My T-Bar is too heavy - or am I getting old...

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jturk1000

And WHERE is Alma MI ?!
I use two T-bars for my light shows, and one of them, once loaded, is just getting too heavy for me to lift up and tighten in place. On it are two Chauvet LED Scan 300s, two DMX star balls, and periodically a lightweight projector. Maybe I'm getting old, but I'm just tired of hoisting this thing up. Yesterday while I was adjusting height, I lost my grip and the thing came down and bonked me on the noggin.

Looking for suggestions for a stand/t-bar that A) is either crank or frankenstand-style (can you fit a t-bar on a frankenstand?) B) has a ROUND T-bar so I can use my ADJ universal mounts and C) won't break my budget.

Suggestions?
 

Conanski

Active Member
How high do you typically hoist them? If 10ft or less the ADJ crank stand would do the truck, otherwise there are several medium duty(heavier) stands that will go up to 13-15ft and carry more weight.
 

jturk1000

And WHERE is Alma MI ?!
Looks like the ADJ stand and bar combo is $140. From what I can see, the t-bar is round - which fits my universal mounts (which is how I currently attach my lights).

The Hercules unit is $240 - looks like a square t-bar. I don't keep my lights permanently attached, so I value quick attachment/detachment of the lights - not a fan of using the included bolts - Maybe I can attach the ADJ 'O' clamps to these bolts… Other ideas? Are there mounts similar to these for square bars?

Frankenstand has this (http://nlfxpro.com/f4-frankenstand-light-bar/) f4 light bar to go with their stand - about a $150 combo. Any experience with this as a light bar (rather than a speaker stand)?
 
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Steve Lynch

Well-Known Member
I use two T-bars for my light shows, and one of them, once loaded, is just getting too heavy for me to lift up and tighten in place. On it are two Chauvet LED Scan 300s, two DMX star balls, and periodically a lightweight projector. Maybe I'm getting old, but I'm just tired of hoisting this thing up.
Personally? I'd axe the star balls.. they have very little effect, and they're an extremely dated fixture. You can replace them with a small mirror ball if you just have to have that effect, and that will seriously reduce the weight of the bar. The scanners will illuminate a mirror ball very nicely, and give a much more sophisticated effect, as you can do gobos and such on the ball.. it's a neat effect.
 

jturk1000

And WHERE is Alma MI ?!
Personally? I'd axe the star balls.. they have very little effect, and they're an extremely dated fixture. You can replace them with a small mirror ball if you just have to have that effect, and that will seriously reduce the weight of the bar. The scanners will illuminate a mirror ball very nicely, and give a much more sophisticated effect, as you can do gobos and such on the ball.. it's a neat effect.
Thanks, Steve, for the opinion - I've thought of doing the very same thing. Just haven't taken the leap, yet.
 

NickyB

Gear and Equipment Moderator
I concur with Steve on axing the Starballs ...... In my past I've lighted a 12" mirrored ball with a pair of old Martin 812 scanners and the effect is amazing and colorful. It eventually was replaced with a Martin Wizard. I too ran into your weight issue and solved that by going to a crank stand .... Applied L-11's then upward to the L-16's, then back downward to the L-13's when they became available.
 

Ken Heath

Super Moderator...da-ta-daaa!!!
Staff member
Frankenstand has a t-bar kit AND extensions to allow them to go higher. They are very well-made, welded steel construction. :)
 

jturk1000

And WHERE is Alma MI ?!
Frankenstand has a t-bar kit AND extensions to allow them to go higher. They are very well-made, welded steel construction. :)
I think I may go the Frankenstand route (appears most cost effective for the quality I'm looking for). Looks like I'll have to ditch my 'O' clamps for something more like a 'C' clamp. I like the freedom of rotation a ROUND bar gives me when using the 'O' clamps. Is there anything similar out there that allows me some degree of freedom when adjusting lights on a square bar (aside from any adjustability on the fixture itself)?
 

Conanski

Active Member
One thing about the round T bar that kid of annoys me is that you can't make a fixture stand above it with a standard ADJ style O-clamp.. they just don't get tight enough to prevent a fixture of any mass from following the force of gravity and finding it's way to the underside of the T-bar. Maybe the all aluminum type clamps grip tighter and will prevent this but I don't know, but I'm sure this wouldn't be a problem with a square T-bar and the right type of clamp.
 

NickyB

Gear and Equipment Moderator
Jeff -

Definitely go with a crank stand and save your back. As for changing the clamps, I've been using the 2" aluminum Mega-Clamps for everything since they first hit the market. They stay put and can handle up to 380 lbs. Just be careful not to overtighten them as they'll crush an aluminum truss or T-bar. Just a quick note: If you're using an aluminum T-bar, make sure its a thick wall HD and I'll point out the weakest point on a T-bar is right at the "T". Many makes use a plastic adapter which for me is a no-no. My 5 ft long, 2" diameter Applied T-bars are thick-walled aluminum tubes with a welded flange at the "T" for lateral support and stability. All I can say is don't go cheap on truss, stands or clamps .... just think about whose head those lights are hanging over!
 
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