First a few disclaimers. This is a report on a practical way to do a temporary hook up to either a 30 or a 50 amp electrical service. It is not about meeting code for a permanent connection.
If you are not comfortable with the safety issues involved then please get a qualified electrician. Also be sure to shut off the power such as the master breaker so that you do not get a nasty shock if you grab the wrong thing.
I have two stops on this trip where I have access to the service panels so I got an electrician to walk me thru the procedures for hooking up temporary power.
I started by buying two outlet boxes. One is for connecting to 30 amp service and includes a circuit breaker in the outlet box. The other outlet is for 50 amp service. Here are pictures of the two. The 30 amp box was about $80.00 because it included a circuit breaker and the 50 amp box was about $60.00.
I next bought a roll of 6/3 cable with a ground. It was 125 feet long and cost $214.00 at Home Depot. I also bought a few 50 amp circuit breakers for about $8.00 each. This is the wire cable that you need for a 50 amp service. You can also use it for a 30 amp service by only using one of the hot legs, (the red and the black wires).
This picture shows the wiring for hooking the 50 amp outlet box at the outlet end.
The green wire is the ground, the white wire is the neutral, and the red and the black wires are the two 120 volt positive legs of the circuits.
I ran the other end of the 125 foot cable into the basement where there is a 200 amp Square D power panel. This is only a very temporary connection and not a permanent installation.
Here is a picture of the 50 amp circuit breaker installed in the bottom left section of the power panel.
The white neutral wire and the ground wire go to the neutral bus and the red and the black wires go into the two connections on the 50 amp circuit breaker.
If you were using the same wire cable for a 30 amp outlet box you would only use one of the 120 volt positive wires, (either the red or the black).
OK, again I do not want anyone to get in trouble with this information, but it is a fairly simple way to get power if you have access to the breaker panel.
Picture of 50 amp power in the woods.