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Author Topic: Moving Head Truss Totems  (Read 457 times)

Chris Poynter

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Moving Head Truss Totems
« on: November 01, 2017, 10:45:11 pm »

Hello Everyone!  :)

For context, I've included a photo of my current set-up at the bottom of this post. As you can see I've got a little light rig on a T-bar. If you want a couple little clips of my lights in action, here's a YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZ9YOb5PWwg.

I've been wanting to get a couple truss totems for my moving heads for awhile now, for a few reasons:

1. I think they look friggin' cool!

2, Sometimes I'm in tight spaces and it's difficult to fit the T-bar behind me and have enough room to stand comfortably between it and the table, due to the spread of the tripod legs. In those situations I sometimes put it elsewhere, but that isn't always practical or possible. If I had truss totems I could back my table up at least 2 feet closer to the wall.

The third reason is that I would like to space out my moving heads a bit more for better coverage at larger (500+ people) events. Heck, even at smaller events I think it would look a bit better.

My debate is whether I should get regular truss totems or glow totems.

I like the idea of glow totems. They look good with a scrim and wash light, and they're far more compact than regular totems. I drive a Grand Caravan so I've got a good amount of room, but I also have plans to get a couple 18" subs so it might be a little tight with a couple sticks of standard truss.

However, I also really like the industrial look of regular totems, and if I was using them at weddings (i.e. most of my gigs) then I would put a wash light in the bottom and even put a scrim on them if I desired that look. But I actually kind of prefer how they look with a wash light and NO scrim... like this: https://www.instagram.com/p/BQPQ_6ODvgu/?taken-by=asmweddings.

The other thing I like about regular truss is that I can get a 7-foot section from my supplier, which is half a foot taller than I can get with a glow totem. I like the idea of getting my movers up half a foot more, and it would also give me enough height to put my Warlock lights on the front of the totems.

Does anyone have some good insight on this?!?

Thanks!

DJ Chris Poynter
Victoria, BC, Canada
www.chrispoynter.ca

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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: Moving Head Truss Totems
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2017, 11:35:58 pm »

But I actually kind of prefer how they look with a wash light and NO scrim...
That was going to be my comment that a truss section looks cool without a scrim too. The other strike against the glow totems is that they aren't any cheaper than truss despite being much simpler to make and you can't link a couple glow totems together and use it as an overhead truss if you wanted to.

As for mounting moving heads on truss towers I have seen all kinds of half ass'd ways to secure the head to the truss including ratchet straps, what I decided to do was drill a pair of holes in the top plates that align with two threaded holes in the base of the head that are used to mount the hanging brackets on my heads, and then bought short bolts to secure the heads the top plate. 
I also looked at aluminum base plates to keep the package as light as possible but after testing them out decided to go with 24" steel plates for the added stability they supply from their extra weight. A 24" aluminum base plate only weighs about 20lbs while a steel plate weighs about 50lbs so the difference in stability is very apparent. You could go with a bigger aluminum base plate but it begins to impact your setup options in tight rooms.
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Moving Head Truss Totems
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2017, 12:56:30 am »

FWIW, I have the Global 30" square aluminum base plate and use 2 meter and 1 meter F34 (square) truss segments. Depending on the size, weight, and speed of your moving head lights, box truss will give you added security over glow truss for the forces generated by the light's movement. In addition, the taller your totem the wider a base plate you need for stability.

Edit:  The 30" base plates are about 35 lbs. I have not found it necessary to add additional weight (but I have sandbags if I need them).  If I cantilevered a couple of non-moving lights to one side of the totem, up high, I would add sandbags to offset that leverage.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 01:08:01 am by Mark Cadwallader »
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Will Knight

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Re: Moving Head Truss Totems
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2017, 10:06:54 am »


the size, weight, and speed of your moving head lights, box truss will give you added security over glow truss for the forces generated by the light's movement.


This^^Right^^^Here ^^^^.  Unless you have very light and cheap import Chinese moving heads, the Glow Totems are NOT really suitable for anything moving on the top.  Their best used with uplights placed inside & Scrims.  As others have mentioned, box trusses will serve more than one purpose if down the road you want to broaden your light show by connecting a pair of 6m lengths and place them up on crank stands.  Get the Box version.  Buy Once, Cry Once.
   
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