Everything You Need to Know About Inline and Panel Mount Camlocks
Inline and panel mount camlocks connect the dots between your generator and temporary power equipment, allowing your portable power system to function as a cohesive unit. Camlocks, or cams for short, facilitate the connections needed to complete off-grid projects. Fulfilling this essential function makes them the bread and butter for a variety of industries. For instance, the mining, entertainment, industrial manufacturing, and construction industries all rely on camlocks to bridge the gap between temporary power generation and bringing your site to life.
Next time you visit your job site take a moment to observe all the connectors in your portable power setup. You’re sure to find a common theme – inline connectors and panel mount camlocks. Inline camlocks have a long, cylinder-like appearance and can be found attached to one or both ends of a generator cable assembly or pigtail. Inline camlocks are attached onto cables using set screws to make sure that they won’t slip, and they pair perfectly with a panel mount cam of the opposite gender.
On the flip side, panel mounted camlocks are typically installed on power distribution equipment, such as our Camlock Connection Boxes. Panel mount camlocks feature a flat base that is designed to be bolted onto existing enclosures, with each row of panel mounts representing a 400-amp maximum rating. We also offer prefabricated Camlock Panels that you can mount on pre-existing equipment. If your project requires more than 400 Amps - there's no need to worry! We offer camlock panels with multiple rows that work together to increase its overall amperage rating. For example, if your project requires 1200 amps, we will offer you a camlock panel with three rows of series 16 panel mount camlock connectors.
To make the installation process as simple as possible, all our cable and panel mount camlocks are color-coded so you can mix and match the colors according to your project’s specific voltage rating. This helps you to quickly identify phases so that someone does not plug in an incorrect phase, or accidentally mate 208V connectors to a 480V circuit. We always look out for our customers, and we aim to offer the safest, most convenient portable power solutions on the market.
Cable and Panel Mounted Camlock Types
Now that we’ve taken some time to define camlocks and specify their wide range of applications, let’s take a detour to discuss different types of camlocks and explore what makes each series unique. Throughout the portable power industry, Series 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, and 23 camlocks are considered to be the most widely used. They’re manufactured by some of the most highly respected manufacturers such as Marinco, Hubbell, Leviton, and Cooper Crouse-Hinds. Different gauge ranges and amperage ratings characterize each series, giving you plenty of options to choose from.
To kick things off, we’ll start by inspecting the smallest of all the camlock series that will be discussed in this article, the Series 15 camlock connector! Series 15 camlocks are often referred to as “mini” cams because of their compact design that’s perfect for connecting in small spaces. Popular throughout the entertainment industry, Series 15 camlocks fit wire sizes ranging from #8 - #2 AWG. Despite their small stature these “mini” cams are rated to handle an impressive 150 amp maximum, which is perfect for light-duty projects.
If you spend just a few minutes browsing our website, you will spot dozens of Series 16 camlocks, which is the most popular camlock connector by far. It is the industry standard for portable power and we feature these series 16 cams throughout our portable power packages, use them on our Type W Generator Cables, and install them on our power distribution units. This is because Series 16 camlocks are considered to have the standard gauge and amperage ratings for a wide variety of portable power applications. Series 16 camlocks fit #2 - 4/0 cable gauges like a glove and offer 300A to 400A of power distribution, depending on the size of the camlock and cable.
You can think of Series 18 cams as a similar version of Series 16 camlocks with a different nose. While Series 18 camlocks offer the same amperage rating and fit the same cable gauges as Series 16 camlocks, series 18 camlocks feature a different tip called the “ball nose” design. On the other hand, Series 16 Camlocks offer a polished, classic shape called a “taper nose” design.
Series 17, 19, 22, and 23 cams are plugs and receptacles that specialize in heavy-duty applications. These series camlocks pair with cables ranging from 350 to 750 MCM to deliver up to 690 amps of power distribution! Since these camlocks work with a larger amount of electricity, Series 22 and 23 camlocks have a special latching mechanism to make sure that they won’t vibrate or loosen throughout the duration of your project.
As part of our commitment to offering a comprehensive selection of top-shelf portable power products, all power solutions mentioned in this article can be found on our website. If you need assistance choosing the right cable or panel mounted camlocks for your next project or would like to request a quote, our experts will be happy to assist you! Please contact us today at PPG@ATIelectrical.com or call us directly at (800)-597-9311.