We use s4 10degs on our far catwalk for front light. We recently purchased tophats/snoots to reduce the ambient light in the house when these lights are on....it makes a HUGE difference.
The problem, as many of you might already know, is that S4 10degs are already tip heavy and when adding a 12" square top hat (they're large and in charge!) to the front, it makes the light ridiculously tip heavy. This makes focusing very difficult as the light's tip drops multiple inches after it is locked down and makes it dangerous as the tip drops very quickly when you unlock it. As a theater professional, I have developed techniques to deal with the problem (focusing high and letting it drop into place....always holding the light down when releasing the vertical lock, etc....), but I work in a High School and have inexperienced teenagers focusing my lights....many headaches.
My co-worker tells me that they make a weight that is attached to the back of a S4 to counterbalance the extra tip weight. I have found what is called a "Boomerang Handle" which is made to attach to the back of a S4 to counterbalance adding a boomerang gel changer when converting the light into a followspot. This will not work as it sticks out about 1 foot from the back of the light making our catwalk a gauntlet of things not to bump, and sticking out too far to use on our electrics (it would extend into the path of our other batons).
I have heard of a donut-shaped weight that replaces the handle that is attached to the back of newer S4's (or for those of you with the old 575's, it attaches using the 4 screw holes in the 2 side-ridges extending off the tail of the light). This would be perfect as it would only extend as far as the handle already does.
But, of course, I can't find the dang thing anywhere. I have searched ETC's catalog, Full Compass's catalog, Mainstages' catalog, and all the things that come up when I google S4 accessories, counterbalance, balance etc.....and have found no mention of this product.
-Has anyone heard of this item? Does it exist?
-If so, where can I purchase it?
For my next show, I need to hang a S4 10deg with a top hat, shooting upstage completely horizontal....from an electric. As you can probably figure out, the extreme tip weight of the light is going to rotate my electric baton making a horizontal throw near impossible, not to mention throwing off the focuses of all the other lights on the electric.
-Without this mythical donut counterweight, does anyone have any other suggestions on how to accomplish this?
I am unable to hang a complementary light on the other side of the electric because of the downstage border so..............
Thanks in advance for any help!