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Outdoor gigs....extension cord rant.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Strato50, Oct 13, 2017.

  1. Strato50

    Strato50 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    50
    185
    Mar 30, 2017
    Port Arthur TX
    So we get to the gig...and the normal spot for this show has about 5 dedicated plugs for the bands....but the new little ditsy manager decides to have us set up in a tent by the freeway 200 feet from the closest power source..I told her you lose 5 volts a foot and she is like well everything will be okay...we really want y'all where passerby's can see the band. I am like its a customer appreciation party who cares about some guy from Georgia passing by (no offense)?...well after the first few tunes the PA starts breaking up....My amp sounds like a crunch box and it just gets worse..I never understand why people will not listen to musicians who do this **** for a living.If we would have had a advance notice of the tent change I would have been better prepared with REAL extension cords and not some 10 amp Wal Mart cords...okay rant over...sux I wanted to hear what my board sounded like...but I went straight into my amp to save power.
     

  2. R.S.Fraser Sr.

    R.S.Fraser Sr. Tele-Meister

    259
    Jun 6, 2010
    canada
    SO by the end of the 200 feet you had lost 1,000 volts....
    so you did an acoustic set?
     
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  3. Strato50

    Strato50 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    50
    185
    Mar 30, 2017
    Port Arthur TX
    We should have...lol...The amps were starving for power.
     

  4. R.S.Fraser Sr.

    R.S.Fraser Sr. Tele-Meister

    259
    Jun 6, 2010
    canada
    Hell, there are guys on this forum who would pay big money for a Variac ps.
     

  5. Strato50

    Strato50 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    50
    185
    Mar 30, 2017
    Port Arthur TX
    We did make 500 bucks for two 45s...but I would have rather stayed at home to be honest...I am getting too old for low volts...lol
     
    uriah1 likes this.

  6. rburd2

    rburd2 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    37
    Sep 13, 2016
    Georgia, US
    If it makes you feel any better, I once played an acoustic set at a little stage for a USTA event (qualifier for the US Open). They had us scheduled as an acoustic duo on Tuesday afternoon and a full band on Thursday night.

    The sound guy just had us set up and do our first song. He ran back and forth between out front and the board for about half the song, then disappeared. By the end of that first song, a dude with a walkie talkie was standing in front of us and looking VERY serious.

    Apparently, we could be heard on the tennis court, so we were told to wait for the sound guy to come back. After 30 minutes, we pack up our stuff and leave, then cancel for the Thursday night. Worst outdoor setup I have ever seen.

    Edit: By the way, this was not a paid gig.
     
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  7. beyer160

    beyer160 Tele-Holic

    901
    Aug 11, 2010
    On Location
    Not sure if you were trying to be hyperbolic, but this isn't really true.


    http://www.calculator.net/voltage-d...ce=100&distanceunit=feet&amperes=20&x=95&y=24

    Lamp cord (AKA "zip cord") is the thinnest crap you can buy that has an AC plug on it, and that runs 18AWG (gauge). 200' of that with a 20 amp load will only drop 50v. Which is a lot, but not 1,000v. I regularly do 100' to 200' runs on 12 AWG cable, and the voltage drop is fairly small.
     
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  8. aerhed

    aerhed Tele-Holic

    Age:
    58
    510
    Dec 24, 2016
    Boulder, WY
    So, if I got this right you can pull 6L6GC tubes out of an amp with 435v on the plates add a two hunnerd foot zip cord, and drop in 5881's. Sweet.
     
    MickM likes this.

  9. jklotz

    jklotz Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 10, 2012
    Atlanta, GA
    I'm from Georgia, but I wasn't passing by.
     
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  10. Strato50

    Strato50 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    50
    185
    Mar 30, 2017
    Port Arthur TX
    My drummer is an electrician..lol..but all you have to do is listen to your ears. I have done 100s of outdoor shows and its always the same when inadequate power is on tap..distortion....and not in a good way. We had Pa..Bass rig..Harmonica amp and Guitar amp on one cord with power strips spread out. Nasty.
     

  11. Strato50

    Strato50 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    50
    185
    Mar 30, 2017
    Port Arthur TX
    And the drummers fan..
     

  12. MickM

    MickM Friend of Leo's Ad Free + Supporter

    You sure you you weren't just perturbed because the drummer was the only bandmember that had any fans show up?
     
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  13. Strato50

    Strato50 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    50
    185
    Mar 30, 2017
    Port Arthur TX
    Yes this is the reason...it's that one fan who sucked all the juice out of all the other band members. Left us powerless...UGH...lol
     
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  14. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

    May 27, 2013
    California
    Was the fan plugged in to an extension cord?

    [​IMG]
    That could be your problem right there!

    I say replace the drummer!
    Problem solved.
     
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  15. beyer160

    beyer160 Tele-Holic

    901
    Aug 11, 2010
    On Location
    I don't doubt you had voltage drop and that it messed you up (200' of 14AWG puts you at 100v, down from 120, which is sketchy- digital stuff will be really unhappy at that point), but it's not a linear 5v/foot.

    And voltage isn't what matters when you have multiple things plugged in at once- that's current in amps, which doesn't drop with cable length. When my generator vendor showed up with 2 x 200a 3 phase services instead of the 4 x 100a 3 phase services I'd requested last week, I had to daisy-chain my dimmer rack with tent power, and production distro with projectors (4, at 30a each). Because the services were 200a 3-phase (3 legs of 200a), I had enough current to make it work but I had to put stuff together on the same leg that I really didn't want to.
     

  16. Strato50

    Strato50 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    50
    185
    Mar 30, 2017
    Port Arthur TX
    Not a bad idea..lol

    This is why my pedal board went back into the car. I have two airless spray rigs for my painting business. I can run the small one on a light duty cord and it will work okay...bit if I run the bigger one on it will sag and not spray right and could actually burn up...anyone in construction knows about this. Trying to run a whole band on one thin cord is about the same thing.The 5 foot comment was not literal ..just meant to make her understand how it will affect the sound...it was not my gig ..so I went along without my pedal board which has some digital effects on it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017

  17. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 10, 2010
    Certain uncertainty
    I carry a big bag of 12, 14 & 16 AWGs to every gig for this reason. I've played barns and out in fields, horse farms and all manner of bizarre venues. A couple hundred feet of cord comes in handy. In my backup bags I have about 10 smaller ones that can stretch it even more if needed. I bring more than I'll ever need, I can always leave stuff in the vehicle. Next up is a generator as soon as I get the dough.
     
    haggardfan1 likes this.

  18. philosofriend

    philosofriend Tele-Meister

    470
    Oct 28, 2015
    Kalamazoo
    I had to bring a PA to a Wedding on a Lake Michigan Beach, 150 Yards from the House. It went great but the entire back seat of my car was stuffed with extension cords of an outlandish heavy guage. The electrician who loaned them to me also gave me a big Ground Fault Arrester so no one could get shocked. The band was right next to the water.
     
    bparnell57 and studio like this.

  19. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

    May 27, 2013
    California
    There's nothing like being prepared.
    [​IMG]
     

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