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Flightcase on the truss?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by ScottT, Nov 1, 2008.

  1. ScottT

    ScottT Lighting Programmer

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    Ok just to start off I am not that familiar with rigging. Hence the question...

    Ok so I was at the Coldplay concert last night (amazing!) and they had flown trusses (proper grammar?) which had road cases sitting on top of them. I could not tell if they were secured in anyway but it did seem kind of dangerous because it was above the audience. So the questions: Is this common practice with touring bands and is it safe?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2008
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Re: Proper Rigging

    Odds are that case was a motor controller. I guarantee it was racheted down and safetied/chained/spanseted in some way. It is pretty common for "riders" to be on the truss.
     
  3. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    My first thot was a confetti blower or hazer. I've attached blowers to truss numerous times. Never done a hazer, but I suppose it's possible. Never thot about a motor control.

    Also, I'm not recommending you do any of the above unless you're a trained professional.
     
  4. McCready00

    McCready00 Active Member

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    Went to see Coldplay in Montreal some months ago. I saw these cases up there and asked myself the exact same question.

    I don't think it's unsafe. Bands like Coldplay usually won't hire any stupid Stage Manager for a international tour. Of course, I might be wrong but, I don't know, it was probrably well attached up there.
     
  5. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Active Member

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    eh, you lost me.
     
  6. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    motor controller? You guys lost me on this one, would you run three phase and a pickle extender up to it and motor cable from there? Wouldn't you want access to the breakers on it from the ground?
     
  7. SerraAva

    SerraAva Active Member

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    Should have seen the Rolling Stones Bigger Bang Tour. They had to fly the whole front of house rig. Towards the end of the show, stage hands would push the drums and amps onto a center section of stage. Mick Jagger would say something to the effect that the other end of the arena couldn't see them. Then the center section of stage traveled to the other side of the arena where they played 3 songs and traveled back.

    That, and when I worked it in Philly, there was a hockey game in between shows. That meant they at least didn't have to load out front of house, but just about everything else had to go.
     
  8. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I am not saying it is common practice, but I have seen it happen.
     
  9. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    You are running less wires to the truss by putting the motor distro on the truss. Also for trusses that have motors that live in them it allows them to be pre cabled and saves time. If a breaker does blow you are in a world of pain but there are ladders on most trusses anyway.
     
  10. TOG

    TOG Member

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    The "flightcases" are part of the computerized motor control system for the moving lighting trusses. The trusses change shape during the show to reflect the different aspects of a sine wave.

    I'd love to know how it was rigged but riggers always lie about how many points they actually had to use.
     
  11. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    very common for the motor PD to be flown. It has several attachment points to be used to tie down. Ours has an attachment point on each side, where we attach a safety cable to at least two points, but it usually never moves due to being well secured on top of cables. Rather than dropping down several motor cables for that truss, you just have two, one for the motor controller, which is a low voltage signal (12-24V) and then your power. If you end up popping a motor breaker, you will end up with a motor stuck up in the air anyways (usually due to a conductor comming off the connector and shorting to ground). Also the dimmers are sometimes flown, they are usually around 24 channels or so, and they are flown when you can somehow reach them (normally via some catwalk, ie house catwalk or truss catwalk) If you can fly your dimmer rack, and access it during the show, then it is pratical to fly. But if its just on truss its motor control. It could also be an optosplitter which are common to be flown, but they are normally not in a big rack when flown.
     
  12. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Hmm, Coldplay... remember pulling spares for it but don't remember if for a current tour or most recent one. That said it's becoming normal for what ever can be put into the air to be put into the air for tours. Easier to run feeder cable to a truss than a multitude of cables and or more centralized often. As said, if you have a breaker blowing, you have other problems that should have already been figured out during rehearsals, this much less you already have people in the truss if a problem.

    I'm somewhat constantly at this point replacing a brand of small ac distro plastic panels that are not persay well designed to be ratchet strapped to the truss, which later warp in a way that they don't work as a panel cover any more. Way to rig such panels that frequently are up in a truss is well under way towards solution if I have a say and I do. I know of other racks both hoist and especially 208v distro that are constantly up in the truss. Not gonna fall, on the other hand for one tour I was given recently a request for 100x safety cables that was new for me, it was safety cables for the ratchet strap hardware in saying something. First, if the ratchet strap fails, the ratchet mechanism is the least of your problems but still safety cabling them is perhaps a good idea and done. Second, that spells new technology in ratchet straps - ones that are fire proof or like with spansets - wire rope core lined. This no doubt will be the future of rigging stuff to truss, as with racks that have ratchet strap holes a rig point for them in the future I think. The next vendor or inventor that makes a steel core ratchet strap is the one to make big bucks as is the state of the art in the industry. Ratchet straps - more than just strapping gear, beyond truss Grapples, it's how it is done for the most part if not at a place a corner block will work.

    Just as ten years ago I made my personal road box with hard fly rig points to it after noting a common trait to them in having been flown on stage, these days racks are often flown or installed on a cart at least if left on the deck. More than one show I see with a 96way dimmer plus a few 72way 208v distros all pre-wired and installed on a traveling deck/cart as it were which wheels out of the truck already wired, if not even that 96way flown. Say a 4x8 cart, how long will it be before such a heavy cart dimmer/power supply cart becomes just another part of the rigging? Seen some heavy and carpeted platforms go out over the years that are like 16' square for follow spots to project from. Such truss could if the house could support the platform easiy support a flown dimmer beach. Not yet in the dimmer/distro cart flown as opposed to a few of them just more simple as a all in one cart just pushed on a truck, but I suspect not long before that dimmer beach form of flown truss support for them will be on the market. One or few piece castered unit that is flown.

    I'm thinking the only limitation these days is the racks in the industry which are not riggable in reflecting current trends for the future for how soon most of as it were "dimmer beach" gets flown. Run your feeder cable up to the grid as it were and you save lots in cable lengths and or voltage drop even often. I'm thinking and already designing future gear for it being rigged. This all granted we fight at this point the limitations of CamLoc plugs and 4/0 cable in if not doing I believe it to be the "star method" of a back feed solution, voltage drop with that 400A limitation plus the limitation of being domesic and Euro in tour will be finding a new solution soon. That's another investment concept.

    For now, most of what you see is indeed ratchet strapped to the truss but have no fear in most cases - them guys with like 20x or more years in the industry under their belt are the ones doing it in knowing at least for us who is doing it, and if they didn't feel it safe they either wouldn't or they would design a way to do it. I know many of the crew chiefs doing the shows with racks on the truss and even work on some of their gear including considering main breaker remote switches for them (it's coming in me already started pricing out such things) and even doing the proper GFCI main breaker gear for them as part of the spec. First GFCI distros for me at least just left my area today in fact.

    Times' a changing, lead, follow or get out of the way. Racks on truss... yep. How to if a problem control such a thing, good question other than in main breaker where one can with expense. Coming new technology in doing.... yep it's coming if not just plain dimmer beaches on a platform in general flown and only for the most part feeder cable flown to the grid of truss. On the other hand if one can control a hoist with a remote, can one not also at some point both do so with a remote a individual breaker by a remote and or with a light board in the future in not in the future having to physically have to touch that breaker switch at all?

    This all granted one has to solve the problem before flipping the breaker will solve the problem and just tonight I saw my oil / electric heater go up in flames as it were before it blew my garage's GFCI. Cleaned the sucker, didn't see anything wrong with it last time I saw smoke coming out of it beyond dirt and oil within but I suppose it at this point is "bad" at this point in seeing the flames within the control part of it die down. Hmm, home heaters... I'm better than that... If I designed such a thing... Anyway stuff goes bad and fails.

    Off the road photo thing... Any photos of the AC/DC tour err baloon that went up in flames results on a Colemar and or Hunguro Flash Strobe end results? I seen them - not pretty of the fixtures nearest and didn't work afterwards. But didn't take photos. Urr, Luke... we kind of need this totally melted down moving light fixed by tomarrow. Gee thanks in your commitment to your career and in getting it up and running again. One if not photos just has to invision a moving light with its side plates totally melted into the fixture and otherwise exposed and than imagine that chief moving light tech's response to that request by way of middle finger. Ain't nothing about that moving light that is more than spare parts at this point, much less the strobe... hopefully it can be fixed in only seemingly having melted dripped plastic all over it and a cracked lens.

    Thinking someone on some baloon used on the tour substituted helium for hydrogen or something in the baloon going "boom" in a big way I'm told or seen the after results of. Never before seen a totally melted down moving light fixture before - way cool.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2008
  13. photoatdv

    photoatdv Active Member

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    Ship- You have to post the whole story about the Balloon exploding, I can't find anything online about it.

    And was this one of your shops lights? If so can you post a pic. (I do have sympathy for that ML tech though. It sounds like one of my directors-- I NEED moving lights for my show tomorrow! It's not fair that the other group gets a better concert than me! Oh, Ok, no problem. They just rented the whole system and brought in a really good ML designer/programmer, and we only have 2 technobeams (which have been worked on by 2 pros unsucessfuly and are probably missing pieces) and an Express console, but no problem...
     
  14. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I don't have photos or didn't take them - not my department working on them, just me making a one way power supply to power up in testing/repair the 100A two phase strobe while back in the shop.

    Wasn't told much about some baloon catching fire or exploding just saw the after results of a melted down moving light and a brand new "most powerful ever" strobe light with lamps themselves costing $2.4K dealer price that had a cracked lens and melted stuff all over it at best in not even knowing if it works yet. The moving light... Classic in melted panels as if burned thru and melted into the operating parts of the light - really cool and nobody got hurt more important.

    On the concept of flight cases, I did loan a drill and bit to a tour with flight cases that will be on the truss today. They had some special brackets made up by our welding shop which they were thru bolting the cases to so as to secure the case properly to the truss. Such things are happening and will more in the coming months and in general as a concept where more and more gear goes into the air.

    Still think the wire rope lined ratchet straps is a great concept for someone ambitous out there that wants to make a few $$$ in inventing them.
     
  15. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    ScottT, McCready00, is this what you saw?
    [​IMG]
    According to the www.strictlyfx.com ad on page 52 of the November 2008 PLSN:
    Check out our brand new Truss Mount Confetti Cobra™ Blowers on tour now with Coldplay!
    ... Specifically designed for truss mount applications, these units utilize a patent pending design that achieves the same coverage as a CO2 blower in an all electric unit.
    Looks to be maybe a 2'x2'x3' black road case with aluminum channels.
     
  16. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Wow, that's some pretty impressive detective work Derek! Nice job. I was impressed with all the other theories about stuff flying but finding an actual picture is even better.
     
  17. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    man i need to take some pics of our confetti blowers, they look like rubbermaid trashcans with deer feeder throwers mounted underneath. Which is basically what they are, just made much bigger by citc effects i believe. (also the only deer feeders that require 40 amps, 2 big motors in each one, one to turn a huge auger inside of the unit to feed the confetti down into the chute, then a high speed motor that throws out the confetti. Wonder if you could kill a deer with it?
     
  18. Benchtech

    Benchtech Member

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    Not uncommon to fly amp racks to keep the speaker cabling short. Power amps are weighing less and less and the heavy speaker wiring still weights just as much, so why not swap amps for cabling? Plus the power loss is less and the damping factor is better. That's one of the reasons why Meyer puts the amps inside the speaker cabinets.
     

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