Strange Socapex Pin-outs?

CPLD

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Joined
Jan 14, 2018
Location
Portland Oregon
Curious if anyone has some experience with less-than-typical socapex pin-outs.

I'm working through the 'bad' pile from before my tenure.
I found some 14/14 socapex (1k cable) that everyone dismissed as garbage.

Strangely, it's the pin-out that makes no sense, while the cable is perfect.
Instead of a typical 14/14- (being 6xH, 6xN and then 2x Grounds with a ground ring)
It has 6 Hots, 6 grounds, and pin 19 connected
All of the Neutral connections were left open.

I plan on re-soldering it to make use of the cable, but I can't find any information about this pin-out on the Almighty Google machine and I'm intensely curious what this could have been used for.
Thanks for any help =)
 

ship

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Mar 29, 2003
Location
Illinois
14/14 was very standard of the early Veam 16' generation of Pre-Soco. This was than changed into useful 1K Soco cable in using 4x grounds and 12 live conductors. I in part was doing so a lot during the turn of the 20K Century where I work in converting them to Soco.

If Oleflex (sp.) in brand... it's probably some of the best 1K Euro cable invented for use, and is still good for 1Kw loads. Just have to do proper grounding ring for doing Soco.

What you describe is interesting and perhaps the sound people were making use in of the gear in some way it would not blow up speakers. Perhaps an idea in if cross connected an idea of safety in doing so.

None the less, most 14/14 cable you will find these days is in very good condition wire wise.
 

DavidJones

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Jun 7, 2017
Location
Touring
Sounds like a 208v break out

I have seen L6-20 breakouts wired like this; used to get three (3) 208v circuits off of a soca output wired for 120V. Besides the issue of having breakers that are not linked, it only lets you have 3 circuits instead of 6. Waste of copper and money, and it means running more cables and making more work. Because soca is wired round-robin X/Y/Z etc, for 208v and X/n/Y/n/Z/n for 120v etc, you will still get 208v each of the 3 L6 connectors on a breakout. Why anyone would wire and actual soca cable this way, I have no Idea.

For audio use, typically you will have all pins wired discreetly with 18 or 19 conductor cable.
 

ship

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Mar 29, 2003
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Illinois
A thought on this concept is that parallel conductors of equal length can be used to if in the same circuit for wire load calculations.

A duplicate conductor could be used for a single conductor larger gauge. Kind or works and is acceptable for 6-wire feeder for double neutral in general - when used back than... but mostly I think obsolete policy. Non-linked breakers outside the discussion in people often back when these systems were in use... didn't consider a back feed thru ground or you as a problem should one phase of the breaker not trip it in still having a live conductor.

On soco this way... pre-dates me in why they would, other than I grew up in about 20 years of lighting companies being cheap or make do in the early industry for at least standards they have. And it is valid and the case.

I have upgraded and changed a ton of gear over the years. Some above sounds like what I have seen, other in general... those designing such gear to be used were no more educated than any high school graduate (still amature.) Some tours under the belt, and a direct attempt to make what they could Advancememet beyond even using wirenuts within a fixture took years to between tech people, become a standard concept. And finding a other than ceramic wire nut at least as oppolsed to a vinyl one..
 

Malabaristo

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Jul 11, 2008
Location
Wisconsin
A thought on this concept is that parallel conductors of equal length can be used to if in the same circuit for wire load calculations.
A duplicate conductor could be used for a single conductor larger gauge.
The NEC only allows this for larger conductors (1/0 AWG and up to be specific per 310.10(h)). While the physics is still valid for smaller wires, it's not a very good idea... not that that stops people from trying :)
 

ship

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Illinois
I should perhaps clarify say a 12/14 (stiock standard for the industry) or 14/16 for the grouding on three phase multi-pin in using all normal wires for power and the extra two or four for ground. Sorry if getting into parallel conductors as I remember being sufficient in some cases, but in this case a parallel grounding conductor for multi-cable what I intend to say.
 

samiwas

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Joined
Jan 13, 2018
Location
Atlanta, GA
Not necessarily an odd cable, as the cable was standard 19-wire, but I used to work for a company that ran their socopex as 12-hot, 6-neutral, and pin 19 ground. Never had a single issue with it, although I know it's technically wrong.
 

CPLD

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Jan 14, 2018
Location
Portland Oregon
Finally a chance to respond to some great posts here =)
Thanks for the info, learning some new stuff for sure!

So I don't think its audio related, usually audio will be 16awg or at least be /18 so they can get more channels and we don't have any audio patches etc that would have Soca.
208v breakouts is probably the closest I can come up with too, though its strange they wired into the 'ground' pins vs using the H/N like typical 208v wiring pinouts.
We do have L21-20 receptacles in the electrics space, so I thought maybe someone had wired a L-21-20 to Soca and broke-out to 3 L6-20? But I've never seen the breakouts etc to support this on-site.
We usually just break the L21-20 directly to L6 or Edison when we need it.

Another thought, that I'll be able to confirm later today- Could something like this be used for motor control?
I know there is a multi-pin receptacle from the older motor system, I'm going to check later if its smaller like the Amphenol stuff or if its actual 19pin soca.
(I know it is not 7pin soca, which we use in other areas for motor control)

It'll be nice to have some extra Soca (even 1k) once I can get these rewired.
 

JD

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Jan 1, 2005
Location
North Wales PA
Sounds like someone bought cable and connectors and then invented their own layout. Probably used pin #19 with two conductors as the ground and the ground pins as neutrals. I would be wary of the breakout cables that might be laying around as they would WORK, or seem to, but would be returning their current through the ground conductors . Since G and N get bonded back at the service entrance, the lights would light, but be un-grounded, and would be running current through the ground path. Trouble in the making.
 

CPLD

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2018
Location
Portland Oregon
JD That would not surprise me actually, and the pinout you suggested makes sense.
I'll be sure to open up the break in/outs and see whats up. I don't need that kind of trouble down the road haha.