Safe load for 16/19 Socapex

theatricalmatt

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May 25, 2013
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New England
Not very much!

16 gauge cable is usually used for audio, rather than lighting. Yes, the connectors fit, but....

12 gauge multicable is usually rated at 2k, 14 gauge at 1k; I think you'd be lucky to pull 300w off each circuit. The capacity of each conductor drops when it's bundled all together, as opposed to run in free air. At that distance, also, voltage drop along the cable will knock you down to 110v or so output.

You're better off checking with the manufacturer, though; most manufacturers carry a listing on their website.
 

STEVETERRY

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Aug 12, 2007
Location
New York
Not very much!

16 gauge cable is usually used for audio, rather than lighting. Yes, the connectors fit, but....

12 gauge multicable is usually rated at 2k, 14 gauge at 1k; I think you'd be lucky to pull 300w off each circuit. The capacity of each conductor drops when it's bundled all together, as opposed to run in free air. At that distance, also, voltage drop along the cable will knock you down to 110v or so output.

You're better off checking with the manufacturer, though; most manufacturers carry a listing on their website.
Actually, a 12AWG, 6-circuit multicable rated at 90 degrees C with 12 current-carrying conductors is sized per NEC table 520.44. While each circuit ends up with a rating of 24.5A, there are two conditions required:

A. The cable cannot be used on branch circuits rated larger than 20A, and
B. There is a 50% diversity requirement, which means that the largest load that can be simultaneously energized across all 6 circuits is 73.5A, or 8,820W at 120V.

For more on multicable diversity, see my article here:

http://www.etcconnect.com/uploadedF...Understanding_Hidden_Electrical_Diversity.pdf

ST
 

MikeJ

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Nov 29, 2013
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Here and There
I really hate the terms "1k" and '2k" for lighting cable. I guess it comes from TV or Film. Its pretty common, but an incorrect term. AMPERAGE is the limit, not Wattage.
Lets say I have a Moving light that draws 2000 watts, now these would be a constant draw, so there is not diversity; we will need to de-rate the cable by 50%
2k at 120v is 16.67 amps = I can only put 4 fixtures on a 6 circuit multi.
2k at 208v is 9.6 amps = at this voltage I can put 6 fixtures on this multi, utilizing it more fully.

Living and working mostly in North America, I almost never run anything at 120v if I don't have to.
 

MikeJ

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Nov 29, 2013
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Here and There
Just how do you avoid 120 volt gear in North America?
Almost all modern gear in the US will run on 120-240v(if does not burn tungsten), . This can mean running 12 soca cables instead of 24, so there is a benefit to needing less power distribution, less copper,less deck space space, cleaner cable management, and a faster loadin/out.

I need to point out that the above responses are talking about 12-gauge multi-cable, not 16-gauge, which the original poster asked about.
To actually answer the original question, I think 16ga is generally used up to 10 amps, so 30A total at any time across all 6 circuits would be the limit. Depending on the length, you may need to lower this a bit.
 

ship

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Mar 29, 2003
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Illinois
Olfelx Soco cable was about 14/16 in being Euro/Metric. Where I work such cable is still rated at 1Kw per circuit on a few hundred lamp bars and 1Kw cables. Such cable started their life as per Veam VSC type 16 pin and got re-used in 1Kw Soco during the 70's to 90's transition to Soco. I converted a lot of them over the years. Even added 1.5Kw cable to the inventory when buying proper 14ga cable.

Here is a question, are you reading 16ga or 1.6 in wire gauge? Big difference if metric and common for 1Kw cable I think mostly in use if other than this century. Look at your wire stripper and 14ga = 1.6ga metric. Strip a conductor outer jacket with the 14ga hole. Once the insulation is stripped off, what size hole do the conductors most close fit within?

If 16/18... sounds like sound cable and sorry, really low amperage in agreeing.

If of help, this year I finally parted 10 years later with a 1,000' spol of 16/37 SO cable. Was to use it on some Pantographs - and it will have been hard to do but the project demanded it. And the project got cancelled after started. Sat on the spool for ten years... to scrap in no longer taking up space.
 
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JD

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Jan 1, 2005
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North Wales PA
If of help, this year I finally parted 10 years later with a 1,000' spol of 16/37 SO cable. Was to use it on some Pantographs - and it will have been hard to do but the project demanded it. And the project got cancelled after started. Sat on the spool for ten years... to scrap in no longer taking up space.
You don't just send off a 1000 foot roll of 16/37 to be recycled! You have to have a funeral for it first ;)
 

ship

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Illinois
No funeral for me at least - that was a huge spool of wire I had to deal with in storage for like twelve years now. Only people sad were my assistants who are bad cable scrappers - at times too ambitious in scrapping. If specifically one of my assistants could figure out how to get that spool on a trailer to his bike, and back to his house he will have.
 

MikeJ

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Nov 29, 2013
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Here and There
Interesting comments about audio use. I don't know anyone that would use less that 12ga for audio soco these days. Most NL4/8 is at least 11ga. Back in the day when a DC300 was a top of the line amp at 155 watts per channel, 16ga is one thing, but modern amp may be thousands of watts per channel. Loss over cable is absolutely a consideration.
 

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