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Proper extension cord


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#1 Nick Norton

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 01:44 PM

Just wondering what to look for when buying extension cables to be used with fresnel fixtures.

I've heard it is wise to use solid cables for the lights, just not sure what "solid" means. Also, is there a place (home depot/lowes) that would sell these locally?

Thanks-

Nicholas
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#2 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 04:59 PM

Try to buy the thickest cable you can find. Some cables aren't able to handle that amount of wattage and will burn up.
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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 10:24 PM

You just have to worry about the amperage of the extension cords, as you would when you're not trying to overload your circuit breaker.

For lights up to 1k, your basic extention cords found at any hardware store should be fine. Anything over 1k, it's a good idea to find some higher amperage and wider gauge cords.
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#4 Frank DiPaola

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 12:17 AM

Typical Edison (the common household outlet in the US) extension cords are made with twelve gauge wire. The cable can handle twenty amps but often times the connectors are only rated to fifteen. Although its not uncommon to see a 2k (16.7 Amps) on this type of connection it is something you may want to keep an extra eye on as I have seen the connectors smoke up in this situation.

A good idea and one step closer to proper would be to buy an extension cord with a black jacket because nothing screams amateur louder than cable with an orange jacket, except for the possibility of gardening gloves. It also has the added benefit of being easier to hide. If you wanted to go all out you could buy some 12/3 SJO cable and Hubbell connectors and make your own. They would be more expensive but a lot easier to handle.
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#5 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 08:42 AM

I find that yellow cables purvey a sense of style and subdued confidence lacking in orange or even blue. :blink:
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#6 John Sprung

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 12:36 PM

Just wondering what to look for when buying extension cables to be used with fresnel fixtures.
I've heard it is wise to use solid cables for the lights, just not sure what "solid" means.

There are no solid wire cables. There's Romex, which is used for wiring buildings. It's way too stiff, and would fail quickly from metal fatigue if you tried to use it as an extension. So, drop that one in the bogus nonsense file....

What you want to look at is the gauge of the wire. Little numbers mean big wire, and vice versa. What you need to avoid is putting too much load on too small a wire. That'll give you voltage drop, which dims your lights and effs with the color, and in extreme cases, can dangerously overheat the cable.

Top of the head rule of thumb for wire gauges (somebody else will probably look up the official table):

AWG #10 3000 W
AWG #12 2000 W
AWG #14 1500 W
AWG #16 1000 W



-- J.S.
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#7 Paul Bruening

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 01:27 PM

Learning the math and hardware of juice is a pain in the butt. But, you'll be better off for learning it. It's not just a matter of safety, knowing juice let's you get away with stuff that's non-standard and cheaper. I'm not advocating that you do stupid things. It's just that you should know what the heck you're doing. It is the better way to go. Electricity can be your friend but it can far more easily become your mortal enemy. Learn juice.
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#8 Nick Norton

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 02:10 PM

Learning the math and hardware of juice is a pain in the butt. But, you'll be better off for learning it. It's not just a matter of safety, knowing juice let's you get away with stuff that's non-standard and cheaper. I'm not advocating that you do stupid things. It's just that you should know what the heck you're doing. It is the better way to go. Electricity can be your friend but it can far more easily become your mortal enemy. Learn juice.



Could anyone recomend a good book on 'juice'?
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#9 Paul Bruening

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 03:02 PM

http://books.google....o...1&ct=result
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