Where do I plug this sucker in?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rbonner, Aug 17, 2009.

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  1. rbonner


    Sep 25, 2008

    I'm not going to try and be fashionable and use a poll I learned from last time.

    What I want to discuss is the power provided by very large venues... Festivals, Fairs, Arenas, huge bars for you to plug into.

    I will be heading off soon to my local arena to discuss this with the engineering department as I seriously just flat don't know.

    My current power distro is capable of handling 120, 240 and three phase 208 to send power to my amps. I could triple up on this system.

    Currently I power the rack on 50 amp 240V... Which serves no usefull purpose if I show up at a place that has a 20 amp 120 outlet behind my rig.

    When the rig is completed it will require up to 100 amps of three phase 208 or 150 amps of 250V which is the same as many of you use to power your houses.

    In all of the gigs I have previously played, a single 120V 20 amp outlet is all I have ever been provided....

    But I know when Kid Rock showed up at the SF Arena, his band was burning more power than that. My power requirements probably rival what an arena PA system usually plugs into.

    Opinions, and lets keep the what do you need that for comments to a minimum, they serve no usefull purpose. I'm interested in what power was available on the big gigs.

  2. I can't help you, but I want you to know that you are my hero.
  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I've run complete bands on 60 amps. That includes Yamaha PM5D, Meyer boxes, band power, everything! What in god's name are you using for a rig??

    Edit: I just looked at your profile. You should have no problem running 6 SVT4 pros on a single 20amp circuit.
  4. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    you have to advance with every venue to see what they have available. you will need long enough feed lines to tie in wherever the source happens to be.
    for festivals power is often provided via generator, depending on location.
    the short answer is that it is different for each situation.
    you can always get whatever you need, but there is also always one of these attached: $
  5. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    When you become as famous as Kid Rock, then you can demand the power hookups you want.

    Until then, it seems to me that you're just asking for trouble by setting up power requirements that are unusual and unreasonable. Why in god's name would you want to do that???? The power standard in the US is 120AC, and that's all you can plan on having. Not to be critical, but the amount of power you are setting up for - especially in terms of amperage - is simply ridiculous.

    I suggest you configure all your equipment to run on 120AC, and then you won't run into problems that you have knowingly created for yourself. I've done radio and TV production work around the Western US, and I wouldn't ever think of doing what you're doing, even for a full remote truck and $2 million worth of equipment.
  6. +1
  7. Subscribed!

    I am curious as to what warrants this kind of power if you aren't an arena band. Why would you lug all of this around? (Because I can is not sufficient in my eyes, sorry)
  8. DeluxeRed


    Jun 2, 2009
    Have you ever tried to destroy a planet on just 120VAC? It can be done but it takes a whole lot longer. Obviously, somebody's in a hurry.
  9. jacotosh


    Jul 2, 2009
    Lake Tahoe, CA
    The typical power provided in bigger venues besides 20A 120V, is going to be three phase power at a main breaker somewhere. More than likely you will have to own or rent your feeder cable lines. We are talking big heavy 2/0 gauge cable here, and a set of all five(three hots, ground and neutral) will cost about a grand for a 50ft set. Then you may or may not need tie in lines, which are bare copper to a cam lock connection. Hopefully your power distro is set up to handle this. Any big AV or lighting rental company could rent the cables and a power distro to you. We are talking a big cable trunk with over 300lbs of copper wiring. Thats if the breaker is 50ft feet away which may or may not be the case, so you can double everything if it is 100ft away. Then you will need cable ramps to safely cross any entrances or doorways. Seems like a lot of work and extra hassle, especially if it is just for a bass rig, and not an entire PA and full stage lighting set up.
  10. jacotosh


    Jul 2, 2009
    Lake Tahoe, CA
    One more thing. There may not be someone at the venue qualified or willing to tie in your bare copper lines to the breaker, so learning how to do this safe and properly will be useful. You will be tying your lines on the opposite side of a breaker, so it is relatively safe, but live wires will be only inches away.
  11. rcarraher


    Dec 21, 2008
    I'd turn them on one at a time, tho' although, I don't think a surge would top 20A....but just to be safe....
  12. Back in the day, late 70's early 80's, we did this regularly in rock bars. It was not unusual to be running 20 500 or 1000 watt par cans, plus the PA and the stage rigs. The motors in the B3 and the full sized Leslie could be a real power sucker too. The really big clubs all had proper stages, and very convenient stove or dryer plugs wired to them. That saved having to do the disconnect.

    Luckily, it's been years since I had to do any of this myself! Lately it's been small clubs, or big events where I just set up my rig and let the pros worry about the rest!
  13. FuzzBoxVoodoo

    FuzzBoxVoodoo Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2008
    Sacramento CA
    Im not quite sure of the question but most residentle homes use 2 phase 110 to give you 220 when both legs are used,I needed 3 phase to run a very Large Lathe that I use so I had a 7.5 hp motor converted to generate the 3rd leg that I need to run my 7.5 hp 3 phase motor for the lathe.
    The lights dim in the house when I flip the switch to fire this thing up on my 200 amp service.
    You might look into a portable generator just so that you are in control of you supply and location at any venue.
    Have you had a chance to run all of these amps at full power to verify your load demand?
  14. BobOnBass


    Dec 27, 2008
    Cugy (VD), Suisse
    Use of this field for any other purpose is prohibited
    Well sir, I am pretty sure we have not yet reached the very minimum of 'what do you need that for' comments! :smug: Hah!

    Could you at least provide us with a cool myspace or youtube or something to check your stuff out?? You cannot just start whippin and expect us not to scream. You're just teasing now...

    I myself have never personnaly checked the juice provided unless it seemed very very dodgy. The fuses did blow three times in 10 minutes, while playing a festival with a pretty serious setup, or so it seemed...
    All i'm saying is, you never know untill you've checked all cables yourself so....
    Having said this, I envy your huge balls for obviously ignoring the part of your brain containing ratio and sense, I too consider you my Hero! :D Subcribed.

    Rock on, you fuseblower!


    (Sorry for not really helping but do tell us where to check your stuff out though!)
  15. Hi.

    As I live in a completely different area power-wise, I can't really help You much.

    All I have to say though, that if the power outlets I see mentioned in this and other threads are for real, You US folks have the crappy end of the stick, that's for sure.

    Over here the tiniest of places will have 3*16A 380V line. That's a garage for 2 cars by our standards ;).

    A bigger place for, say 100 people, will either have 2 3*16A or 3*16A & 3*32A.

    A "normal" place that has bands every week, has usually one 3*32A for lights and another 3*32A for the PA and the back-line.

    A medium sized venue (for You, large for us) will usually have 3*64A or 3*125A main feed and possibly some additional smaller ones.

    In places where bands usually play, I have never run out of juice, and I did sound semi professionally for a few years.

    If there's limits, You have to live with them. I can tell from experience that usually the available power is what it is, making requirements and demands will mean zilch. At best You'll get ignored, at worst they'll make fun of you ;).

  16. gr8fulhiker


    Mar 24, 2008
    Could you at least provide us with a cool myspace or youtube or something to check your stuff out?? You cannot just start whippin and expect us not to scream. You're just teasing now...

    Yeah, no pic = no monster power sucking rig of doom!
  17. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Most venues of the size you seem interested in will have multiple company switches.

    You can expect to find a 3 phase 600Amp switch stage left and right and probably a 3 phase 400 amp switch that is fed from an isolation transformer and dedicated for lighting.

    You will cam-loc connect your distro to that and sub devide as needed.
  18. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Bob, I got nothin' here, but just wanted to mention how much I enjoyed the title of this thread. It's a future classic. Where indeed.
  19. rbonner


    Sep 25, 2008
    OK Rog, I checked back to this post and only HALF of the posts were "what do you want to do this for". Yes it is an arena rig.

    The first iteration of my rig is in my profile pic. I figured most of you had already seen this and the speakers. NOW triple the rig size.

    The size of the BASS rig will only be outshined by the guitar rig when that becomes necessary. And the MINI PA for the B3... I'm just building my stuff now.

    I will have to go visit the engineering dept at our arena and see what they are doing. The head guy used to be a buddy but I don't know if he's still there its been a while as I used to do all their computer support back in the 90's after leaving the airline.

    First for those who do not know me, my first qualification in my stack of licenses is a journeyman electrician. I was doing that while building flight hours. So working with three phase power is no big deal for me. The panel at my office is 600 Amps and every so often I need to do a little something. But I assume Shea stadium is not going to let me pry open a panel, HAHAHAHA.

    We're are not talking a bar gig here... I wish Johnny A. was hanging around as I'm sure he understands what I'm asking. Some of you have good info.

    I have measured and confirmed the power consumed by the SVT-4PRO's Each one runs slightly over 15 AMPS with a C... That seems to be my highest current draw note.

    The six I am using draws just over 90 amps if left to 120v Single phase. The complete rig will be three times this or 270 amps of 120V single phase, that is totally unreasonable.

    However, 100 A 208V three phase is very reasonable... and only 5 lines of 4GA in the power cord. (actually one gets to be 8ga)

    My current power cord is 50 foot long, 6 ga 240V at 50 amps... I use the FURMAN ASD-120 power distro in this rig. it will do 120A of 120V or 60 amps of 250V or 40 amps of three phase 208 with minimum rewiring.

    I suspect that I will just use two more of this distros stacked either each phase supplying 100 amps of 120 to one of the three... See 100 Amps of three phase is equivalent to 300 amps of 120V. I would either run the distros three phase or each single.... Thinking three phase is the best deal.

    Steve, actually good info.

    Furman's manual on these distros also just flat said, leave the plugs off you'll be hand wiring at each venue. I stuck the 50 amp plug on to power the rig at the house, but once I get it drawing 150 amps of 240, I will need to upgrade the power service.

    This is why I'm stalled at the house with construction...

    I'll get past the 12 810 amps, but the subs will be the monsters and they will sop up the huge numbers.

    At one time I built my own distro, but the furman unit was cleaner for this size... They also have remote modules that control from the main unit. I'll probably just use three main units and have number 1 control the other two.

    The general answer for those who don't have to do this, never mind, you don't have to do this... I am, and am asking the guys who have played the really big stages what they had for power available.

    I'm going to have JANAL build me one of their 3 section monster racks 25U tall... They will be building special mounting rails so the AMPEGS have their three inches of cooling space and then I will duct the air in and out of the racks. The current rack is a JANAL, 20 U single if you looked at the profile pic. I'm very full. It was just a poof of concept. Now I can make the racks a little taller.


    Thanks RB... :cool:

    Attached Files:

  20. rbonner


    Sep 25, 2008
    Just for GR8, rig with back panels off.

    Attached Files:

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