Using generator for outdoor show

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Using generator for outdoor show

Postby DenverEd » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:02 am

We have been asked to play up in the hills. The only power source will be a generator. Any ideas on how big a unit we may need? Will this be a decent power source? We have 2 guitars and a bass, plus pedal boards and our 16 channel PA.
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Re: Using generator for outdoor show

Postby tcsned » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:32 am

DenverEd wrote:We have been asked to play up in the hills. The only power source will be a generator. Any ideas on how big a unit we may need? Will this be a decent power source? We have 2 guitars and a bass, plus pedal boards and our 16 channel PA.

Check to see how many amps your power amps draw, and guitar amps, then make sure you have a generator big enough to handle that load. Those are the things that draw the most current, oh, and lights too.
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Re: Using generator for outdoor show

Postby hippieguy1954 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:46 am

tcsned wrote:
DenverEd wrote:We have been asked to play up in the hills. The only power source will be a generator. Any ideas on how big a unit we may need? Will this be a decent power source? We have 2 guitars and a bass, plus pedal boards and our 16 channel PA.

Check to see how many amps your power amps draw, and guitar amps, then make sure you have a generator big enough to handle that load. Those are the things that draw the most current, oh, and lights too.


+1 Yes, definetly add up all the amp/and watt draws you have from everything. Then add about 5% more to be sure. Also, use power conditioners for sure.
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Re: Using generator for outdoor show

Postby SlowTexasZim » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:09 pm

You'll also need a long extension cord because generators are loud and you'll want to place it a distance behind the stage and the audience. Maybe even buffer with a piece of plywood or park a truck in front of it.
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Re: Using generator for outdoor show

Postby DenverEd » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:24 pm

Thanks for all the input
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Re: Using generator for outdoor show

Postby RiverRat » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:35 pm

Add up the amperage of all the equipment, then multiply by 120... that will give you the total wattage.

If you can plug everything into a single wall outlet and not blow the breaker, you're probably are drawing less than 2.5 KVW

to be on the safe side, get a generator that's 1.5 to 2 times more in wattage than you need.

and pay attention to grounding: http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_Hurrica ... erator.pdf
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Re: Using generator for outdoor show

Postby tcsned » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:10 pm

Watch the super long extension cords unless they are heavy gauge. I just did a gig with my bluegrass band using a generator that was super quiet. It was set up maybe 25 ft from where we were playing with only two large diaphragm condenser mics turned up pretty hot and the generator wasn't a problem.
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Re: Using generator for outdoor show

Postby JonnyBoy » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:57 pm

I am not sure about the exact amount of wattage/amps, but a small/mid sized yamaha powered our entire bands gear without an issue. Direct electricity is sooo much better/ cleaner, the grounding is the biggest problem with the zapped lips.... You really don't need LOTs of electricity to power music gear, at least not as much as I thought at first. The Honda's and yamaha's are very quiet.... try and borrow one of those if you can.
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