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Author Topic: Clamping to Balcony Handrail  (Read 7656 times)

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Offline Hypnocracy

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Clamping to Balcony Handrail
« on: September 26, 2011, 11:21:49 PM »
Looking at the equipment on hand...I have the Manfrotto 649 Clamp and a 154 Triple Microphone bar...




Will this work or have I lost it?



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Offline Javier Cinakowski

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Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2011, 12:05:19 AM »
looks good to me.  Get a safety chain/rope, just in case...
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Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2011, 08:10:31 AM »
In addition to adding a safety cable you might want to invert it so the connection joints and shure vert bar point up instead of down.
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Offline hoppedup

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Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2011, 08:27:57 AM »
Will this work or have I lost it?

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Offline mattmiller

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Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2011, 08:36:18 AM »
I've seen similar setups, but I've never been brave enough to try anything close to that.  The more equipment I have near any balcony rail the shakier my hands get.
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Offline darby

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Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2011, 08:52:32 AM »
and I caught hell on this board for doing this...
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Offline it-goes-to-eleven

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Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2011, 10:25:29 AM »
"Your honor, I have only one question for the defense, in this terrible case of a hundred concert goers crushed to death by a microphone rig, and then pissed upon by a drunken city council member from a balcony - why do people try and put the heaviest shit possible on the end of their booms?"

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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2011, 11:31:04 AM »
Hypno -- that'll work just fine.  Use a suitably robust clamp and a safety wire and you'll be fine.

Darby -- I don't recall the discussion, but I see two problems:  <1> I don't consider the Windtech clamp robust enough for clamping over people's heads, <2> no safety wire.  That said, certainly not the worst balcony setup I've seen, not by a long shot! 
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Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2011, 12:00:45 PM »
If you loop your mic cables around rail and back through again, that should be sufficient to hold most mics if the clamp lets go...  I've been looping my cables around the top of my stand/t-bar to prevent someone pulling on the cable from moving the mic, the same can work the other way...

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Offline acidjack

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Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2011, 12:26:46 PM »
In addition to adding a safety cable you might want to invert it so the connection joints and shure vert bar point up instead of down.

This.  I try to keep as few failure points as possible and run a safety cable if there's any doubt.  Luckily two of my most common clamping venues have already-built-in safety screens below the balcony, but you do have to be careful.

As to Darby's rig and the Windtech, I think the Windtech is fine to clamp overhead with a suitably small setup - a couple of us do it all the time with a single rycote, the DPA ORTF bar and some 4021s.   Adding to it a K&M mic bar, and a vert bar, and two fullsize mics with shocks... well, hey, if it worked.....
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Offline absnj

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Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2011, 01:08:03 PM »
"Your honor, I have only one question for the defense, in this terrible case of a hundred concert goers crushed to death by a microphone rig, and then pissed upon by a drunken city council member from a balcony - why do people try and put the heaviest shit possible on the end of their booms?"

I believe the politician was from new Jersey and the venue was the 9:30 Club...what was the outcome?

I think your rig should also include pre-approval from the venue.  Even if it sounds good to us, if someone at the venue does not expect it, they are gonna tell you to take it down.

Offline darby

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Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2011, 01:08:53 PM »
In addition to adding a safety cable you might want to invert it so the connection joints and shure vert bar point up instead of down.

This.  I try to keep as few failure points as possible and run a safety cable if there's any doubt.  Luckily two of my most common clamping venues have already-built-in safety screens below the balcony, but you do have to be careful.

As to Darby's rig and the Windtech, I think the Windtech is fine to clamp overhead with a suitably small setup - a couple of us do it all the time with a single rycote, the DPA ORTF bar and some 4021s.   Adding to it a K&M mic bar, and a vert bar, and two fullsize mics with shocks... well, hey, if it worked.....
Hypno -- that'll work just fine.  Use a suitably robust clamp and a safety wire and you'll be fine.

Darby -- I don't recall the discussion, but I see two problems:  <1> I don't consider the Windtech clamp robust enough for clamping over people's heads, <2> no safety wire.  That said, certainly not the worst balcony setup I've seen, not by a long shot!

I have since sold the AKG bar and the Shure vertical bar in favor of lighter gear
I also don't feel like I gain much in that room by hanging my mics out over the rail

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Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2011, 01:48:33 PM »
The more equipment I have near any balcony rail the shakier my hands get.

Ditto. I use a superclamp and extendable arm and sometimes I'll have the arm curl over the top of the rail instead of just extending out so if the clamp fails it's less likely to fall into the floor and instead would get hung up on the railing.

I use two of these (made by a different vendor, but same design). One to extend out, the other to connect to it and my extension apparatus and come back (and connect to the rail and the other wire). I've actually used climbing rope (ice line, aprox 6mm) before which works as long as you do looped figure 8 knots, but it looks wicked ghetto and your ability to loop through something is reduced due to the thickness of the rope.
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Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2011, 02:18:00 PM »
Hypno,
If the clamp can hold the weight of the arm, that part is OK. What about the rail diameter? You have a limited jaw depth on the clamp. If it's a round rail, the jaw depth has to be at least half the rail diameter.

Offline SmokinJoe

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Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2011, 04:46:27 PM »
I use a Superclamp with a short bar.  I don't think those manfrotto speed clamps grip as well, and I wouldn't have anything sticking out nearly as far as the OP showed it.  Weight at a Distance = Torque

Whatever your setup is, you want a factor of safety of 10... meaning you could reliably hang something 10 times as heavy as your mics on there without failure.  If you don't think it would pass that test you shouldn't dangle it out over other people's heads.

The other thing to consider is that a superclamp will resist rotation much more if you clamp it one direction than the other.  It's hard for me to explain it, but it's kind of like an oil filter wrench, one way it bites in solid, the other way it slips.  Anyone who took a "Statics" class in college will probably remember the classic brake-shoe problem where the moment increases clamping pressure.

A windtech is fine if you are putting your mics directly above the bar... there is no torque.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2011, 04:51:36 PM by SmokinJoe »
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