Powercon prices?

len

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Oct 23, 2004
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Chicagoland
Poking around the interwebz and I saw some powercon to edison cords for upwards of $2.00 a foot. That seems outrageous to me.

a. Are they really that expensive since the blue connector is available for less than $5.00 by itself?

b. Is it that difficult to take a female edison plug off and replace it with powercon?
 

MNicolai

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a. Yes. Same thing goes for DMX cables. You're paying for 2 connectors, the cable, the labor to install the connectors, and markup from whomever you're purchasing from. If there's any kind of "free shipping" deal you're paying for that cost of shipping being built into the unit price too. The shorter the cable, the more absurd the cost of the cable seems because whether the cable is 2' long or 200' long, it costs the same install the connectors on both ends. Longer the cable, the heavier it is and therefore more expensive shipping is.

b. Nope. Mostly just depends on what your own time is worth. Watch a couple YouTube videos, don't over strip the wires or cut into the insulation of the individual conductors when you strip the cable jacket off, and use the appropriate size and type of wire for the job. Triple check your work the first few times you do this and then double check your work from there on out.

My recommendation -- if you're buying more than just a couple cables and don't want to build your own, get a quote. You should be able to get somewhat better pricing than if you add 15 to your cart from Full Compass or B&H Photo's websites. If you're comfortable building your own though, buy the connectors and the cable in bulk and go to town.
 

BillConnerFASTC

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Clayton NY 13624
Just beware that im pretty sure - @STEVETERRY - your homemade powercon jumpers won't meet NEC because they are not UL listed assemblies and are not 12/3 SO, etc. That could cost - of maintain a UL shop - is not insignificant.

Will they work and be safe? Probably. If there's an injury or property loss incident that has anything to do with the jumpers will there be a problem? Possibly.
 

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Just beware that im pretty sure - @STEVETERRY - your homemade powercon jumpers won't meet NEC because they are not UL listed assemblies and are not 12/3 SO, etc. That could cost - of maintain a UL shop - is not insignificant.

Will they work and be safe? Probably. If there's an injury or property loss incident that has anything to do with the jumpers will there be a problem? Possibly.
Are you really saying you can't build your own powercon cables without being a UL shop? If that is the case we have thousands of theatres and touring shows out there that should be shut down. Also, I could have sworn we just had a provision put into the NEC that allows for SJ jumpers under a certain footage.
 

JD

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Jan 1, 2005
Location
North Wales PA
The Powercon is a fixture only connector, so the cable you are making is more or less a fixture whip. Powercon connectors are not listed to be used, for example, as an outlet.
Because it is basically an appliance cable, different rules apply. (Just don't make any extension cables with them.) ;)
 
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MikeJ

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Actually, you are not allowed do anything having to do with electricity, because its magic, and you are not a wizard. Bow down to the Control Booth overloads, and cower in their magnificent splendor! Muhahahahaha.
 

BillConnerFASTC

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I'm just sharing what I've learned so please don't kill the messenger. And I tried to point out above that jumpers with 12 SO et al and listed connectors are not the same as the cables that fit in a powercon and powercon, a recognized component. UL recognized components and UL listed devices are not the same. Listed and labeled are more similar, but not the same.

The devil is in the details.
 

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Yea, kind of remembering a conversation about this before that ST was in on. Not sure there was a clear answer on fixture jumpers, but the general thought was that it is still a fixture appliance cable at that point as compared to an extension cable.
Meyer has been putting through's on their speaker's powercons for at least 15 years. Every LED moving light has throughs. ETC puts throughs on their LED fixtures. If we can't make a powercon extension cable then I'm at a real loss as to what we are supposed to do here. I have probably 50 or so of these cables in my inventory. So... this cable is illegal if I built it in house? http://whirlwindusa.com/catalog/power-electrical-distribution/cables/nac3-length



Its not a hard connector to wire. No reason why you shouldn't be able to build your own.
 

MNicolai

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Add to the list that JBL ships some powered speakers like their VRX series with bare ends to Powercon that you, the customer, put either a loop-through Powercon (grey), Edison, or other appropriate connector on to feed power into your newly purchased speakers.
 

Jay Ashworth

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Feb 7, 2014
Location
St Pete FL USA
Well, let's clarify one point here. All of those speaker connections are probably using speakons, not powercons...

Makes a difference, because that stuff is low voltage. That said, I cannot imagine that, legally, there is all that much difference between making or repairing your own stage pin cable and making or repairing your own powercon extension. Or even a whip, with an attachment cap on it.

But I am not an attorney, I have merely been playing one on the internet for 35 years. If following my advice breaks anything, you get to keep both pieces.
 

EdSavoie

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Windsor, ON, Canada
I would argue unpowered speakers are tidier to fly, requiring you only run a single cable to the first speaker (what unpowered units don't have parallel jacks?)

You do have to keep impedance in mind, but I've never been much a fan of powered speakers for anything above the pc-speaker or TV range.

Right, back to topic...

I don't see why you couldn't terminate and make your own cable so long as you didn't do it incorrectly. Could they even sell kits with labs approval if wiring the supplied cable by the user was a violation?
 

JD

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Location
North Wales PA
I don't think there is an issue with looping unit to unit. What would be an issue would be if you installed a powercon as an outlet in a building or wireway, or if you made up extension cables that exceeded "appliance cable / Whip" lengths, such as a 50 foot male to female.
Regarding the fixtures being supplied with bear ends, since I retired I haven't been buying new fixtures, but almost all the conventional fixtures I ever bought came with bare ends as the manufacture doesn't really know if you need Edison, Stage pin, or Twist-lock connectors. I know the trend has been away from that for years.
 

Chris15

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I would argue unpowered speakers are tidier to fly, requiring you only run a single cable to the first speaker (what unpowered units don't have parallel jacks?)

You do have to keep impedance in mind, but I've never been much a fan of powered speakers for anything above the pc-speaker or TV range.
To save derailing this thread too much more, let's just note that there are many more considerations than just impedance, and there are particular advantages and disadvantages of active vs passive in different applications.
 

len

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Oct 23, 2004
Location
Chicagoland
a. Yes. Same thing goes for DMX cables. You're paying for 2 connectors, the cable, the labor to install the connectors, and markup from whomever you're purchasing from. If there's any kind of "free shipping" deal you're paying for that cost of shipping being built into the unit price too. The shorter the cable, the more absurd the cost of the cable seems because whether the cable is 2' long or 200' long, it costs the same install the connectors on both ends. Longer the cable, the heavier it is and therefore more expensive shipping is.

b. Nope. Mostly just depends on what your own time is worth. Watch a couple YouTube videos, don't over strip the wires or cut into the insulation of the individual conductors when you strip the cable jacket off, and use the appropriate size and type of wire for the job. Triple check your work the first few times you do this and then double check your work from there on out.

My recommendation -- if you're buying more than just a couple cables and don't want to build your own, get a quote. You should be able to get somewhat better pricing than if you add 15 to your cart from Full Compass or B&H Photo's websites. If you're comfortable building your own though, buy the connectors and the cable in bulk and go to town.
What??? Things cost money to build? People want to get paid? I thought they were all theatre volunteers and elves.
 
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