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Looking for 100A 4 pole plug alternative to Cam-Lok

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by variable, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. variable

    variable Member

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    I have a really small dimmer closet and I have to add another dimmer pack. Right now I've got 3 sets of (single phase) camlok tails coming out from the breakers and I'm facing having to find space for 4 more tails. I'd like to clean up the closet by making a panel, but as I'm only running 100A out to each dimmer pack I was wondering if there was a single plug I could use. I simply don't have enough space to put up a camlok panel. The dimmers only get removed for service. I've done a bit of GoogleU looking for a product, but what I've found, $500-$1k for each plug/receptacle combo will never get past accounting.

    Is there a 4 pole 100a or greater plug anyone has used that I could put on the end of some 6/4 to power that offers a panel mounted receptacle that costs under $500/pair?
     
  2. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    If single pole two phase, you should have two hots, a neutral and a ground feeding you. What are you missing - equipment ground in mechanical ground assumed all mounting screws are tight?

    After that, yes three to four pole plugs are expensive. more details?
     
  3. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I played this game back in 1995 when taking 24 axis of AC servo automation from Canada to Offenbach / Frankfurt Germany and I ended up using Pass & Seymour Le Grande's (Sp?) pin and sleeve connectors as they were familiar and acceptable to TUV and the Germans. The company I was with had to bite the bullet on the price for three mating pairs and they were not what you'd call "economy connectors". When I thought the 100 Amp five contacts were pricey, a year later our same shop ran into a situation where we needed the 125 Amp five contact connectors. Pass & Seymour Canada had them listed but needed far more time to deliver them and the 125 Amp versions made the 100 Amp connectors look like bargains. With apologies for being of less than zero help.
    You might try Googling power con, in the back of my mind the company may have been Anderson or Adamson Power Con. They had a line of modular connectors which were intended to be used within approved assemblies. I remember Strand Century using them within CD80 packs for shuffling the packs to accept single phase or 3 phase power. This was true of both Canadian and American produced CD80 packs. In Canada, Century Strand, as the company was then known north of the border, was using 20 and 30 Amp versions of the same modular connectors within various models of the Canadian produced CPD dimmer cabinets in both the install and portable versions. Anderson Power-Con keeps sounding right in my mind and i'm recalling the product line being extremely affordable, sturdily built, easily crimped and great value for the money.
    Best of luck to you. I spent a month on tour in your city, had a great time in a theater in the heart of your downtown, an old place with two balconies and a 60', three section, wooden extension ladder for focusing their FOH box booms. While I was there, your San Francisco Opera folks proved themselves GREAT hosts with a fabulous private tour for my wife and I at zero cost. This would've been in 1990, the year after a decent sized quake did a great deal of damage to your city.
    EDIT: I just checked my records and in 1995 in Canada, the company was known as Adamson Power-Con Rosspar. I could give you their salesman's name along with his secretary's but 22 years later there's probably little point.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
    variable likes this.
  4. variable

    variable Member

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    Pretty much nailed my setup, I'm not missing anything just trying to find a way to avoid adding 4 more cam-lok connectors and 32' of cable to the mass of spaghetti under my dimmers.

    Details:
    3 breakers in single phase panel (120, 100, 100), each has 4 2/0 feeder tails, takes an enormous amount of my limited real estate. There is a 4th breaker that had a 40yo 100A Bates plug tied to it, but that's only got the one hot, so I want to put some 6/4 in instead of running 4 wires and adding more Cam-Lok connectors to the pile.
    I'm trying to power 5 ETC Smartpacks 3 12x10a & 2 6x20a (meticulously loaded to not exceed amperage on any breaker).

    I'd just love it if I could plug the dang things into the wall like a toaster.
     
  5. variable

    variable Member

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    Sounds like you hit the Curran in 1990 since the other theater that matches your description was OOC until 96. And I can speak for the Opera, they are still amazing folks there. I have yet to work in a union house where there is so much warmth, collegiality, and gratitude for the work they get to do. I can't even imagine climbing to the top of a wooden 60' ladder. The 30' from college still gives me nightmares.

    Unfortunately I haven't had much luck with your lead, but I suspect I shall have to take my proposal for VEPs (very expensive plugs) to the powers and resign myself to another decade of shifting piles of feeder around.

    Cheers!
     
  6. n1ist

    n1ist Active Member Premium Member

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    Since the packs only pull 60A each, I would switch the breakers to 60A and use 14-60P / 14-60R plugs and receptacles. They are $150 each on Grainger but less than $100 each on Amazon.

    If you must go with 100A, I see pin-and-sleeve connectors on Amazon in the $200-$400 range.

    /mike
     
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  7. TJCornish

    TJCornish Well-Known Member

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    I agree with n1ist - you want 60A plugs for SmartPacks in two-phase configuration. The 14-60 series receptacles are the right choice, however #6 wire is not. NEC table 400.5a dictates #4 wire for 60A with three current-carrying conductors, which is required for dimmers. A hypothetical 100A connector would require #1 conductors or larger, and multi-wire portable cord isn't made in that size. If you've ever seen 2/4 SOOW you'll know why.

    You will need to change your breakers to 60A breakers as well.
     
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  8. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I had very little trouble Googling Pass & Seymour LeGrand's pricey pin and sleeve connectors but you're correct in that Adamson Pwrcon-Rosspar seems to have vanished. The old theatre in the heart of your downtown was awkward to load into as the stage was about 20 steps below grade. Being not only out of towners but Canadians, we thought nothing of trotting up the stairs after performances and walking up a main drag to where we were housed for a month. One night a stage door guard realized we hadn't had him phone for a cab and hollered after us as we passed on our way up the stairs. He was horrified when we told him we walked home every night without problems. We were then advised to be sure we always turned left out the door, stayed together in a group and walked quickly. He then added NEVER turn to the right outside the stage door as it would lead us directly into MacArthur Park where "not even the police would venture after dark". We took him at his word.
    All the best with your connector hunt and I concur with the advise you've been given re: the 60 Amp connectors and cordage. As pricey as it may seem, it's likely your best option along with the 60 Amp breakers.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard.
     
  9. variable

    variable Member

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    Well, the pack I'm trying to install will only pull 60a, but it can pull much more. The other packs are already pulling between 60-100A each, and we spend a fair amount of time running full up (comedy musical), so I want to make sure the plugs are rated for the full load.

    And those pin and sleeve connectors are great, but they are $200-400for each plug, so m+f x 5 connections=$2000-8000. Was hoping to get this done under $1k, but that doesn't look feasible.
     
  10. n1ist

    n1ist Active Member Premium Member

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    Each one of those packs that you list is rated at 60A max. I don't see how you are loading them with more than that. If you have multiple packs wired to a 100A breaker, that's not allowed anyway.
    /mike
     
  11. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    The pack can run up to 60A per leg - with your two phases that's 120A total, but still only 60A per leg so a 60A 4 wire 3 pole connector is what you need. Half your circuits are on one phase, half on the other, so you can't load more than 60A per leg without the breakers on the pack tripping.
     
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  12. microstar

    microstar Well-Known Member

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    You may be looking for "Anderson Power-Pole" connectors:
    http://www.mouser.com/ds/2/22/ds-pp75-771539.pdf
    The PP75 contacts are rated to 120 A/600V in a wire-to-wire configuration.
    Very economical.
     
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  13. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thank you "teeny-weeny Star! @microstar That looks like today's versions of the connectors I'm remembering. You probably may be pushing things with your local AHJ to be using these other than within an approved assembly but, who knows, possibly @variable has an approved dimmer cupboard.
    Thanks again for the link @microstar
    I'm remembering the various housings being manufactured in a rainbow of colors reflecting a variety of approved ratings.
    I definitely recall Strand Century using the blue housings within CD80 portable packs to swap between single phase and three phase operation plus Century Strand, in Canada, were using black, white, red, yellow (and possibly green) housings within both their install and portable CPD dimmer line.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard.
     
  14. TJCornish

    TJCornish Well-Known Member

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    Those are academically interesting, but aren't going to be allowable in the OP's situation. Even if they were, they're not a better solution than NEMA 14-60 and 4/4 SOOW.
     
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  15. variable

    variable Member

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    I understand that from the line perspective, but doesn't the plug and cable need to have a neutral capable of handling 120A? I mean, I would love your solution. I could do almost all the work myself from off the shelf parts. I'm just worried about that 7 hour photo shoot where they burn everything at full.

    I have had a more experienced electrician approve the install, but non-entertainment electricians tend to get confused around dimmer packs and not understand diversity (not like I'm anyone to speak). This was originally set up to power 3 AVAB units and a LitLab color chaser, 40 dimmers each capable of 2k. It sounds like you think I'm overpowered.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  16. TJCornish

    TJCornish Well-Known Member

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    The 14-60 is the right solution. Most of the current on the neutral wire is cancelled out, so that wire will actually carry less current than the hots. A 60A system is what the mfr intended for that product.

    Note that to be legal and for the above to be true, you need to use two pole common trip breakers which ensure the dimmer is always fully de-energized as well as makes sure you are feeding the pack from two different phases which causes the neutral wire cancellation.
     
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  17. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    One of the pluses of the modular connectors was you could assemble them into any number of poles in pretty much any physical layout / configuration you could imagine. This allowed you to have several connectors with the same quantity of poles in close proximity but still easily ascertain which were to mate with which even without any labeling. We used them a lot in the custom automation shop phase of my life. You could easily code them by physical layout and color and they were comparatively cheap as dirt. Definitely not intended to be mated and separated hourly but for a durable, flexible solution to our custom automation assembly needs they were ideal.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron
     
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  18. variable

    variable Member

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    You have persuaded me, I am going with the 60A plugs. It sounds a fairly straight forward change to make. All the breakers are 2-pole common trip, so I will just need to replace them with 60A. I'll have someone here to tie in the panels just to make sure it's all safe and legal.

    One question: I had an electrician tie in another unit (6x2.4k smartpack wall mount) into a separate, 3 phase, panel. He used a 200A breaker. Should I have that dropped down to 60A too?

    Thanks so much for the help! I'm a little chagrined at how much basic electrical knowledge I keep discovering I lack, but I am grateful to keep finding people willing to explain it kindly.
     
  19. TJCornish

    TJCornish Well-Known Member

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    Circuit breakers are sized to the downstream wiring and receptacle, if there is one. If the wire downstream of the 200A breaker is smaller than 1/0 it's a problem. If that 200A breaker feeds any connector other than a camlok panel, it's a problem. In fact, I'm not sure you can even get wire big enough for a 200A breaker into the clamp of a Smartpack - it's designed either for a 2-phase 60A inlet or a 3-phase 40A inlet.

    Short version - yes, I would put in 60A breakers for the whole works.

    Remember to use 4/4 SOOW for cable.
     
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  20. venuetech

    venuetech Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017

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