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Electrical Load at gigs.

  • 01-03-2011 8:58pm
    #1
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Music Moderators, Regional East Moderators, Regional Midlands Moderators, Regional Midwest Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators, Regional North Mods, Regional West Moderators, Regional South East Moderators, Regional North East Moderators, Regional North West Moderators, Regional South Moderators Posts: 7,940 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Gaspode


    Any electricians out there?

    When playing gigs it had been my experience that 99% of venues have a severe shortage of power sockets in the area where they expect the band to play. Mostly I suppose it's because they were not designed as venues but as pubs, clubs or sports halls.

    As a result I find we often have to run the entire gig from one or sometimes 2 sockets. That often means daisy-chaining a number plug boards into each other so that we can get power to everyone.
    So that's a 1200W PA ,bass amp, 2 guitar amps, 3 powered floor pedals, electronic drums, keyboard, and 2 small powered monitors.

    To date we've yet to have a major problem, but it does concern me that we are overloading the system in the venue and could blow a fuse/trip a switch or have one of the plug boards overheat and short out.

    Does anyone know what is the safest way to deal with such a situation? Is there anything that can be bought that could safely distribute power to multiple plugs from a single socket?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,301 ✭✭✭ artvandulet


    Easiest thing is to work out your total watts and then work out your amps from that.
    A single socket is 13amps (usually has a bigger breaker like 20amps but lets just say its 13a)
    Divide your watts by volts (for safety make that 240 instead of 220) and this gives your load. Just stay under 13amps per socket and you should be grand.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,301 ✭✭✭ artvandulet


    Your gear at a guess...

    1200W PA ,bass amp, 2 guitar amps, 3 powered floor pedals, electronic drums, keyboard, and 2 small powered monitors.

    1200w pa - is max 1200 but probably way way less (tell me your speakers and I'll tell you the actual draw)
    +
    Bass amp - say 300w
    2 guitar amps - 100w ea
    3 floor pedals - very little draw not worth calculating
    electronic drums - going to be small- about 20w
    keyboard - about the same
    small powered mons - say 80w total.

    So you are looking at under 2k watts total or about 8-9amps. In theory you'll power that all off one 13amp socket.

    The big power draw comes when you add lights to your setup. Or a lot more PA.


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    Not a bad guess on the gear! You're right about the PA - power consumption is more like 600W or less i'd say. (Behringer PMP5000 with the Box PA302 speakers)
    Interesting that it could in theory run from a single socket.
    Doesnt really feel like it should though!


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,658 ✭✭✭ Patricide


    Interesting topic and some good answers in this thread.


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    So you are looking at under 2k watts total or about 8-9amps. In theory you'll power that all off one 13amp socket.

    Does daisy-chaining the plug boards make any difference in terms of the power load, or would it have any effect on what happens if a fuse is overloaded?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 880 Paolo_M


    Just don't turn all the gear on at the same time, turn 'em on one by one.
    Many electrical devices (amps for example) have a higher "inrush" current at turn on, and the sum of them might be enough to trip the house breaker or blow the fuse in your socket.

    Obviously use these
    4_Way_Extension_Socket_with_Neon_SE_4_396.jpg

    and not these
    6301_l.jpg

    The top 4 way is usually fused at 13 amps.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,301 ✭✭✭ artvandulet


    Gaspode wrote: »
    Does daisy-chaining the plug boards make any difference in terms of the power load, or would it have any effect on what happens if a fuse is overloaded?

    As Paolo has said, plugboards have 13a fuses in them. So as long as no one has replace the fuse in them with 5a ones, you are fine.


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