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WPI Technical Theatre Handbook: Cables and Connectors
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Cables and Connectors

Various types of cabling and connectors are used to connect lighting instruments to dimmers. Most theatres use what is known as stage pin cabling, however instruments at WPI are wired with twist-lock connectors. In each case, a hot, neutral and ground are carried to the lighting instrument. Most of the time, rented lighting equipment is outfitted with stage pin connectors. WPI Lens and Lights stocks several twist-lock to stage pin adapters in its inventory so that rental equipment may be used.

Often times, permanent theatre installations will have special outlet strips along the lighting battens to connect the instruments. In the case of WPI, very little is permanent, so movable breakouts are used. These breakouts connect up to eight twist-lock connectors to a multi-conductor cable terminated with a Socapex connector, as shown in figure 5.18. Socapex connectors are present on the back of many dimmer racks, and allow for the breakouts to be plugged in for later hard patching.

Figure 5.18: Socapex breakout box. Eight twist-lock connectors terminate the eight discrete channels of the Socapex cable. The Socapex connector is the large connector on the left and the remaining are twist-lock style.

An important consideration when wiring lighting equipment is cable dressing. Neat and orderly wiring is very important because it makes finding problems easier, and makes the overall setup much safer. Large coils of live cables should be avoided, especially around metal objects, as this creates an inductor and electromagnet. If a big enough coil is made, it is possible to cause dimmer damage, and cause problems with other equipment in the vicinity of the coil.

next up previous contents index
Next: Lighting Boards Up: Lighting Previous: Dimmer History   Contents   Index
Steve Richardson 2000-07-06

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