Lighting Connectors

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What are Lighting Connectors?

Lighting Connectors are industrial plugs that are used to connect lighting devices to a power supply. Lighting connectors are primarily used in the events industry for stage illumination. The most common types of plug are 19-Pin Connectors.

Lighting connectors come in male and female form like other connectors. Some fixtures and assemblies containing several lamps, use a panel mounted connector to avoid the need for a separate breakout, and many such fixtures also incorporate a female Showsafe connector to allow further similar fixtures to be chained from the same supply.

Lighting Connectors for Stage Lighting

Stage lighting is the craft of lighting as it applies to the production of theatre, dance, opera and other performance arts. Different types of stage lighting instruments are used in this discipline. In addition to basic lighting, modern stage lighting can also include special effects, such as lasers and fog machines. People who work on stage lighting are commonly referred to as lighting technicians.

The equipment used for stage lighting (e.g., cabling, dimmers, lighting instruments, controllers) are also used in other lighting applications, including corporate events, concerts, trade shows, broadcast television, film production, photographic studios, and other types of live events. The personnel needed to install, operate, and control the equipment also cross over into these different areas of “stage lighting” applications.

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Socapex 19 Pin Circuit Drawings & Wiring Diagram

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Showsafe 19 Pin Connector

Socapex Diagram 19 Pin Circuit Drawings & Wiring

Socapex are a type of electrical connectors, known in the entertainment industry primarily for 19-pin electrical connectors. The Socapex was first created by a company called Socapex in 1961, but the term is now often applied to similar off-brand connectors as a genericized trademark, like Showsafe. The circular connectors are used in film, television, and stage lighting to terminate the ends of a multi-cable. They are wired with six live pins, six neutral pins, six ground/earth pins, and a final central pin used to aid alignment of the male end of the connector with a female receptacle. Read more about what Socapex Connectors are here.

Socapex Connector & Panel Mounts

Available in variety of sizes, the most common being 19-pin circular connectors used for lighting applications. The connectors push together and are secured with a locking ring. Cable mounting and chassis mounting types are available in both source (male) and drain (female) forms. The 19-pin lighting connector can carry 6 individual circuits at mains voltage with no common neutral or earth connections. Unlike other connectors all circuits are independent, so can be on different equipment or phases, see the socapex diagram.

Circular Connector Applications

  • Stage lighting, dimmer racks, lighting bars
  • Stage lighting control connections
  • Hoists and controllers
  • Other stage equipment
  • Any other application requiring a multi-pole mains connector (used on aircraft)

Socapex Diagram 19 Pin Assignments & Wiring 

Socapex Wiring Diagram 19 Pin

19-Way Lighting (6 Circuits):

For stage lighting (mains voltage) the standard pin assignments are:

Circuit Number Live Neutral Earth
1 Pin 1 Pin 2 Pin 13
2 Pin 3 Pin 4 Pin 14
3 Pin 5 Pin 6 Pin 15
4 Pin 7 Pin 8 Pin 16
5 Pin 9 Pin 10 Pin 17
6 Pin 11 Pin 12 Pin 18

Pin 19 is unused, or connected to the cable screen in a few rare cases.

It is generally thought to be a good idea to common the earth conductors (pins 13 to 18) inside each connector, however this is not permitted in the US.

Care should be taken to ensure the connector cover is earthed if metal. Often 19-way cables used in theatres are terminated in ‘spiders’ and some plugs on the ‘spider’ may be left unconnected. If ‘spiders’ are used it is best to ensure all plugs are connected even if not used.

Multi-pin Connector Cable

Special socapex cable is used in the lighting world to carry 6 circuits of power inside 1 multipin cable. The Showsafe connector features 19 pins, an all-metal exterior and locking threads to keep the lines together. When using individual lights, you can use a fan out, also known as a break out.  This cord takes the end and turns it into 6 circuits of Edison, Stage Pin, or L620.

Showsafe Connector

Phase 3’s Showsafe range of UL approved multi-pin circular connectors have been developed to deliver the highest levels of reliability and safety. Available in 3, 5, 7 and 19 pin connectors for the events industry. The super robust construction of the circular connectors ensures reliable operation. The rugged design has been tailored specifically for professional touring & stage lighting applications and all connectors are fully socapex compatible.

socapex showsafe multipin circular lighting connector

Powersafe Guest Blog on Thorne & Derrick

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Phase 3 Guest Blog

We have recently Guest Blogged our Powersafe range on Thorne & Derrick’s POWER Blog and you can read it here: Single Pole Power Connectors – Safe & Reliable High-Current Power Connections Up To 800A

LV, MV & HV Cable Jointing, Substation & Electrical Eqpt Suppliers

Thorne & Derrick International are specialist distributors of LV, MV & HV Cable Installation, Jointing, Duct Sealing, Substation & Electrical Equipment – servicing UK and global businesses involved in cable installations, cable jointing, substation, overhead line and electrical construction at LV, 11kV, 33kV and EHV.

Product CategoriesDuct Seals | Cable Cleats | Cable Glands | Electrical Safety | Arc Flash Protection | Cable Jointing Tools | Cable Pulling | Earthing | Feeder PillarsCable Joints LV | Joints & Terminations MV HV 

Phase 3 Connectors in South Africa

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Phase 3 Connector’s Powersafe range of Single Pole Connectors are now readily available in South Africa.

Phase 3 already have a history of exports to Africa, however, for the first time we now have a permanent foothold in the continent with our distributor, DWR Distribution. The event industry experts will be stocking the Powersafe range and our Multi-Pin connectors for lighting and entertainment application.

Single Pole Connectors South Africa

DWR are suppliers lighting products such as to the event industry. DWR have a friendly and helpful sales team along with a demonstration area and training facility and a manufacturing department that assists with custom made items such as bars or rails, and a cabling team.

Robert Izzett, Head of Sales at DWR, said: “While we’ve been selling Phase 3 items for a number of years, we were recently appointed the authorised distributors in SA. Phase 3 Connectors need little introduction. The products are outstanding, designed, manufactured and assembled in the UK. These products are the unsung heroes at events.”

Get In Touch with DWR

Block C Unit 1
Kimbult Industrial Park,
9 Zeiss Road, Laser Park,
Roodepoort, PO Box 1130,
Honeydew, 2040
Johannesburg,Gauteng
South Africa

Phone: +27 (0) 11 794 5023
Fax: +27 (0) 11 794 5702
Email: sales(@)dwrdistribution.co.za

Phase 3 Connectors South Africa

Phase 3 Single Pole Connector at the Winter Olympics

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Powersafe going for Gold at Winter Olympics

Thousands of the world’s best athletes with a high-frost tolerance are preparing to test their skills at South Korea’s XXIII Olympic Winter Games this month. Over 17 days, more than 3,000 of the world’s best athletes will compete in 102 medal events with around 850,000 spectators. All those people and stadiums need power and Phase 3 will be in attendance to help.

Heat pads, blankets, a warm seat cushion and raincoats are on offer for spectators as they prepare to watch extreme sport in extreme weather in Pyeongchang, where temperatures dip below zero for a third of the year. There are tonnes of heating equipment on hire – and it all needs power and backup supply!

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What are Socapex Connectors?

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Socapex Multi-Pin Circular Connectors for Events Lighting

Socapex are a type of electrical connectors, known in the entertainment industry primarily for 19-pin electrical connectors. The Socapex was first created by a company called Socapex in 1961, but the term is now often applied to similar off-brand connectors as a genericized trademark. The circular connectors are used in film, television, and stage lighting to terminate the ends of a multi-cable. They are wired with six live pins, six neutral pins, six ground/earth pins, and a final central pin used to aid alignment of the male end of the connector with a female receptacle.

Male & Female 19-pin Socapex Connectors & Panel Mounts

The Connectors come in male and female form like other connectors. Some fixtures and assemblies containing several lamps, such as PARbars may use a panel mounted Socapex connector to avoid the need for a separate breakout, and many such fixtures also incorporate a female Socapex connector to allow further similar fixtures to be chained from the same supply.

Socapex connectors may be found on circuits connected to dimmers, or may be inadvertently fed from three-phase circuits that exceed the connector voltage rating. Some audio equipment may use Socapex connectors which must not be connected to power circuits.

Phase 3 Multi-Pin Socapex Circular Connectors

Phase 3’s UL approved multi-pin lighting connectors have been developed to offer the highest levels of reliability and safety. The super robust construction of the circular connectors ensures continual and reliable operation. The rugged design has been tailored specifically for professional touring applications and are fully Socapex compatible. This has ensured that the P3-19 Pin Lighting Connectors are more than up to the challenge of life on the road.

A full range of accessories are available, including ground disks, crimp tools and break-out backshells.

  • Socapex SL419 Compatible
  • 3, 5, 7 and 19 Pin connectors are all rated 25A
  • UL Approved for 7 & 19 Pin
  • High Impact all machined shells
  • Wear resistant anodised finish
  • Easy grip, heavy duty coupling ring
  • Thick wall section backshells with locking screws
  • Integral insulation sleeves
  • Cable glands with bushings for lighting cable
  • Spider clamps for grip and seal of 6 individual wires
  • Inserts market with lighting circuit wiring
  • IP67 when mated
  • FMLB Earth contacts
  • Screw machined multi point gold plated contacts
  • Available with either crimp or solder contacts
  • ROHS Compliant

See the socapex Wiring and Cable Diagram Here.

socapex multi pin lighting connectors

What are Single Pole Connectors

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What are Single Pole Connectors?

Single Pole Connectors are electrical power plugs. They are usually used for high current, low voltage applications within the power distribution industry. Single pole power connectors are employed for making electrical power connections where multi-pole connectors and cables would be impractical to handle (due to size, weight and cable bend radius).

They are typically used for connecting to large diesel generators and fixed power sources in venues where high-powered temporary equipment may be regularly used. Single Pole inputs are available on many large dimmers and on large power distribution units. Common application fields are also entertainment, sport events, airports, mining industry, railways industry, military and emergency missions.

Single & Three Phase Connectors

All versions can be used for single phase and, much more commonly, three phase applications. Three phase connections require five separate cables (or four if neutral is not required).

CamLock / CamLok Connectors

Early permutations of single pole connectors included camlock (Camlok) connectors. However due to several safety concerns, the device was outlawed across Europe, but is still used in the US. Powersafe connectors are suitable for use up to 800A and are ideal for US markets with UL approval.

Network Power Use

Some connectors can attach directly to busbars. These can be used for drawing off power for temporary installations, or for feeding power into busbars in situations such as temporary generator hook-ups during power outages.

Single Pole Connector Safety

Single Pole plugs are generally considered the safety option for high current connection. For instance, the Powersafe connector rated up to 800A, has safety features that help to protect the user against potentially fatal electric shock and other dangers as a result of connection errors. Such features include finger proof electrical contacts, IP67, colour-coded insulators, mechanical keys and locking devices.

Powerlock-style connectors can be used with sequential mating units. These units assist with the safe and controlled connection of the single core power cables, by controlling the sequence of connection to ensure earth and neutral connections are made before phase connections can be made, thereby improving safety by eliminating connection errors and ensuring safety circuits are always connected.

Nevertheless, the potential exists for connection errors, such as failing to properly connect earth or neutral, attempting connection / disconnection under load, incomplete connection of parallel circuits, or inappropriate combinations of circuit breakers and downstream equipment. For this reason all single-pole connectors are intended to be operated (connected and disconnected) only by trained professionals.

Colour & Gender of Single Pole Connectors

Single pole power connectors are available in colours to match wiring colour standards used in Europe, Australia and North America. The mechanical keying is however independent of the colours, for example a blue connector intended for a neutral connection in Europe will not connect with a blue connector intended for live (phase) connection in North America.

Powersafe single pole connectors are designated as source or drain. The source connectors are intended to have their permanent connection in the direction of the source of electrical energy, and the drain connectors are intended to have their permanent connection in the direction of equipment receiving power.

Powersafe Colour Chart

What is the best powerlock type connector to buy?

Phase 3’s Powersafe range are the highest rated, safest and finest quality single pole connectors as used by the power, events, military and cable assembly industries worldwide.

Powersafe single pole connectors are 100% manufactured and assembled in the UK by Phase 3. Mechanically keyed and locked, highly durable and loaded with safety features, they are the industries safest high current connectors. The UL Listed plugs are also an industry leader in high current power connection (800A) quality; perfect to mate with the Powersafe Box.

Powersafe Single Pole Power Connectors
Single Pole Connectors Powersafe

Phase 3 gain UL Approval

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UL Listed Powesafe Connector

Press Release: Phase 3 UL Approval to connect US Industry

FIFE, SCOTLAND, Jan. 25, 2018

PHASE 3 CONNECTORS have gained UL listing on Powersafe power connectors. The accreditation is a key certification of quality excellence and compliance sought after by U.S industry. The two-year process came to a successful end for the Fife based company, marking another success story for exports in UK manufacturing. With a growing network of distributors stateside, Phase 3 plan to further penetrate the US market with a safer, higher rated option than Cam-Lock type connectors.

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Phase 3 at PLASA Focus Events Exhibition in Glasgow

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Phase 3 at PLASA Focus Events Exhibition in Glasgow

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND | 17.01.18

Phase 3 are in attendance at PLASA Focus Glasgow – Scotland’s only event for professional Lighting and products for the events and entertainment industries. We will take the opportunity for B2B networking and showcasing one of our distributors, A.C. Entertainment Technologies

Powersafe on Tourflex Cables at PLASA Focus

Powersafe connectors will be available on Tourflex Cabling, who will showcase products from their extensive range of specialist cable assembly solutions, at PLASA Focus Glasgow 2018, SEC, 17th – 18th January.

Visit stand C2 to see their comprehensive display of power, signal & multi-core cable assembly options used by rental and production companies, venues and installers in the Live Touring, Theatre, Events, Architectural and Film and TV industries. The brand’s cabling solutions will also be used on the adjacent A.C. Entertainment Technologies stand to provide power, signal & multicore for all lighting, rigging, audio & video equipment showcased.

Visit stand C2 to see Powersafe on Tourflex and Stand B1 to see Powersafe on A.C’s Tourmate range.

Stage Lighting Circular Connectors

Phase 3’s Multi-Pin Circular Connectors are perfect for touring application, they’re manufactured in the UK to the highest industry quality making them perfect for life on the road.

Available in 3, 5, 7 and 19 pins, the Socapex compatible connectors are the choice of events professionals across the globe for stage lighting. They have been chosen to connect lighting at spectacles such as Glastonbury and even for major artists like Sir Paul McCartney!

Click to see how Phase 3 can service the Events Industry
socapex multi pin lighting connectors
Phase 3 Powersafe at PLASA Focus Glasgow 2018
tourmate-powersafe