Why won't it work.

kwotipka

Active Member
I was engineering a job when someone complained that the stage <insert item here> wasn't working. Neither was the stage monitors (powered), plasmas (2 50"), speaker timer and a couple of other items. After tracking down the power for all of this, this is what I found plugged into a 20A circuit of the distro. I guess running a couple of extra extension cords off of a 200A distro was just too much work. This is what I found:

By the way, this is to say nothing about the huge fire hazard if the breaker would have malfunctioned.
 

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soundlight

Well-Known Member
Oh wow. Yeah, that wouldn't work...

That also seems like quite a load for one 20A circuit.
 

kwotipka

Active Member
Another "gotcha" on that job really had me scratching my head. It was the same situation but in another room. This particular company likes to use $3 cubetaps and power strips for their 50K dollar shows.

I was in another room trying to track down an electrical problem. Half of the stage worked and one item on the other half didn't. Same ladder of cube taps. They changed the monitor, the power cable, extension cords, etc.

Turns out that the hot prong of the cube tap had fallen off and no one noticed it.
 

soundlight

Well-Known Member
There's these cool things that I've found...I think they're called Quad Boxes - and you can even "daisy chain" them together if you need more plugs, but this is not recommended if more than 3 or so. I've heard that you can make a nice one (if you have the wiring skills) for about twenty bux with supplies from an electrical contractor. </sarcasm>
 

gafftapegreenia

CBMod
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Yea, I think the only time I'd even do that is for some sets of Christmas lights, and even then you have to watch the load. That ladder of cubetaps is starting to look like something out of National Lampoon's: Christmas Vacation.
 

Van

CBMod
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Premium Member
Wow! I hope they had a bucket of water close by, in case of fire that is. :rolleyes:
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
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Wow! I hope they had a bucket of water close by, in case of fire that is. :rolleyes:

I thought you were going to say a bucket of water around to dip the whole mess in for kicks.

That's so dumb!!
 

Hughesie

Well-Known Member
that's just crazy some people just shouldn't be allowed near electricity. i swear everytime i band comes to my school and sets up themselves they always try and run everything off one power point :) and it's not normally a small rig

were talking oh

10guitar amps (cus we have classes do it)
2 electric pianos (not as bad but will still drain electicity)
couple of foldback speakers

it's not good
 

Stoldal

Active Member
Power is one thing that should never be messed with,

after one production, long story, but the director wanted me the LD/SD/TD( it was a small production) to plug 3 par 64 in to a 14 gauge extension cord....

I could go on with stories of stupid things that my director and some time my TD wants me to do power wise.

There are some people that should not mess with power.

There is no reason not to run the proper amount of power cabling, if there is not enough amps or voltage then DON'T do something stupid. Most of time there is enough power to be a fire hazard or to kill people if the equipment/cabling is not set up right.

I don't mean to be mean, i have just seen to many stupid things done with power
 

soundlight

Well-Known Member
A short while ago, I was working an event which was outside (no chance of rain, and it didn't rain, the sky was clear), but it was at night, so we had to provide 4 500W parcans for lighting, not on dimmers, just plugged straight in to a quad box. Seeing as I was a grunt worker for the call, I didn't make it my business to ask if things were being done right, because this usually results in people telling me "of course we're doing it right". So, after the show is done and we're packing up, I go over to unplug the extension cord that they had run for all 4 parcans. (4) 500W parcans run on a sixteen gauge extension cord. The connections were HOT. I was surprised that the cable had not melted and shorted out. It went to repair and maintenance the next day, and as I predicted, no problems. They just hadn't been taught how to use knowledge of wire gauges. Disclaimer: This event was in no way affiliated with the Theatre Department of my place of higher learning. It was another job.
 

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