A.C. distribution question.

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Paulabass, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    I've had a sound co. for many years, and own a few 100, and 200 amp distros, but now that I'm running a compact system with 5 powered speakers, I'm not going to haul around 90 pounds of feeder cable.
    Those who are running multiple powered speakers (four or more)-
    What are y'all doing for A.C. distribution? Please don't tell me you're plugging them all into a power bar and one 15 amp outlet. I can't count on finding a 30 amp dryer plug anymore.
    Who's got elegant solutions?
    Rock Salad likes this.
  2. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    I could make a 60 amp distro with 4/4 cable that would bring the weight down to about 30 pounds, but nowadays with bar/restaurants, the electrical panel is always in the kitchen, and running cable thru a kitchen is far from ideal.
    JGbassman likes this.
  3. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    QSC’s K series. 5 boxes on 15 amps is the claim. I typically attempt to isolate 1circuit for mains. 1 for backline and LED lighting. 1 for monitors. If there is not a 50 amp drop for my spider. First time in, I visit ahead of time and develop a power map if at all possible. Obviously flipping breakers during business hours is not a great idea.

    Given I’m rural, it is only so often that is necessary at this point. I do many more home, farm, vineyard visits to locate the generator location, spot the closest power for one offs thee days.
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member


    i search for multiple 15a/20a circuits upon arrival to venue and behave accordingly, but 2-3 20amp circuits (or 4 15amp) gets most of my needs these days....i'm no longer transporting with box trucks...or even a van for that matter (small but mighty 4-way/stereo PA system for my indoor gigs. sub out for outdoor/convention gigs.) i haven't carried a distro in the last 10-12 years.
  5. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    It seems that the the popular method is just find 'em, and split 'em up method.
    Luckily, I have thousands of feet of lighting extension cords (the old days of pars). I'll make up 3x 75' 10 gauge cables with quad boxes.

    ^ the exercise was to built a P.A. that fits in my car, so I'm not big on the idea of a distro or feeder cable.
    MrLenny1, Wasnex and s0c9 like this.
  6. kittywithabanjo

    kittywithabanjo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2014
    Coquitlam. BC
    Yeah I just try to split over about 3 circuits..
  7. kittywithabanjo likes this.
  8. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Sounds like you are on the right track.

    Even when we ran a full Motion Labs distro system we made adapters that allowed us to plug into standard Edison outlets. The idea was to find three 20A circuits, as our system would run reliably indoors on 60A. Normally we tied into a disconnect with three phase power using pigtails or twist locks...but disconnects and electricians were not always available.

    As I am sure you know, 30A twist locks are fairly common in certain types of venues.

    I was going to suggest you consider using Powercon to distribute power. These look interesting and relatively low cost.
    powerCon Splitter by Chauvet Pro, POWERSTREAM4 | Full Compass Systems

    Some speakers and lights even have Powercon Thru capability built in...to my surprise the QSCs do not use Powercon.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  9. I run my 4 powered tops, 5 powered monitors and digital board off the same power strip usually. never had an issue with that. I usually run the band I am playing with mixing off the same line as well.
  10. dheafey


    Jul 22, 2012
    Cow Hampshire
    When I get home I'll take a picture, but I built 4 outlet stage boxes using 4" electrical boxes and covers from a big box store. I put a powercon in on one end and an out on the other. I then built a few 12G cables with an edison plug on one end and a powercon in on the other - build as many as you need circuits for. I then built a number of cables with powercon out on one end and powercon in on the other for daisy chaining. Local code regulations aside, they work really well.
  11. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    ∆ Thanks, I built 3x30 foot, and 3x75 foot just this morning. Quad Edison, and a powercon on each. All my lights also have powercon.

    Musicman 7722- You like to live on the edge.
  12. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    Wow, for some reason, I never thought about this. Last gig Saturday night, I ran 2 powered tops, 2 powered subs, 1 powered monitor, 2 Gigbar2 lighting fixtures, my PF-800, a fan, pedal board, and who knows what else from one power strip. Fortunately, no issues. I'll have to start adding up power consumption on these devices...
  13. monkeyland


    Jul 1, 2008
    Ft Myers, Florida
    Endorsing artist: Curt Mangan Strings, JH Audio
    Considering the low power draw of most of the powered speakers, it's not inconceivable to get the mains and the mixer onto one circuit. Band and monitors on another 1 or 2 depending on your needs. Led lights can typically just piggyback wherever since they pull so little.

    All of my powered speakers(D.A.S. and QSC) draw somewhere around 2-2.5 max amps at full tilt, and they never run that hard.
  14. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    It's hard to wrap my head around some of the new tech. I've been dealing with huge power draws for many years. Example, Aerosmith's last tour with incandescent lighting (around 2005) took 6x 600 amp three phase generators. We live in good times.
    I think I will aim at 3x15 amp to be sure. Some rooms you do with what you can find.
    After a mis-communication with a generator company once, I ran a pretty big show off a 30 amp genny. Crossed my fingers all afternoon, and told drummers they couldn't use their fans, no extra stuff on stage, and I ran the p.a. at less than 30%. Made it!
    DirtyDuke likes this.
  15. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Don't people open the panel and just clamp a sub panel onto the main's buss's any more?
  16. monkeyland


    Jul 1, 2008
    Ft Myers, Florida
    Endorsing artist: Curt Mangan Strings, JH Audio
    With the caveat that I don't really do much work in bars anymore because most of my production work these days is in ballrooms and event centers that are designed for this...

    I don't. For a bar band gig there's not much that I can't do anymore with a couple of isolated circuits available at the stage. For a bigger show, they either have a way for me to hook up my distro, or the show is outside and uses a generator. Here in Florida, there is a lot of outside with generator.

    Running feeder cable through the kitchen, around corners, across walkways, creates way too many hazards for me(and my insurance agent) to want to deal with, so we save that for the places that are designed for it. Not to mention that it's just more to lug, and tear down. Never forget..."It's all about the out".
    Paulabass likes this.
  17. monkeyland


    Jul 1, 2008
    Ft Myers, Florida
    Endorsing artist: Curt Mangan Strings, JH Audio
    This show ran off of a single phase distro with #2 feeder. About 100a available per leg, so 200 total. With calculations at max, there was still only about 60a per leg being used. All of the lights are LED except for the 5 beams that you see on the rear truss. Those line array boxes(DAS Aero 12A) only pull about 2.5a each.

    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
    Paulabass, kittywithabanjo and WayneP like this.
  18. kittywithabanjo

    kittywithabanjo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2014
    Coquitlam. BC
    I do smallish club stuff mostly but am doing an event this weekend where we borrowed a bunch of stuff for the power portion, I am trying to get my head around if I need some sort of better power distro, for these types of events and what that would entail...
  19. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    Most panels in bars and clubs are in the kitchen, or 150' away. Also, most municipalites require an inspection with every tie-in. That can be ignored, but a lot of landlords get nervous about voiding their insurance.
    kittywithabanjo likes this.
  20. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    Nice stage! How did you get those arrays up there? I don't see any winches.
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