circuits serviced by the connector."
Does this mean that the same piece of multicable will need different labeling if used with a 208/240v distro vs a 120v distro?
That is absolutely correct. Trunk cable multiconnectors feeding 120V breakouts must be marked 120V, while trunk cable connectors feeding 208V breakouts must be marked 208V. Marking need not be permanent, just "clear".

ST
 

Scarrgo

Well-Known Member
Little off topic, I did a tour of Oklahoma, thought I'd have a little fun with mult labels, so I used cow-cow, pig-pig, Horse - well, you get the idea....

It was terrible, most folks didnt get it, I had to go back and relabel them all A, B, C...., I guess I am not as fun as I thought...

Oh, they didnt get "Das Feeder" box either....

Just trying to have a little bit of fun.....
Sean...
 

microstar

Well-Known Member
Little off topic, I did a tour of Oklahoma, thought I'd have a little fun with mult labels, so I used cow-cow, pig-pig, Horse - well, you get the idea....

It was terrible, most folks didnt get it, I had to go back and relabel them all A, B, C...., I guess I am not as fun as I thought...

Oh, they didnt get "Das Feeder" box either....

Just trying to have a little bit of fun.....
Sean...
Well I AM from Oklahoma, I know about electricity, and I certainly don't get it either. You really must be not as fun as you thought.:confused:
 

TimMc

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Little off topic, I did a tour of Oklahoma, thought I'd have a little fun with mult labels, so I used cow-cow, pig-pig, Horse - well, you get the idea....

It was terrible, most folks didnt get it, I had to go back and relabel them all A, B, C...., I guess I am not as fun as I thought...

Oh, they didnt get "Das Feeder" box either....

Just trying to have a little bit of fun.....
Sean...
You needed to use words from the songs "Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry when I take you out in the surry...."

Although "issinglass" might be confusing...
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
But then, I would say that, since I wrote it-- in 1993, and happily it was adopted into the 1996 NEC.
Oh sure, bring that up! <surrenders> 🩲 (closest I could find to waving a white flag).

I'm not disparaging any of the work you've done, and continue to do, I'm just saying I think you could/should have at least mentioned break-in the underdog. "When Polly's in trouble, I am not slow..." I honestly can't tell you that last time I used a break-in. But it's still nice to know it's there.
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And finally, in 2023 addressing the issue of the bi-voltage Socapex 419 connector.

This story is worth repeating...
After watching six (expensive 2K Fresnel) lamps blow, in sequence,
"I told you to label the cable."
"No, I told you to label the cable."
I guess the cable never got labelled.
 

JohnD

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
Well I AM from Oklahoma, I know about electricity, and I certainly don't get it either. You really must be not as fun as you thought.:confused:
I too am from Oklahoma and since the noize boiz had SNAKES I had eelectrics for the multi circuit cables.
 

Gobokat

Active Member
"All multi-pole, multi-circuit connectors shall be clearly marked with the voltage of the branch circuits serviced by the connector."
Does this mean that the same piece of multicable will need different labeling if used with a 208/240v distro vs a 120v distro?
My guess is the straight lengths of multi are not needing labels since no device connects to them directly, but on the break-out/ins we'll need to label with what the voltage is, but isn't that odd since we should be using NEMA connectors which are voltage specific??
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
My guess is the straight lengths of multi are not needing labels...
Yes and no. The cable itself does not need a label, but it does say "ALL...[Soco]...connectors". So every multi-cable gets two labels, one at each end.

... but isn't that odd since we should be using NEMA connectors which are voltage specific??
The fixture/device end(s) (females) of the break-out has single-pole connectors that are already labeled as to voltage (albeit often in tiny typeface) from the manufacturer.

... but isn't that odd since we should be using NEMA connectors which are voltage specific??
Not that odd. Due to the huge installed base, some usage and practices just get grandfathered in, as it were.
 

Malabaristo

Well-Known Member
but isn't that odd since we should be using NEMA connectors which are voltage specific??
And what prevents you from plugging in the wrong breakout? Or, from plugging the other end of the Soco into the wrong connector on the power distro? Obviously, stupid mistakes can still happen, but labeling reduces the chances a little.

The common usage of multi-cables in theatre for both 120 and 208 has always been gray at best, because the NEC doesn't generally allow the same connector to be used for different voltages in the same setting. This change is essentially adding a permission that was never there before by saying, "Okay, we recognize you're already doing this potentially very confusing and problematic thing, but at least label the crap out of everything so we can try to make it a little safer. Please?"
 

STEVETERRY

Well-Known Member
And what prevents you from plugging in the wrong breakout? Or, from plugging the other end of the Soco into the wrong connector on the power distro? Obviously, stupid mistakes can still happen, but labeling reduces the chances a little.

The common usage of multi-cables in theatre for both 120 and 208 has always been gray at best, because the NEC doesn't generally allow the same connector to be used for different voltages in the same setting. This change is essentially adding a permission that was never there before by saying, "Okay, we recognize you're already doing this potentially very confusing and problematic thing, but at least label the crap out of everything so we can try to make it a little safer. Please?"
Not quite.

Just like other things in the theatre (like single-conductor feeders) that require qualified persons, that is the case with Special-Purpose Multi-Circuit Cable Systems.

This is the full list of proposed requirements:

520.68(D) Special-Purpose Multi-Circuit Cable Systems.

Special-purpose multi-circuit cable systems shall comply with the following requirements:

(1) Branch circuits shall be rated at not more than 20 amperes and not more than 150 volts to ground.
(2) Trunk cable types shall be extra-hard usage (hard service) or hard usage (junior hard service).
(3) The ampacity of trunk cables shall be determined in accordance with Table 520.44(C)(2).
(4) Trunk cables, breakout assemblies, and multi-circuit enclosures shall be listed.
(5) Section 406.8 shall not apply to multi-circuit, multipole plugs or receptacles that are part of a special-purpose multi-circuit cable system.
(6) All multi-circuit, multipole connectors shall be clearly marked with the voltage of the branch circuits serviced by the connector.
(7) Installation and operation shall be performed by a qualified person(s).

And this is 406.8, which would no longer apply to these systems based on (5) above:

406.8 Noninterchangeability.
Receptacles, cord connectors, and attachment plugs shall be constructed such that receptacle or cord connectors do not accept an attachment plug with a different voltage or current rating from that for which the device is intended. However, a 20-ampere T-slot receptacle or cord connector shall be permitted to accept a 15-ampere attachment plug of the same voltage rating. Non–grounding-type receptacles and connectors shall not accept grounding-type attachment plugs.

Finally, do you have a better idea for a solution? If so, bring it on! The industry has steadfastly rejected multiple solutions to prevent intermating of 19-pin connectors operating at different voltages. That left us with the proposed NEC solution above, which at least makes these systems allowable by the NEC with the qualified person and listing provisos.


ST





 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
Trunk cable types shall be

Finally, do you have a better idea for a solution? If so, bring it on! The industry has steadfastly rejected multiple solutions to prevent intermating of 19-pin connectors operating at different voltages. That left us with the proposed NEC solution above, which at least makes these systems allowable by the NEC with the qualified person and listing provisos.


ST





Just curious as to the term "trunk cable", as I associate that with only one stage lighting manufacturer which arguably is defunct.

I also notice the term "multi-cable" doesn't appear. Why?

Final question: Although targeted toward Socapex 419-compatibles, intentionally non-specific so as to encompass other connectors. Does anyone know if the Pyle-National 12/37 was ever used for anything other than 120V?

Final, final question/statement: I'm assuming this article will apply to the PRG S400 components, even though that system provides greater safety than merely labelling.
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I already use black or white tape for 120 and red tape for 208.
I already use letters for dimmer and numbers for 208 MLs.
So what this NEC change means to me:
I'll be also writing, as small as my Sharpie will allow, "120V" or "208V" on the label of every multi-connector. No biggie.
 

STEVETERRY

Well-Known Member
Just curious as to the term "trunk cable", as I associate that with only one stage lighting manufacturer which arguably is defunct.

I also notice the term "multi-cable" doesn't appear. Why?

Final question: Although targeted toward Socapex 419-compatibles, intentionally non-specific so as to encompass other connectors. Does anyone know if the Pyle-National 12/37 was ever used for anything other than 120V?

Final, final question/statement: I'm assuming this article will apply to the PRG S400 components, even though that system provides greater safety than merely labelling.
-----
I already use black or white tape for 120 and red tape for 208.
I already use letters for dimmer and numbers for 208 MLs.
So what this NEC change means to me:
I'll be also writing, as small as my Sharpie will allow, "120V" or "208V" on the label of every multi-connector. No biggie.
1. "Multi-circuit cable" was thought to be more explanatory to the NEC community than "multi-cable".
2. I know of no application in of Pyle 37-pin connectors in the entertainment industry at a branch circuit voltage greater than 120V.
3. I believe PRG S400 will fall under this new section.
4. I have always called it a "trunk cable" since 1982. A definition of trunk cable is also going into the 2023 NEC:

Trunk Cable.
A portable extension cable containing six or more branch circuits, a male multipole plug and a female multipole receptacle.

ST
 

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