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Author Topic: Cheap/good motors for lighting  (Read 2075 times)

Mike Sullivan

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Cheap/good motors for lighting
« on: November 20, 2014, 05:17:15 AM »

So I had a (more expensive) revelation while at the local theater tonight working on a model train layout while some guys that work for the theater were adjusting lights for the festival this coming week.  Instead of attaching lights to truss and having to crank up/down the truss each time you need to change something or focus the lights, why not build 8 foot steel bars and use a series of small motors with chain hoists to raise the lights up and down?  Would make focusing the lights easier, and makes changes a lot more accessible. 
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Cheap/good motors for lighting
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2014, 06:46:09 AM »

ETC makes this, rated for install and not just temporary use.  It's not cheap though.
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Josh Daws

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Re: Cheap/good motors for lighting
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2014, 07:29:57 AM »

check out martin rush series...great lights...not expensive either...
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: Cheap/good motors for lighting
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2014, 08:07:39 AM »


So I had a (more expensive) revelation while at the local theater tonight working on a model train layout while some guys that work for the theater were adjusting lights for the festival this coming week.  Instead of attaching lights to truss and having to crank up/down the truss each time you need to change something or focus the lights, why not build 8 foot steel bars and use a series of small motors with chain hoists to raise the lights up and down?  Would make focusing the lights easier, and makes changes a lot more accessible.

There are many many hoist solutions out there.  From small chain hoists with 300# capacity, to self climbing winches, other winches, including then ETC prodigy stuff. It's all about the right tool for the job.  A tour would rather hang 20 motor points with a few long trusses than 80 and break their lighting up for convenience.  The rigging time is not worth the benefit.  Most theaters face practical considerations in the amount of space on the fly rail, 8' battens would require more arbor space and more structural steel, mule blocking to make the accommodations, etc.

It sounds from what you are describing they were bounce focusing.  A good stagehand in the proper fall arrest gear on a truss to focus is usually much faster.  Or do it from a lift. 


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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Cheap/good motors for lighting
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2014, 10:12:23 AM »

Another technique is to use moving head, zoom lighting instruments so you can focus everything remotely. I have seen touring theatrical productions that used a dozen or so lights to pretty much light the whole show. Whether that is workable solution for one-off live shows is an open question.  I work in a venue that has flown battens, some moving heads, and a nice Cotterman lift. Bounce focusing is rarely needed. Mark C.
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Josh Daws

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Re: Cheap/good motors for lighting
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2014, 09:37:15 PM »

i just realised that my previous post had nothing to do with what you were asking...lol my bad. on the other side of this...you could use movers! lol
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Re: Cheap/good motors for lighting
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2014, 09:37:15 PM »


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