That reminds me of my IATSE days.
Large theaters use the same type of cables and color coding. I was embarrassed to call myself an electrician because all I did electrically was to plug stuff in that matched in color. Figuring out how to get all the cables back into the cases and get the lid shut was more complex than pulling them out and hooking them up!
Did you try to heft any of those 4/0 flexible cables around? I think one container box of them weighed about 800 lbs. Good thing that not only did the containers have wheels, they were also moveable by forklift.
Cheers and Stay Safe,
Marky the Sparky
Nice setup, reminds me of some jobs last summer . Event wiring is "easy" if you have the right stuff (and if you have helpers to haul the 4/0 around, I'm not built for that). I do question the use of 100a Bates plugs and those plugging boxes, though. Was that necessity or just because they were on the truck and available?
What kind of event is this?
I used to be pretty heavily involved in that industry. Starting when I was about 14 years old, humping cables for my dad so I could get back-stage passes into the concerts. Then I moved into site supervision, where I had other grunts humping the cable for me. And then into project management where I planned the layout of the distribution system for the event. (Although still going to school for E.E.).
The biggest project I had was also about the last one I did before getting out of field work. It was for the US Senior Open, and I think there was over a dozen different generator locations spread across an entire golf complex, feeding into several dozen distribution panels before reaching the final loads. Our staging area alone was the size of a football field. Depending on the density of the power requirements, some of these micro-sites started out with 1200A I-line distribution panels feeding into 200/400/800 amp distribution panels.
Please don’t be offended, but those pictures are not representative of what this industry has been like for several decades. That's because you can't be competitive in this industry with a kluge setup like that. What's shown is technology from the pre-1980's.
Even the quadboxes from the late 1970's were already rubberized. This is a new one, but the same thing already existed and was common in the late 70's.
That cube distribution box is actually a Walther modular distribution panel, and represents 2nd or 3rd generation distribution, but even that is over a decade old. I even have a couple of these laying around in my garage gathering dust. This one is a 200 amp distribution panel into 50-amp outputs.(Oops, that flip-top is from a competitor, but I forgot their name.)
By the 90's distribution got advanced enough that the larger companies realized that they needed to protect themselves more. I reached back to my high-school-day-roots and developed a power distribution tester to examine the equipment before it was placed in the field. A business acquaintance of mine from back then stumbled across a project site, and snapped this picture for me. It's a picture of one of my testers out in the wild. It's "well used" by this point, but these companies used it to verify their equipment before they put it into service at large project sites.
What is interesting, is that this East-Coast company (where you are located) chose to use IEC connectors for their equipment to reduce theft. Other companies wouldn't steal their cables because the connectors were useless. (Back then, the connectors were more valuable than the copper.)
The last one of these testers I built was for a manufacturing company that I eventually ended up doing some design work for, in designing new portable power distribution systems. They manufactured everything from the huge I-line panels down to the single 20 amp quad boxes. Their tester even included load-banking. (No, I really have little desire to make any more of these because the front-end design is not worth the time.)
One of their biggest sellers was the 200/400-amp modular distribution panel. It is based on the Square-D, QO backplane, and the output plates were modular for a variety of configurations. It's not field-configurable, but at the factory, it can be quickly changed between L21-20's up to dual 4/0 cam-locks with the same enclosure.
Last edited by Rick Christopherson; 04-27-12 at 04:38 PM.
It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill. - Wilbur Wright.