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View Full Version : how to mount a light on a 15ft Totem?



DJ Higgumz
05-12-2013, 12:06 AM
Here's a task, what would be the strategy to mount a light on a 10-15 ft totem? 4ft weighted baseplate, with 25lb scanners. How could i mount them and run power and dmx?

DYM
05-12-2013, 08:43 AM
Well.. the same way you would mount a moving head on a 6 foot totem... either get a custom baseplate to lock the fixture into or make one. Just search youtube.

DJ Higgumz
05-12-2013, 09:32 AM
I understand that, but because it's so tall it makes that difficult. What if the baseplate is hinged, and you push the truss up in place? or use a tall ladder?

Synaxis
05-12-2013, 10:02 AM
I understand that, but because it's so tall it makes that difficult. What if the baseplate is hinged, and you push the truss up in place? or use a tall ladder?

Why not bolt the moving head to the top of the totem if it is hinged to the baseplate? Or, in this case, bolted to the top plate that is placed on top of the totem.

On the other hand, a 15 foot totem? Is that safe?

The only other option is to use a ladder or a small lift. Normally, you you would have a piece horizontal truss that is elevated into place using motors attached to the ceiling or crank stands. That is why you don't usually see 15 foot tall totems.

DJzrule
05-12-2013, 10:22 AM
A 15ft totem isn't safe.... or feasible. Plus at that height, even at minimum tilt, it won't reach a ton near the base of the mover. Totems aren't suppose to be that huge. :shrug:

sss18734
05-12-2013, 12:06 PM
Why... Just why?

Synaxis
05-12-2013, 02:22 PM
A 15ft totem isn't safe.... or feasible. Plus at that height, even at minimum tilt, it won't reach a ton near the base of the mover. Totems aren't suppose to be that huge. :shrug:

I have to agree. What exactly are you trying to do? Why do you even want totems that high? The gobos are going to be spending more time on the ceiling instead of on the dance floor.

It would be more logical to hang the movers from a horizontal truss, and place some smaller totems around with additional movers. That way you get coverage all around.

DJ Higgumz
05-12-2013, 07:33 PM
It is for a scanner, I'm going to dry test standing my truss up that high to see if it even makes sense. I want to mount one up that high, and have another mounted 4 feet below. the reason is because it will be used for a large dubstep show, so the throw is a necessity. I'm expecting it to be too tall, but I was wondering if it was done before. i guess not

Brandt Slater
05-12-2013, 07:44 PM
15ft is pretty high up there for a stick of vertical truss. However it has been done. The tallest I've installed is twenty feet with a pair of movers on them. However the truss was mounted to 800lb 5' by 5' concrete blocks with guy lines. A standard floor plate won't cut it with that height, unless you double up on your sandbag counterweights or have some other means for keeping it glued to the floor. I would highly recommend not to attempt this type of set up.

I would do what the others suggested. Rig all your movers under or on top of the truss via a horizontally mounted stick of truss connected to your vertical sticks via corner blocks.

All else fails you could always rent truss and genie towers. That would give you height.

Ntertainment
05-12-2013, 10:18 PM
The GT Crank 132, has a height of 13 ft. That's pretty close to 15 and would be really easy to do.

I think Brandt covered it when he said to make sure it is glued to the floor. Can people reach this thing? Is it in danger of being tipped over? If it's not around the crowd your job got easier.

If you do go ahead with the 15' totem I would use this (http://www.globaltruss.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ItemNumber=17&MainId=9&Category=18) on the top and drill a hole in the center of it and then mount the moving head to that. (or however many holes your mover requires) I would then put the truss together on the ground and then "walk it up" Truss is really lite so you shouldn't have a problem doing this. I would then make sure I sand bag around the entire totem.

I feel like this isn't as dangerous as everyone is making it sound. I wouldn't be a tool about it though either. Like putting it on an incline, or putting it in the middle of the mosh pit, or not using a baseplate of any kind...

Brandt Slater
05-12-2013, 11:51 PM
It's only dangerous if you don't know what you're doing or don't have the correct tools/parts for the job. I would highly recommend you do a demo first before setting it up on a gig to see what all you'd need to make it stable. I'd also recommend using wider baseplates oppose to the normal size plates. You can normally rent these from a production house.

Ntertainment
05-13-2013, 08:41 PM
Get a sheet of 4'x4' plywood and mount the normal baseplate to that. Paint the plywood black. get at least 1/2in plywood it's pretty cheap.

robare99
05-13-2013, 10:27 PM
Putting another mover on the one side will totally change the balance of the truss.

Brandt Slater
05-13-2013, 11:04 PM
Putting another mover on the one side will totally change the balance of the truss.

You would still need to address the baseplate issue. The higher you go the wider the baseplate. NTertainment posted a good idea using plywood. Just mount the baseplate to a piece of plywood. A 4x4 sheet would work fine..

DJ Higgumz
05-13-2013, 11:32 PM
Rep for Ntertainment, never thought of it but plywood is a great idea. I was intending on using some of my 1/8" steel plate for it, and it was going to have a 4 foot spread. but the plywood idea is much better. I'm going to opt for 10ft height as I have 2 10ft sticks and 2 5 foot. put 2 10 foot on the ground next to our stage and the 2 5s on stage with scanners on it. that's right scanners, I keep getting replies regarding heads ;) and I did say in my first post about having 4 foot baseplates ;);) If I cant get a reverse projection screen in time I will just set up my truss traditionally because I need to hang my projector overhead if it is front projection :teef:

Brandt Slater
05-14-2013, 01:40 AM
Ah hell you did mention you had 4x4 plates. For some reason I was thinking you had the normal size plates. A couple sandbags or additional weight added to the plates would keep it in place.

Experiment a little. Do a pre production set up of both designs and see which one you like.

BillESC
05-14-2013, 09:49 AM
I would go with 1" plywood minimum. The amount of torque transferred to a 12" square could be significant.

DJ M&M
05-14-2013, 03:39 PM
Its doable but be careful, and make sure no one is gonna be able to knock it. we did two 12 foot truss ups, with 4 microh chamelons near the top and a 250 mover on top. They where used for front wash lighting and spots. Are mover where safely secured to the top of the truss. We couldn't fly a front line because of rigging issues with the building, btw this was in a gym.

DJ Higgumz
05-19-2013, 10:06 PM
Trust me, I would never run something like this without testing it's strength. I did a mock up with just the truss standing and no load on it and at 15ft it is just too high. 10ft should be fair and the light should have good throw.

Ntertainment
05-20-2013, 06:07 PM
Ok so I had to try this at home. I used a normal 30" x 30" baseplate and set it up outside on the grass. Here's a photo of it. I did two 3m trusses on top. So it was right around 20'.

http://i1251.photobucket.com/albums/hh552/main4502/null-6.jpg

It was pretty tipsy. I would feel fine having a large piece of plywood attached to it though. I would feel very good about it. I also have enough trussing where I though I could make my own stand. I would use a corner junction box as the bottom of it. And have "wings" Come out each side of it. I have some 1m, and 1.5m trussing that I would have attached to it. But I didn't. Just a thought though.

Ntertainment
05-20-2013, 06:12 PM
Oh yeah. Our trees are just starting to bloom. This picture was taken on 5-15-13. Pretty sad.