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Old 01-11-2013, 12:15 PM   #21
ChuckO
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I silver soldered a stainless bolt to the pot near the element and use a crimp on ring terminal on the ground wire held down with a stainless nut. Keeps from drilling another hole in the pot.

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Old 01-11-2013, 04:13 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaz View Post
Neutrik does make a line of similar power connectors called PowerCon but not in a 4 pole 50A 208VAC flavor.
I'd love to chime in on this as someone who's currently using the SwitchCraft connectors for all leads and from my spa panel to my control panel.

If I had it to do over again, I'd probably NOT go with the SwitchCraft connectors again; although these PowerCon connectors address many of the issues that I have with the SwitchCraft connectors.

-I'm also nervous of a spade connector coming lose or touching another spade connector either inside my control panel or cable. Although hard to see in the picture that was posted here, there IS a plastic separator that keeps the connectors separated from one another, it is NOT much of a stretch that two of them might touch together.

These things ARE time consuming (especially the cable connectors) to get right; there's a very small margin of error that you have to work within between the cable sheath and the end of the individual wires so that you'll get a good full-on connection inside the connector and so that the cable glands can crimp down on the sheath; crimping all those spades is also pointless once you see that the PowerCon connectors don't require spades and are just simple "push in and screw down" connectors. You have a DRAMATICALLY reduced risk of two conductors touching each other in the PowerCon connectors, too.

I'm going to buy liquid electrical tape to try and insulate those SwitchCraft spade connectors and try and reduce the risk that two of them will touch and create a dangerous short.

It's also pretty clear to me after wiring a few of these SwitchCraft connectors that they were NOT designed to be used with 10/4 wire as the "boot" (it's what they called it in this video:
) just won't fit over 10/4 wire -I had to grind down the inside of the boot to make the ID big enough to fit 10/4, even 10/3 with a thick jacket (the HomeDepot stuff) was a VERY tight fit and I had to grind it down a little bit, too.


For me the PowerCon connectors move into the realm of being quite acceptable, but I will not use the normal SwitchCraft connectors in my next build.

Again my two complaints are: ease of proper installation, and safety because of the spade connectors.

They are priced fantastically, take up a small amount of room in a control panel, look fantastic, and provide great functionality, but the PowerCon connectors additionally address my two previous concerns and safety isn't a minor one.


Adam
P.S. If you over tighten the SwitchCraft control panel connectors even a TINY bit they WILL break; the plastic is very brittle; do NOT over-tighten.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:17 PM   #23
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Another thing worth noting: the PowerCon connectors only go up to 32amps; so they are NOT to be used for a 50amp run between a spa panel and your control panel. -If you're building a 50 amp control panel, the giant ugly electric oven plugs or the NEMA plugs specified in Kal's build seem to be your best / only? options.

For those of us building 30 amp breweries/ control panels, there's still a lot to be said for the PowerCon plugs, IMHO.

Adam

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Old 01-11-2013, 04:23 PM   #24
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Crud!
-I finally learned to read, apparently...

The Neutrik PowerCon connectors, unlike their SwitchCraft cousins, are only 3 contactor and won't work for the purposes of going between a GFI breaker panel and your control panel.
-They should only be used for going from your control panel to your electric elements. After using the SwitchCraft connectors between my breaker panel and control panel, I can now only recommend Kal's NEMA plugs for this application.

-I REALLY wanted to find a less expensive alternative; there's certainly somethings in Kal's build that are way overbuilt for my personal needs and budget (personal preference, not a dig on your amazing build), but that particular NEMA plug does not seem to be one of them.

Sorry to be the harbinger of bad news; please don't shoot the messenger.


-Also: Given the cost of getting all the proper connectors and wiring to support a GFI breaker box, I'm starting to think that just buying a (fairly expensive) replacement GFI breaker and installing it in your main breaker box is actually a better option if you have the choice (likely ends up being the same price either way). This also means that you don't have ANY unprotected power anywhere near the "Wet zone" of your brewery. (If you get your spa panel GFI breaker box wet, you can end up in a dangerous situation; -I actually remember a thread on here on just that subject, too...


Adam

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Old 01-11-2013, 08:19 PM   #25
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Hey Adam,
I'm the original poster of the pics of the hacked up spade terminals on the switch craft receptacles. I am still early in the building phases but am still planning to use the switchcraft plugs (already ordered and received). I want to use them from the wall receptacle to spa panel, spa panel to control panel, and control panel to element. I'm a little discouraged by your comments but after installing the spa panel receptacles I have to agree with you. They are a pain in the butt to install and I too fear that a terminal will come loose and all havoc will break loose. I'd rather not retreat now but I do want to know what I can do to minimize any risk. I am planning to start over, solder the wire connections to the terminals and then to the receptacle blades. I'll then use heat shrink to insulate around the ends. I know nothing of this liquid electrical tape, but am intrigued.

So, is there anything else I/we can do to make sure that the connections don't move? Anything else to minimize any risk? I don't mind the extra installation work as I realize that it is saving significant money and I feel they look a little nicer than the NEMA plugs.

Thanks,

Corey

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Old 01-11-2013, 09:51 PM   #26
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Smittygouv,

Don't be discouraged; I'm already doing exactly what you're doing (Switch Craft connectors for everything); with 10/4 wire between the spa panel and the control panel and 10/3 to the elements you should be fine. -I doubt that they'll come off -the pressure is actually holding the spade connectors on; when they bend could two of the spades actually touch? -I definitely think it's possible, hence shrink wrap or liquid electrical tape; now that i think about it I'll have to actually disconnect every single spade connector to even liquid tape them so I might as well just shrink wrap them....

The liquid electrical tape is sold at any of the big box home stores in the electrical section and is in a jar that looks like rubber cement; it's goes on as a liquid with a brush that's attached to the lid and is non-conductive when it dries so you just sort of "paint" this goop around whatever it is your trying to insulate. I guess for this application shrink wrap might be better. (Definitely less messy)

Adam
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:23 PM   #27
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I too have used the Switchcraft connectors. I haven't used the panel mounts, just the male and female cord connectors. It was pretty painful wiring them up, but once I did a couple it got easier. I used plenty of shrink wrap to cover any exposed metal. I really don't see them coming off the terminals though, once you assemble the plug there is hardly any wiggle room. Keep everything tight and you should be okay.

As far as the panel mounts go, Neutrik does offer Speakon with screw terminals.


http://www.jacksmusicfactory.com/def...4_Pole_Speakon

I do recall someone saying that only Switchcraft were rated for continous usage, but they're both Speakon standard connectors. Who knows though.

I debating whether to scrap my Speakon and switch to the Powercon. I've had no issues thus far, but is it really worth the risk?


EDIT:

Curiously looked on ebay for the Powercon and found generic connectors for 99 cents for both the cord and panel connector. They have type A and type B. Even with the 7 dollar shipping charge, not a bad price if you need a few. Wish I saw this before the speakon connectors

http://www.ebay.com/itm/370641946200

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Old 01-12-2013, 03:32 AM   #28
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Those screw on terminals look fantastic but the specs read "up to 12 gauge wire". Unfortunately 10 gauge or lower is the norm and deems these worthless for our application. Am I missing something?

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Old 01-12-2013, 03:39 AM   #29
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You mean besides that Neutrik says "speakON is NOT to be used as an AC mains or power supply connector!"?

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Old 01-12-2013, 04:29 AM   #30
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I've done a little "research" tonight, reading up in some A/V forums. I'm quoting basically third hand information but it seems to make sense to me. Here is the thread I'm referring too.

http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php?topic=110300.0


From what I gather from it seems people feel these aren't rated for AC mains because all the contacts mate at once when connected. For it to be UL rated it would have to have a ground that connects before the load, hence why the ground plug is longer than the other plugs on a traditional 3 prong plug.

Also it seems that since they have their roots in the sound and lighting industry things seem to be unplugged and re-plugged while on, thus making it unsafe to use. And then there is also the confusion factor that someone might plug a AC line into a speaker outlet as all the connectors look the same.

I'm no electrician or even am claiming to be one, but it seems like if you never disconnect these or connected these with the power on you'd be okay. They are rated to handle the current, just not properly grounded to plug in hot.

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