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Power distribution help needed
Old 21st May 2006
Lives for gear
numrologst's Avatar
Power distribution help needed

So I am about to put the final touches on the studio. I haven't hired an electrician yet, but I will if I need to.

Here is my problem, I may run into having my equipment draw more power than my Balanced power supplies can support.

I have 30+ pieces of rack gear that draw an estimated 8 amperes

Trident Console- I don't know exactly how much it will draw but I will assume anywhere from 8-20 amperes

Computer will draw 3-4 amperes

So that is between 19-32 possible ampere draw.

I am trying to work the power situation out. But I know my wall outlet only puts out 15 amperes. I obviously may need two times that.

I will be buying an equitech balanced power module. But it seems to only supply 20 amperes. So evidentally that means that I need 2 to get me to 40 amperes? I think that would be plenty

Second part of the question is how to get to the 30-40 amperes the equitech needs to run.

I guess I have 2 options:

1)Use two different outlets. One for console, One for rack gear/computer
2)Get a furman adc-100 power distribution module. Supposedly this unit will allow me to connect it to a standard 15 ampere outlet and it will bump up and handle 100 amperes. SO i Would plug that into the wall, and then the Equitechs into them.

Am I thinking about this stuff correctly, or do I need to get my room rewired?
Old 21st May 2006
Lives for gear
Albert's Avatar

I think you got it backwards on that Furman unit. It takes in 100amps and distributes it to five 20amp circuits.

I'm not an electrician, but it doesn't seem to me that any of your current ideas are going to work (no pun intended). I think you need a few 20amp circuits, or a 40amp circuit for your studio. With that kind of current draw you should definitely hire an electrician and have the power wired correctly. This will almost certainly mean adding new circuits and breakers to your current setup.

Using two outlets will do you no good if they are on the same circuit. You need to determine which outlets go to which circuits.

You need to assess the actual current draw that mixer. If it does not go above 15 amps then you might be able to get away with using 2-3 15 amp circuits.

But I think you would be wise to at least bring in an electrician to consult with.
Old 21st May 2006
Lives for gear
numrologst's Avatar
Yeah, I think you are right. I don't even know how to find out if I have 2 or 3 15a circuits. Anyone know how much current average 32 channel console with automation draws?

Also is this an expensive endeavour to wire up more circuits? I am putting the studio in rented space. So when if I decide to move to a bigger facility it is not worth spending alot of money on something that I will lose. But I guess if I can't do it, then the studio will not work.

As a side note, how can that furman take in 100 amperes from one outlet?
Old 21st May 2006

You seriously need to RTFM and find out how much power your console needs (or at least look on the back of the power supply.

Then, you need to talk to an electrician. If you have a rented (commercial) space, then there should be something like a 100A disconnect or a sub pannel in there. You may well be able to buy your own distribution equipment and take it with you when you leave.


Old 22nd May 2006
Gear Maniac

Absolutely what tINY and to Albert said. But after you've done all that, closely examine your *total* household current draw while working--that is, don't use the dryer, stove, or AC if you can avoid it then, as the load difference might allow you to keep working without tripping a breaker.
Old 23rd May 2006
Lives for gear
numrologst's Avatar
What is a ballpark figure to add an extra 60 amperes to my box, for my studio?
Old 23rd May 2006
Lives for gear

If it was me I'd install a DUAL 40 amp breaker with several quad boxes spread around to cover your needs.
You'll be more than covered this way.
The cost of labor is more expensive than the hardware required, so you might as well overbuild.

Last week I had a two Midas Venice 320 consoles, an 01v, twelve pieces of outboard at F.O.H., twelve Mackie SRM450s, 24Kw of Nexo/Camco mains AND a band on our distro.
EVERYTHING was pulling around 25 to 27 amps when everything was running at a moderately loud (112db) level. Oh yeah... I was providing AC for the video as well!

Have an electrician wire it.
It should cost you around $500.00
I could be wrong because I do all this stuff myself.
I never pay for electrical work.

Danny Brown
Old 23rd May 2006
Gear Maniac

Originally Posted by numrologst
What is a ballpark figure to add an extra 60 amperes to my box, for my studio?
Dunno, depends on where you are, etc. But to echo dbbubba, overbuild your studio outlets and breakers, you'll thank yourself. Also heavier-than-needed wire (Romex or conduit, say 10 or 12 gauge instead of 14 or 16 gauge) is not too pricey and a good idea as long as your outlets can accommodate it. I use 10 gauge to my 20 Amp duplex outlets--overbuilt, but not too expensive compared to smaller wire. The key thing to remember is that if you have 100 Amps service to the whole place, you can still have breakers installed whose combined ratings total Nx100 Amps--almost all houses are like this--the point is you can't use more than 100 Amps (or whatever the main breaker rating is) at a time. That's a lot of power really, so again examine what else is on the entire circuit before you decide whether to add the very expensive step of adding more main capacity, e.g. another 100 amp line. If your studio is not too big (big meaning a 100 channel console, etc.), you might be fine with the present main capacity. But be sure that your studio can grab almost all of that capacity when needed, as dbbubba described. And removable distribution makes a lot of sense in case you move. Good luck.
Old 23rd May 2006
Lives for gear
numrologst's Avatar
Thanks, you guys have been extremely helpful.

I found that the console will max use 4 amps. So that is about 16 amps for the studio gear.

Plus I have to figure in 2 plasma screens which eat about 1 amp a piece. So we are up yp 18. Then budget for amps and electric pianos. So that's about 20.

The rest of the house isn't very big, there is obviously washer/dryer, hvac, refridgerator, lighting, etc.

So I can probably squeeze by with 100 amps. I can probably distribute 40 to my studio and use that furman unit.

Thanks for all the input. Feel free to give me some more, but I will get an electrician in there to figure it all out
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