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Syncronized motor control options

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by danTt, Oct 31, 2016.

  1. danTt

    danTt Active Member

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    Hi Gang,

    Looking into purchasing some new chain motors with syncronized control. Still in the research phase, but I've got a bit of a quick turnaround on this project. Does anyone have specific brands they like/dislike? Any suggestions on companies/vendors to reach out to? Most of my normal vendor's don't do syncronized rigging enough to have strong opinions about anything, and it's a hard thing to blindly reach out about.
     
  2. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    Fixed speed encoded or varible speed?
     
  3. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    If you find yourself cross-renting to others I would factor in what they have, and make it as close to compatible with their equipment. Your stuff becomes more rentable and their stuff becomes easier to integrate with yours. While I don't use motors any longer, most of the people around here have CM.
     
  4. danTt

    danTt Active Member

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    Probably fixed spped encoded, though I'm debating that currently as well.
     
  5. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    Motion Lab's Server System is going to be easiest way to go for fixed speed encoded motors. If you already use CM motors and Motion labs 8 ways you have most of the hardware already. The software is rather basic and has some quarks about it but once you get your show built it will be rock solid.

    The DigiHoist line from Kinesys would also fit the bill. You might be able to get a demo from ARS or visit the USA HQ in Atlanta and see for yourself.

    Variable speed options are a little harder to come by, and tend to be more involved for programing and servicing.
     
  6. egilson1

    egilson1 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Is this for rental inventory or for a installed application?
     
  7. danTt

    danTt Active Member

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    These would be for portable use around multiple venues, so somewhere in between.
     
  8. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    In my experience synchronized chain motors are more trouble than they're worth. If they are to be connected to a truss structure rarely are the limits of the capacity pushed to the extent that the rig can't be a bit out of level while going out (For good reason so I'm assuming you rig fits that description). If they're for an effect, usually there is another way to rig the system so that a single motor can be used.

    Perhaps that advice doesn't fit your situation and synchronous motors are the only option, but if it was me I'd take a step back and evaluate if there was any reasonable way to avoid them.
     
    RonHebbard and danTt like this.
  9. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thanks Porkchop. I've held off but synchronize and chain motors shouldn't be used in same sentence imho. The loads will vary a lot, and planning for the loads to be somewhat consistent through travel has lead to some spectacular failures.
     
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  10. Traitor800

    Traitor800 Active Member

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    Synchronized Fixed speed Chain motors are not worth the effort or money. You don't get great positioning, especially if your motors have different loads on them. Synchronized Variable speed chain motors if done well are excellent at positioning even or uneven loads, but do require a bit more control hardware and programming.
     
  11. danTt

    danTt Active Member

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    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, everyone. Looking at maybe swapping to variable speed motors instead. Any strong feelings there on companies/control systems/value?
     
  12. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Fisher Technical Services is pretty much the end all be all in this area. You'll end up with drum hoists loaded into truss.

    Otherwise, give Kinesys a call, they have what you want. One of my local shops picked up a system last year and seems to like it.
     
    David Bond likes this.
  13. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Except that FTS was bought by Tait a few years back.

    I'm not keen on chain motors for overhead use, and prefer the special built entertainment hoists like from Clancy and now ETC, and few others. Much more robust and much more precise positioning. And yes, more expensive. Is a chain motor good enough? Not for me and my liability, especially in a permanent install and with other than the very top technicians in charge.
     
  14. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    FTSI merged with Tait Towers a few years back.

    For hardware I really like Show Distribution's hoists. It's only three bolts to swap the drive out, and often times for testing you can position the new head close enough to test it before you swap. I use Tait's Navigator to control them and am very happy with that set up. Not sure how the control is with other software.

    Kinesys's elevation drive units are not zero speed. I think the slowest they can go is 10% of the rated speed. It can be a bit of a bummer if you have a big tilt move and one end motor doesnt have to move much and the other end motor needs to travel at full speed. Also last I heard it is still a pain to get parts from the UK. Plus you are subject to the fluctuations of the pound vs the dollar. Upstaging, ARS and Creative Stage Lighting stock Kinesys stuff so there are some options to cross rent or try before you buy.

    Creative Conners are playing around with using their drives to control chain hoists. Certainly their software would be cheaper than anyone else's. Not sure if it is a stock product yet or a job by job basis.

    Motion Labs has a system now, I've never seen it in the wild so I can't comment to much on it.

    Cyberhoist had some really solid hardware with the first gen stuff. I haven't used the 2nd gen stuff but have heard good things.
     
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  15. David Bond

    David Bond Member

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    Hi All,
    I'm new here but a friend told me I should put in my 2 cents worth so I signed up. I look forward to contributing on these types of discussions and hopefully sharing some experience of load cells, hoist control and general rigging.

    Chain motors are fine for overhead lifting. This is proven and generally accepted the world over, provided it is done properly of course. I have seen some winches in theatre use that were sourced from the local surplus/auto parts stores...point is, it has to be done correctly to be safe and this applies to winches, chain hoist, hardware etc..

    Kinesys offers synchronised fixed-speed hoist systems with load cell options as well as our well-known variable speed systems (including zero-speed offerings) which can also be monitored by our load cells.

    We do have an office and training facility near Atlanta as mentioned above with a warehouse for parts stock, sales stock, training and demos. When I figure out how to post photos I will.

    If you don't know the Kinesys DigiHoist line, Libra load cells or the Kinesys brand in general; we manufacture intelligent chain hoist controls (variable or fixed speed) with additional features such as hoist positional feedback, hoist present status, limit status, running direction, phase correction and load sensing (aka load cells). These systems are ideal where the true balance of the load is indeterminate over multiple hoists, or if each hoist’s safe range of operation is dependent on the adjacent hoist(s) taking their proportional amount of the load. DigiHoist systems are also programmable so defined allowable loads can be set, preset positions can be achieved and even show cues for movement during a show can be run.
    We work with most major hoist brands (fixed speed and variable) including CM Lodestar, Chain Master, Pointman, EXE, GIS, Liftket and more. I hope this is helpful and please feel free to ask any questions. You can contact us directly as well should you need advice, info or pricing.
    [email protected]
     
  16. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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  17. David Bond

    David Bond Member

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    Agreed Bill and so load sensing as an integral part of the system is required to do it properly.
     
  18. David Bond

    David Bond Member

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    Agreed that the load on each motor will affect the speed of travel and therefore, can affect synchronisation. Variable speed systems can remedy this as you have stated.
    That said, encoder resolution can significantly affect the accuracy of any fixed speed system and the controller has to have the ability to deal with higher resolution data output. Not all systems are created equal.
     
  19. David Bond

    David Bond Member

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    We ( Kinesys ) now sell in US dollars from our warehouse near Atlanta which rectifies the issues you mentioned above. You are correct about the elevation1+ system not being true zero speed but we offer zero speed systems too (Velocity/EVO). The cost of zero-speed can exclude many users who don't need it but still want access to variable speed chain motor automation, hence why we offer both. Thanks for the mention and if you need any info, please feel free to get in touch.
     
  20. David Bond

    David Bond Member

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