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Need a connector

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by icewolf08, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Is there any multi-circuit connector (akin to socapex) that has a flush mountable female and a male connector that doesn't require a screw down locking mechanism? Ultimately I need to come up with a easy to plug/unplug solution for six circuits in a piece of scenery. It needs to happen fast, and the female connector needs to either mount flush in the deck or possibly be recessed with a lid. I don't know if such a connector exists.
     
  2. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    Alex,

    You'll find what you're looking for at Mcmaster-Carr. You're looking for item numbers, 8037K31, 8037K32, 8037K33, 8037K34, and 8037K35. I use this connector system at the Pageant and it works very well for quick plugging applications. It's rated at 16 amps per circuit with a shared ground for all circuits. I'll PM you with further details.
     
  3. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Back in my 20s, I did a stint servicing roller coaster and amusement park rides. (How's that for out there?) Anyhow, got turned on to a German company called Wieland. Basically, they are the Soco of their industry. One of the first connectors I started using in bulk were the 70.310.1040 connectors, which were 10 pin & ground, 16 amp 380 volt. Never had one fail! (and they got abused.) They were pretty inexpensive back then. I just did a quick google and here they are: http://www.wielandinc.com/
    (Click On-line catalog, Scroll down to Rectangular Connectors (page 613))
    Check out page 622. That connector comes in 6 pin to 26 pin configs. Locks and unlocks in less than a second. (In the dark!) There's many other hoods available including self closing.
    The site is a little hard to navigate. My part is long discontinued, but this page lists the 600 volt 16 amp UL/CSA equivalents. Many different pin configurations.
    Looks like they have a US dealer in N.C.

    EDIT:
    You know what, at the bottom of the connector page it has "download catalog in pdf." Its 61meg, but I think it's faster then trying to navigate their site! (and a LOT easier to read!) Start at page 612.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
  4. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Yeah. Off the top of my head the Weiland ones are rectangular and have clips to join th together. They don't need to screw in. Nor nessiearily even be clipped in together. Just pushed in. Making them great for stuff like scenery as they can just be kicked out rather than being in screwed.
    Nick
     
  5. mrb

    mrb Active Member

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    Harting is another manufacturer of these types of connectors. HARTING

    Quite common on touring gear from europe, and the old school concert lighting guys with UK origins used them quite extensively.

    Me, I prefer soco....
     
  6. KeeperoftheKeys

    KeeperoftheKeys Member

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    Harting was the first thing to come to my mind, it's the same (as far as I can tell from the picture) as the connector mentioned by cdub260 (8037K31)...

    I am still unsure about my preference, I think the harting connector is better but it's also a lot bulkier then socapex which is annoying...
     
  7. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    There are in fact several variations on this type of connector ranging from 6 to 48 pins. They are all locking connectors and they all fall into one of two subgroups. Group A utilizes a single latch as its locking mechanism. Group B utilizes a two latch system. The single latch version, which is what I use, will fill Icewolf's requirements far better than the two latch version as they are easier to unlock and therefor better suited to quick plug/unplug applications. They are also Nema 4 rated, which makes them suitable for outdoor use, which is requirement for much of what I do. There are also additional modules for use with the connector housing that make it adaptable to a near wide variety of different applications, from data transmission to low voltage power to 100 amp plugs. I've got an inch thick catalog that I picked up at LDI last fall that is devoted exclusively to this type of connector.

    There is a quick change variation of the standard Socapex connector available. I encountered it at LDI a few years back. But if I remember correctly, it's not as easy to connect/disconnect as the connectors I recommended to Icewolf. Aside from a brief demo of this connector, I have no experience with it and cannot get it from any of my suppliers.
     
  8. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    What a few screw turns ain't fast enough for you in a safety thing? Depends on your amperage but a few Cinch Jones are rated for like 15A per circuit but I wouldn't. Could go with a variety of plug in multi-pin types. First consider those few moments of having to spend a few seconds to un-screw in "loosing time" verses chance it will become unplugged during the show or develop problems given lack of locking down. Than consider it's cost verses re-use value. Just sent a tour out with some Cinch Jones... siliconed them plugs into place so as to be assured the plug will stay connected. That was with the four pin version for some Encapsulite fluorescent fixtures. One lamp per plug.
     
  9. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I am a big proponent of safety, however this has to be a very foolproof system as it has to be operated by actors in the dark... Lining up a socapex connector, even in the light, for the inexperienced is hard. I have seen people get it wrong and even manage to thread some of the screw. Also, the panel mounts for socapex would be really hard to flushmount on account of the screw ring. if we countersunk the female connector, you would not be able to get your hands in to screw down the locking ring as it would be in the stage. So thus my looking for other options. Needless to say, we won't use and unsafe solution.
     
  10. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    The connectors recommended by me, JD, NickJones, mrb, and KeeperoftheKeys are all the same design by different manufacturers. They are locking connectors and when properly wired with good strain reliefs are very safe. The Pageant of the Masters has been using these connectors for 25 years and they have proven to be very reliable, standing up to abuse far better than any Socapex connector I've used (no threads to damage). They only plug in one way, no fumbling around to get the connector lined up right. If you have it lined up the wrong way, simply flip it over and it will plug in. Throw the lever lock and no amount of pulling will unplug the connector. Release the lever lock and it automatically unplugs.

    This is about as close to an idiot proof set-up as you're likely to find.

    But then again, they do keep making better idiots.:rolleyes:
     
  11. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Did a lot of clubs setting up in the dark. (And tearing down.) They really are easy. The 16 amp rating is the only thing that limits them for stage usage. I do know the rating is conservative on the Wieland connectors as I know someone who was running chains of 4559 ACLs (20 amp +) on long tours and never even discolored a pin. (Not recommended! Never run connectors above their rated value.)
     
  12. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Have seen in the past white pain marker alignment lines on the shells of the plug representing the key way to it. Perhaps some concept of glow paint marker markings beyond white paint stripe is up and you find your fitting would be common to all plugs, than a question of a few moments screwing it locked after finding the stripe.

    Anyway, I'm thinking normal plugs and reusability and the talent as it were in using it as a budget and standardization option that I think screwing it locked seperate from mating it up in question. Up or down on multi-pin plug needs marking as would perhaps that stripe in where the key way is on the harder to match round connector be to mate. On the other hand, enough light they can see a white line on the plug that represents the keyway matching and no less difficult to match up than a say rectangular plug that needs up or down matching up.

    Anyway, I would go Soco style in type but recognize your needs and problems in doing so.

     
  13. Sean

    Sean Active Member

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    Am looking into using the same/similar connector family. I'm confused about the connector hood...which is the male and which is the female? It seems as if the mating sets from McMaster include one cable mount and one panel mount. I'd prefer to have two cable mount.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!

    --Sean
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  14. KeeperoftheKeys

    KeeperoftheKeys Member

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    I haven't taken these cables appart for a while now, but what I remember is that the piece with the pins or the female parts is seperate, connected with 2 or 4 screws to either the cable mount or the panel mount (a bit reminicent of how some ceeform17 plugs are made), so you can choose what's what (which you abviously would need as one end of the cable is male and the other is female).

    Maybe this will help you:
    Industrial Connectors (HanĀ®) - HARTING Connectivity & Networks
     
  15. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    KeeperoftheKeys is correct. This is a modular system. For a complete connector and receptacle assembly you would need to purchase a hood, a base, a male insert and a female insert. You also need to purchase some form of strain relief of the proper NPT size. As far as cable to cable connections are concerned, you would need two hoods per cable and inserts for each hood. Unfortunately, there is no way to lock the connectors together using this set-up, as the latch is built into base rather than the hood.
     
  16. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    side point, a keyway on a round plug prevents improper insertion. On the other hand, various other multi-pin plugs allow for either up or down in correct or not correct.

    Let us know what you choose and how it worked out.
     
  17. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Wow... I'm surprised that people are unaware of Wielands, they are used as much or more so than Socapex down here. The 6 pin is the standard connector for a chain motor down here (well 6 plus the shell for the Earth contact).

    10 pin wieland is used for 4 circuit cables, most often PAR bars (which here are done in 4s quite often). Some people choose to use 16 pin for 240v circuits to slow down people from plugging 110 and 240 interchangably...

    There are male and female line and panel mounts, traditionally the latches are attached to the female connector and the pins the male connector.

    Oh and 16A is plenty when you don't need double the amps to do the same work by using 120 not 240...:twisted::twisted::twisted:
     
  18. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Yea, the Wielands are all over the place in the carnival and amusement ride industry. They live their whole life outdoors, get run over by trucks, and come up smiling! It must be the 16a rating that keeps them off the stage. Don't know what they go for now, but found an old receipt from the 80s and I was paying $4.50 for the 10 pin inserts and $3.75 for the shells. Even if they doubled in price, they would still be great.
     
  19. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I love the Wirlwind for data or Clear Com. Got some 39pin and 61pin versions that are yet to fail more than a few times in the plug thankfully for the various DMX or Clear Com front of house snakes. Snakes themselves fail long before the plug. Use the 39 pin for Clear Com and video or DMX attached to fiber optic snakes or 61pin for the huge universe DMX snakes.

    Stage hands using such wirlwin plugs in the field so far are confounded in breaking the pins so far for the most part with a wirlwin plug in mating male with female. This as opposed to constant breaking of the Socapex brand plugs to the point I even invented a hole saw to drill out a broken solder pin and epoxy in a new one so as to save it for one more use. Wirlwin has the silly set screws so as to spin a panel mount plug into another direction on the other hand. Small problem unless the set screw falls off. Loose set screw in that panel now mount spinning, tighten it and add threadlocker to it. Easy fix as opposed to popping a retaining ring on a Soco multi-pin, installing a new body than getting the snap ring re-locked into place.

    Love the shorter pins and quality of the Wirlwind. This over 37pin Socapex brand 337 type which is unfortunate the standard to most of our front of house eight universe snakes. Male pins are too long and especially if solder type break easily, crimp type pins or sockets while better in flexibility but harder to get, push in and also at times bend or break even still. Strain relief system and area inside the body of the plug is insane. Constant repairs to my department on them and huge cost in replacing especially the panel mount versions that for male especially no matter the type, lock up in nut or just plain panel mount breaks off. Cursid Soco #337.

    Working on a few suppliers to custom make some plugs to mate with the Soco brand in solving the problems, (talking going stainless steel and weathertight long body strain relief in bulk for special order,) but I really wish I could go back like eight years and better choose what multi-pin data plug we went with in a huge way. Now it's too late to change. Talking about literally hundreds of this plug in circulation and getting parts for them or replacements is at times really difficult especilly given the start of the touring season notorious three month vacation for the French at this time. Same with Neutrik but at least a little easier to get even if "crazy American" there isn't a problem attitude from them also.

    Data, such a Wirwind plug, sure. Socapex or Veam VSC series type plugs on the other hand are the standard for 20A 6 circuit multi-cable. Also recently bought some McMaster type 32pin rectangular plugs to match up with our really old and recycled 37pin cable once with Pyle national 37pin Mod II plugs on it. Modified one scissors lift to the 12 circuit concept and suddenly it was realized lamps could share circuits as opposed to one circuit per lamp in being a big project I bought $1.7K worth of plugs and connectors to. This plug was only rated for 15 Amps as opposed to the Pyle National Mod. II rated for 20 Amps but a bear to wire (trust me) and being at least double in price, much less like 12" in length horse cock plugs.

    15A ain't amperage for a standard 20A dimmer which leads to a problem in loading without proper supervision.

    Concept even if broken record on a point is re-use of what you buy. If the production has the $$$ to just throw out what it needs afterwards - and I do run into that type of thing in them as a production buying the gear and at that point if they want to save money in doing something fine... (I'll dumpster dive later.) Otherwise if what the production wants, and what is to be used, one needs to consider reusability.

    Would a Soco type plug be more useful a few years from now, or a 15A plug? Actors can be trained or ways to do things figured out. This on the other hand, I just bought for two seperate tours within the past three months a total of 80x spider type fan-out plugs which are a Soco type to six circuit individual adaptor whipped normally stage pin type way of making a Soco into individual circuit plug. The heck am I gonna after these tours am I going to do with 80x above what we already have in similar plugs already pre-wired in bulk and don't persay need more of to this extent? This much less when finding the time to re-wire them?

    At some point, if huge in bulk, even if much cheaper to buy at times the Soco Standard, man-hours to change them into a fan-out would be cost prohivitive in what otherwise might be thrown out.... or if they listened to me.... Anyway, the production saved money on terminating the fixtures direct to six circuit multi-pin given they were in pods it was ok. What to do with them once done, too expensive to toss out, too much labor to make useful and not really needed.

    Anyway, this a side bar.
     
  20. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Might be talking two different animals here. The Wieland connector below (from the 1980s) spent 15 years on the road under one of the most abusive crew chiefs I know. Quite dirty, but it probably still works! The name of the gray plastic they use slips my mind, but you can hit it with a hammer and it won't crack. This model used side set screws and cad sleeves that would handle #12 without cutting any strands. Inserts would fit a number of different hoods. Same for male or female.
    [​IMG]
     

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