)*( The Power Rangers are an all-volunteer power crew and we will do our best to meet the electrical demands of our community. We are a “no drama” camp and POWER is our most significant infrastructure and it needs some attention to be safe and provide consistent power to the camp. Please support your local Power Rangers.
Quick Access Menu
- Getting Connected
- RV & Super Tent Power
- Power Examples
- Safety [pdf] new 2014
- Power Piracy
The Generator should arrive and be operating on Saturday before the event. Power Rangers will first plan out the location of the distribution boxes (spider boxes) and begin connecting RV’s and other loads. For RV’s and Super Tents, contact a Power Ranger to get connected. For low power general connections, plug into a multi-plug receptacle at the spider box. Please make sure that you have a duct tape tab with your playa name on your extension cord at the 3 prong, male end. This will help to identify who is connected to which spider box. It is difficult to trace connections back to specific campers so remember to put your name on your plug (also you may want to get it back). The generator will run 24/7 until the end of the event, Monday until 10:00 AM.
Remember that you are responsible for equipment to connect your dwelling and appliances to the power grid.
All campers should keep in mind a few simple tips to ensure they can get the power supply they need. The wrong type or sized extension cord may not accommodate your needs.
You will want a 3 Prong Extension Cord for 15 or 20 Amps, 10 Gauge is suggested that is 100′ long (two 50′ cords can work as well). In stores you may see 10/3 on the packaging
Contact your Power Ranger for assistance when connecting on Playa
Label both ends of your extension cable, clearly
Some thoughts on shopping
If possible, shop early and find good deals online, allow for shipping times
Lighted connectors indicate when cord is energized
At Lowe’s, a 50’ 10 gauge cord is $100, the same brand at 100’ 10 gauge is $150. You save money buying the 100′ cord
An Air Conditioner (A/C) unit consumes a lot of power as it starts up in the first few moments. This may affect other appliances you may have, like a microwave, and may cause your GFCI or Breaker to trip.
Since a SuperTent uses more electricity, for an A/C or other larger items, you will want a 3 Prong, 10 Gauge Extension Cord that is 100′ long
Recreational Vehicles (RV)
RVs often use a special 30 Amp connector (TT-30) that you will need to adapt for use. Some newer RVs or RVs that have a disconnectable cable will use a Twist Lock (L5-30) receptacle.
If possible, it is best to get a 100′ 3 Prong (NEMA 5-20), 10 Gauge Extension Cord or a L5-20/30 10 Gauge Extension Cord. If possible, avoid purchasing a “hockey puck” style adapter.
Finding a 10 Gauge adapter cord may be difficult, yet is worth the time. A corded adapter will help take some of the plug weight off the receptacle. This will help eliminate the chance that the cord from being unplugged or being loose in the socket.
Larger RVs should contact a Power Ranger to discuss their power needs or cable needs well before arriving on Playa. This will ensure that adequate power is available in your location.
We have 4 kinds of outlets available. They are:
- L5 125V 20A Twist-Lock,
- L5 125V 30A Twist-Lock,
- L6 230V 20A Twist-Lock,
- 4 wire 230V 50A “California” Twist-Lock,
- and standard 3-prong 120V 15A like in your house.
If your RV or Super Tent requires a different connector, you must bring your own power adapter. We are not able to supply 50-amp power.
If it does rain, more than a mist, we may likely shut down the generator for safety reasons. The time frame for the shutdown will depend on the weather conditions. You must be especially careful about touching your electrical connections while on a wet surface (duh!). Safety is our first concern, so please do not take a chance.
If a lightning storm approached, and is at or within a 20 mile distance of the event, we may shut down the generator. We will also disconnect the grounding rod in a sever storm. Do not approach the generator or interact with the electrical equipment during a lightning storm.
Try to be patient if you lose power. Find your pod’s Power Ranger. The outage may simply be due to re-balancing.
If you are a single tent and use a single extension cord, the outage may be very simple. Your cord may have been disconnected. You may have popped the GFCI by turning on an appliance that drew a lot of power.
Follow your cord, or find it’s label, ensure it’s still plugged in. If unplugged, DO NOT plug it back in yourself. Find a Power Ranger and ask for assistance.
Check the GFCI. You can attempt to Reset the GFCI by pressing the Reset button. The GFCI should appear “lit” with a green indicator when it is working properly.
The GFCI appears to the left of the receptacle in this photo.
If you still need assistance, find a Power Ranger.
Check your larger appliances. Air Conditioners often have a built in GFCI. This may need to be reset first. After you have checked locally, take the following steps.
Follow your cord, or find it’s label, ensure that your cord is still plugged in. If you find it unplugged, DO NOT plug it back in yourself. Find a Power Ranger for assistance.
Check the GFCI. You can attempt to Reset the GFCI by pressing the Reset button. The GFCI should appear “lit” with a green indicator when working properly.
If you still need assistance, find a Power Ranger.
Recreational Vehicle (RV)
RV’s can have a number of points of failures. Please make sure you understand how your RV works before arriving on playa.
Check your RV’s breaker panel
This is often near the entrance door or near the power tie in
Some appliances may have plugs and outlets, check these to ensure the appliance is plugged in correctly and seated fully
Do not attempt to switch to your generator
Check the connection from your RV to your Extension cord, make sure it is connected and seated well
Follow your cord, or find it’s label, and ensure that your cord is plugged in. If you find it unplugged, DO NOT plug it back in. Find a Power Ranger for assistance.
Check the GFCI – AC Units and Fridges can sometimes trip the GFCI when powering up. You can attempt to Reset the GFCI by pressing the Reset button. The GFCI should appear “lit” with a green indicator when working properly.
If you still need assistance, find a power Ranger.
RV & Super Tent Power
If you are in an RV or a Super Tent, do not run both your air conditioner and microwave or coffee maker at the same time. The A/C consumes a lot of power for about a minute, then levels out. This may affect other electrical appliances so be careful. If you are able to, please, please use your propane to run your stove/oven and hot water heater because it is just not possible to run all of these things at the same time with the power available through an extension cord.
To better understand your electrical needs, review the following chart. It uses a few estimated values and you should check your appliances for specific details.
Non-Moter Driven Appliances
These appliances do not have motors and start at full power. They do not have aStarting Watts value.
|Appliance||Estimated Running Watts||Estimated Running Amps|
|Light Bulb – 60 Watts||60||0.5|
|Microwave Oven – 1000 Watts||1000||8.33|
|Household Coffee Maker||1000||8.33|
Motor Driven Appliances
Running Watts are needed to keep the appliance running. Starting Watts are needed for 2 or 3 seconds to start the motor. This can create a higher draw upfront.
|Appliance||Estimated Running Watts||Additional Starting Watts||Estimated Running Amps||Estimated Starting Amps|
|Box Fan – 20″||200||0||1.3||1.3|
|Refrigerator / Freezer||700||2200||5.83||18.33|
|RV AC Unit – 11,000 BTU||1010||1600||8.42||13.33|
|Window AC Unit – 10,000 BTU||1200||1800||10||15|
You can use this tool to help calculate your power usage. Use the Add button to add appliances you would plan to plugin on playa. The calculation assumes you would run these all at once and give you a total when that occurs.
Safety precautions must be taken to ensure that people and equipment are not damaged. These guideline are here for those reasons.
Nobody sets up or starts the generator, except the Lead Power Ranger.
Mistakes can cause severe damage to the entire system and we could be without power if a serious problem occurred. This happened in ‘07, so it can happen!
Nobody makes any adjustments or changes to the generator, except the Lead Power Rangers or Senior Power Rangers.
You must have a 3 prong (5-15/20) power cables and connections on your appliances for safety. Refer to Extension Cords Info Page.
Get help from a genuine Power Ranger if additional spider boxes need to be connected.
No more than 2 Spider Boxes should be connected to a Distribution outlet.
As Un-Burning Man as this may sound, nearby camps have surreptitiously connected to our generator. This is not only rude but it is also theft, stealing both power and fuel. Please help ensure that only our camp is using our power. Notify any Power Ranger if you suspect abuse. Questions? Contact the Lead Power Ranger at any time. During BM, Any significant power related information will be posted on the Power Generator itself.