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Power assisted fly operation


Unplugged
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Trust me - you do NOT want to go down the route of using those things for anything more than lifting kit well away from stage.

Is it the price that makes us feel uncomfortable about these motors or maybe the fact that they are available on ebay? If I can get this hardware delivered for less than $150 then it has to be constructed with no QC from a company that cuts corners wherever they can, doesn't invest in R&D and sells junk, it must be bad!

The price, the lack of ANY sort of certification other than "it will lift x kg", the fact that each time you lower and raise anything with it you'll have a potentially marked difference in lift as the wire wraps around itself differently, also if you use more than one on the same item they WILL all run at lightly different speeds, and that there's no auto braking system, very limited warranty and the fact that there's little to no realistic maintenance you can do on them are just a few reasons....

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Thanks for that. Do you have any evidence, anecdotal or otherwise that would suggest that these motors are less reliable than the ones I would buy from any other source?

 

I used a very similar model (different brand, but looks identical) to move cases to and from the upper level in a warehouse. (It was rigged to a dolly that travelled along a girder.) With very light use (moving a handful of cases every week or two) it broke within a year, and the one we bought to replace it didn't last any longer. One drawback that's possibly relevant to this situation is that as the wire spooled from the drum it would sometimes jump slightly, I suspect because it never laid quite perfectly. This meant that there was a bit of a shock load imposed, we soon realised that we had to run strops round the cases and not just hook onto handles.

 

Are German or American ones any better? Is it the price that makes us feel

 

I suspect that all of these design of winches come out of the same factories. The difference between buying a "reputable" brand is that there (might) be more stringent quality control imposed, and you have a bit of comeback with the retailer. Of course, what you're proposing to do with it falls outwith the manufacturers' guidelines, so you're not going to have much advantage from that.

 

Is there a brand or type of winch motor that you would recommend for stage use, spotlines or lifting up to a flybar? or even taking equipment up to or down from galleries or slots.

 

We replaced the second winch with a far heavier duty chain motor (which cost ten times as much). It's been a very worthwhile purchase, and has been perfectly reliable for about 8yrs since. However it's a large, heavy item. Getting it mounted was quite a task (we didn't dare lift it with its predecessor!) and I'd be wary of doing something similar on most typical small theatre bars.

 

For lifting kit up onto the grid etc., either a simple rope pulley or manual chain hoist would be preferable - it's more portable and there's far less that can go wrong.

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Do a dogging and basic riggers course

 

If you're in the UK, I really wouldn't suggest searching the web for a dogging course - I suspect the results returned, particularly the images, might not be quite what you expected laugh.gif

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Thanks for that Gareth

 

I think it is a little unnecessary to tell people they are not qualified because of the questions that they ask.

 

 

 

 

If you are asking these questions Unplugged, in Australia, you are not qualified to be using a hoist. Full stop. Do a dogging and basic riggers course to get your high risk work license. You should have these at a minimum to install and operate any form of hoist.. Then read the regulations. You are in QLD, so maybe talk to Theatre Safe Australia - they are in your neck of the woods and supply theatrical rigging equipment.

 

Thank You Stuart, those things are good to know. Very helpful.

 

Thanks for that. Do you have any evidence, anecdotal or otherwise that would suggest that these motors are less reliable than the ones I would buy from any other source?

 

I used a very similar model (different brand, but looks identical) to move cases to and from the upper level in a warehouse. (It was rigged to a dolly that travelled along a girder.) With very light use (moving a handful of cases every week or two) it broke within a year, and the one we bought to replace it didn't last any longer. One drawback that's possibly relevant to this situation is that as the wire spooled from the drum it would sometimes jump slightly, I suspect because it never laid quite perfectly. This meant that there was a bit of a shock load imposed, we soon realised that we had to run strops round the cases and not just hook onto handles.

 

Are German or American ones any better? Is it the price that makes us feel

 

I suspect that all of these design of winches come out of the same factories. The difference between buying a "reputable" brand is that there (might) be more stringent quality control imposed, and you have a bit of comeback with the retailer. Of course, what you're proposing to do with it falls outwith the manufacturers' guidelines, so you're not going to have much advantage from that.

 

Is there a brand or type of winch motor that you would recommend for stage use, spotlines or lifting up to a flybar? or even taking equipment up to or down from galleries or slots.

 

We replaced the second winch with a far heavier duty chain motor (which cost ten times as much). It's been a very worthwhile purchase, and has been perfectly reliable for about 8yrs since. However it's a large, heavy item. Getting it mounted was quite a task (we didn't dare lift it with its predecessor!) and I'd be wary of doing something similar on most typical small theatre bars.

 

For lifting kit up onto the grid etc., either a simple rope pulley or manual chain hoist would be preferable - it's more portable and there's far less that can go wrong.

 

 

 

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Unplugged - The problem is, that ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

 

Now what I am telling you is that your current questions are answered in the basic riggers course - and holding an RB at the very least is a legal requirement for the installation of "cranes and hoists" you are attempting to undertake. So yes, it is necessary, because if you had done the course, you would know the issues with what you are proposing. If you do not hold an RB ticket then you should not be doing the work. This is not "rigger gatekeeping" - especially as most riggers in the entertainment industry have no love for the HRW license requirement (there is a big difference between entertainment rigging and construction rigging - and the HRW license is focused on the later), this is a statutory requirement.

Edited by mac.calder
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