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2nd try - power distro

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  • 2nd try - power distro

    I play in a band with a light show of pars and effect lighting ranging from 30 watts to 300 watts, for a total output between 5000 to 6000 watts. Most stages only have 1 or 2 outlets on a single circuit, meaning I can only run a few of my lights and still trip the breaker.

    Someone suggested using a distro box, running 60 to 100 amps on either a 6 gauge copper line with SJ cable or 2 gauge aluminum to the stage, where it services several 20 amp circuits. If have seen a distro online, and the stage end is simple, but what is not addressed is tie-in to the main panel. I think they are usually intended for generator hookup. Someone said I could use clips to tie in, but I can't believe any anybody would allow that. It seems to me to be safer and simpler to have my cable end with a breaker, and just plug that into an open slot on the panel.

    I'm looking for input on safety/design for the cable and for tie-in to the main panel. Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: 2nd try - power distro

    The only way you will be allowed to tie into the panel is if you pay the site electrician to do it for you. Some stages are setup to supply more power via twist lock plugs right at the distribution panel, have a look next gig then you can make up your own connectors to fit the stage box down to your distribution box. BTW you are playing with death if you do not fully understand what you are doing.


    • #3
      Re: 2nd try - power distro

      Try downloading this PDF file and printing it out. For your needs the SBSB1 should more than handle it. You will need to have a good electrician work on this with you to install the correct circuit breaker in the panel that supplies the stage area and also install the correct receptacle under it. Then he/she will need to make up the proper connecting cord which you can think of as a super extension cord. While these are not cheap it should last for years given a little care.

      You may want to ask the electrician about custom making up something on this order for you. The ones in the PDF file are used on job sites and are more than you need, but thinking ahead your lighting loads may change.

      As stated by wbrooks this is not a DIY type project. Besides yourself you have everyone in the room to deal with and the company that owns the building if things go wrong. You'll have to work with their management to get the OK for an electrician (most likely one they know) to do the main work for you.


      • #4
        Re: 2nd try - power distro

        If you're on a tight budget then one of the special generator cords by Carol or Coleman Cable may work just fine. You'll still need to talk this over with the electrician for the building(s) regarding the installation of a new circuit and proper receptacle for you to plug it into. For safety you may do well for now just having a 30 Amp. 125 Volt receptacle (NEMA L5-30R) installed on a new 30 Amp. 120 Volt circuit. You can get a generator cord with a L5-30 plug which has a special 3 x 5-15 female connector and then plug in 3 regular extension cords. With normal 120/208 Volt Y three phase power a good electrician can also rig up (2) 120 Volt circuits by connecting them properly. Before getting anything please do discuss this with building management and their electrician or building engineer(s). If they have large areas of tile or carpeted floors more than likely they have special circuits in place for use with floor machinery. The place may already be wired up and you just have to work with them on this project.