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Conventional Fixtures Pan Bolt Discussion

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Esoteric, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Re: New Lighting Blog Series: Types of Units

    Very rarely {i.e. never} have I seen a C-clamp with out some sort of saftey mechanism on the shaft. If you find one in your inventory it should be replaced immediatly. One should not make it into the air because its a defective C-clamp at that point.
    Breaking the head off a pan nut is an excuse IMHO. When you focus using the yoke bolt you run into the same issue that Gern's broken shafts create. Too often electricians don't tighten them down properly and they can work their way loose.

    In the past 15 years I've never had an issue with a grooved shaft affecting focus whether I was the electrician or the designer.

    For every reason not to use the pan bolt theres a reason not to use the yoke bolt.
  2. techieman33

    techieman33 Well-Known Member

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    Re: New Lighting Blog Series: Types of Units

    First off I have never broken a pan bolt in my 11 years of focusing, if you break one your probably doing it wrong. We have very few of the square head pan bolts left in the building these day, we have been slowly phasing them out and replacing them with t-handles like those linked below. Makes it easy to focus without tools, and almost impossible for some idiot to break one. Most of us also use a mega wrench when tightening up the clamp bolts, again gives you enough leverage to tighten the bolt down, and not enough to break it.

    T Bolt for Pipe Clamp
  3. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Re: New Lighting Blog Series: Types of Units

    This debate could so easily be solved if everyone would simply switch to using these:
    [​IMG]
    Mega-Clamp

    However, there must have been market demand (Lord knows why) or the manufacturer would not have started offering this
    [​IMG]
    http://www.thelightsource.com/products/16/view
  4. chausman

    chausman Chase

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    Re: New Lighting Blog Series: Types of Units

    Whenever my local company does an install, they have those T-bolts you linked to, and a Mega Combo Wrench on everything. It's nice to work in theaters they installed. :)
  5. chausman

    chausman Chase

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    Re: New Lighting Blog Series: Types of Units

    I didn't like those when I used them...I don't really know why, but I prefer these:
    [​IMG]
    They just seemed more secure.

    EDIT: Or, we could just avoid the fuss altogether, and switch to this:
    [​IMG]

    "Are you sure that will hold up a Bad Boy?" "Of course...i think..."
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
  6. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Re: New Lighting Blog Series: Types of Units

    You know why you don't like the other ones? Because they are a pain to use! You have to unwind the bolt so much farther to get a light off the pipe than you would with a normal c-clamp!
  7. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Re: New Lighting Blog Series: Types of Units

    Well, they aren't. What's the load rating stamped on yours? Oh right, there isn't one. See also http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/lighting-electrics/6726-c-clamps-rated.html . I swear if it weren't for c-clamp s and FELs we'd have nothing to talk about.
    -----
    See this post.
    -----
    Sounds like a good safety feature to me! (Speaking as someone who is (usually) paid by the hour.)
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
  8. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Re: New Lighting Blog Series: Types of Units

    For what it's worth, the only two or three pan bolts I've ever broken have been on Altman clamps, old rusty abused Altman clamps. Go figure.
  9. jglodeklights

    jglodeklights Active Member

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    Re: New Lighting Blog Series: Types of Units

    I go betwixt liking and despising the Mega Clamp. While I like that they are extremely unlikely to manage to finagle their way off the pipe, and that the lower clearance they have around them allows them to fit into tighter spaces (like the grid in the black box of my university before we evenly spaced all pipes at 1 foot apart), I get really darned tired in my arm, wrist, and hand after going those few extra spins on each clamp on a long day. Or, I will sometimes miss having that set screw as a second way to adjust pan when someone has really WRENCHED on the yoke bolt hard (usually the rental shop, surprise surprise) or I really just can't get a good angle on the yoke bolt. Mostly just the wrenching, though.
  10. techieman33

    techieman33 Well-Known Member

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    Seems like we do things a little differently than some of the rest of you. I would go off if someone was using the clamp bolt to adjust the pan of an instrument.
  11. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Re: New Lighting Blog Series: Types of Units

    Probably because they're so darned common! Are those clamps actually cast by Altman? Seems that there are so many clones out there with different (or no) names, that Altman probably just calls the factory and orders X amount with their name cast in to them. Heck, said company probably has the dies for most major manufacturers (and a blank for the "no names").
  12. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

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    Re: New Lighting Blog Series: Types of Units

    So it sounds like most people use the pan bolt for pan adjustments then? What I've always wondered - why isn't it a thumb bolt, so I don't need to reach for a wrench? It's not as though it needs excessive tightening.
  13. LXPlot

    LXPlot Active Member

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    Re: New Lighting Blog Series: Types of Units

    Can I add that the "set screw" (or whatever you wish to call it) cannot be effectively used unless your units are hung with the C-clamp perfectly verical. If you were to hang your lights in a different way, for instance, vertically above the bar, sometimes the set screw isn't tightened down enough to prevent it from sliding when I hang the light. This is even when the screw was tight (apparently not that tight) before the light was hung. (If this is an error I get because I'm simply doing something incorrectly, can someone correct me?)

    My other big problem with them is that my speed wrench doesn't seem to fit the set screw on some of those older Altman-looking ones.

    What is the point of having that screw there anyway? (Besides looking like it has one.) I like the mega-clamps better generally, but that's just silly.
  14. mstaylor

    mstaylor Well-Known Member Departed Member

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    Re: New Lighting Blog Series: Types of Units

    Doesn't he know that he should really be using a paint roller with no pad? :) Sheesh!
  15. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Re: New Lighting Blog Series: Types of Units

    Because it does function, reading product description FTW.
  16. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2011
  17. xander

    xander Active Member

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  18. DuckJordan

    DuckJordan Well-Known Member

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    Doesnt matter
    I have Hung lights in the most wily angles and the set screw does hold it there. I'm not sure what your doing wrong...

    Sent from my ADR6300 using Tapatalk
  19. josh88

    josh88 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I've had plenty of not tight enough set screws that have allowed a light hung upside down to slide up the shaft, and had to tighten it down. Also one of the last shows I did was fully mega clamped or O clamps [​IMG]

    also kind of a pain but when working with little clearance you've gotta get every inch you can.
  20. shiben

    shiben Well-Known Member

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    Even when its loose?

    Seriously though. There comes a point in the focus session where hitting the light with a wrench seems to be just as good as actually focusing... During times like that Ill take the giant bolt thats easy to find and access over the tiny little thing commonly called the "F*** me bolt" by everyone I know. Never had a problem per se focusing with either. Usually I go with the one that is more convenient to use. I really wish we all used mega clamps tho. I agree with Derek. As a paid by the hour technician, Ill take the extra ten minutes it takes to screw the clamp to the pipe over a few scores of units. Thats like a case of beer just for using bigger screws on the clamp... However, I am totally down with the O clamp thing. As for T handles, I take them off first thing. Totally worthless and they work loose when someone decides to drive the front-end loader over the theater for a few days (our black box was underground). Then you get to use a wrench in a way that God never intended to try and get it to tighten or loosen correctly.

    If a designer has a preference (realistically thats kind of a silly thing to have a preference over. Dont you provide a focus plot or do you expect nothing to change in the theater for a couple months/years? Seriously? Slash on a tour where it gets hit by a forklift every day? If you care about the method the LX guy uses to focus the instrument uses then you really need to pay more attention to the art and less you the giant head your carrying around.) Ill try and make it happen, but to heck if Im gonna hold a top hung unit up while doing some incredibly inadvisable thing to try and reach an instrument that some a** hat decided to hang in a totally inaccessible place up with one hand and use my legs to hold myself on to whatever is supporting me... Also if your pulling on the instrument's cable to focus it, I can see a couple problems. If thats your plan, get a loop of rope put on so as you can go both ways at least...

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