Quality AC for thrifty soundpersons.
devices are not UL listed, and may not meet federal, state, or local
codes. If you use
the following information as a guide for your own gear, you do so at
your own risk.
PowerCon connectors are wonderful things. I use them where
ever possible. Their advantages include: They are rated for
20 amps. They lock positively (unlike Edisons, and Hubbell or
other Twist-LocksŪ). They are reasonably priced (unlike most
Twist-LocksŪ, especially chassis mounts). The male connectors do
not protrude from the housing like Twist-LocksŪ and as such cannot be
bent. They mount in the same size panel hole as Neutrik NL4
loudspeaker connectors and Neutrik D series XLR connectors.
Two minor caveats: They are not male and female as with Edisons and
Twist-LocksŪ, so to connect two cables together (to make a longer one)
you need a pricey coupler. The largest cable that they will
take is 10-3 type SJ or 12-3 SO (both of which are heavier gauge cable
than many small sound companies use).
(See the warning above about SJ and SO)
O.A. Windsor site.
feeder cord. The Edison is a Pass & Seymour 5266-X, chosen
because it's robust, accepts large cable, and is cheap (about $8.00 at
Menard's). Right: Mains jumper cord. Center: Stringer box
("Band Power Box"). The cable is Coleman 10-3 SUEOOW
Seoprene 105 (from Menard's - also check
CamelTraders). I have various lengths of both
kinds. All racks and band power boxes have a PowerCon Inlet and
Outlet ("Thru"). Any feeder cord can feed any rack or
band power box. Any jumper cord can jump from any rack or band
power box to any rack or band power box. This allows for any
contingency: If the venue has plenty of wall outlets, every rack
can have its own feed and the stage can have one or two; If there
is only one outlet, I can daisy chain everything (up to five band power
boxes, two amp racks, and two FOH racks plus the console, and the only connection(s) that can possibly be pulled, kicked, or vibrated apart are
those where an Edison plugs into the wall. (The breaker may
blow, but hey...)
The Band Power
Boxes were $6 each at Home Depot. I removed the power cord and
installed the PowerCons. The PowerCons are wired straight through
- the switch/breaker effects only the outlets on the box. With a
hand-full of boxes and jumpers, one can daisy-chain outlet boxes
anywhere on stage without worrying about something in the chain coming
unplugged. (Unfortunately, this box is no longer available from
spite of what Leviton's on-line catalog says. However a version
with surge suppression is available as the
(You have to remove the surge suppression components in order to install
the PowerCons . This is ok, because what the suppression
components are best at is setting the plastic box on fire when they
fail.) Do a Google search to see who has the
best price. (The Tripp UL800CB-15 is an all metal strip.
However to use it will require removing the power cord and blanking the
hole, removing the switch that is in the way and blanking the hole, and
likely removing one duplex and blanking the holes. A lot of extra
You could use my
design , or use a box from
Lex Products now makes a
PowerCon Quad Box that looks very nice, however it's very expensive
at $150 MSRP.
Update: I've been using these for several years now, and I've not been
gentle with them (although I don't think any have been stepped on or had
a case rolled over them). The only problem I've had was when some
jughead removed a PowerCon without bothering to release the locking tab.
(Which took a lot of effort! I had to replace the PowerCon, as it
would no longer lock. Bloody musicians!)
The I/O on the amp racks can
Also check out my Bar Distro page