Saturday, November 7, 2009

Overheard When I Was Working On Grip Side...

Best Boy Electric: "Hm... Since we're only going about 50 feet, I guess we could just use banded cable the whole way. But since we have the 4/0, we might as well use that."

I'm soooo glad I wasn't juicing that day.

*For those of you who don't know, 4/0 is a 100ft cable that weighs about a pound a foot (there are shorter lengths, but not on this shoot) and a complete set is five pieces. I don't know the exact weight of banded cable, but I've heard guesstimates of 60-70 pounds each... In this particular scenario, only one piece of banded would've been needed.

8 comments :

Michael Taylor said...

When the new braided 5 wire banded came out a couple of years ago, I threw a coil on the lamp dock scale, and it weighed in at 76 pounds. To me, the sheer bulk of banded is what makes it such a pain in the ass. When I hoist a roll to my shoulder, it usually knocks me two steps sideways before I can take a step forward.

In the old days, we used 3 wire banded made of #2 welding cable -- which was nice and light, and able to carry 150 amps per single-phase leg. It was standard procedure to throw one coil on each shoulder and go. Now that three-phase is the rule -- with fatter insulation, another hot leg and the ground (plus those meaty cam-lock connectors) -- I wouldn't dream of picking up two rolls at a time.

Which is why God made cable carts...

John(Niall) said...

A.J- Yeah unless there was specific reason for the 4/0 I would have used maybe a three fer off the genny and gone one stick of banded with option for two more drops if needed.

Michael- Cable carts are nice and all but when your out in the middle of the pacific northwest sometime sheer muscle is the only option. Mud that's ankle deep or hills with vertical grades so steep that a cart would just roll back down at high speed if you lost your drip or my favorite, valley side paths that a mountain goat would bead a few drops of sweat at the sheer thought of traversing. I love Washington but god does it fight tooth and nail with film production.

A.J. said...

Michael - Thanks for reporting the weight! Carrying a stick of banded does suck, but I'd rather deal with one of the 5 wire than 5 of the 4/0. And while I can't complain too much about the insulation, the ground and the beefy cams (I try not to complain about things that make the job safer), I agree: Thank goodness for cable carts.

John - That's why I live in California. ;) And also, no, there was no other reason to run the 4/0 other than the fact that it was simply there.

Nathan said...

And this discussion is precisely why, when I left employment at a rental house in 1986, my major thought was, "I'm never hauling another inch of heavy, dirty cable again!" Hell, there are days I don't like the bulk of the memo pad I keep in my back pocket.

:D

Queen said...

Back in November, I was day playing on an indie feature and was pretty excited about being there because it was a big shoot day with some crazy setups. But... I had to run about 6 coils of banded 5/0 by myself and 10-12 coils of 50 ft. 60amp Bates cable with another electric. That was also a 17 hour work day :(

Hanging out in a condor with an 18k 40 ft. above Brooklyn that night made up for it though :)

J said...

I think we call 4/0 seaway here in Canada.

A.J. said...

J - I tried Googling "Seaway Cable" and couldn't find a picture or a good description, so I can't really confirm or deny that. I did, however, find it listed as part of a rental package for a 6k (and never once saw it listed as longer than 50ft), which leads me to believe that maybe seaway cable is what we'd call bates. Then again, that's all on the assumption that Canadian power distro equipment is anything like what we have here.

But please let me know if you think I'm totally wrong and/or if you can provide a better description of what seaway cable is. I think this kind of stuff is interesting.

hemmymission said...
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