What Size Generator to Power DJ Equipment?
Discuss generators now! I'm a power nut. Because it's simple, it's a lot of fun. contrary to the illumination
As a DJ, you should be aware of the quantity of generator you require whether you're planning a house party, erecting a stage in the woods, or taking the equipment to a beach.
The simplistic solution is to purchase a little larger generator by adding up the rated wattage of the speakers.
I should definitely bring a generator with a capacity of around 2,000 watts if my speakers are 400 watts each and my subwoofer is 800 watts. Right?”
No. Not the rated output watts, but the power usage watts, should be checked. In this case, watts are not watts.
The majority of generators are rated based on their maximum output (beginning watts), but to determine their operating watts, you may need to read the fine print.
I put all of my equipment through this PDU, which tracks the precise power consumption during the performance by measuring the amp load of the entire system in real-time.
But I'll get to that later. Let's get started.
Which Generator Size Should I Use to Power DJ Equipment?
Math is simple. Ascertain that the gear's peak load, measured in amps, is less than 75% of the generator's continuous power.
A generator with a 2,000–2,800 watt output can power the majority of DJ equipment. These consist of devices like monitors, speakers, a laptop, and a controller. These can all be powered at once by a generator with an operating wattage of about 2500. A 2000–4000-watt generator would be ideal for a private event.
For instance, I successfully operated the following on a Honda 2200W generator:
– Speaker 1 JBL PRX525 – 650W RMS/1300W peak
– Speaker 2 JBL PRX525 – 650W RMS/1300W peak
– Subwoofer JBL PRX815XLFW – 1500W
– 60 meters of LED strips
– Controller, small monitors, a limiter, and a few other items
When operating at 1/4 load (about 600 watts continuously), the Honda EU2200i can run for 9 hours on a gallon of fuel. Ten gallons equal ten days at nine hours each.
A 2000W sound system only takes that much power when it is operating speakers, so keep that in mind. In my experience, a 2000W sound system that is turned up loud will typically produce less than 600w continuously.
You'll only get roughly 4 hours on a gallon in the extremely unlikely scenario that you're operating the generator's entire 1800w output continuously, such as when powering an RV AC unit or a large bank of LED lights.
This Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 300 with a 293Wh backup lithium battery, which can comfortably handle all the basic equipment you can have as a hobby DJ, comes highly recommended if you're on a tight budget and just sometimes use a generator.
With my speakers, 2000W and 1.5 gallons of fuel comfortably last me through the night while providing sound and lighting for a beach or woodland party.
Recognize that the RV sector is where the majority of generators are sold. That suggests they require 30A to 50A of power to run a full camper. That includes the refrigerator and air conditioner, which are also powerful appliances.
My friend, on the other hand, used a 7000-watt Honda to power 3 QSC subs, 2X153, 2 K8, and the whole Nexus setup with DJM 2 CDJs on their Art car for Burning Man.
Along with 5,000 individually programmable led pixels and 10 American DJ led pars, it also contained a laptop and a couple flashlight chargers.
At one point, I paid $65 per day to rent one of those. It produces a lot of power, burns cleanly, and is pleasantly quiet. But unless you intend to use it more than a dozen times per year, it makes little sense to purchase it.
Determining the size of a generator for DJ equipment
The first thing you should do is figure out how much power your equipment uses.
Identify precise needs
Power parameters are typically listed in the manual and on the back of the equipment near the power socket. You can also locate it by searching the model specifications online.
The power demand, not the output, is what you're interested in. Power is measured in watts, volts, and amps (power = volts * amps), and sometimes both. Sometimes the peak value rather than the RMS is provided for the power (i.e., an average).
Running (constant) and peak (beginning) watts for speakers will be the same; the same is true for other electronic devices like laptops and DJ controllers.
The running/continuous wattage may be multiplied by the beginning wattage up to three to four times or more in some circumstances (e.g., for appliances with electric motors or heating elements).
You can use a Kill-A-Watt power meter or anything comparable if you have trouble acquiring an accurate consumption measurement.
Make certain the power is specified in Watts (W)
If the power specifications for your equipment are listed in Amps (A) and Kilowatts (kW, kVA), you should convert these figures to Watts (W).
If necessary, use this Power Reference:
Power (W) is equal to voltage (V) times amps (A), hence 1 amp is equal to 240 watts, and 1 kW is equal to 1000 watts.
Calculate how hungry each piece of equipment is, and follow these instructions to determine how much food to give them.
Equipment - Peek Power
Speaker 1 - 500 watts
Speaker 2 - 500 watts
Controller - 120 watts
Laptop - 120 watts
Subwoofer - 550 watts
Total - 1790 watts
You need a generator that can operate at 1800 watts comfortably for this configuration. I advise choosing one with 2200W.
You could even decrease the bar. Some people misuse their power and don't grasp the fundamentals.
A recent gathering used a 240Wh battery and an inexpensive Wen generator to power the following:
A wireless microphone, a light bar, two moving headlights, two 1200W speakers, and a 1300W subwoofer are all included. All of that just uses 7.5 Amps (900W).
As neighbors arrived to check what the hell we were doing, everything was turned up loud.
Using a Generator for DJ Equipment: Some Tips
1) Generators must be placed roughly 60 to 100 feet distant from the speakers and subwoofer; otherwise, the generator will be the main sound source. Even the whisper-light, high-end Honda models are loud and uncomfortable to be near.
2) Make use of a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) for the generator and equipment. The crew can use this time to replenish the generator, restart other equipment that needs continuous power, and protect equipment from power spikes. It's just another thing that folks who play music outside without electricity should consider.
3) Surge protector, third Recognize that while all power strips are power strips, not all surge protectors are power strips. Make sure whatever you purchase is undeniably advertised as a surge protector.
4) Be mindful of your maintenance schedule. The manufacturer advises changing the oil after a specific amount of time. Hold on to it. If not, you'll be at a concert when the oil pressure warning light will flash, and you already know what happens next.
5) There is a crucial burn-in technique you must undertake if you buy a Honda brand-new to enhance endurance. Run it on its initial Honda oil batch for 20 hours (around 15 hours is fine). Use the regular, non-synthetic oil recommended by Honda. After that, top off the oil. It will be dark and dirty. Starting now, you can use Mobile 1's synthetic oil for all your tasks. Your generator will work for several occasions.
Why wires are crucial
The fact that five devices are hooked into one power strip won't bother the generator. Long-distance undersized wires will be a concern. Therefore, a 16 ga orange extension cord that is only rated for 10-13 A and runs 100 feet could see a 3.35% voltage loss.
Calculate voltage drop for free
Your equipment's performance may suffer if you deprive it of voltage.
How Should I Pick a Generator for DJ Gear?
Whatever method you choose:
Choose whether renting a generator for the day would be sufficient or if you regularly needed it for occasions.
Since proper generators are typically not inexpensive, using one for a single gig and deducting the rental fee from your expenses might be advantageous.
Consider purchasing a small-sized generator if you frequently travel with a portable power source. It will be easier for you to move and carry if it is smaller.
If you work as a DJ, be honest with your clients about your capabilities and weigh the benefits of renting versus purchasing a portable power source.
Speaking of customers, the last thing you want is for your generator to be audible above the music because that would be detrimental to their experience. The greatest option would be to try to find the one that is the quietest available.
In addition, purchasing long cables to install a generator in a location away from the party might be beneficial.
Alternative Power Supply Methods
2-4 deep cycle batteries, the kind you'd use for an RV or the boat's trolley engine. A pure sine wave inverter would be used to run them because it produces cleaner electricity than low-end inverters. Much more akin to the electricity from a standard outlet.
That would travel through a UPS before reaching the machinery.
The majority of the buskers, I've discovered, utilize batteries. For that, generators are too loud. The inverter and automobile battery are both very common and very secure. After that, buskers use a standard automobile battery charger to recharge the battery at home. Just make sure it's a well-ventilated area, like your garage.
The Jackery Power Station Explorer 500 battery is the one that most buskers use.
Jump starter with a USB port and 12V DC output
Small outdoor events that are too far from the power source to safely use extension cables may find this beneficial.
I once know a person who used this Schumacher 2200 Peak Amp jump starter to power a number of smaller gigs.
It can power a laptop, a USB soundcard (Native Instruments Audio2 DJ), and a small PA (Fender Passport) at a moderate volume for 4-5 hours, but it won't operate a large PA for very long. I never observed how long it could run before running out of gas because I typically left early, but I guessed 7-8 hours.
A smart choice if you want to keep the system as compact as possible to save power consumption and increase battery life.
When you have to take a bus and then carry it more than a mile to the gig, it's like a godsend.