Lighting fixture truss/pipe clamps- your favorites?

Kelite

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Premium Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Location
Fort Wayne IN, USA
Greetings all!

With such a diverse community of lighting folks here, what better forum to ask -

Lighting fixture truss/pipe clamps- which style/brand/design/color are your favorites?


Go!
 

sk8rsdad

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Premium Member
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Aug 15, 2008
Location
Ottawa
I like the Lightsource products, particularly the mega-swivel, mini-clamp, mega-coupler, or mega-claw depending on the purpose.
 

soundlight

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Joined
Oct 27, 2005
Location
NJ & NYC
The Light Source Slim Couplers & Slim Claws for most things unless it needs the heavy duty stuff or has a single rig point then it's Mega Couplers & Mega Claws for weight or stability. The Slim Couplers are perfect for LED PARs and the like.
 

gafftapegreenia

CBMod
CB Mods
Joined
Sep 24, 2005
Location
Michigan
Anything Light Source really. I strongly dislike all those European/Asian formed flatstock hook things.


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techieman33

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Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Location
topeka, ks
I like the mega claws and slim claws for moving lights. TC clamps for lekos, pars, etc. Half couplers are ok for light weight fixtures. I hate half couplers on moving lights or any other heavy fixtures, makes it really hard to do anything with them by yourself.
 

MikeJ

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Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Location
Here and There
ETC cast clamps are garbage, as are all other cast C-clamps(G-clamps?) They damage truss, and they are much more likely to crack and drop your fixture and a chunk of metal. Old school stagehands love them though, because old people hate change, they are too lazy to hold the weight of a fixture while closing a half-coupler, and taking longer to do something is good when you get paid by the hour.

The light source has a variety of good clamps. For any conventional I choose a Half-coupler(mega coupler) that through bolts, and uses a belville washer.
I have the mini-claws for some things, and I would not but them again. They get stuck closed on a pipe, the T-handle gets in the way on truss, and if you have a fixture with two clamps, its hard to remove the fixture from a truss. Mega claw, or slim claw all the way.

Also, no wingnuts on Mega Couplers, aluminum block style nut.
 

techieman33

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Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Location
topeka, ks
ETC cast clamps are garbage, as are all other cast C-clamps(G-clamps?) They damage truss, and they are much more likely to crack and drop your fixture and a chunk of metal. Old school stagehands love them though, because old people hate change, they are too lazy to hold the weight of a fixture while closing a half-coupler, and taking longer to do something is good when you get paid by the hour.

The light source has a variety of good clamps. For any conventional I choose a Half-coupler(mega coupler) that through bolts, and uses a belville washer.
I have the mini-claws for some things, and I would not but them again. They get stuck closed on a pipe, the T-handle gets in the way on truss, and if you have a fixture with two clamps, its hard to remove the fixture from a truss. Mega claw, or slim claw all the way.

Also, no wingnuts on Mega Couplers, aluminum block style nut.
Traditional c-clamps still have their place with conventional fixtures attached to steel pipe. Using half couplers almost always requires two people to hang or remove a moving light, that's the problem. With mega claws or trigger clamps I can hang or remove something the size of a Mac 2k by myself, that's just not possible with half couplers.
 

MikeJ

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Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Location
Here and There
I would not use half couplers on moving lights, just conventionals. I still don't like C-clamps, except the odd case where I need to clamp to square tube, or small diameter pipe.
 

TheaterEd

Renaissance Man
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Jan 21, 2013
Location
Near Milwaukee
I'm pretty happy with most clamps I've used with the exception of these ones


I just don't trust these, and the space I found them in was using them for fixtures over the audience. Made it my personal goal to get as many of them out of the air as possible.
 

Fountain Of Euph

Active Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2013
Location
Illinois
ETC cast clamps are garbage, as are all other cast C-clamps(G-clamps?) They damage truss, and they are much more likely to crack and drop your fixture and a chunk of metal. Old school stagehands love them though, because old people hate change, they are too lazy to hold the weight of a fixture while closing a half-coupler, and taking longer to do something is good when you get paid by the hour.

The light source has a variety of good clamps. For any conventional I choose a Half-coupler(mega coupler) that through bolts, and uses a belville washer.
I have the mini-claws for some things, and I would not but them again. They get stuck closed on a pipe, the T-handle gets in the way on truss, and if you have a fixture with two clamps, its hard to remove the fixture from a truss. Mega claw, or slim claw all the way.

Also, no wingnuts on Mega Couplers, aluminum block style nut.
If your hanging to pipe not truss ETC clamps do fine. I am the same age as you, and have never had any issues with hanging lights quickly: I can do 2 to 3 conventionals a min if I try.


I have the old HUB tracks in my venue. Now there is a system that should be taken out back and shot...

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gafftapegreenia

CBMod
CB Mods
Joined
Sep 24, 2005
Location
Michigan
Conventional c clamps, cast Iron, machined aluminum or otherwise, are not intended for use on aluminum truss and rental houses that supply them for that use without at least sending a bag of truss protectors are likely not only cutting corners with their clamp inventory.

As for breaking, I've never seen a broken ETC clamp, as I believe the extra spine helps to strengthen the casting (although I'm sure they can and have been broken). I have seen two or three examples of broken Altman clamps, but honestly I've seen far more bent bolts than I have broken clamps.

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gafftapegreenia

CBMod
CB Mods
Joined
Sep 24, 2005
Location
Michigan
I'm pretty happy with most clamps I've used with the exception of these ones


I just don't trust these, and the space I found them in was using them for fixtures over the audience. Made it my personal goal to get as many of them out of the air as possible.
Yes. Those clamps and all their variations are a scourge upon the earth. Although they ARE better than those plastic half coupler types.


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SteveB

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Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Brooklyn, NY
ETC cast clamps are garbage, as are all other cast C-clamps(G-clamps?) They damage truss, and they are much more likely to crack and drop your fixture and a chunk of metal. Old school stagehands love them though, because old people hate change, they are too lazy to hold the weight of a fixture while closing a half-coupler, and taking longer to do something is good when you get paid by the hour.

The light source has a variety of good clamps. For any conventional I choose a Half-coupler(mega coupler) that through bolts, and uses a belville washer.
I have the mini-claws for some things, and I would not but them again. They get stuck closed on a pipe, the T-handle gets in the way on truss, and if you have a fixture with two clamps, its hard to remove the fixture from a truss. Mega claw, or slim claw all the way.

Also, no wingnuts on Mega Couplers, aluminum block style nut.
"Garbage" ?. Pretty bold statement 'ya think Mike ?

In 40 years in the business I've had 1 - exactly 1, iron c-clamp fail and this was at least 30-35 years ago. The ETC provided clamp is fine for the intended purpose. No, we don't hang them on truss, just schedule 80 steel. No I don't use them on side-arms (you can't actually). No I don't do double clamps with them. Just intended purpose.

As well, ETC has been providing this clamp to users on a couple of million S4's of assorted types since '92 or so. You would think if there were problems, we'd have heard of them.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Location
Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
I have been converting all my c-clamps on all fixtures (except our movers - those have triggers) to the ETC cast clamps. While it may be true they could fail (I've yet to see one begin to deform, or heaven forbid, let go though), that's one of the reasons why we have safeties. And they are, in my opinion, a far better design than almost all other C-clamps I've had in my hands. Inspect your gear, use as intended, eat more fibre, use common sense, destroy what you don't trust, don't forget to tip your waitresses.
 

BillConnerFASTC

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Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Location
Clayton NY 13624
We don't use the ETC (or anyone's) cast iron clamp because it is not load rated. (Yes, UL approves of it as part of the sited assembly, but their testing seems inadequate for structural integrity.) And while braking is rare, it's not unheard of. For a thousand or two dollars in a project of many million dollars with several hundred thousand in lighting, not worth it to me to skimp on this. YMMV. (And perhaps cast iron c-clamps, ETCs' is one of if not the best - so not garbage - just not for me.)