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Break-Out

Abbr. "B/O". A cable assembly using a male multi-pin plug and multiple female cord connectors on different circuits. As Socapex-style is the most common multi-pin connector, break-outs are most commonly defined only by their female connectors, i.e., Stage Pin break-out, L6-20 break-out, Edision break-out. Break-outs can be further sub-divided into three categories according to the lengths of the individual circuits. An even break-out has all circuits the same length. A staggered breakout has the circuits spaced on 1'-6" or 2'-0" centers. A striplight break-out has 3 circuits at one length and the next three circuits 6'-0" longer. Staggered break-out circuits are generally numbered with circuit#1 being the shortest, and #6 being the longest. An even break-out can be used to simulate a staggered break-out, merely by coiling up the excess of each individual cable, and thus are thought to be more versatile. The male multi-pin, called the knuckle, is often placed in the center of the lighting fixtures it serves, to lessen the number of jumpers required. Additional jumpers mean more connections, and every connection adds a chance for something to go wrong. Sometimes a "break-out box" or "plug box" will be used instead, but this requires cables of varying lengths.

Audio folk call a similar device, for use with mic snakes, a fan-out, as it fans out on the stage as a place to plug in microphones. Often a "stage box" will be used instead of a fan-out.

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