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Design Issues and Solutions Protective CAM-lok covers

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by MNicolai, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Here's the problem. For our outdoor 100a-3phase service panel, the CAM's out of the bottom of the panel are exposed, obviously so that you can plug feeder cable in without having to open the panel up. HOWEVER, it is housed within another panel, that also has an open bottom. We're looking for solutions to protect the female CAM's on the panel from the weather when snow builds up in the winter. Any ideas?
     
  2. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Three solutions come to mind.
    First, Crutch tips, Yes the little rubber things that you can pick up at any drug store or medical supply house, they go on the end of canes to provide traction/protection. They are the perfect size to slide over an exposed male end of a camlock, they also fit neatly into the recess of a female end. When working on Men Of Honor, I bought out several drug stores entire indventory to cap off the spare plugs on spider boxes, lunch boxes etc. This solution is going to set you back around ten dollars.

    Second, Much more expensive, buy some male cam locks, fill the back end < where the cable goes > with epoxy, then use the as plugs, this will provide a water tight / corrosion tight seal. As mentioned, however, this is a much more expensive solution at a couple hundred dollars.

    Third, Install a new panel with NEC approved Wet condition, safety caps on the plugs. This shouldn't be more than a couple thousand dollars.
     
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  3. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    Is there enought room to shove the connectors inside the outer box? If not here is exactly what your looking for

    http://www.crouse-hinds.com/moldedproducts/customprod/j_powerx.pdf

    Look on page 8 (E1016 series is standard cam lock) and what you need are the protective caps.

    FYI this is a really good catalog to have on hand and Here is where i get all of my cam cables from
    J Custom Supply, Inc.
    They have better prices than any one else. And they will sell you everything from raw connectors to cables premade.
     
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  4. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Thanks a lot, guys!

    This same box gave us a bit of frustration today. All 10 cams were held in place using grommets as washers, and they were so small that 3 of the cams broke loose and were only held on by the flexibar straps. Thanks to that I spent two and a half hours weaseling my arm in a funky angle to replace each of the washers, which was followed by moving the straps away from the screws. Previously some of the straps were nearly touching the screws, which would've caused entire phases to directly ground out. I have no idea how in the past six years since the facility opened, nobody became fried by that panel.
     
  5. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Please tell me you disconnected the panel prior to sticking your arm in there.......:rolleyes:
     
  6. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    If I hadn't, I wouldn't be here right now.

    Before I even started I went in with a multimeter to verify nothing was live in the panel, including the feed to it. After turning the power back on, but before closing up shop, I took the multimeter again to verify no current was being carried through the panel, that between phases it correctly read 208VAC, individually 120VAC, and that the panel itself grounded properly.
     
  7. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Attaboy, MNicolai!

    I saw an interesting Camlok output panel today. A 400A Switch with two sets of outputs, each containing 1x Blk, Red, Blu Females, 2x Wht Males & Females, 1x Grn Male & Female. So a total of NINE receptacles per each row, all with metal spring-loaded covers, 18 total. Very safe, but a bit of a pain as I had to open almost every cover to find the color and gender I needed. I'm guessing the designer/builder never wanted anyone to ever have to use gender-changers. And I always like Grn on the left. Taught a couple of people the correct order to plug in today. And explained, again, unless you can see both ends of the cable, treat it as live.
     
  8. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Ah! And even sometimes when you think you see both ends of the cable, it's still live because it was actually two cables!

    Anyway, there is an old saying in Pyro- "Always treat explosives like they are about to go off, because someday they just might!" I find the same rule works pretty well with power. Even when you are absolutely sure something is powered down, don't become "part" of the circuit!

    And then there's this one- The biggest zap I ever got was from a com cable that wasn't connected to anything! It had been strung aerial over to a follow spot platform at an outside gig. There was a storm in the air, but no lightning. I learned a new term that day- "air voltage gradient."
     

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