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Thread: Help with equipment.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    3

    Default Help with equipment.

    Hey all..

    Total beginner when it comes to electricity and appliances. Just started hiring out a couple of small pieces of audiovisual equipment...

    • Projector
    • Smoke Machine
    • Lasers
    My knowledge of electricity starts and ends at a 13amp UK plug going into a 3pin socket... All my equipment has the usual 3pin plugs and 13amp fuses.

    I arrived at an event recently and was asked what power I required, to which I replied two 13amp sockets (3pin sockets). He then asked how many amps I was drawing, so i said no more than 26?? 2X13amp plugs?? I could tell from the guys expression all respect was lost...

    Anyway, I have looked in the handbooks at how many amps each device draws, (both devices say 9-10). The guy then returned with what he said was a 16amp cable with round end and 3 pins (pic below). He then attached cable that converted this to a 3 normal pin plug (pic below) which he plugged into to standard 4 way extention. Which is where I drew the power for my 2 devices.





    Just need to be sure in future when asked the same types of questions I give the right info... Am I right in thinking that if I require power for 3 devices that all draw around 10amps I need at cable that can cope with at least 30 amps?.. So a 16amp version cable above wouldnt be safe??

    Also, If I turn up to an event in the future and I am basically left to hook up power on my own would I be able to use basic extentions found around the house or do I need the types of cables pictured above??

    One final question... Would it be safe to run all 3 devices from an extention that is connected to one 13amp socket.. bear in mind, most events involve the public getting very close to the wiring...

    Look forward to your reponses!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,691

    Default

    i think you over thunk it...

    Laser, Smoke machine, scanner... of the 3 the smoke machine uses the most power.. (if its a dpss laser)

    unless you have some beefy gas laser with a fat ass power suply, i would not worry about.. i have run a scanner, dpss laser, smoke machine, all from one plug...

    if im asking how much power your gonna use , you should respond in watts not amps. watts = volts x amps

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
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    Default

    yes, all equipment draws its own current. in electricity that we use in our houses and in commerical areas the voltage is the constant. Current is different.

    (Before everyone responds with, NO that isnt true and over analyzes that statement, lets keep our eye on the ball....he is talking about hooking up 3 VERY simple pieces of equipment. NOT 3 phase ion lasers or big, crazy, power hungry pieces of equipment! )

    the voltage supplied is going to be 120V (or 240V if youre in the UK which is where i think you are.) that voltage is the same whether you hook up a fan, a laser, a smoke machine or a blinking budweiser sign. the POWER (or Amperage or Wattage) will depend on what appliance you are using. or what COMBINATION of appliances you are using. when things are hooked up in parallel, the CURRENT will be added, the VOLTAGE remains the same.

    I would STRONGLY urege you to familiarize yourself with OHMS LAW

    this will save you COUNTLESS headaches. and if you are going to be working in this industry or even just touching upon even the most simplistic of equipment hook ups, this will be VERY important for you to know.
    It is VERY simple arithmatic.

    -Marc
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    ILDA- U.S. Laser Regulatory Committee

    Authorized Dealer for:

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    3

    Default

    I am kind of familiar with Ohms law, not sure how to use it to help me calculate how many amps I am drawing... The voltage of each piece of equipment is 240, no idea what the resistance value of the cables that will be used though......

    I have noticed the connectors (pics above) have been used at both jobs I have been hired for.. Is it worth cutting all my 3pin plugs off an converting them to the rounded ends?

    Would it be acceptable to hook all 3 pieces of equipment to the 4 way addaptor, then connect this to either a 16 amp or 32 amp cable with the rounded ends, tell the sparky at the event I am not drawing more than 33 amps and plub me in????

    cheers

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Ohio USA
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    Default

    ok lets say that all 3 of your units draw 16amps each......Right? that would then be added up to = 48 total amps .... and your voltage is 240v for every machine= 240v.... So then you go 240v divided by 48amps=5watts....so then your total for 3 machines 5Watts,,, So at your next event you can tell sparky a 16amp cable will do!!!
    Lasers, Lights, Music, Action!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Native Floridian
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    3,107

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LaserGuy216 View Post
    ok lets say that all 3 of your units draw 16amps each......Right? that would then be added up to = 48 total amps .... and your voltage is 240v for every machine= 240v.... So then you go 240v divided by 48amps=5watts....so then your total for 3 machines 5Watts,,, So at your next event you can tell sparky a 16amp cable will do!!!
    Wait a minute! 48Amps of 240VAC is not 5W! Its actually 11,500W or 11.5KW. Power=V*I

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Ohio USA
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    546

    Red face

    grrrrrrrrrrr I always mess up just a bit, I divided when I should times it..... I have been help at alot of shows before and have heard of this problem manytimes... A few shows almost didnt happen due to under power requirements of the distro.... I know most of the time you know the Voltage & over all Amps being used..... I almost had it right...
    Lasers, Lights, Music, Action!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default

    cheers for the replies...


    Just had a closer look at the instructions for each piece of kit...

    • Projector = 750w consumption
    • DVD Player = 10w consumption
    • Laptop = 65w consumption
    • Lights = 2000w consumption
    I read somwhere that you can find the amps of somthing by dividing the watts by the voltage (240) so this would mean...

    • Projector = 3.3 amps
    • DVD = 0.04 amps
    • Laptop = 0.27 amps
    • Lights = 8.3 amps

    TOTAL = 11.9 amps

    So in theory I should be ok to connect all the above to a bank of 4 extension that as in total its under 13amps? The 2 events I have been to have converted my 13amp bank of 4 to a 16amp cable with the round ends that are pictured above... Does anyone know what the other end of the 16 amp cable is plugged into?? obviously not direct to a 13 amp socket... do most people use transformers?? Sorry to be asking so many questions but dont want to look like a cowboy on the next job..

    cheers

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Cairns, Australia
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    Default

    All seems good. 8.3A of lights doesnt sound like much, what are you running? Usually just a few par cans require a 3 phase or 2....

    Usually they use r have 3 phase outlets in the events, in which people bring thier own 3 phase distribution board, or dimmer/s. If it does not have 3 phase, you can simply share the load over 2 DiFFERENT circuits. ie, half of it in one power socket, other half in another. Preferably (or you might have to) hook them up to different power points on different circuits.

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