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been adviced by a pro dj friend of mine....naming no names :) that i should get a conditioner/power surge protector for all my delicate gear...... my question (s) is do you really need one doing pubs and clubs? has anyone ever had equipment fail due to not having one ? would a 6 or 8 gangway with protection do the job? my thinking is his gear is worth 10s of thousands of pounds and a lot larger than my little numark/american dj outfit :) any help appreciated

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I've been in this Game for decades and i've never needed one, nor suffered any adverse results or damage from not having one.

 

Venues share exactly the same community power supplies as houses, factories, shops etc, so if there really was a problem with the stability of the mains, then there would be an outcry as a result of the thousands of computers, X-Boxes, PS3's, Plasma TV's etc, being damaged as the electronics in these are just as sensitive as the type of equipment that we use, and these types of domestic / entertainment equipment run far longer and more often than ours.

 

To be honest the only time I would consider using a power conditioner would be in a venue or marquee which had a generator to supply the power, as these can be variable in quality, depending on whether you had a state of the Art diesel generator or some rusty old Honda set from off a building site.

 

I always make a regular practice of having my lights on a different socket to my sound system, not because of surges, but because a blown lamp can sometimes take out a fuse when it fails, which if it did happen part way through a gig, I wouldn't lose my Sound as a result of the fuse blowing in the trailing socket / plug due to a failed lamp - only the lighting which isn't a big deal compared to the embarrassment of a suddenly silent room!. I think this common sense practice, advised to me by a member here years ago, has actually saved me more times than having (or in my case not having) a power conditioner, not that my fuses blow often, but lamps can blow especially in cold weather, and some types will short and take out a 13A fuse when they do.

 

 

"The voice of the devil is heard in our land"

 

'War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left, and you wont win this war.'

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thanks for that, if the lights went out due to a bulb blowing would it be the fuse in the power bar/gangway extension or a trip in the venues fuse box ? also would i be able to plug my 2 x 1000w max power active speakers and 1200w max active bass box into one socket ? or do most djs split the gear into 3 or 4 sockets, cheers jas

 

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I do the same as McCardle, I run my lighting on one socket and PA on another.

If a fault occurs in anything then there should be an electrical chain of safety. If a lamp blows then it should take out the fuse (maybe 1 or 2 amps) in the actual light itself first, if not then the fuse in the plug (3A) should pop, if not then it should be the (13A) power bar and lastly the (32A) venue fuse board.

I've never tripped the power in a venue myself but it is certainly possible. The latest mcb's fitted to fuse boards are incredibly sensitive. When a lamp pops it can go open circuit for a fraction of a second and that's all it takes to trip the breaker. You might have had it happen at home, when a bulb pops and trips the breaker.

 

Onto your speakers.

Watts = volts x amps

Amps = watts / volts

 

Be careful here as you need to check the actual current rating on the back of the speakers, not the output wattage. The actual current drain will be higher than the output watts.

 

Assuming you gave me the correct figures then 2x 1000w tops + 1200w bin = 3200watts, divided by 240v = 13.3 amps.

So no, as that exceeds the maximum 13A you can draw from one socket, don't plug them all into one socket. And by that I mean the actual wall socket, not sockets on a 4 way adaptor etc.

 

 

Craig

 

Dance Sounds Disco

http://www.discosheffield.co.uk

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cheers for that,so i need to keep my lights on one socket as long as its not over 13amps and 1 for speakers, mixer/decksand radio mic and 1 for the bass bin so i need at least 3 wall plugs , should be fun in some places, better get a few 25metre reels and a bucket full of duck tape, cheers for help guys.

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It may be possible for you to run the Bass Bin along with the rest of the P.A system on the same circuit. As Fester says, look at the actual Electrical Consumption of the speaker and NOT the output wattage.

 

If the output power of the speakers is RMS, then yes running both the tops and bin from one 13A socket will be too much and will risk overloading. However you mention that those wattages are 'maximum' figures, rather than RMS, so the actual continuous power drain may actually be lower than 1000w / 1200w as the RMS figure is always much lower than any given maximum or 'peak' figure.

 

There is also an element called 'diversity' which Electricians use, which dictates that all appliances are unlikely to all be drawing their full rated current for long periods of time so some common sense also has to be applied to speaker ratings, unless you constantly blast the place out at 100% volume all of the time, it would be very rare for the maximum consumption to be reached.

 

Its also worth bearing in mind that in order to meet UK Electrical Safety standards (BS1363), every double socket sold in the UK has to be able to safely withstand a 20A continuous current drain when combined across both sockets. That doesn't mean you can draw 20A from one socket as each individual plug is only designed to withstand 13A, but it would be fair to consider that 10A drawn from one socket and 6A from the other socket of a standard double wall plate outlet would be within that safety margin and deemed legally acceptable, and may actually be safer in practice than a 25M extension cord running around public areas.

 

So if the venue has a double socket available, then plugging in the 2x tops (2000w / 9A) into one socket and the Bin (1200w / 5.3A) would be well within the 20A margin on 230V UK Mains for a double socket even assuming the speakers were running at anywhere near their full rated power (which is unlikely).

 

Of course the lighting would still have to be plugged into an entirely different socket outlet!!.

 

However I think you'll find that if the speakers are rated at 1200w & 1000w maximum, then the RMS continuous rating will be much lower, and so the electrical consumption reduced also. Check the manual / manufacturers website for the exact power consumption in watts of each speaker, rather than that which is written on the speaker

Edited by McCardle

"The voice of the devil is heard in our land"

 

'War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left, and you wont win this war.'

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sorry my mistake the speakers are only 800w max , the rms on the speakers are 400w and the rms on the bass bin is 600w ( alto ts115a and 15inch active subwoofer) . so am i right in saying 400 + 400 + 600 = 1400 dived by 240 = 5.83 ........... so i can use the 3 of them in one 13amp socket and probably fit my mixer ,decks and radio mic in there as well ?

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Yes, I thought that may be the case :D as there are very few Active speakers with 1000W + RMS power ratings per cab

 

Given the revised power ratings of the Alto's (I have the smaller 12" versions), even allowing for efficiency losses in the Amplifier and PSU, it would be safe to assume that both the main units and Sub will be fine off one 13A socket.

 

An average un-powered Mixer will consume around 12w - 30w depending on the model, size etc, A radio mic less than 5 watts and Decks, probably around 20w each

 

All of this will be fine off a 13A socket, just keep the lighting split off and plugged into another socket.

 

Another thing to remember, is that although all extension leads, trailing adapters etc profess to handle the full 13A rating, some do it better than others. Its always a good idea to avoid the cheap and nasty four gang sockets sold for less than £2 in Tesco etc, and buy a decent quality rubber trailing adapters such as is made by Duraplug. Often the cheap and nasty ones, will either fall apart after several gigs on the road, or worse still the pins will bend or become loose, causing a poor connection and 'hot spots' created when the plug pins mate poorly with the socket receptacles. This heat builds up with anything with a heavy consumption melting the socket, or causing crackles through the P.A

 

You can't take any chances with Electricity and your own safety, not to mention reputation. I hand wired all of my extensions and trailing adapters in custom lengths with good quality 'arctic' cable and rubber plugs and sockets. Yes, the outlay was a little more than the sell 'em cheap pile them high adapters sold for a few quid on the high street, but they've outlasted several of those, and so paid for themselves in the long run. Plus i've never had any issues with cracked plugs, and the cable doesn't run warm, even when running close to the full 13A

 

 

"The voice of the devil is heard in our land"

 

'War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left, and you wont win this war.'

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Thanks for that, where is best place to buy a decent protector then, had a look on eBay but just cheapos on there,"......... One more question. :). I have the 2 ts115 active speakers and I have only room for 1 boom box in the back of my civic.... Should I buy the alto 15" active or should I spend an extra 100 pound on the 18" active...will it make much of a difference ? Cheers again jas

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I haven't heard the difference between the Alto 15 and 18" bass bins personally but typically, a 15" will produce more of a "thud", whereas an 18" will play deeper.

As always when buying speakers I really can't stress enough that you should find a retailer and have a demo.

Listen to them yourself, use a wide range of music for a good comparison.

Craig

 

Dance Sounds Disco

http://www.discosheffield.co.uk

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