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AC cables / cords

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mannishboy, Aug 31, 2017.


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  1. Mannishboy

    Mannishboy Supporting Member

    May 20, 2011
    Evansville, Indiana
    Hey all,
    I want to make some custom length AC cables with IEC and Power Con connectors. Does anyone here have a preferred 12/3 cord? I'm looking for cable that is pliable, flexible, lays flat, rolls neatly, and doesn't get kinks over time. Any websites where I can purchase cable, ends, etc. would be a great help.
    I'm not interested in high-dollar, high-end AC cables.
    Thanks for any info!
     
  2. Go to Home Depot and find a suitable cable type. They have nice AC power plugs in Yellow. You can get installable IEC connectors from places like Parts Express.
     
    BadExample likes this.
  3. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Read carefully the specifcations for maximum outside diameter (OD) for the connector(s) you wish t o use. I think you will find that this rules out a lot of possibilities when using 12 gauge wire.

    Do you really need 12 gauge? If this is for a bass amp, it's quite unlikely that 12 gauge will provide ANY benefit and might cause problems you haven't yet considered or experienced. Things like the weight of the cable combined with vibration causing the IEC connector to creep out of the socket.
     
  4. I agree with what's already been said, get your wire from H.D., and 12 awg is pretty heavy!
    Being a fan of overkill & overspecing stuff, I still only go 14 awg for power cords to amps. Once I did some calculations & you'd need a super robust amp to justify 12 awg, unless you were using a 100 foot drop or something.

    Southwire 14-3 SJOOW Black 300V (By-the-Foot)-55808699 - The Home Depot

    upload_2017-8-31_19-32-31.

    MarkerTek has PowerCon connectors:

    Markertek - Search

    AFAIK, the IEC connector you're looking for is designated "IEC 320 C13"

    Here is one:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HC6GXRS/ref=asc_df_B01HC6GXRS5148447

    61UQiWu0lxL._SL1100_.

    BTW, 12 awg can theoretically handle 9 Amps

    Volts x Amps = Watts
    so:
    110 Volts x 9 Amps = 990 Watts

    Is your amp 1,000 Watts?
    and you do you run it near 99% volume?

    Conversely, if you've got a 500 Watt amp (not taking into account efficiency)

    500 Watts / 110 Volts = 4.5 Amp

    14 awg can handle 5.9 Amps of current or roughly 650 Watts

    Although, if you're using PowerCon connectors, you might be feeding a big rig!

    reference:

    American Wire Gauge table and AWG Electrical Current Load Limits with skin depth frequencies and wire breaking strength
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
    BadExample likes this.
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Bass notes are big notes. Big notes need big cables.
     
    iwearpumas, Stevorebob and BadExample like this.
  6. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    and "we all know" that the cable has to be heavy to deliver the bass, right? (even if the weight is mostly in the insulation & jacket). ;)
     
  7. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    Just curious - what have you got with powerCON? I've seen some high power amps, and powered subs with them. I just haven't seen a lot of bass gear (yet)
     
    BadExample likes this.
  8. BadExample

    BadExample

    Jan 21, 2016
    Injiana
    Why I only use lead insulated power cords for everything.

    ...as a pure sine wave.

    Probably, for overkill, one could calculate by using the rated power consumption on the back of the amp x 1.5. Andy? Or just go with the 14 ga. SJ Killedby posted.
     
    agedhorse and Killed_by_Death like this.
  9. Mannishboy

    Mannishboy Supporting Member

    May 20, 2011
    Evansville, Indiana
    Some of the cables are for live sound use. I'm making some Power Con stage drop boxes for backline. I want to be able to chain boxes across the stage.
     
    seamonkey likes this.
  10. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    Interesting as I do see a lot of line arrays and lighting now use powerCon for chaining
    Just not sure if it's something useful for backlines where regular gear would be used.
    I like the concept, just like I like speakons.
     
    Bob Lee (QSC) likes this.
  11. Mannishboy

    Mannishboy Supporting Member

    May 20, 2011
    Evansville, Indiana
    Yeah. What I'm doing is making quad outlet boxes with standard outlets (Edison-style?) With a PowerCon in on one side and a PowerCon out on the other. That way I can link them, and I don't have to hit myself in the knees (or worse) with a heavy metal box when I wrap the cables.
     
    seamonkey likes this.
  12. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    PowerCon has much different cable OD requirements than the IEC connectors have.
     
    Bob Lee (QSC) likes this.
  13. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    cool idea, but is it legal?

    there's lots of code requirements for AC stuff.

    (and yeah, i can't see any point in 12g either, 14g is probably overkill since we're still talking about backline stuff using 18g cables plugging into 15A outlets.)
     
  14. Geri O

    Geri O Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Definitely need to look into the NEC about portable or "entertainment" power drops. There is something about daisy-chaining the neutral connection in pass-through conditions. But I don't have a copy of the NEC codebook around anymore. Hopefully Andy "agedhorse" can step in and clarify.

    Be aware that these rules can very from state and county to state and county.

    I've seen some 14-gauge and 12-gauge cable where Type SJ was used, but I think that in all cases, SJ won't be legal under the foot traffic condition. SO and SO-W is required and that's where 12-gauge gets be and heavy (and in the case of Coleman cable, very stiff in cold weather).
     
  15. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Maybe the last amp discussed in this link would qualify.

    GREAT AMERCIAN SOUND - GODZILLA

    I haven't seen Andy in many years but I have seen a couple of his PIE amps that he kept for himself (Phil Lesh didn't get all of them ;)).
     
  16. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz

    Agreed, there's a whole lot of stuff that comes up, both NEC and UL.

    NEC has some pretty specific requirements for portable cords and connectors. Regular quad boxes do not qualify since they are UL listed for installed, protected use only. There are a few specialty portable boxes available from specialty manufacturers, and they are built quite differently. For stage use (and the definition for stage must be clearly defined, as it makes a big difference) type S, SO, SOW which are "severe service" type jackets are required. Junior service (SJ) type cables are not acceptable. This requirement has a lot of interpretation latitude.

    The other issue is that some jurisdictions require all portable power strips, extension receptacle boxes, etc. to be a manufactured product carrying a UL listing on the final assembly. Places like L.A. county, Chicago, New York City, etc.

    It depends very much the type of events that you are doing and the scrutiny. You and I have been on the pro audio side of things, where this kind of stuff comes up all the time. We may spend as much on power distro, feeder, tails and stringers as many small companies spend on their entire system.

    Anybody looking for a set of 2/0, 3 phase, 5 wire CamLock tails? Was cleaning out some cases in the warehouse and found an almost brand new set... probably $250 for 6' of cable w/ connectors new!!!
     
    Geri O likes this.
  17. Geri O

    Geri O Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Well, let's add some text this time....:D
    I'll check with the boss next Tuesday, when I get home. I'm betting he will take those tails....

    Stay tuned....G
     
    agedhorse likes this.

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