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Must have gadget

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by ScaredOfHeightsLD, May 2, 2007.

  1. ScaredOfHeightsLD

    ScaredOfHeightsLD Active Member

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    Los Angeles
    So I was browsing through some past issue of Live Design and I came across this article about what designers always carried with them. Weather it be at their tech table or just on a day trip. What is that one gadget you just can't live without? It can be as simple as a bottle of water or as complex as a laptop. I think that if we all toss out ideas that amongst some of them each of us should find something where we can say "DUH why didn't I think of carrying that?!?" So yeah, basically just throw anything down that you like to have with you on productions and hopefully we can all pick up a new item or two.
  2. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    NJ & NYC
    As a designer, my laptop, and a color coded group chart for the show, that has the text highlighted in the gel color of the group. I also always have the latest Rosco swatchbook and the Apollo gel conversion chart when the venue has anything other than Rosco.

    As a general technician, my leatherman, a 5-in-1 wire stripper/crimper/cutter/needlenose/screw chopper (jameco sells 'em), a paint marker, and my Streamlight. Also a 25' or so hank of parachute cord with a small spring clamp on the end of it to haul up gel when the gel person for the rig forgets to bring the cuts for my electric/beam/boom up. This also works for frames, gobo holders, twofers, and 5' stagepin.
  3. Jezza

    Jezza Active Member

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    Poughkeepsie, NY
  4. Chaos is Born

    Chaos is Born Active Member

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    Cincinnati, Oh
    I always have my laptop on me, along with gel books for Apollo, Gam, Lee, and Rosco, a small rigging kit (for training porposes), two black pens (always on my person), Gerber spring assist open knife (super sharp and great for one handed work), and my graphing calculator for any random equations i need to do. I also carry two pairs of work gloves, along with all the tools in my toolcase (goes to where i am going to be stationed from and sits there, or sits in my car).

    Wireless Router, also to be installed to the location i am working in for use during tech.

    My camera is also rarely far off, usually in my car unless i know im working on something i want photos of or a photo call night or final dress of a design.
  5. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Lititz, PA
    As an ME, my 8" Crescent wrench. I also love to have a GAMCheck handy.
  6. jfitzpat

    jfitzpat Member

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    * General *

    Earplugs: To save what is left of my hearing from sound checks and whiny clients

    Advil: To ease any headaches I still get from sound checks and whiny clients

    A lanyard holding; small flashlight, a small pocket knife and a small roll of athletic tape: Which are generally used for repairs and tiny emergencies but which, in a pinch, can be used to threaten and bind whiny clients

    One tube of mycetracin: For all first aid needs (everything from gashes to gig, er, tush - if you can't fix it with a hefty smear of mycetracin, 6 advil (or whatever the 24 hour max), and athletic tape you belong in a hospital)

    * Technician *

    A small Leatherman type tool and a pocket multi-meter (the meter is handy with whiny clients as well - put it on ohms, press the probes on their skin, and tell them it is a pocket polygraph device)

    * Designer *

    A pocket note book and several pens/pencils, because I am now too old to remember everything I promise to whiny clients...


  7. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Brooklyn, NY

    - Brain, turned on early with copious amounts of coffee, replenished throughout the day.

    - Watch. To make dead certain I am where I need to be on time. Always.

    - Laptop: And it's useless without software, so - Vectorworks 10.5 & 12.5, Lightwright 4, Emphasis OL, Expression OL, ETC CEMPlus, Net2 Config Editor, Unison Light Manager, Adobe Professional, Word, Excel, IE7, Outlook, Palm Desktop

    - HP Laser printer w/ 11x17 capacity

    - Palm Treo 700

    - Assorted Rosco, Lee, GAM and Apollo gel books (or are they "Color Media Sample Books" ?).

    - Assorted Gobo booklets

    - Assorted pens, pencils, hi-liners, etc...


    - Brain, turned on early with copious amounts of coffee, replenished throughout the day.

    - Watch. To make dead certain I am where I need to be on time. Always.

    - Lightspeed wrench

    - 8" C-Wrench (I tried the new Crescent 8" adjustable with the sliding thumb adjustment. It's heavy and generally a pain to use, especially in the dark)

    - 4 way switchable tip screw driver - I prefer the type that has 2 different nut drivers as well, useful for Altman screws, among others

    - Victorinox Champ Swiss Army Knife. It does everything.

    - Leatherman Wave, for everything else

    - Beckman true RMS digital volt meter

    - 1 ea, of Edison to 2P&G adapters - M->F/M and reverse, as well as a 15w lamp-on-pigtail socket with 2P&G male plug (needed for adding a load to an SCR dimmer for testing)

    - AA Maglite, LED flashlight (not happy w/ it, anyone got a good recommendation for an LED that's bright, adjustable, AA and about the size of a AA Mag ?)

    - Petzl Zipka LED headlamp. Compact, works great, expensive

    - Assorted carabiners, the real type, good for hauling ropes, attaching drop/work bags, etc...

    - Leather gloves

    - Glasses

    - Hearing Aids (30 years in the business, listening to one-too-many loud audio system, as well as it runs in the family)

    - Good work shoes. Currently New Balance 747 leather walking shoes, or the waterproof version. No heavy, steel toed, hiking boots for me. I don't do trucks no mo'.

    - Northface clothing, Fleece sweaters as well as GoreTex jackets. Best there is, though anything by Columbia works well too. (Remember to keep receipts, all clothing is a tax write-off, as is pretty much everything listed above - including your cell phone).

    I'm sure I'll remember other stuff later

    Steve B.
  8. Logos

    Logos Well-Known Member

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    Launceston Tasmania
    This one made me think and I actually looked in my tool box to see what I had.
    Everything I need to test for safety or do minor electrical repairs (Aussie test and tag rules) including a small collection of different multi tools (its a bit of a joke by my grown up kids new multi tools seem to be given to me on birthdays etc. I even have a 19th century farriers tool in my box).
    Minor dressings and headache tabs.
    Lee Numerical and designer swatch books.
    Various sharpies and grease pencils
    assorted size a and b gobo's (mostly breakup)
    1 pair of UHF walkie talkies (just cheap ones but surprosingly useful)
    A copy of Francis Reid "The Stage Lighting handbook"
    An a4 blank pad and a scale rule and an old fashioned strand fixture stencil
    and obviously for any particular show the rig plan patch list colour call and fixture list all on laminated paper.
    Last edited: May 3, 2007
  9. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Portland, Or.
    as a TD at tech rehearsals:

    1 legal pad
    1 pencil behind left ear
    1 pen usually being chewed on
    1 squeeze light
    1 binder with the rest of the notes in it
    Several large cups of coffee.
    1 pair needle nose vice grips clamped on my right ear to keep me from falling asleep.
  10. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Seattle, Washington
    Wow lots of good stuff here to think about adding:

    I do some occasional overhire work at a nearbye highschool performing arts center. I can be called on to do anything from run the fly, house manage, hang and focus lights, or help the band/orchestra/ballet group set up their gear. So I have my "Ninja Bag" with a little bit of everything:

    -Leatherman Wave
    -Mag lights, one new LED clear, one old style double geled to extra dark purple color
    -spare AA batteries
    -C-wrench on lanyard... buy some of the old style coiled telephone handset cord, cut and tie tightly on end of C-wrench, a biner on the other end, and heat shrink tubing to secure the knots in the cord and make it all look cool.
    -"Backstage hand book"
    -4-in-1 screwdriver
    -Small spool black tie line
    -Roll of gaff
    -3 rolls of spike tape
    -Gel Swatch books
    -heavy leather gloves and light weight mechanic's gloves
    -A few band aids
    -roll of black e-tape
  11. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Well, sitting infront of me right now at the tech table... and what I don't leave home without...
    My nalgene
    USB number pad
    USB hub
    Xconnect dongle
    old original intellimouse with mousepad
    one tripple tap
    My littlelite
    Legal pad/clipboard
    Binder with all the good stuff in it
    PH-88 Headset

    And back in the workroom... otherwise known as what lives in the trunk of my car when not in a show...
    MSA riggers harness w/ lanyard
    All my gel books
    Clench Wrench
    various needle nose
    various screw drivers
    various wire strippers
    cat5 crimper
    altman wrench
    pin slitter
    lampcheck/power check
    few rolls of reciept tape for pipe tapes
    who knows what else is in the bottom of that bag.
    Last edited: May 3, 2007
  12. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Active Member

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    Toronto, Ontario and Valencia, California
  13. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

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    Pittsburgh, PA
    - clipboard
    - writing pad (8 1/2 x 11)
    - pencils/pens
    - mini-maglight

    (my duties are mostly SM)

  14. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    Bethesda MD
    Besides the obvious

    >Leatherman Wave
    >5/8" ratchet wrench (never move lights without it.)
  15. themuzicman

    themuzicman Well-Known Member

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    Audio Engineer
    On Tour
    Legal Pad + Pen
    Good Adjustable Wrench
    Mini Mag - Gelled to Dark Blue
  16. Thomas

    Thomas Member

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    Durban, South Africa
    Leatherman, maglite, cellphone, digital camera, 2 permanent markers, white ABS tape, black gaffer, wallet, hammer, petzl headlamp.
  17. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    Houston, Tx
    Guess i'm a little old fashond. I carry in the bed of my truck my big freaking work box which includes but not limited to
    - Large array of screw drivers, pliars, wire cutters, and wrenches
    - Assortment of wire and connectors
    - Wire crimpers (Cat 5, terminal, and coax)
    - Pin splitter
    - SCR's for most dimmers
    - Assortment of circuit breakers and fuses (dont forget the little fuses for moving lights, they are good at blowing at the worse times)
    - Logic board and power supply boards for the moving lights I will be using
    - Mulitmeter with clamp around ammeter
    - Alligator clips
    - Soldering Iron with solder and cleaning pad
    - Sawzall
    - Grinder
    - Chain and shackles
    - DMX cable
    - DMX 5pin to 3 pin and 3 pin to 5 pin adapters
    - Bolt cutters aka. Keys to the City (have been used numerous times)
    - Flashlight with spare batteries
    - Graphing calculator (makes setting dip switches easier)
    - Paper, pens, pencils, sharpies
    - Razor knife
    - Spare lamps
    - Spare motors and driver chips for moving lights
    - Gel books (All up to date with Rosco, Lee, Gam, Apollo)
    - Then when I feel like dealing with it and it decides to actually work, my handshake

    Once i get my new work box it will include
    Refrigerator, Coffee Pot, Ice Tea maker. Microwave, and hot plate. (also cyberlights (turbos are even better) work great for heating up pizza, just set two across from eachother with pizza in middle, and put cybers in setup mode and manually move mirror so it is aiming directly at the pizza. About 5-10 min later pizza is nice and hot. Par cans also work, but cybers are more fun.
    Last edited: May 8, 2007
  18. TheaterMarine

    TheaterMarine Member

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    I think you must have some very interstring mornings in the theater you work at. There are very few things you can use that for except maybe causing harm to the person who put you into the "bad" mood.

    Well the only things I personally own is a good sharp knife and a pair of leather gloves.
    Last edited: May 8, 2007
  19. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    Houston, Tx
    Right now i'm working on the road as a system tech / LD / Board Op. Depends on the rider and the band what my job is. I am going back into the theatre this summer with a broadway dance group.
  20. Lightingguy32

    Lightingguy32 Active Member

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    New York
    A good 30 dollar LED flashlight is the streamlight Jr. Luxeon LED flashlight. Other wise you could spend some more money on a Surefire L4 or L7 Lumamax.

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