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Outdoor Power

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by moten33, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. moten33


    Jan 7, 2012
    Albion, NY
    We are playing an outdoor show at a private party (backyard, maybe 30-50 people). What do you recommend as far as power? What should I be looking at/for in terms of extension cord and power strip? From what I can tell, we'd be running and extension cord from the house. We need outlets for:

    Bass head (300w)
    Guitar (300w combo)
    Guitar (300w combo)
    Drum (45w amp for electronic set)
    Power amp (QSC GX5 2x700w)
    Mixer (for preamps)
    Monitor (50w)
    Monitor (50w)

    Any advise with that setup?
  2. Rough estimate:
    You're showing about 2500 watts:
    2500/125 VAC = 20 Amps.

    Thats not accounting for the length of the extension cords.
    A safe bet... 12 gauge extension cords X 2 on two separate circuits. Stay as short as possible on the cords.
    Ground Fault circuits would be good also.
    Hope this helps
  3. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I'd try to find at least two 15 to 20 amp outlets on two different circuits.

    Don't forget to check the circuit before plugging in anything (hot, neutral and ground all correct). And DO get a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) for each circuit and put it between the house and everything else.
  4. Hactar


    Sep 25, 2011
    Boulder, CO
    Also, are you going to be running the guitar amps and bass amp into the mixer?

    If not, I would suggest running the mixer, power amps, and monitors on one circuit and the instrument amps on another one or two circuits.
  5. moten33


    Jan 7, 2012
    Albion, NY
    Thanks for your help guys. I highly doubt we'll be maxing out any of the equipment so I am thinking 2 extension cords. I will not be running them to the PA for this gig I do not think. It's appears finding capable power at someone's house could be an issue if they don't have ways to run from different circuits. I will have to check with the homeowner.
  6. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Focus more on extension cords
  7. Chazinroch


    Feb 2, 2003
    Ontario N.Y.
    +1 on the ground faults (GFCI). You didn't mention lights. Lights suck a lot of power and could put you over the top circuit wise. I'm not an expert, but in my experience it has been the lights that trip the breakers.
  8. moten33


    Jan 7, 2012
    Albion, NY
    We won't be doing any lighting. It is a daytime gig. Chaz, not far from me I see. Very cool. The gig in question is in Hamlin.
  9. Chazinroch


    Feb 2, 2003
    Ontario N.Y.
    Not too far...hope the weather holds up for you!
  10. bjabass


    Jan 10, 2011
    Mountain South
    You should not have trouble with finding 2 circuits, just run from outlets in different rooms. I would run the PA on one circuit and the back line on the other. Done it many times in clubs on 20 amp circuits and never had an issue (unless the light guy connected to one of the circuits, then all bets were off....and lights and sound too!)
  11. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Masks, people, masks!
    Song Surgeon slow downer.
    Be sure to NOT keep the cords rolled up if they are longer than you need. Reduces carrying amperage. And I suggest you not connect multiple cords of different gauges together. If you can run one cord to the garage, find out how many amps the plug is. Sometimes a garage will have a 20 amp circuit and GFI's. Also find out where the washer and dry are located. Same thing there.

    Test the plug with tester like this.

    A 15 amp GFIC power strip would be very handy on each cord if the home doesn't have them or there's not one on the circuit you're using. Here's one example. Looks like you'll be needing about 8 plugs so two 6-plug power strips would work. Also, be sure the total amps plugged into each circuit is less than the breaker amp rating.

    For any instrumentalist/vocalist, be sure and test the mic/guitar ground out before coming in contact with it while singing. Testing with a volt meter between guitar and mic would be good. Here's one.

    Good luck.
  12. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Inactive

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Just be sure your ext. cords are 12/3.
  13. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    The rated output wattage of audio amps has very little to do with the power they consume from 120VAC.

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