None of This Could Happen without a "Stagemaker"
Who would have thought one little chain hoist could bring so much happiness! Remember the old days of the big ugly PA ground-stack? The lights defied gravity with the aid of the Finger Jam 1000 winch-up, and chain motors were as heavy as a rack of amplifiers. In those days the sight of a wall of ground stacked speakers would provoke a reverence among crews like that scene in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, where all the Neanderthals gaze in wonder at the appearance of the giant extra terrestrial Monolith. In the movie, the Monolith inspired the monkeys to invent weapons to conquer their competitors, where as these days, it was the monolith that got conquered.
Handling flown theatre and stage equipment these days has become so much more than just lifting a piece of truss or a pile of boxes, it has become a whole specialist field. Now there is shows with moving grids actuated by rows of synchronised computer controlled motors performing a real ballet with tons of lighting, props, sets, Cycloramas and even things like cars and stages.
In the last few years chain motors have moved from a specialist accessory that only did one simple job to a sophisticated product subgroup, and the company that has done the most to bring about this paradigm shift is Verlinde.
With a background in building heavy crane and hoisting equipment, this company formed a special division with the purpose of building hoisting products designed specifically for the Theatrical industry.
Verlinde's design focus was divided into two product priorities. The first was to build the safest, quietest and most stage-environment-friendly motors available, and the second to develop control systems that would turn the chain hoist into a production resource rather than just a static lifting device.
This is the genus of the Stagemaker product range. Two series of motor groups and a comprehensive intelligent motion control system. The basic motor range is the Compact series with a lifting capacity from 60-2000KG. Light, powerful, small enough to fit inside truss, quiet enough to run upright or inverted during performances and the by far safest motors on the market with the addition of double braked gear boxes and load limiters.
Optional extras include two speed and variable speed motors, load measuring, gear limit switches and built-in digital encoder. All pretty impressive for a system that costs no more than a brand X basic hoist that may not comply with current Y2000 standards.
The next step up is the Cyber Hoist range. This system is a true revolution in rigging and motion control and becoming acknowledged worldwide as the future standard for theatrical and touring applications due to its higher standard of safety, reliability and speed range. If you've ever wanted to do something "funky" with a grid or truss of lighting fixtures during a show, this is the system for you.
Synchronised accurate positioning, multi speed control, no twist on start-up, controlled interaction between lighting and rigging equipment and easy to set up and program. Cyberhoists, each with their own ID, are designed to work as stand-alone or in a DMX or other Ethernet controlled network. Once connected to the network there is an interaction with other connected members and no matter how many hoists are installed, Stagemaker requires no central processing unit while retaining all the advantages presented by a control server.
A standard laptop is sufficient to program presets for a single or group of hoists or an optional hand held terminal is available in wireless or hard wired configuration. A variety of controllers have been developed for Stagemaker motors, which will also effectively control some other brand hoist motor systems.
In this new era of corporate culture, compact high-powered speakers and multi-function lighting systems, there's not much you can't hang on a truss and with Stagemaker, it's all up in the air.