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19 pin Socapex connector

Socapex is a brand of electrical connectors, known in the entertainment industry primarily for their 19-pin electrical connectors, commonly known as Socapex connectors, and used in film, television, and stage lighting to terminate the ends of a multicable. They are wired with six hot/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. The Socapex was first created by a company called Socapex in 1961, which later on became Amphenol Socapex. "Socapex" became a brand name owned by Amphenol Socapex, the term is now often applied to similar off-brand connectors as a genericized trademark.

"Breakouts" are often used to connect fixtures to the cable. The breakout consists of a male Socapex connector with six "tails" with female Parallel Blade plug, stage pin connector, IEC 60309 16 A, NEMA L5-20P 'twist-lock', BS 546 15 A or Schuko connectors, according to the standards of the region in which the assembly is being used. A "breakin" is the opposite, consisting of "tails" with male Parallel Blade, stage pin connectors, IEC 60309 16 A, NEMA L5-20R 'twist-lock', BS 546 or Schuko connectors feeding a female socapex connector. These are used to connect Socapex cables to dimmer packs that do not have Socapex outputs.

Male panelmount 19-pin connector

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.

Amphenol Socapex is still manufacturing and selling the original Socapex. The company also manufacturers a wider range of robust multi-way electrical connectors available in various standard and custom configurations. These are used for other high-current applications within live events; commonly for trunk cables to connect PA speakers or stage wedges to amplifiers, usually using breakin and breakout cables to NL2/NL4/NL8 or EP5. While some companies use Socapex as a rigging motor power cable, this is generally not recommended as differences in voltage (i.e., 400 V vs. 230 V) can be misinterpreted, causing extensive equipment damage.[citation needed]

Please note that the image above displays CEEP connectors who were the first company to introduce the mono piece backshell into the market many years ago.

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