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Motor Control Connectors

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by TimMiller, May 12, 2009.

  1. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I have encountered a new problem. I just bought a large motor control system. It is all wired with pin and sleeve. My current motors and pickles are wired with twist lock. All other companies motors are wired with twist lock. Should i convert my entire system to twist lock? (i have a 32 way controller with at least 60+ pin and sleeve cables, so converting will be a massive undertaking). Or should i make adapters so that other companies can adapt to my system. At around 100-200 per pin and sleeve plug the price is going to get stupid expensive really quickly. I am almost thinking of just adapting the system to twist lock as i need more motor cable so that its not a big price hit all at once. Also most of my motors are single phase should i adapt part of the 3 phase motor control to single phase, or should i build a separate single phase distro that will link into the rest of my 3 phase motor control system?
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Take a look whats around you and if you want to live in your own world. I would say if you are going to adapt anything I would go all to twist. Keep in mind also that there is no defacto standard on even how the twistlock is wired or what connector is used. I kind of like the pin and sleeve system because it only takes one connector to do everything.
     
  3. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    I think (and I'm no rigger so take my opinion for what it's worth) there should be one standard for motor control. But we can't even get everyone to use 5 pin for dmx so I doubt it's ever going to happen.
     
  4. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    The pin and sleeve setup they have, there are two connectors, one for power, other for control. It seems like as soon as everyone starts to go to twist, they come out with something else.

    I have seen twist lock with 20A power - 15A control, 20A power - 20A control, multi pin of all shapes and form, and now pin and sleeve, This is really starting to get ridiculous (insert ridiculous harry potter scene here)
     
  5. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    ???
    By pin and sleeve, do you mean these: CEE Norm U.K. Limited - Home Page ?

    Looks like you'll need at least 32 Hoist-to-Fly cable adapters in any case.

    Keep you single-phase units completely separate from the three-phase ones.
     
  6. FatherMurphy

    FatherMurphy Active Member

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    I remember reading something from one of the larger motor control companies to the effect that they keep 28 different connector 'standards' on file, and had long since stopped keeping track of the custom ones. I'd put my vote on making yourself compatible with your neighbors, so you can cross-rent easily when one of you finds yourself overbooked.

    You mentioned connector prices - if you're going down to the local supply house, and buying over the counter, that's about the absolutely most expensive way to buy connectors. There's a number of theater suppliers who can sell you the exact same items for much, much less. Or, talk to a sales rep and see if you can at least get contractor pricing. Case in point: A local arena recently needed some L21-30 twist locks. An electrician working on something onsite said he could sell them for $75 each. My cost was under $20, so pricing them at $25 each made the customer very, very happy, and still gave me a goodly markup.
     
  7. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    I get electrical wholesale. Our theatrical supplier costs more than me just going to home depot.
     
  8. mnfreelancer

    mnfreelancer Active Member

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    Do you have to special order your 3 phase connectors at your Home Depot or do they actually stock them? Not an L21-30 to be found in any Home Depot around these parts (nor 3 phase breakers, load centers etc).
     
  9. FatherMurphy

    FatherMurphy Active Member

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    I've always been under the impression that the big box hardware stores intentionally did not carry three phase anything, figuring that most DIYs had no business messing with anything that would require three phase.
     
  10. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    That is fairly messed up if what I read is correct. First you have a mixture of three phase and single phase hoists and are attempting to use them as one system. Second you are considering not just adaptors from one hoist system to another but three phase to single phase control over them given a 32way controller.

    Not sure if you mean a CeeForm or Veam CIR type pin and sleeve standard either.

    I would start with given you have two different types of hoist, keeping it as two totally seperate types of system not compatable. Buy not make a second controller to control the other hoists. Next, go with what is local to you if you rent or think you will be renting but balance that with cost effectiveness. Yes where I work has the 7pin Veam CIR plug as a standard, while another local company has the 14pin Veam CIR plug as a standard for power and control of the hoists. In this case while it's frequent we rent from them, given hundreds of hoists owned, it's more cost effect to make 1:1 adaptors but only sice the 14pin plugs are only using seven pins and the amount of gear that would be needed to change over. Getting strange gets hard and stupid.
     

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