12AWG vs 14AWG IEC

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djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
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#21
Rabbit trail ahead...........I had to run off a generator this past weekend. I've heard that you should never use a power regulator when running off a generator. I ran power directly from their distro to power my rig. I then used a kill-a-watt meter to adjust the output of the generator to 115v. Does anybody know?
Regulators are way different than a conditioner I would think.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
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#22
It's not useful to describe a multi-outlet power strip or conditioner as a "distro." The odds are your conditioner is wired internally with 16ga or 18ga at best. So, your continuous trip limit is going to be 12A (for 15A strips) and 16A (for 20A strips.) You'll get away with this for about 45 minutes.

A distro is something else entirely and the cables (feeders) have different considerations than do extension cords.

For uninterrupted power over the long term you need to remain at no more more than 70% the rated current limit of any trip device in the chain, including the breaker in the bakc of yoru conditioner or power strip.

The cable concerns are about heat owing to the resistance. A 16ga 50 ft cord can sustain a 13 amp load - but, will get hot while doing so. This cord run across open air or even on the ground is not the same risk as one run through a closed space. The specifics of the cable specs are just part of the equation. How you use the cable in many circumstances will matter even more.
 
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rickryan.com

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#27
What do you mean use a kilowatt to adjust the voltage. There is no way to adjust the voltage.
"Kill-a-watt" is the name brand of a test meter. It will measure voltage available, amps being pulled, etc. etc. At the gig last weekend, I put a kill-a-watt meter at the end of the extension cord, under my table. Since the power was coming from an industrial inverter generator, there is an adjustment knob on the generator that will let you dial the voltage up or down. When I first plugged it in it was reading 110 volts. I dialed it up to 115 volts and everything worked perfectly the whole time.
 
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Jun 26, 2018
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#29
you don't want to use smaller gauges at the beginning of a run .. you'd still be limited to it's current capacity (which is 15A for 14 ga) .. If you're plugging into a 15A standard outlet, then no issue.

You get a power drop (voltage x current) on long lengths of cable .. whether you get voltage drop depends on the load. For 12 gauge, you lose about 10% of the power at 125 ft. For 14 ga, you lose 10% at around 80 ft. So the longer you go, the lower gauge you want to minimize loss.
Solid advice - I've seen the power loss first hand. Although my contract says I need to be within 20' of power there was an "emergency" at a festival I worked a few years back. As a result (there was no power where I was at - so the client furnished me with two inverter generators), the genius coordinating the event thought it would be a good idea to pull my generators and give them to the bouncehouse people who needed 220v. At this point, the nearest working electrical outlet was about 1/8 mile away. I normally carry about 200' of extension cords in my truck for emergency preparedness. Enough extension cords were procured, however, they were consumer grade so I could only run at half power and had to adjust the way I spoke into my mic or else it would actually power down the amps from the slight vu surge causing a voltage dip (I was dipping down to about 70v according to my power conditioner). It was a long...rough...event. Luckily, I was using older equipment so I wan't too worried about damage.
 
Jun 26, 2018
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#30
Rabbit trail ahead...........I had to run off a generator this past weekend. I've heard that you should never use a power regulator when running off a generator. I ran power directly from their distro to power my rig. I then used a kill-a-watt meter to adjust the output of the generator to 115v. Does anybody know?
The kill-a-watt is not really going to help. It may assist with surges/spikes and show you dips, but when you are working with generators, what you really need to worry about is "Dirty Power" potentially ruining sensitive electronics.

The best way to handle is to invest the extra money in an inverter generator. Make sure it has soft start/shutdown and is safe for what you are running it for with more than enough wattage than you are drawing to not cause a brownout.

I do a fair amount of work that requires this kind of stuff. As I posted on another thread - I pretty much exclusively use my old gear at these events. I NEVER power my higher end wedding gear off generators. Even still, with the older stuff I run power conditioner with voltage readout and battery backup on any computers/wireless systems.
 

TES3S

Well-Known DJ
Sep 18, 2016
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Los Angeles, CA
#31
I have a Kill o watt- I. thought you were saying you could adjust voltage which obviously in not possible.

I know 120 is perfect voltage, what is the lowest I should run PA gear? 105?
 

TES3S

Well-Known DJ
Sep 18, 2016
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#33
that's what I thought. It's unbelievable the number of venues I work where it registers around 108. Should I buy one of those high-end voltage regulators to stabilize a constant 115? Not even sure how all that works...
 
Aug 2, 2018
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#34
It's unbelievable the number of venues I work where it registers around 108. Should I buy one of those high-end voltage regulators to stabilize a constant 115
I may be wrong, but a voltage regulator will give you clean power, but it will not increase the voltage. If they are running 108 there is something wrong with their electrical system, most areas should be running between 110, and 120.
 

Handinon

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 1, 2014
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#36
that's what I thought. It's unbelievable the number of venues I work where it registers around 108. Should I buy one of those high-end voltage regulators to stabilize a constant 115? Not even sure how all that works...
IMHO, no.

You have a laptop? Go look at the writing on it's power supply - the thing that plugs in the wall. Mine says it works on 100-240VAC, 50-60 cycles. That's a wide range of voltage and frequency. How can it do this? It has a high frequency switching power supply. On top of that, it's output goes to the laptop which has voltage regulators inside it.

All the new Class D speakers and subs have the same kind of stuff inside them, only scaled up. Heck, even most new wal-warts that power controllers and mixers have the same stuff, plus (like the speakers) the controllers and mixers have their own voltage regulators inside them.

Unless you're dragging around a huge box with batteries and farad caps that weighs a couple hundred pounds, you can not get more power than what is coming out of the wall. P=VxI. Power (in watts) equals voltage x current. Most of these devices (magic black box voltage regulators) simply trade current for voltage, but the amount of available power is the same (actually, slightly less due to resistance/impedance losses). Given that switching power supplies can already tolerate large voltage and frequency variations, and everything has their own regulators inside, IMHO this makes no sense.

A poor argument can be made in support of power conditioners ( that provide the so-called "clean power"), but unless you live in a third world country, it's just that, a poor argument.
 
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Handinon

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#37
The rumor was that Bob Carver was watching the assembly line of Phase Linear 700's one day, and wondered how he could eliminate the weight and expense of that massive transformer.

A Power Supply Story -

"After I sold Phase Linear, which I founded in the early 70's, and decided to start Carver Corporation, I wanted to come out with a new amplifier that would be light years ahead of anything currently available. I began work on a signal tracking power supply. Successfully implemented, an amplifier that incorporated such a power supply would he able to deliver lots of power, would run stone cold, would be incredibly efficient; essentially all of the input power would become output power, would be able to deliver massive amounts of current, and would drive almost any impedance down to one ohm and below. It would have the potential of ultra-high reliability because it would be running cold, would not require heat sinks, and because it would be so efficient, the power supply could be much smaller for the equivalent output power (in a conventional amplifier, only 20% to 30% of the input power actually appears at the output of the amplifier as usable audio power). I toiled for over a year trying to make this into a reality but couldn't get it to work. And so, after a year of working until two in the morning, I finally gave up and instead developed a different power supply called the Magnetic Field power supply. That power supply and its power amplifier became the original Carver "Cube". I used that to start Carver Corporation."

A lot of Patent wrangling, and goof-balls trying to get a bazillion watts out of their 12V car audio systems later, we have reliable high frequency switching power supplies and Class D amps - which we have all benefited from. However, do not think that manufacturer's do this because they love us.

"The inventor of the shipping container was Malcolm McLean (1913-2001). In 1956 he created the metal shipping container to replace the old style “break bulk” method of goods handling. Later on, he founded Sea-Land Service. McLean added many transpacific routes and in 1967 the US government asked him to start a container service to South Vietnam, which became 40% of the company’s turnover in 1968-69."

The numbers are difficult to nail down, but it is safe to say there are more than a million shipping containers being transported (i.e. in actual movement) as I type this, on ships, trains, and trucks. Ever seen the inside of one coming from China? It's packed so efficiently there's no air in it. Besides the obvious savings in raw materials, by constantly making everything smaller and lighter, there is also a huge savings in shipping costs. As always - follow the money!
 
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rickryan.com

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#38
I may be wrong, but a voltage regulator will give you clean power, but it will not increase the voltage. If they are running 108 there is something wrong with their electrical system, most areas should be running between 110, and 120.
Wrong. A power regulator does raise low voltage and drop high voltage. That's its job. I normally use a regulator on all gigs with the exception of generator-powered gigs. This is what I'm using and love it.

Power regulator
 

steve149

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Sep 26, 2011
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#39
As @Handinon mentioned, you are limited by what's coming out of the wall. If you're getting low voltage, most newer power supplies will pull more current to make for it .. unless you are at the max the circuit can supply. If you're running a typical mobile DJ rig pulling maybe 7-8 amps, probably not an issue to worry about (unless you have much older gear). If you're running heavy duty subs and pulling close to the circuit max, then you might blow a breaker sooner than normal with low voltage.
 
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Handinon

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Oct 1, 2014
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#40
what the heck is clean power? lol
A poor argument can be made in support of power conditioners ( that provide the so-called "clean power"), but unless you live in a third world country, it's just that, a poor argument.
My home in Florida has the typical 200 amp residential service. 220vac whole house air conditioning, 220vac hot water heater, 220vac pool pump motor, 220vac in the ground sprinkler pump motor, 220vac stove/oven, 220vac dryer (my wife's middle name is "Mrs. Clean") - these things turn off and on all the time. Yet, somehow, everything else in the house works fine - washing machine, refrigerators, micro wave oven, garage door opener, vacuum cleaner(s),TV's, stereos, computers, lights, ceiling fans, me testing the DJ rig in the garage, etc., etc., etc..
Clean power? What's in your wallet!
 
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