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Conventional Fixtures Tophats vs. tube extenders

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Oldschool, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. Oldschool

    Oldschool Member

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    This is probably as much about terminology as equipment, but here are the questions.
    1. Are the terms tube extenders and tophats synonymous?
    2. What is the difference between a tophat and a tophat with a 5 degree eyelash – and what is an eyelash on a tophat anyway
    3. What is the difference between a tophat with a 10 degree flock and a 5 degree full
    4. Please define flock and full (as it relates to lighting, as I am sure there are other meanings that we don’t what to get into :oops: )
    5. While we are on definitions – Anyone know what an Anderson Clamp is?

    Thanks for any and all answers.
     
  2. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Sorry don't know those terms but I'll take some guesses.

    Tube Extender... I'm guessing is what I would call a gel extender or color extender. The purpose of it is to put the gel farther away from the lens of the fixture to enhance life. It may help a little with side flare or glare off a fixture but it is not the same thing as a top hat. A top hat's purpose is to hide flare or glare from a lighting instrument.

    Color Extender...
    [​IMG]

    Tophats come in short and long. There is also full and half. Half means the tube is cut sort of crescent shaped in order to only block light on one side... I'm wondering if this is "eyelash".
    This is a half tophat.
    [​IMG]


    I'm wondering if 5 degree and 10 degree refer to the size of the fixture's lens tube. Low degree beam spreads like that require very large top hats and they are very instrument specific.

    Flock is the soft fuzzy black stuff they spray inside the top hat to reduce glare. Can you point us to a website or chart that you are reading from perhaps that will help answer the questions.

    For anyone shopping for top hats I want to point out to be careful what the shape of the top hat is at the base. I made the mistake of purchasing top hats that are all round with a round flange. They are a pain in the butt to try to get them to sit properly in the holder. I strongly advise everyone to learn from my mistake and only purchase top hats that have a square gel frame shaped interface with the fixture. See examples below. Top one good bottom one bad.

    [​IMG]

    Finally the new tapered style top hats are awesome for storage. Check out the Apollo Tapered Top Hat and the City Theatrical "Stacker".
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009
  3. xander

    xander Well-Known Member

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    I agree with everything Gaftaper said. I am not sure about 5 and 10 deg, but he is probably right that they are referring to the instrument size. All that I have to add is about your first question. Where are you seeing the term "tube extender"? If you give us a reference it might help. I have never heard that term and I wonder if it is referring to a gel extender?

    -Tim
     
  4. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Except that half-hats must have round frames, or else one is limited as to where the "eyelash" can go.

    I agree with xander that the term "tube extender" is not in common use. Proper term is color extender. Indeed 5° and 10° top hats refer to the intended fixture, having colorframe sizes of 14"x14" and 12"x12" respectively.

    I think the attached document from City Theatrical answers all your other questions, [user]Oldschool[/user]. Except Anderson Clamp. Somehow, I don't think you're referring to this! :)
    [​IMG]
    http://www.ltlmedical.net/hysterectomy-accessories
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I found this on a website under "Tie In Cables":

    4/0 Anderson Clamp (4 wire set) $28

    EDIT... wait found it. Looks like a product that if you don't know what it is you shouldn't be using it... and a great way to get killed too.
    [​IMG]
    Ship, Derek, SteveTerry... somebody care to explain without violating the TOS?
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009
  6. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Agreed. Many practices of film/video gaffers when shooting "on location" should not/can not be discussed in public.

    I'm still voting for the DIY Home Hysterectomy kit.:twisted:
     
  7. Oldschool

    Oldschool Member

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    These terms come from an inventory list of equipment I have received from a theatrical production house. I have three tractor trailers full of gear and I am trying to sort out the list - most of it is easy - but I have over 500 metal tubes in various trunks and I need to be able to inventory them against the provided list. I think you are right that what they call tube extender is a gel extender - but I wanted to confirm that there is not another type of accessory I was not aware of. All the other info is very helpful - thank you to all who chimed in. <Edit by DL: List of items for sale deleted.>
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2009
  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    So in other words, you bought three trucks full of used gear and are now trying to figure out "what the heck is all this crap?"

    ;)

    CB's always happy to help.
     
  9. Oldschool

    Oldschool Member

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    No not at all. Often people use different terminology than what you may use - Theatre folks use different terms then do corporate staging folks who call it something different then an installation technician. I come from a corporate background where tophats are rarely used - at least in my experience and therefore I am not that familiar with all the different types, names and uses. The info I received here was very helpful - Thank you! And remember, one man's "crap" is another man's gold ;)
     
  10. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Mystery equipment is always fun to dig through. The easiest thing to do if you have more equipment that you don't recognize is to take photos, post them, and someone should be able to tell you what it is, even if something is so obscure that the vast majority of people here are clueless. What we (mostly Ship and Derek) do for fun around here is post photos of old gear they've come across and knowing full well what it is, quiz the rest of us on what it's called, where it came from, how it would be used, etc, etc.
     
  11. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    I was never sure how code compliant these were. See attached:

    Very common for location shoots, used for hots, neutrals, grounds, and lot's more !

    And FWIW, saw a sign out side a strip mall one time "Ears pierced - while you wait !".

    Steve B.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Dionysus

    Dionysus Well-Known Member

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    All very true...

    For instance alot of photographers have started to call "flags" "Gobos" for some very strange reason... It baffles me, but oh well.
     

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