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Author Topic: Applied Mini Line Array Tower ideas  (Read 970 times)

Joe Sawaya

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Applied Mini Line Array Tower ideas
« on: April 08, 2014, 12:06:56 am »

Hello Everyone,

Before I ask my question, I must preface that I'm placing a call to Applied first thing in the morning. But I'm also impatient and I'd like to hear your ideas.

The instructions in the photo below say to "Walk tower into vertical position". Three of us tried this with all our might and couldn't get this thing up. I can lift the tower top end all by myself, because of the angle, and physics and stuff. But once the tower is up a little higher you have to move down the tower "Iwo Jima" style to be able to reach it. I measured the weight at our highest angle at about 300 lbs. and the three of us burly guys couldn't raise it all the way vertical. Plus, the higher the truss goes, the lower on the truss you are pushing. The lower on the truss you push, the more counterweight above you, and the base actually lifts off the ground--defeating our efforts and making everything unstable.

I've been able to raise it completely by myself using two methods:

1) Attach a stick of triangle truss vertically to the short, bottom vertical piece using cheeseburgers. I then run the hoist cable all the way out, across the pulleys and back underneath, attaching it to the top of the triangle truss. The tower lifts itself as you crank the hoist. Pro: no lifting. Con: I have to carry an extra piece of truss and assemble that mess.

2) Attach one end of a long pipe, again via Cheseborough, to the "bent" truss in the tower, near the lower pulley wheel. Using a step ladder, lift the entire truss tower into place as you climb. Pro: Pack only one extra pipe. Con: Scared me to death. I thought I was going to die.

I did these two options all by my lonesome to test things out. I figure either would be easier on an actual gig with my crew there. Have any of you used these? Do any of you have any other ideas how to get this thing into place? I'd rather not have to bring a bunch of extra pieces to make it work.

Joe
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 12:11:17 am by Joe Sawaya »
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jason misterka

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Re: Applied Mini Line Array Tower ideas
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2014, 01:13:17 am »

Joe -

Yeah, do call them in the morning.  I'd like them to hear the same thing I've told them coming from another person. :)

We are/were in the same boat.  We have a set of the LA12-25 line array towers which we love and are one of the best investments that we have ever made.  We bought the mini towers because there were a bunch of rooms that we work in that either had a ceiling/height limitation or could not accommodate the large footprint of the LA12-25s.  The mini towers were basically my replacement for ever using Genie Superlifts (not my favorite).

I have had several conversations with Applied about my issues with the mini towers and there are legitimate reasons that they are designed the way they are.  I've spoken to them at length about why they can't be self-lifting like the LA12-25 and I believe it comes down to needing the lifting point to be much higher than the short hinged piece of the tower allows.

We actually use our 1/2 ton motors with the towers, I tried the manual wenches for two gigs before I decided I never want to do that again.  For some guys, though, the wenches are a good option. I just hated having the rewind them from scratch each time and it made the truss harder to carry around.  Also, motors are much quicker to build and lift and array with.

So, to your actual issue.  They now make a lifting ladder for the mini towers.  It is a large 9' piece of steel (I believe) tubing with a flat base you stand on.  It has it's own wench on it that you hook to the towers.  You bolt and strap it to the back of the tower, stand on it, and wench them up.  Disconnect it and move it to the second tower.

It is still a bit "sketchy" seeming to watch but I know they have done their engineering homework and it is most likely safe :)  I also know that I want to figure out a way to ballast the towers before lifting them now because currently we put one person on each back leg of the tower and one on the lifting ladder otherwise it seems like it will tip during the initial part of the lift.

Our ballast is typically our subwoofers and they are often not in place until the tower is in the upright position in order to allow room for us to work behind the tower, mount the motor, etc.

It is actually much easier to use if you still manually lift the first portion of the raise (and the last portion of the lowering) by hand.  It makes the angle less severe for the ladder to pull.

I have only used the lifting ladder now for two events and I am assuming I will get better and quicker at setting these up.  I'm withholding judgement until we use it more.  Applied did say they if I had any modification suggestions, they would consider them and help me to make the towers more usable for what we try to use them for.  I want to use them a bit more before I make any suggestions, but I would absolutely love to find a way to modify them (with factory support, of course) to be self-lifting with the motor using a lifting ladder that stays mounted or folds/locks in place without having to carry around an additional, separate, 9' long component.

These towers have a lot of potential for us, and besides that initial issue, I'm excited to be able to use a hanging PA instead of a stacked PA in more of our venues.

Oh, also, I just thought of something.  Before we bought the lifting ladder, one thing that worked well for us in situations where there was a stage already built behind where the towers were going.  Put two guys on a rope from behind.  If there is no stage, then they don't have the proper angle to pull, but if there is a stage the angles work out much better and it takes a good deal of the weight off the people lifting the towers.

Jason
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Mike Pyle

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Re: Applied Mini Line Array Tower ideas
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2014, 02:15:52 am »

It looks like it would be much easier to raise if they had put the hinge point at the base of the vertical segment instead of being a few feet off the ground.
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Joe Sawaya

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Re: Applied Mini Line Array Tower ideas
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2014, 04:50:23 pm »

Jason, thanks for your reply. Nice to know I'm not going crazy. It sounds like you and I have had the same experiences, both with the towers and Applied. All Applied did was offer to sell me the additional part. Shipping will be four times that amount. And the additional piece just does kind of the same thing I'm doing with my "hack". It makes more sense for me to just use the truss I'm already usually traveling with. I wish they would offer the item at no charge as a peace offering for misrepresenting what the towers do. I don't know how many they've sold, but I would think it might be in their better interest to make it right, than to lose future purchases from the millions of people reading my review. . . :)

I don't mind the hand winch. . .yet. I don't like how slowly it lets out the cable, but I'm thankful for that gearing when I have a load on it.

Mike, I agree with you. Maybe the base would stay in place better if that fulcrum were closer to the ground. I sort of wish this was all figured out before it was offered for sale. . . Oh well.
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Joe Sawaya

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Re: Applied Mini Line Array Tower ideas
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2014, 04:55:03 pm »

Our ballast is typically our subwoofers and they are often not in place until the tower is in the upright position in order to allow room for us to work behind the tower, mount the motor, etc.

By the way, Jason, I'd love to see how you are using your subs for ballast. If you get a chance to snap a photo sometime and don't mind posting. . .
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