The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

Mega Clamps?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by gafftaper, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,672
    Likes Received:
    2,698
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    So is anybody using "Mega Clamps"? The topic came up in another forum and I decided to move it here for further detailed discussion.

    So here's what the website says:
    -Half the weight of an iron clamp
    -Safe vertical working load 600lbs Lab tested breaking strength 2 1/2 tons
    -No pan-nut to deal with... a 600# spring loaded washer on the main yoke bolt keeps pressure on the yoke. "This spring pressure keeps the fixture from drifting after making small pan adjustments to the light fixture. Just grab the fixture by the top of the yoke and twist to pan the fixture. Usually, you will not need to pull out your wrench to tighten the pan bolt, the fixture will stay securely held."
    -Fits 1-2 inch pipe.
    -"micro grooves" in the clamp to hold instrument in place.
    -BMI-Techsmart lists price at $10.50...

    So is anybody using them? Are they as great as they sound? Can you really just grab the yoke and twist and they stay where you leave them? I'm fitting a new theater is it worth a couple extra bucks an instrument to buy these instead standard C-clamps?



    Original Product Website
     
  2. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,850
    Likes Received:
    46
    Run this by me again Gaff. I attach the clamp the yoke, but then it has enough play to adjust pan, but the spring will keep it secure after I'm done adjusting? The two things I'd be worried about, is 1. The spring is inside the clamp, right? Could it ever loose its ability to hold the pan? 2. How well can that spring lock in the pan? I'd be worried about bumping the instrument.

    Still, sounds unbelievably great.
     
  3. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,672
    Likes Received:
    2,698
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    Yeah Charc, The way I read it, that spring is pushing down with 600lbs of force when you fully crank the yoke bolt down. So you loosen it a little and let it just hold the yoke nice and tight at around 300lbs or so. Stronger and lighter weight than iron. Sounds almost too good to be true. Thus the thread... somebody must be using them.
     
  4. stantonsound

    stantonsound Active Member

    Messages:
    360
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Charlotte
    I mentioned them in the other forum and have been using them for more than a year, and like them very much. They are very dependable, light weight, and cost effective. They do not feel cheap, nor would anyone have a concern in using them (or at least I can not see why anyone would). It is not a spring, but rather what I would call a "bent washer". Picture a piece of metal that you shot the center out with a bullet, making it kind of cone shaped. You just tighten the one bolt, and then you can give it a tug and adjust the fixture. They do not have the *******nut (whatever you want to call it), so they are much easier to work with. I have actually been selling off all of my old clamps on ebay, a lot of 8 or 10 at a time trying to get rid of them and have switched to nothing but megaclamps and megaclaws. Several of the techs that I have worked with do not use a wrench on them, especially for sidearms and booms. They stay in place nicely, but I still give them a turn with a wrench.

    They are about $8.90 if you get a good deal from the dealer, and many, many places are using them now. I will get one from the shop and take a couple of pics of how they are used, as I can not seen to find any good ones on line. www.thelightsource.com

    The megaclaw is very popular as well. It is designed mostly for moving lights and heavier fixtures. It allows you to hang the weight of the fixture on the clamp and then tighten it. They are GREAT for cyberlights!

    As a side note, there are some really cool clamps at www.thelightsource.com. I am thinking about ordering the trusspick, as I feel that it is safer than spansets, and less of a chance of someone rigging it improperly. One of the other rental shops in town has quite a few of the megatruss dolly clamps and they really like them. I made my truss dollies out of unistrut and castor wheels, with 1/2 cheeseboroughs on them, and they will work for me for now.

    I will bring some to the first annual Control Booth Convention!
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2007
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,672
    Likes Received:
    2,698
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    Thanks Tom... I'm going to seriously look at buying all Mega Clamps for my new theater install... The only reason I can see not to is that it's a college and the educational experience of being forced to deal with a normal c-clamp is a good thing. But I want it easy for me too! I'll buy a couple standard clamps to train newbies on.
     
  6. stantonsound

    stantonsound Active Member

    Messages:
    360
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Charlotte
    I should have qualified the post by saying that I am not a dealer, or am I affiliated with the clamps in any way. I think that there are a lot of products out there that are gimmicks, things that sound pretty cool but will fade out. I do not think that these clamps fit in that category. We make our truss out of aluminum, why not the clamps.

    In looking for pics and some more info (like trying to find anything online about one of these failing....which I could not), I have seen the price on these anywhere from $9 to $22 each. If anyone gets a price quoted over $10 each, find another supplier. You are getting ripped off. This place, for instance - http://www.theatricalshop.com/rosesweb/stage_lighting_accessories.htm - is charging $19.99. BMI is $10.
     
  7. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

    Messages:
    4,077
    Likes Received:
    683
    Occupation:
    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Location:
    Lititz, PA
    I just bought some new Source 4 PARs from BMI. They shipped them with the swivel pan version of the Mega Clamps (as the S4 PAR doesn't come with the ETC clamp). I also have some standard Mega Clamps floating around my inventory. I actually had no idea there was a swivel version until I got them. They are nice clamps, and their rated capacity is plenty high for anything we would use them for. They definitely feel lighter, and when you are used to ETC or Altman C-clamps you might interpret this (along with their price) to be signs of cheap construction, but I don't think they are any less reliable than a standard C-clamp. I certainly would take them over some of the old C-clamps that are still kicking around my theatre.

    Also, places like BMI and Production Advantage are not going to be selling inferior products. I would imagine there are plenty of even cheaper knock-offs of these Mega Clamps that you can probably get from some of the suppliers that are geared towards the low-end/DJ market, those I probably wouldn't put as much faith in.
     
  8. Sean

    Sean Active Member

    Messages:
    438
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    So, Mega Clamps....

    They've been around for quite a while now--since something like 1999 or 2000 if not longer

    Personally, I don't like _working_ with them, but they are better hardware from an engineering standpoint.

    "Traditional" clamps are cast. They're a bit brittle. Mega clamps actually have a rating--the Altman clamps do not (that I am aware of--their literature doesn't list a WLL).

    Mega clamps are cheaper than the cast clamps often. There are fewer parts--the yoke bolt threads directly into the bottom of the clamp. Incidently, this means you cannot make a sidearm out of these clamps (like you can with Altman clamps).

    The "spring" is actually just a conical washer
    (see www.mcmaster.com part: 91235A126)
    for an example. When you tighten the yoke bolt against this its "spring" keeps things snug. You really do need to tighten the bolt often too, but it does remove one step (the pan bolt).

    My biggest pet-peeve is that you have to back the bolt out much further to take the light off the pipe. Because the top front edge has a lip it's more than just a couple turns of the bolt--the clamp shape and bolt keep the pipe from slipping free of the clamp.

    If you're dealing with a less-skilled crew, they're a good idea. Otherwise, you will drive a lot of people crazy with the mega-clamps.

    The mega-claw is a great clamp for a mover, btw.

    --Sean
     
  9. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,672
    Likes Received:
    2,698
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    Great first post Sean... be sure to post a message in the new user forum introducing yourself.
     
  10. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,666
    Likes Received:
    330
    Location:
    PA & NJ
    I agree with Sean on a major point...it sucks when you have the instruments racked or hung and you need to take them off, because mega clamps require a lot more unscrewing of the bolt before they can be removed due to the downward sloping nature of the top of the clamp. They're great clamps and all, but since my major interactions with clamps are hanging and focusing (as are most people's), and I always have a Mega Handle (great product from The Light Source) so I don't have to worry about fukit-nuts, I much prefer the ETC/Altman style clamps. I can turn the bolt half the turns to remove it from a hanging position or a meatrack.

    I honestly was about to post a long deal praising the virtues of the Mega Clamp until I remembered that one detail that always makes me grab fixtures with ETC/Altman clamps on them from the racks (ETC c-clamps and Altman c-clamps are basically the same clamp). We have mostly ETC/Altman clamps in our inventory, with some Mega Clamps.
     
  11. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,850
    Likes Received:
    46
    Gaff, since you mentioned educating the new-guys, as a high-school student I thought I'd mention what I'd have loved my TD did, and what I wish I had the extra resources to set up. Get an instrument cage on casters (If I just made up that term, I mean a rolling device for storing instruments on 2 or 3 tiers of pipes.). Grab some surplus gear stick it on there. Have some historical fixtures, so you can show how they've evolved. Make sure they are all in working order, and make sure you have connectors with you so you can plug them in, in your classroom, so you can point 'em at the wall and demonstrate how each instrument looks. You can hang some example wrenches or other tools-of-the-trade, and take a class to wheel the thing out and give a one class rundown to the incoming students. Hey, it may be impractical or stupid, but that's just what I, as a student, would have liked, rather then having to do hours and hours of research online and in books.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2007
  12. Sean

    Sean Active Member

    Messages:
    438
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
     
  13. len

    len Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,709
    Likes Received:
    204
    Location:
    Chicagoland
  14. Chaos is Born

    Chaos is Born Active Member

    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Oh
    We have these clamps installed on our S4 pars, working in a full ETC stock house there is no need for changing over to only those clamps. Pars are the only ones that i can really think of that i am ok with these clamps being on. My main concern would be when you have to yolk a fixture out, then your forces are no longer straight down on the bolt, the sheer forces are now in play and i wouldn't doubt that a source 4 with any attatchments on the front would twist on its own.
     
  15. Sean

    Sean Active Member

    Messages:
    438
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    Do you mean that you have mega clamps, and that you're only ok with them on PARs?

    Either way, the forces on the bolt are the same on both a cast clamp and on a mega-clamp. If you're worried that a fixture will turn under it's own weight, then you need to tighten the yoke bolt. If anything, as a mega clamp only has that yoke bolt (and not the additional pan bolt), they would be LESS likely to turn than a cast clamp.

    --Sean
     
  16. koncept

    koncept Active Member

    Messages:
    590
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    .

    minor hijack...why is it called a meatrack??
     
  17. Sean

    Sean Active Member

    Messages:
    438
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
  18. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,672
    Likes Received:
    2,698
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    By the way, when I say I'm thinking about going all Mega Clamps... that's for the instruments that don't come with a C-clamp in the first place. Which is probably about half the inventory, so I would have a nice mix of both. Instruments that tend to stay in the same location would get the mega clamps and instruments that are constantly getting moved around would get the old fashioned style.

    I'm not crazy enough to spend an extra $800 to replace all my c-clamps with mega clamps. Just enough to cover the instruments that don't have a clamp already.
     
  19. Chaos is Born

    Chaos is Born Active Member

    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Pars have the best ballance around the yoke bolt and clamp of any fixture.
     
  20. bslproductions

    bslproductions Member

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Maryland
    There is one MAJOR problem that I have encountered a lot with the mega clamps. They have a tendency to shear very easily if over tightened. The claw part of the clamp is very thin and if you over torque it, it will bend backwards and snap.

    I would recommend the L&E Get-A-Grip instead. It is rated to 500lbs and like the mega clamp does not have the swivel bolt. It is much thicker aluminum though. The overall construction more evenly distributes the load like an Altman/ETC clamp does. They are virtually the same price also.

    I am not saying all the Mega Clamps are crap, but the L&E is a much superior product in my experience. I always use them with Source 4 PARs, and as replacements when an ETC clamp goes missing.

    For more info on the clamp, check out L&E's web site: http://www.le-us.com/accessories.html
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice