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  • 12 gauge vs. 14 gauge extension cords

    Hi, am looking to get two 12 or 14 E-Cords Power Block Extension Cord.

    http://www.guitarcenter.com/E-Cords-Power-Block-Extension-Cord-330801-i1128429.gc

    Each one will run a QSC K12, a K-Sub, a Mackie SRM 415 as a monitor, and possibly some floor pedals and/or small amps.There will be one extension at each side of our stage.

    I am thinking of 25 feet each. Questions:

    1. Do I need a 12 gauge or 14 gauge?
    2. Under what circumstances would I need each one?
    3. Which one would I choose if I need 50 feet?

    Thanks for the help,

    Brian

  • #2
    Cords will molded ends should be thrown in the trash IMHO. They simply don't last.

    What ever you get, go with 12 gauge and you'll never have to be concerned about electrical delivery cord wise.
    Thanks,
    Bill Cronheim
    Enterainment Systems Corporation
    Back stage since 1973

    Comment


    • #3
      Cords will molded ends should be thrown in the trash IMHO. They simply don't last.


      UM.. what other kinds of ends are there... you mean like cords with boxes on the ends?
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      • #4
        UM.. what other kinds of ends are there... you mean like cords with boxes on the ends?

        Spec grade ends generally get the job done.

        Comment


        • #5
          14 gauge @ 25 foot is plenty fine. You are not drawing enough current with your loads to mak a difference at such a short distance.

          Comment


          • #6
            You can cheap out with a "standard" Walmart one outlet extension cord and a mounded 3 wire cube tap. I lucked out last January and got 25 foot 14 gauge green cords with an outlet every 8 feet on xmas closeout for $6 each - I plugged a cube tap into each outlet and have 9 outlets on each cord (I leave the cube taps plugged in). I run one stage left and one stage right for backline and the PA. I bought 25 foot IEC cords for my powered speakers from monoprice ($8?) so's I don't have to run extensions to them .

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            • #7
              Spec grade ends generally get the job done.


              What, may I ask, is a spec grade end?

              How does one tell if an end is spec grade or not?
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              • #8
                Hi, am looking to get two 12 or 14 E-Cords Power Block Extension Cord.

                1. Do I need a 12 gauge or 14 gauge?
                Brian

                Not particular to Brian's post, but:

                12ga. is my choice for utility grade extension cords, because:

                12ga. is suitable for 20A (of 117V) current carrying capacity. 20A is the maximum expected from an Edison wall outlet. Therefore, 12ga. is suitable to carry the load of virtually anything plugged into a wall outlet. Therefore, I only purchase and carry 12ga. 117V AC extension cords... because you can easily carry 7 gallons of water in a 10 gallon bucket, but it's more than difficult to carry 7 gallons in a 5 gallon bucket.

                I use SO rated for the heavy traffic locations, and SJ rated everywhere else.

                I've seen a lot of barber poled lesser gauge AC extension cords in my day.

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                • #9
                  What, may I ask, is a spec grade end?

                  How does one tell if an end is spec grade or not?

                  Spec grade = specification grade, which is the good stuff.

                  Generally spec grade AC cord ends are heavy duty with good strain relief and "insert, then screw-down to clamp the wire" termination points.

                  I personally use Hubbell or Marinco spec grade cord ends like these:

                  http://cgi.ebay.com/Hubbell-5266C-AC-Main-Power-Cable-Connector-Plug-2-pcs_W0QQitemZ110425960953

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                  • #10
                    Mark,

                    As long as you're on the topic, do you have a preference of SJ cable?
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                    • #11
                      Carol makes excellent cordage.

                      According to the National Electrical Code, all cabling used on a "stage" or other public area of performance is required to be rough service (SO) cable. Fire marshalls will usually overlook the use of SJ (Junior Service) cable in my experience however.
                      Thanks,
                      Bill Cronheim
                      Enterainment Systems Corporation
                      Back stage since 1973

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                      • #12
                        Oh, and I happen to prefer Leviton connectors over Hubble, the stress relief machanics are better IMHO.

                        This is the connector we use (the all black model)

                        Thanks,
                        Bill Cronheim
                        Enterainment Systems Corporation
                        Back stage since 1973

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Mark,

                          As long as you're on the topic, do you have a preference of SJ cable?


                          I agree with Bill that Carol seems to be making some of the nicer cable on the market right now... the Carol stuff seems to coil and lay better than others.

                          Also, I agree with Bill concerning his recommendation of the Leviton cord ends.

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                          • #14
                            Is it cheaper to buy the wire and then the connectors?

                            what do you think of the ones I asked about:

                            E-Cords http://www.guitarcenter.com/E-Cords-...01-i1128429.gc

                            If these are not good, what brand and where do I buy 25' 12 gauge block cables.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Carol makes excellent cordage.

                              According to the National Electrical Code, all cabling used on a "stage" or other public area of performance is required to be rough service (SO) cable. Fire marshalls will usually overlook the use of SJ (Junior Service) cable in my experience however.


                              The definition of a stage is quite complex, not all stages require SO cable. From what I recall off the top of my head, it's any LEGITIMATE stage which carries a very different definition. Also, the application (ie. stage lighting) is called out specifically for SO, but the cable service must match the AHJ's definition of the application.

                              Most "stages" do not require SO cordage for audio purposes.

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