Monday, July 15, 2013

Stage Power Cable Assembly Idea

This past weekend I worked as a sound technician at a local club mixing sound with 4 separate acts. During the setup of the band gear onstage, I was asked a few times if I had an AC extension cord for their equipment. The venue only has a few cables to use but, has a couple of wall-mounted power strip bars on the upstage wall. This setup is great for the backline musicians but, for the front line performers there is nothing permanent. So, usually you have to run separate AC cables across the front of stage to where each performer requires the power. Sometimes musicians will just use power bars joined together by plugging in one to the next. Obviously, this is not the best way to hookup power.

I was thinking about a solution for power that allow every performer to have an AC Drop near their location using just two specially designed power cables. It is simple. Take the standard design of a regular power bar with 8 AC outlets on it and stretch it out into a 50ft AC drop cable. Run one of these cables to the front line musicians and one to the backline musicians and you are set. Now, I used 50ft cables as an average length cable with 10ft spacing between each duplex outlet box. (see my diagram below) Of course you could make the cable assemblies either longer or shorted depending upon your application and use.

 The cable design would use a standard 15 amp rated u-ground plug on one end and standard 15 amp duplex outlet receptacles in each metal box. The limitations would be the total available current from the AC source outlet. With gear like EFX pedalboards and standard instrument amplifiers, you should have more than enough current to run it all with these cable assemblies. This cable setup would reduce the amount of cabling "clutter" onstage for a neat and clean stage appearance.

Now, it's time to go out and price the parts required to make these cable assemblies. Once I get the pricing, I will report back to you with an update. Cheers!

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