How to Rewire a Bates Power Cord

Converting a Source Four with Stage Pin Connector to Edison Plug

I recently purchased a few used Source Four ellipsoidal theater fixtures for use in my work. I’ve written about lighting with lekos before, and rent them often, but I needed a few in my own kit. They were very affordable to purchase from UsedLighting.com. Because they test and tech their used lights, UsedLighting is a source I trust.

Source Four lekos are a theater fixture, so they generally come with a Stage Pin power connector (also called a Bates connector). Re-wiring a Bates to a standard Edison plug is actually quite simple to do yourself, so I want to share a few photos to illustrate the process.

Here is a Bates connector. The longer middle pin is the Ground wire (green). In this photo, the pin on the left is the Neutral wire (white). You’ll notice that the Neutral pin sits closer to the ground than the third pin. That third pin on the right is the Hot wire (black).

Bates connectors open up very easily with a screwdriver, and I would recommend that you mark the wires at this time if they are not already color coded (mine were not). Loosen the screws on the wires, and then clean, trim, and re-strip each wire if needed.

This is a 20-amp edison plug. You can find these in pretty much any hardware or building supply store.

Slide the edison plug assembly over your wires, and don’t forget that the outer shell goes on first. The power cord’s Ground (green) goes on the plug’s green screw, the Neutral (white, if marked) goes on the plug’s silver/nickel screw, and the Hot (black, if marked) goes on the gold/brass screw. Tighten it all down, slide the outer shell over the plug, and then lock down the strain relief screws. It’s that easy.

While you are modifying your theatrical fixture, you may also need to add a TVMP adapter. This is simply a baby pin receiver that replaces the fixture’s theater lighting truss mount so you can use the light on a c-stand. Kupo makes one that sells for about $11 at FilmTools. Happy shooting!

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Matthew Jeppsen - DP Notes

Matt Jeppsen is a working DP with over a decade of experience in commercials, music videos, and documentary films. You can view Matt’s cinematography reel and contact info at www.mattjeppsen.com and editorial ethics statement at provideocoalition.com/ethics-statement

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1 Comment on "How to Rewire a Bates Power Cord"

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Drew Tearpak
Drew Tearpak

Boom. Thanks Matt! Good short article and exactly what I needed. The TVMP is a good tip.

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