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Generator specs
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tnt



Joined: 14 May 2007
Posts: 2897
Location: Princeton, NJ

PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:27 am    Post subject: Generator specs Reply with quote

Might need to power a few amps and mains outdoors this summer a few times.

What should I look for re: power? I wouldn't think I need anything bigger than this, would I?

http://www.amazon.com/All-Power-America-APG3004-1000-Watt/dp/B0017YV188/ref=sr_1_35?ie=UTF8&s=garden&qid=1278005112&sr=1-35
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Les



Joined: 06 Jan 2005
Posts: 1961
Location: Kansas City

PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really don't mean to sound condscending, but it's all about math... this will work as long as everything hooked up to it doesn't draw more than 1000 watts.

Oh, and if you hook up enough stuff that all together comes close to 1000 watts, make sure each individual component is turned off before the generator is powered up... in other words, don't try to make the gen power-up everything at once.

Yes I know these are obvious comments... not trying to be insulting, just taking the "better safe than sorry" tact.
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rhardman



Joined: 11 Sep 2008
Posts: 4422
Location: Chicago, not ready for reform, yet

PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would go for something in the 3500 watt range. Especially if you are using tube amps. I just checked the current draw on my 10 watt Ampex 620.
0.5 amps=55 watts at 110 V.

To be on the safe side-- add up your total load and double it. It costs a lot more to repair gear damaged by a generator that is maxed out and not producing 110V than it does to buy a bigger generator, IMO.
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gkyhn



Joined: 14 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out This Thread It has some good info about generator safety. The machine you linked to does not have very good reviews. I'm a cheap SOB by nature, but a generator is something that I would not cut corners on. The size and length of your power cord makes a huge difference. Something like a Honda is going to be quite enough that you won't have to put it so far away. Is renting an option?
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tnt



Joined: 14 May 2007
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Location: Princeton, NJ

PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys.

Renting, probably not. Hopefully we'll be playing a few times a month at an outdoor spot. But simply running an extension cord from a nearby house might be an option. We'll know more next week.

I guess I was thinking that small generator would be fine simply because we have run our entire band set up off of one 15 amp house curcuit before without trouble. The only time we threw the breaker is when we added an electric space heater to the chain.

But amperage differs from wattage....as far as I know...

Ok, so 3,500 watts...
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~frank



Joined: 25 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tnt wrote:


But amperage differs from wattage....as far as I know...


Well, yeah, but they're related. Simply put:

watts = amperes * voltage
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Structo



Joined: 21 Nov 2004
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Location: Salem, OR

PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another thing to consider is how clean the power from the generator is.
And how well the voltage is regulated.

The more current your equipment draws the more sag in the voltage.
So if you are near capacity, your voltage may dip to below 110vac.

I'm not familiar with modern generator specs but I'm sure like anything else there is a wide disparity between the cheap ones and the expensive ones.

I wouldn't want to take the chance that using a cheap generator could harm my amplifiers so do some careful research before buying or renting.
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rhardman



Joined: 11 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Running a long extension cord may not be a good solution. The voltage drop from the resistance of the wire can take you as low as 80 volts. It probably won't damage tube amps...but can play hell with voltage sensitive SS sound gear. If you are running a long power feed, make sure it is 12ga.
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gkyhn



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you invest in a 100' 10 gauge extension cord (about $120) you'll only have a 2-3% voltage drop.
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RayRay



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gkyhn wrote:
If you invest in a 100' 10 gauge extension cord (about $120) you'll only have a 2-3% voltage drop.


I an NOT an electrician, so your on your own with the advice here, but look it up if you have any doubts...but..
That's right on ...they can be rented at a local equipment rental too...but regardless, 12 ga is only good for 15 amp draw @50 feet. DON'T go cheap..50% more than you need is a good gauge to go by...read the other post carefully it's all there...your life isn't worth short-cuts...PROPER GROUNDING is a must! "Clean" power is a must unless you want to buy new amps. (Correct regulated cycle). Wink

Computing power requirements:

WATTS REQUIRED= AMPS X VOLTAGE

Amplifier draws 15 AMPS X 120 VOLTS = 1800 WATTS REQUIRED +
25% for surge and drop cord loss = 2250 WATTS required for this one amplifier!

So you can see, a 1000 watt generator wouldn't work here.

So, you need to total up the combined amp draw of ALL of the equipment
and use the formula above to determine how much power you need...then add at least 25% to be safe....and that's what you want to do ABOVE ALL...BE SAFE! Wink
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Kregg



Joined: 22 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tell the venue that they must supply the juice required to power your show ... that's what a contract is for little people.
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Structo



Joined: 21 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is true about the extension cords.

At a company I used to work at we had an electric stucco mixer.
It had a huge electric motor in it.

After burning it out a couple times and having it re-wound, we found that if we ran anything less than a 10 gauge wire to the motor it would fry.
It was a 120vac motor.

We had in our contract that a power outlet had to be within 50 feet of where the mixer would sit.
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RayRay



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Structo wrote:
That is true about the extension cords.

At a company I used to work at we had an electric stucco mixer.
It had a huge electric motor in it.

After burning it out a couple times and having it re-wound, we found that if we ran anything less than a 10 gauge wire to the motor it would fry.
It was a 120vac motor.

We had in our contract that a power outlet had to be within 50 feet of where the mixer would sit.


Yup, amazing how HOT those drop cords get too..honestly, nobody uses less than 10 gauge on equipment...I've seen 'em actually catch fire from amperage draw...and 50' does seem to be the limit in most cases where serious & continous high amp draw is needed.
We used to make our own out of 10 GA romex..with metal boxes...and covers..braided wire just doesn't get it for rough use either.
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tnt



Joined: 14 May 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You guys convinced me....we'll play acoustic and sing really loud.

I think the 10 g. cord would be the way to go. I'll scope things out later this week, see how close power is.
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RayRay



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tnt wrote:
You guys convinced me....we'll play acoustic and sing really loud.

I think the 10 g. cord would be the way to go. I'll scope things out later this week, see how close power is.


Just remember, the chain is only as strong as the weakest link...

10 Gauge drop cords (Extension cords) are GOOD...but the power source must be as capable.

If the wire in the wall is 14/2 and the breaker is rated at 15 amps, it may not be enough at 50FT for 10 GA.drops.
It could cause the wire in the wall to heat up and kick out the breaker because of the load draw at that distance.

500 HP HO motor in a '62 Falcon with stock trans and brakes would be a recipe for disaster.

I'm not trying to sabotage your gig, Embarassed I'm just trying to help you not make a costly mistake.
Check out what you've got before you need it. If you equipment puts more draw on the system than 15 AMPS then you need to do something else. Rolling Eyes
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