Generator for outdoor gig

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Generator for outdoor gig

Postby 1960strat » Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:02 pm

Hey all, my band Zindagi is doing a 3 hour outdoor gig in Tompkins Square park in NYC next weekend. we need to supply our own power for the amps and PA. Wondering what other people use? Any recommendations greatly appreciated.

Fix
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Re: Generator for outdoor gig

Postby JonnyBoy » Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:48 am

Any generator will work, and the more juice you have the more overhead your system will have. We have actually got our system up and running with a single smaller generator (it doesn't take as much as you think to get it powered up), but I think splitting the stage with two is ideal so there is plenty of electricty for everyone. The Honda and Yamaha generators are super quiet, but any brand will work. If there is no way to ground it, you will get some shocks through the mic so beware there.

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Re: Generator for outdoor gig

Postby myoung6923 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:18 pm

You can add up all of the wattage of everything that want run, and them make sure that your generator can put out that juice.

You want to make sure that your generator has enough wattage to handle the peaks that your whole system will be putting out.

I have had few experience with underpowered generators and it's awful. First, tube amps will start to sound really bad - breaking up - making splat sounds... Then digital gear, like keyboards will act up - powering on and off and other weird stuff. If the generator has a breaker on it, then the breaker will trip also. Power amps for a PA can eat up a whole lot of wattage, especially for bass.

Whatever the math comes out to - add more to it. Better to have more wattage headroom than you will need. It's miserable if you don't have enough.

What kind of PA do you have and what is its wattage? What about monitors - are they powered or do you have power amps? Also, what else are you going to be running through it - lights, recording gear...?
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Re: Generator for outdoor gig

Postby 1960strat » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:59 pm

So here is the set up:

Guitar 1 (me) Fuchs ODS 30 (30 watts)
Guitar 2: Fdr HRDX: 60 watts
Bass: 100 watts
PA: Yamaha ERX800: 400watts. This powers half the monitors
Powered mains: 2 JBL PRX635: 1500 watts x 2 = 3000 watts
Powered monitors: 2 Mackies: 2 x 500 watts = 1000 watts
a nord lead keyboard: ? not sure but it has to be low wattage
Pedalboards and effect for guitarists and vocalist

If i add it all up its about 4600 watts!!?!! I doubt we will be cranking the mains that high however. I guess a 6000 watt generator is what i need.
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Re: Generator for outdoor gig

Postby myoung6923 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:15 pm

Yep, you are correct. It sounds like 6000w will probably do the trick. Always plan for the peak wattage.
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Re: Generator for outdoor gig

Postby gpilcher2001 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:13 pm

It would be in my opinion that you will want to find out the amps that your equipment pulls. The transformer's in the amplifiers step the wattage up from a smaller ac feed. In the world of electricity every thing is based on amps. The panel on your house is rated in amps not watts. If you find out the amps that your equipment draws + some slop factor and take that info to the rental or sales place they will get you the properly sized generator. As long as you have the amps to y our equipment covered your gear will be safe. Greg...
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Re: Generator for outdoor gig

Postby RiverRat » Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:10 am

gpilcher2001 wrote:In the world of electricity every thing is based on amps. The panel on your house is rated in amps not watts.


Watts = Volts x Amps

typical AC power in the US is 120VAC

You typically want your load to be 60% of the total capacity of the generator.
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Re: Generator for outdoor gig

Postby gpilcher2001 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:49 pm

So to clear up my confusion you would figure what the total amp draw on your equipment is and multiply x 120 to get your watts? And would you want to figure on any footage in drop cords and such?
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Re: Generator for outdoor gig

Postby 1960strat » Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:46 am

Well i went for a 5500 watt generator. Hopefully i dont blow out my spine or get a hernia moving the thing (holy heavy!!)
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Re: Generator for outdoor gig

Postby 1960strat » Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:39 pm

Thanks for the advice every one. The generator worked flawlessly and we had uninterrupted power for the duration of the show.
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