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Automatic/Resistive rope locks. What are your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by Protech, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. Protech

    Protech Member Premium Member

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    Thank you to everyone for the interesting discussion!

    The issues with maintenance for both automated and counterweight systems is topic for another discussion, but suffice to say we've seen some scary situations with both. We've provided the "service required" indicators, and very rarely have they resulted in a phone call. As I mentioned in our "manual backup" discussion, we find people running automated sets with line-contactors all too frequently. There's a fine line between "idiot-proofing" a system and locking them out (and thus motivating them to find a way around it; operating the equipment even more dangerously).
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Two things here... first we are a double purchase house. So, if the road LD is off by 50#, the flyman has to wrestle a lot more inertia then that 50#. Second, have you actually ever met an R&R LD who actually knew his or her weight and wasn't widely over or under weight? Usually they are way over. The shows I get it tend to be club tours and used to hitting house truss, not house pipe... so they never know their weight. I have literally been told by LD's "its under ton". I don't have time to calculate their fixture weight, plus figure out how much cable is on their looms.

    In this method I can have guys throw weight, we can be loading up two battens on the deck at the same time, and the second the set gets close to balance you feel the pipe slightly float and you are all set. Most LD's have no idea what the hell a counterweight system is, how close they have to get their weight, or how to safely work around that system. 9 out of 10 shows I have to keep the LD's away on the out so they don't start ripping fixtures the second the pipe hits the deck.
     
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  3. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    In support of everything you said.
    Touring, club level, LD's largely tend to think in terms of ground support.
    Next they relate to chain motors and think in terms of tons.
    They MAY get the hang (Pardon my inadvertent pun) of single purchase but definitely NOT double purchase.
    And you are DEFINITELY RIGHT when it comes to them stripping weight off your pipe(s) the instant they've come in, possibly while still descending, and DEFINITELY before the loaders have even begun removing weight, let alone stripped the arbor down to pipe weight. Education, communication, decorum, respect and understanding are all key to keeping people alive, uninjured and equipment in condition to light another performance.
    Blind geezer calming down. Rant off.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard.
     
  4. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    And while we are at it... we had a show advance last year carrying a video wall that wanted to hang it on house rigging. It was a 40 panel wall weighing 1100#.... and they saw we have 1200# capacity pipes and couldn't figure out why we wouldn't hang it. Spent a solid week fighting with a promoter to get them to pay for truss and motor rental.
     
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  5. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @Footer Forgive them Lord for they know not. They probably know not knot neither. Please forgive me if I've skirted too closely to religion or is that only a ProSound decree? Lord only knows.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard.
     
  6. rphilip

    rphilip Member

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    As some one not versed in either touring shows or theatrical rigging why not hang it if their weight figure was accurate?

    Philip
     
  7. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    The way you build video walls is from the top down... while hanging. So, you bring in (or float out) the truss, hang hangers on the truss, level the hangers, hang the first layer of screens, fly the truss out a bit, hang the next layer, out a bit, next layer. Due to that, the weight that hangs on the truss is always changing. With a counterweight system that can only access the arbor when the pipe is into the deck this means you have to put all the weight on the arbor and slowly take out the batten as the wall gets "built". This means for most of the build you are wildly arbor heavy... which can cause a run-away lineset and mass destruction. Chain motors can handle the dynamic weight changes... counterweight linesets can not.

    Not the best video, but here is the overall concept...

     
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  8. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Active Member

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    I learned in a hemp house, with natural fiber lines. Loved picking splinters out of my hands after a show, can't imagine why the industry moved ono_O
     
  9. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Slivers from clean fresh hemp were the worst since they took so long to fester.
    Slivers from dirty old used hemp festered sooner and the sliver popped out with the puss when you pinched it.
    This may sound gross but it was far less punishing to your fingers and palms. One good pinch and problem solved versus tearing away layers of skin with your other hand or digging deeper and deeper with the end of your trusty Buck. Carrying your Buck was mandatory as it was on your IA tool list.
    Blind geezer out. Rant off.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard.
     
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  10. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @rphilip & @Footer
    Philip; Did Footer's post & video fully answer your query or would you benefit from a further explanation, especially in light of Footer's mention of his house having a double purchase system? I realize Control Booth treads a fine line between being openly educational while being cautious of liabilities. Personally, I suspect @Footer may have a little more room to post further educational info' and explanations without putting himself and CB too far over the line if he's willing to, without awakening the wrath of @derekleffew What say you @Footer ?
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard.
     
  11. rphilip

    rphilip Member

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    Yep

    I've actually helped build video walls a couple of times. I just hadn't made the connection about not being able to add weight once you start flying the pipe up.

    I don't totally understand what extra complications the double purchase creates but that's ok.

    Philip
     
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  12. venuetech

    venuetech Well-Known Member

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  13. RickBoychuk

    RickBoychuk Member

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    The arbor trap is a new device which is designed to prevent runaway line sets that are arbor-heavy. Unlike the out-of-balance detecting rope lock, the trap conforms with the ANSI 1.4. With patent pending, it is licensed to five manufacturers in the States: JR Clancy, Thern Stage Equipment, H&H Specialties, Peter Albrecht Company and BellaTEX. Only BellaTEX is shipping at the moment. Clancy is scheduled to ship at the end of summer. The others are not yet scheduled. See the arbor trap at work at http://www.gridwellinc.com/arbor-trap.html. Spoiler alert; nothing happens.
     
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  14. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    I'm assuming your involved with this company, I would suggest that you dumb things down on your information page a bit more. I think I have a pretty good idea how your system works but a video that spells it out in gratuitous detail might help to sell your product.

    It seems like a decent idea and I like that it's out there, but I do have some questions. I get how this would help when the pipe is in all the way in, but does this offer any runaway protection from other trim heights? Is there any protection against a batten heavy runaway? If the arbors in my theater are at different heights for loading (say the arbor for my electrics is 6" below the height for the rest of the pipes) do you have custom spacers to drop the arbor trap for the lineset down to where I need it or is an additional run of channel necessary? If for some reason I want to change the trim that loading is done on a batten can the user relocate the arbor trap to this new height or must that be done by a rigging specialist familiar with your equipment?
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
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  15. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I'm going to respond from my view of considering this device. I see it as primarily for high schools and primarily electrics. I'd estimate from my work and listening to others stripping electrics at low trim is easily half the runaways, maybe more, especially on stages without loading bridges. Stop that and you've solved a lot of the problem.

    I personally would not recommend this for a system run by pros but that's me. I can see the house that routinely strips and rehangs, but I don't like enabling that shortcut.
     
  16. de27192

    de27192 Active Member

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    I can see the benefit of this in an education scenario, however, I think the flip-side of that argument would be that teachers may become reliant on the fact that the automatic rope lock is there, and pay less attention to the balancing of the bar and the arbor. First priority needs to be that the teacher is paying attention and I would be concerned that whilst a safety feature like this might benefit the users, it might also feed complacency which is potentially more dangerous.

    In a professional theatre, just no. I fly daily and there are so many times that we need to work out of balance - if only momentarily. Particularly for soft goods, or indeed large sets which need to lie flat on the floor before they're lifted. Having to have the loaders running up and down the ladders all day to chuck more weights in the set would introduce fatigue and increase likelihood of error.

    I can see though how it would benefit electrics, since electrics bars don't need to pick up changing weights. However, since the electrics bars change from show to show, unless an automatic rope brake could be easily added to and removed from the existing rope brake, and moved around on a show-by-show basis.

    I have to put my hand up and admit that I'm guilty of using my rope brakes as brakes, but sometimes it's the safest way to work. But I'm in a very busy receiving house and we can afford to replace our hemps regularly more than we can afford to slow down the get ins, so it's just an accepted practice.
     

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