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Top Hats redux

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by derekleffew, May 13, 2008.

  1. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Some great information, but slightly manufacturer-biased, from City Theatrical, in this PDF.
     
  2. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I want to encourage anyone shopping for top hats to look closely at the Apollo Stackable. I requested stackable top hats in my big inventory purchase but unfortunately didn't pay close attention to the difference between the Apollo and City products and we went with the cheapest bidder (which happened to be City). What's wrong? Well the "flange" part of the top hat that slides into the gel frame to hold it in place is round on the City Stacker. The Apollo is square like a gel frame. This makes it both harder to slide the city into the slot, harder to get it to seat correctly, harder to get it out again later. The Apollo version just slides in and out like a color frame. I've dropped one City top hat because although the sides were in the slots of the instrument, the top hat twisted a little and the hat just slid out the bottom. Other times I've gotten them all placed then gone down to look at the grid and realized multiple top hats were not seated correctly and on the verge of falling out the bottom. Buy the Apollo version! I think we saved about $1 each buying the City product... Not worth it.

    City Theatrical Stacker
    [​IMG]

    Apollo Tapered Top Hats
    [​IMG]
     
  3. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    As long as we're reiterating, I'll state my opinion again that I prefer Half-Hats with round frames, so that they can be placed in any position.

    Interesting to note that the article seems to indicate Half-Hats are preferred over full hats, in almost every application.

    [user]gafftaper[/user], you have affixed 1/16" safety cables to all of your accessories, haven't you?
     

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  4. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Another negative to the City Stackable top hat is there is no pre-cut safety cable hole (Apollo has one). Furthermore that round flange is so narrow there really is no place to put the safety cable without drilling a hole out in the round hat part of the top hat which is equally problematic.

    For those who are new around here and might be suspicious I am not an employee of Apollo or an Apollo dealer... although I do like their gum. :mrgreen:
     
  5. Kelite

    Kelite Apollo Staff Premium Member

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    Thanks for the kind words, and here is more good news- to amortize tooling and because of higher volumes, the 6 pack of 6.25 inch Tapered Tophats has been reduced to $63 List. This is $10.50 per Tapered Tophat, allowing for greater savings and higher stacks!

    Ya know, sometimes you have to let the products you make stand on their own. The best marketing is from satisfied users.

    (Now, how many pounds of gum is this gonna cost me? :) )
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2008
  6. STEVETERRY

    STEVETERRY Well-Known Member

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    One thing I don't see in the photos is a flange on the Apollo unit that prevents them jamming together, which seems to be a key feature of the City Theatrical unit. What happens when you stack a bunch and then push down on the stack (inevitable in real-world use)? Do they jam?

    ST
     
  7. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Good point Steve and I don't know the answer. The other thing that City does is there is a sort of VERY thin felt-like liner on the inside of the top hat... probably more like sprayed on fuzz than felt. It's obviously there to prevent sticking between hats.

    Do you have anything like that in your hat Keith?
     
  8. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    It's called "flocking".

    From the CTI PDF cited:
    "...the Top Hats themselves can contribute to this problem if the inside of the Top Hat cylinder is reflective. CTI takes steps to prevent this by coating the inside of the Top Hats with a material that we call flocking to help absorb the bounce from inside the top hat cylinder. Flocking is a furry, black, flameproof material that is applied in a painting process in our factory to the inside of the top hat cylinder, and when the light beams strike it, the light beams are trapped in the flocking and don’t reflect as readily outside of the Top Hat."

    The Apollo description says "Tabbed and flocked for easy separation"
    , which would lead one to think that's the primary reason is for its existence.

    Didn't your parents have flocked wallpaper (most likely a fleur-de-lis pattern), in their living room? I'm sure you've seen "Snow in a Can" for use at Christmas. I never liked it; thought it to be a pretty flocked-up idea.
     
  9. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I would like to nominate this post for worst joke of the week.
     
  10. Kelite

    Kelite Apollo Staff Premium Member

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    The Apollo Tapered Top Hats have a black flocked inner surface to eliminate any reflected light leaving the fixture, while sporting four steel 'tabs' inside the tube. These four tabs allow the Tapered Top hats to be stacked, while allowing easy seperation when called upon for service. See attached photo of one of the cute little tabs-
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008

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