Rigging for a hoist

dpak

Active Member
I have a hoist that I would like to hang from one of the pipes. It will lower and raise a disco ball. The total weight is about 25 pounds (20 for the hoist, 5 for the ball). The brackets that came with the hoist will not fit over the pipe. Would something like the piece below be strong enough to hold? I would use two of them, and also have two safety cables wrapped around the hoist (there are places they can go without getting in the way of the machinery).

IMG_0086.JPG
 

dpak

Active Member
Thank you - that's good to know. I'll start looking at other solutions. I might be able to attach some clamps to the hoist.
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Thank you - that's good to know. I'll start looking at other solutions. I might be able to attach some clamps to the hoist.
Suitably sized and rated welded link chain over, or wrapped around, a pipe with both ends shackled through the attachment points of your hoist would definitely beat a conduit strap.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
This is the hoist. It's over kill for a disco ball, but it was affordable on Amazon.
View attachment 22634
@dpak First rule of Controlbooth: We don't give advice on rigging.
That said: If it were me, I'd tighten the provided clamps leaving nothing lose and rattling then use 1/4" welded link chain, take two turns around your pipe, then pass it through one of your clamps and couple the two ends together with a Crosby shackle.
I'd repeat with a second similar chain and your second mounting clamp.
@egilson1 and @What Rigger? Please comment.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

egilson1

Senior Team
Senior Team
CB Mods
Premium Member
So a few things about this plan.

1. I would use a pair of half couplers to attach something like this to the pipe batten.
2. It's more than likely that this winch doesn't have a active break, meaning the load is held by the inductive motor and thats is. Now I agree that for a small mirror ball that the risk assessment for the likelihood and result of a failure is low. But you should be aware that this hoist is not intended to suspend load, but rather to move it.
3. From the image it does look like there is at least an upper limit switch, which will prevent you from sucking the hook into the hoist it self. Thats a good thing.
4. I would assume that the pipe it's going to hang on is static, and the need for the winch is to raise and lower the MB during the show?

Ethan
 

dpak

Active Member
Thank you for all of the replies!

The hoist does have a limit switch.
The pipe is static. There are places I could put the mirror ball but I don't want it visible until it is needed (hence the hoist).
Ideally the mirror ball would be attached to a motor to spin it which would be hung from the hoist.

My original thought was to attach the hoist to one of the ceiling struts/beams but we can't reach it without a lift. Attaching it to there would place it in a better position than attaching it to a pipe. IF I had strong enough link chain and IF the chain was attached securely to the hoist (along with safety cables and as much redundancy as possible) would that be a possible solution? My thought is to have both sides of the chain hanging from strut, then attached to the brackets on the hoist. If that description isn't clear, I can sketch a diagram.

In general, does that seem like a possibility? I know people can't give an official opinion, in part because you don't know the specifics of the space. Mainly, I want to make certain I'm not doing something completely stupid and dangerous.
 

What Rigger?

I'm so fly....I Neverland.
Thank you for all of the replies!

The hoist does have a limit switch.
The pipe is static. There are places I could put the mirror ball but I don't want it visible until it is needed (hence the hoist).
Ideally the mirror ball would be attached to a motor to spin it which would be hung from the hoist.

My original thought was to attach the hoist to one of the ceiling struts/beams but we can't reach it without a lift. Attaching it to there would place it in a better position than attaching it to a pipe. IF I had strong enough link chain and IF the chain was attached securely to the hoist (along with safety cables and as much redundancy as possible) would that be a possible solution? My thought is to have both sides of the chain hanging from strut, then attached to the brackets on the hoist. If that description isn't clear, I can sketch a diagram.

In general, does that seem like a possibility? I know people can't give an official opinion, in part because you don't know the specifics of the space. Mainly, I want to make certain I'm not doing something completely stupid and dangerous.
2dpak We need to know a lot more here, and I am curious as heck. Can I ask some questions and point out a few things I see?

Okay, so what you're doing is overhead lifting without any gear specific for that. These kinds of winches are inherently shady in this application because they aren't designed for overhead lifting around humans in the spaces we work in. Also they are slooooooowwwww. And noisy.

Can you get away with what you're describing, with the things you're talking about? Maybe. Maybe not. But if that's where the initial answer lands, do you want to find out the hard way?

I'm also concerned about the lack of terminology here: when you say "pipes" what kind of pipes exactly do you mean? A flown counterweight batton is entirely different from a sprinkler pipe or electrical conduit (and in all seriousness, do not attach a winch to either electrical conduit or sprinkler pipes under any circumstance). Is there a picture we can get of the pipes you're talking about?

The other concern is the lack of rated hardware for mounting this. I get that it's "just" a mirror ball. But liability is a thing, and you want to think about that.

Based on what I'm seeing so far, I wouldn't encourage you to go forward yet. But hit us with some more pictures and info.
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Thank you for all of the replies!

The hoist does have a limit switch.
The pipe is static. There are places I could put the mirror ball but I don't want it visible until it is needed (hence the hoist).
Ideally the mirror ball would be attached to a motor to spin it which would be hung from the hoist.

My original thought was to attach the hoist to one of the ceiling struts/beams but we can't reach it without a lift. Attaching it to there would place it in a better position than attaching it to a pipe. IF I had strong enough link chain and IF the chain was attached securely to the hoist (along with safety cables and as much redundancy as possible) would that be a possible solution? My thought is to have both sides of the chain hanging from strut, then attached to the brackets on the hoist. If that description isn't clear, I can sketch a diagram.

In general, does that seem like a possibility? I know people can't give an official opinion, in part because you don't know the specifics of the space. Mainly, I want to make certain I'm not doing something completely stupid and dangerous.
@dpak A couple of bonus queries and thoughts:
Do you need / want to see the mirror ball at all?

You could hang it out of sight behind a border then see only the shards of light reflecting off it.
You could light it two colors from opposite sides. When / if you do this (I'm using green and yellow for examples) you'll notice the green turns faster than the yellow on the far side; likewise, the yellow overtakes the green on its far side. I'd suggest lighting the mirror ball with two, narrow angle, ellipsoidals and shutter them slightly larger than your mirror ball. Do NOT shutter them any smaller than necessary and DEFINITELY do not cut any of your shutters into the ball's periphery.

I recall Controlbooth has written chapters on lighting mirror balls. a search may prove useful.
If / when you leave the ball in sight from the top of the production, the audience's attention will be distracted from your performers while the audience waits in suspense for when you're going to use the ball. If you keep the ball out of sight behind a border or ground row no one will know it's there until you illuminate it.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

danTt

Well-Known Member
The other thing you'll run into if hanging the motor from the winch (especially if you go with the single wire and not double reeved hook, remember the double reeved version is going to be half as fast) is challenges stopping the spin. The wire's going to want to keep rotating, and you'll also struggle to manage power/data cable to the motor as if flies in and out.

With how light it is, I'd probably rig it to a small (2'?) pipe flown in and out by rope. I think it's going to give you much more flexibility and reliability than what you've currently envisioned.
 

What Rigger?

I'm so fly....I Neverland.
Well crap - I didn't think about the power to the motor. Instead of pipe, I should have said electric, where we have lights hanging. It's static - we don't have a fly system.

It looks like I'll need to scrap the hoist idea and just have the disco ball behind a border.

Thank you, everyone!
But someday we're gonna get that "wireless electricity" thing figured out, without it microwaving our insides first!
 

egilson1

Senior Team
Senior Team
CB Mods
Premium Member
ok. So now I'm going to drop some crazy knowledge for ya. (ok, more like a crazy conceptual idea from a madman)

-Set up your mirror ball motor on the electric, with the mirror ball hanging down to the trim hight you want. You can use wire rope (safeties) to extend it down.
-Then take a piece of tie line, and tie a loop around the wire rope for the mirror ball, just above the attachment ring on the MB. This should be large enough to not bind as the wire rope twists, but small enough that it doesn't drop down to contact the MB itself. (If you are making your own wire rope sling, run the lower end through a fender washer before terminating that end. This will act as a guard to prevent the tie line from dropping to low and fouling.)
-Take the tie line onstage through a small pulley at the end of the electric.
- when not needed, put tension on the tie line and pull the MB towards the wings, and with any luck up and out of view.
- when released, the tie line will allow the MB to hang normally and with any luck and lots of swear words, rotate as Normal.

Might be worth a shot. The higher you can get that pulley, the better it would be.

Ethan
 

danTt

Well-Known Member
ok. So now I'm going to drop some crazy knowledge for ya. (ok, more like a crazy conceptual idea from a madman)

-Set up your mirror ball motor on the electric, with the mirror ball hanging down to the trim hight you want. You can use wire rope (safeties) to extend it down.
-Then take a piece of tie line, and tie a loop around the wire rope for the mirror ball, just above the attachment ring on the MB. This should be large enough to not bind as the wire rope twists, but small enough that it doesn't drop down to contact the MB itself. (If you are making your own wire rope sling, run the lower end through a fender washer before terminating that end. This will act as a guard to prevent the tie line from dropping to low and fouling.)
-Take the tie line onstage through a small pulley at the end of the electric.
- when not needed, put tension on the tie line and pull the MB towards the wings, and with any luck up and out of view.
- when released, the tie line will allow the MB to hang normally and with any luck and lots of swear words, rotate as Normal.

Might be worth a shot. The higher you can get that pulley, the better it would be.

Ethan
I was thinking about some version of this, the fender washer is a good idea. You'll run into lots of trouble trying to get the ball to stop spinning on cue though. I gues you could do something similar with a piece of 1/2" pipe as a taildown, and trip that up instead.
 

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