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Old 07-13-2012, 08:54 AM   #1
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Event Production power distribution, I want to do it right.

In the past year or so my small business (live sound, event production) has grown and now I need to get power correctly from different power sources. A year ago, I was able to plug my PA system into a pair of 15/20 amp/120v outlet and be fine with that. A couple of the places have a 14-50 Range plug for me to draw power from and I built a small distro panel that took the 14-50 power and split it into 6 5-15 20amp outlets.

Now that my small company is growing and I am getting more exposure (higher profile gigs). With that I need to update my power situation so it is Professional and doesn’t raise any eyebrows. So I am in planning stages of rebuilding my power system.

The trouble I am having is that I still need to be able to plug into the wall outlets for power and then other times I may have 3-Phase 208v to plug into and I need to be able to cover everything in-between.

I am looking at having 2 PDs built; a Cali Plug (120/240v 50amp, CS63##) and then a 3 phase 5 wire in. With my CS63## plugs I am running 4ga/4c SEOOW, I know its overkill but I have a 250’ spool. For the CamLocks I am looking at purchasing #2 or 2/0 awg Type SC cable.
- Small Distro: I am looking at a Rack Box with a CS63## in/thru with 6 20a breakers and 6 duplex Edison on the rear (breaker: 1 top amp, 2 bottom amp, 3 FOH (mix position), 4 left stage, 5 right stage & 6 LED Lighting)
- Large Distro: I am looking at has a 5-Wire CamLock in and then have it split to 3 Cali plugs with the possibility of having L14-30 and Edison outlets (breakers equal to the plugs). But how do I size up the main breaker on the PD?

How does everything look so far?

Now for the questions because I have been talking with several different manufactures and production companies about my power distro build and there seems to be 2 or 3 different schools of thought.

If I need to use bare wire tie in using my Cali Plug (2 Hots, Neutral & Ground), what is the correct way to do so? I am confused on NEC 520.53(H)(2) - Single-Conductor Cable rule. Some are saying that only pertains to 1 in to 1 out with Camlocks and I can use a smaller than 2awg when going into a CS6364 plug (using a 6awg). Some are saying it is allowed that I use my 4/4 SEOOW and peal back the sheathing to box taping.

Quad boxes for stage power; I’ve gotten 3 different stories on this. Some are saying that these need to be rubberized waterproof boxes. Some are saying metal boxes are fine as long as there is no knockout. However, 80% of the production companies (that freelance with) use the off the shelf with knockouts for drop power.


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