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I really do hate the aluminum C-clamps for lights and prefer the plastic O-clamps....

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  • I really do hate the aluminum C-clamps for lights and prefer the plastic O-clamps....

    .....but I'm sure there's a reason to use them. Right? Only idea I have, is to use them for really heavy light fixtures. Otherwise, to heck with em.

    I'm building a very simple wedding DJ light set, just to do a poor man's wedding quickly this weekend. I decided to go against the C-clamps and I'm using all plastic O-clamps. So far, I love these things. Doesn't gouge up the pipes, doesn't create a bunch of kinks and dents, and really grips without fear of rotating. Well, they're new and clean, so the plastic insert still has lots of surface friction. But so far, kickin butt for these guys.

    So if there's examples where using the C-clamps is a must, please edumacate me.



    Also, if you're operating a belt sander or a grinder and need to cut down on dust, use these clamps on a speaker stand, to hold the Shop-Vac's hose right in front of your tool to suck up the dust. Heh heh.
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="2"><b>&quot;Understanding that sentence meant he wasn't much of a chess player.&quot;</b></font><b> - <i>Abzurd</i><br />
    <br />
    <a href="http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?t=2377395" target="_blank"> Winner of MYSTIC FX'S Most Metal Face, Early '09 Award</a></b><br />
    <br />
    <font size="1">Eden WT550B, D212XLT-4 times two, D210XLT, SKB US Roto Rack 4U, USA-made X2 XDS-Plus, Korg DT-7 tuner, Tobias Killer B5, Ibanez Prestige SR1005EFM, world-famous custom rack mounted CUP HOLDER! For my <b>BEER!</b></font></div>

  • #2
    When you are at the top of a ladder with a 100lb lighting bar, you will learn to love C-Clamps and hate O-Clamps!
    <div class="signaturecontainer">Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. -Will Rogers<br><br><a href="http://facebook.com/SpitShineRocks" target="_blank">http://facebook.com/SpitShineRocks</a></div>

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    • #3
      C-Clamps are used in theatrical, concert, and event applications where all sorts of hanging positions and angles are used with fixtures much heavier than the average LED PAR. They will hold the fixture at any angle whereas an O-Clamp will only really properly hold a fixture hanging right under the truss or hanging sideways off a vertical truss and then I still wouldn't trust it. Also, C-Clamps can adapt to a wide variety of pipe sizes (or unistrut or box tube or whatever in a pinch), making them a much more versatile hanging option. This versatility is one of the reasons they get used on moving lights, to fit them to smaller pipe sizes. To be clear, the C-Clamps that I'm talking about are 400CCs or Mega Clamps, or at the very least a Pipedream or Mini Clamp for Pinspots, lightweight LED PARs, wireless DMX receivers, and anything else that's small and doesn't move. The weird side-mount C-Clamps that I see for sale on certain DJ sites really don't cut it for safety in my mind when you can get a Light Source Mini Clamp for 7 bucks at Banjo Center (they often actually stock mini and mega clamps).

      Another thing about C-Clamps has already been stated - they take the weight of the fixture when you hang them on a pipe. Then you can just hold the clamp on the pipe and tighten down the bolt with your finger before using the wrench to tighten it the rest of the way. There have been other forms of clamps designed which don't use a bolt like a C-Clamp in efforts to make them easier to use and reduce marring of pipes and trusses. Trigger Clamps and Claw Clamps are the two primary types, with a third being the Doughty-style quick-trigger clamps (cheap version here). Trigger clamps and claw clamps are the favorites in the professional lighting industry for larger fixtures (the moving lights that I work with on a daily basis range from 12 up to 96 pounds). With the safety rating for moving loads factored in (since most are moving heads with a big part of the light swinging around) you really need some serious clamps. I personally prefer the Doughty quick triggers for ease of use and gripping power, but the Mega Claws and Trigger Clamps are much more common. For the smaller lights we use Mega Couplers and for the lightest stuff we use Mega Slim Couplers.

      For most of the folks here, I'd recommend the Mega Slim Coupler, the Global Narrow Clamp, the Mini Clamp, and the Global Jr. Clamp or Mini 360.

      (Also, welcome back to the lighting forum Bryan316, haven't seen you here in ages!)
      Professional Moving Light Technician and Lighting Director
      Author of the Basic Band Lighting Guide

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      • #4
        Hmmmm.... those Mega Couplers look slick. Those I like. And if I buy any more clamps, I'll be getting Trigger Clamps only. Period. BULK QUANTITIES!!!! Heh heh...

        Thank you for much better options than any local stores offered. Very good resource.


        We rigged up all our lights and tested things last night. I despise wrapping extension cords in black duck tape simply because I don't have black extension cords.... GRRRR

        But our setup works and looks good. I added a 45 brace to keep the tree crossbar from wobbling. MUCH happiness.
        <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="2"><b>&quot;Understanding that sentence meant he wasn't much of a chess player.&quot;</b></font><b> - <i>Abzurd</i><br />
        <br />
        <a href="http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?t=2377395" target="_blank"> Winner of MYSTIC FX'S Most Metal Face, Early '09 Award</a></b><br />
        <br />
        <font size="1">Eden WT550B, D212XLT-4 times two, D210XLT, SKB US Roto Rack 4U, USA-made X2 XDS-Plus, Korg DT-7 tuner, Tobias Killer B5, Ibanez Prestige SR1005EFM, world-famous custom rack mounted CUP HOLDER! For my <b>BEER!</b></font></div>

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        • #5
          Wedding was quite a success. Lights worked out quite fine. Added some velcro to the par cans' power cables as I installed them, and did a nice job.

          These plastic O-clamps made things lickety split to setup and tear down. LOVE them now. And understood, will only use them for lightweight products. Anything serious, and I'll get me some of these Trigger Clamps.
          <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="2"><b>&quot;Understanding that sentence meant he wasn't much of a chess player.&quot;</b></font><b> - <i>Abzurd</i><br />
          <br />
          <a href="http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?t=2377395" target="_blank"> Winner of MYSTIC FX'S Most Metal Face, Early '09 Award</a></b><br />
          <br />
          <font size="1">Eden WT550B, D212XLT-4 times two, D210XLT, SKB US Roto Rack 4U, USA-made X2 XDS-Plus, Korg DT-7 tuner, Tobias Killer B5, Ibanez Prestige SR1005EFM, world-famous custom rack mounted CUP HOLDER! For my <b>BEER!</b></font></div>

          Comment


          • #6
            I'll +1 @soundlight's suggestion on the Mini Clamp... those things rock! I use the Mega Clamps for my scanners but mini clamps for everything else (slimpar 12, 64, 4plays). I went to Lowes and got some velcro wraps, they come in a huge double roll (gray and black for about $5- usually on or near an endcap). Just attach it to each of my cables and as I'm running cable across the truss, I just velcro them down.
            <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>JP LeClair<br />
            Oshkosh, WI</b></div>

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