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Thread: Electric/sprink systems for a mod haunt

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  1. Default Electric/sprink systems for a mod haunt 
    #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    OHIO
    Posts
    79
    Hey everyone,

    I was wanting to know how you could make a wirinig harness for a modular show?.This would be for all scenes.And would also be powered by a generator.Also how to build a sprinkler system for the show just in the case of no sprinlers in building.I susspect I would need a plumber or electrition for both.I would like to thank you for any help.Have a great haunt season.
     

  2. Default  
    #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    49
    I''m not sure what you mean, as far as the wiring harness... I'll need more specifics, like what is your supply voltage(12dc, 120ac... 220ac?), and what specifically you're looking to do.

    I know that's not too helpful, so here's a shot in the dark- for previous 120 volt modular systems, I've used a simple setup of extension cables between rooms and sets, with quad-boxes inside the rooms. In case you aren't familiar with them, a quad is just a set of power outlets(just like in your home walls), in a weatherproof box, for a total of four outlets that you can use per room. you can buy them, but it's also easy to build them, and a lot cheaper...

    12 volt systems are "easier" to work with, but if you have to make custom harnesses, it takes a lot longer to make, mainly because you have to buy the connectors and wires and put it together from scratch. Also, for big modular attractions, you have only a limited amount of length to work with; for example, lets say 12 volt systems will only work across 50 feet of wire. you have to position the power source so that it's no more than 50 feet of cable-length away from the farthest haunt, like in the center of the attraction. if you have the farthest one 40 feet away, but have to run the cable up ten feet to go over an obstacle, then over 40 feet, then down 10 more feet, you're at 60 feet, which is 10 feet too many(in this instance. Actual lengths will vary depending on the type of wire, and some other things).


    For a sprinkler system, you're looking at serious money unless you invent a system, get it patented or approved by a certification authority(like UL), and the fire and safety officials pass it upon inspection. At least, that's what we have to deal with per my city laws. Best to look into that one with the local Fire Department.

    Good luck!
     

  3. Default  
    #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Posts
    396
    12 volt systems are "easier" to work with, but if you have to make custom harnesses, it takes a lot longer to make, mainly because you have to buy the connectors and wires and put it together from scratch. Also, for big modular attractions, you have only a limited amount of length to work with; for example, lets say 12 volt systems will only work across 50 feet of wire. you have to position the power source so that it's no more than 50 feet of cable-length away from the farthest haunt, like in the center of the attraction. if you have the farthest one 40 feet away, but have to run the cable up ten feet to go over an obstacle, then over 40 feet, then down 10 more feet, you're at 60 feet, which is 10 feet too many(in this instance. Actual lengths will vary depending on the type of wire, and some other things).
    Don't scare the poor guy! ;-) 12VDC systems are not that sensitive to typical loads found in haunted houses. Voltage drop on a line is a function of ANY ELECTRICAL SYSTEM (including 110/120AC and up). It is not a problem unique to 12 volt systems.

    You are likely to only run into this problem if your application is a high-current application. (Don't try to run things with motors off of 12VDC without HUGE wire). Using 12VDC systems for things like LED based lighting and microcontrollers/valves won't cause issues with voltage drop for properly designed systems. We've been running 12VDC shows for nearly a decade, and have only had one issue on 12VDC line that ran THOUSANDS of feet... and even that was solved with a suitable capacitor at the microcontroller to suppy the current demands of firing the air solenoid valve.

    Most folks with typically sized haunts will have zero problems with 12vdc systems across even multiple hundreds of feet using standard sized speaker wire cabling. If you do encounter problems, make sure you aren't running everything in your show from the same trunk off the power supply (you are running fused links, aren't ya?), and make sure your power suppy or battery system is up to snuff.

    -- I
    -------------------------------
    http://www.fx13studios.com
     

  4. Default  
    #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    382
    Regarding sprinklers- first call your state fire marshals office and ask about requirements specifically for haunts- and tell them if you are to be inside or outside a structure. If they say you need one, ask if it can be plastic aka residential grade. If they say it must be steel, you are in for serious expense. If you can use residential grade then google Harvel Sprinklers and do it yourself. You would still need to submit a sprinkler plan to you local fire marshal, which ain't cheap, but its a far cry from steel system costs.

    Then call you local fire marshal and tell him what you are up to before you spend a dime. Meet with him and fill him in completely- they like to know everything up front and they HATE surprises. They have the authority to, and will, shut you down at the last minute if you don't make them happy. For good reason- you are holding the lives of numerous people in your hands.
    How can a man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers and the temple of his gods.

    What you put into your mind- you put into your life.


    www.zombietoxin.com
     

  5. Default How the pros do modular electrical 
    #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    373
    There are several ways to accomplish the electrical part. Depending on how much you want to spend. Like the earlier post says, you can build quad boxes for each room and extension cords back to a sub-panel that then connects into the main panel. The sub panel provides you with a distribution point for all power, and is commonly used throughout the concert industry for just that purpose. I have built my own distribution boxes (commonly referred to as distros in the event industry) but they can be purchased as well if you are not familiar with electrical concepts. Your big tours which travel from venue to venue, and setup/teardown lighting and audio every night use a similar apporach. Each venue will provide a certain amount of power for the main power, and they connect to the main power using heavy welding cables. These then go to a "distro" box where the power is distributed to the audio and lighting equipment. The big trick with this method is the connectors used for power. They use cam lock connectors, which are those big round connectors that twist onto the mated connectors (look at large welding systems). A little more expensive but very portable and very modular - i have setup power for major rock and roll shows in the time it takes to roll out 200 ft of cable!

    Sprinkler systems are an entirely different story. My wife runs a large night club which of course requires a sprinkler system as most commercial buildings do in this state, and it requires a sprinkler company to install and maintain, as well as test with the Fire Marshall annually. Check with teh local fire marshall ahead of time because they are going to ahve other requirements, such as flame retardant materials (keep all the tags from props and materials you buy), radio communications, fire extinguishers, ample exits, etc.
     

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