Hey cats and kittens, listen up: these are not your father's widgets. In this the next generation of doo-hickeys and thingamabobs, Entertainment Design has picked an even dozen of the new and the noteworthy that every entertainment technologist should have in their brand-new bag. From DMX analyzers to rope grips, this year's honorees have broken out of squaresville, man, and are fueling the fire of electric youth. Freedom, baby, yeah!
Artistic Licence: The Micro-Scope 3 This latest version of Artistic Licence's handheld DMX512 analyzer, which can be used as a moving lamp tester, a flicker-finder, or a rigger's remote, is operated by an internal rechargeable battery that can go more than 24 hours before needing a charge. When switched on, the unit immediately displays any received DMX512; 15 preset memories containing individual level settings for all 512 channels are available. Presets can be programmed with pre-defined patterns by adjusting individual channels or by capturing received data. The built-in moving lamp personality library is used to test the attributes of approximately 200 lamps.
Branam Enterprises: The Branam Truss Hangar Designed to fit both 12" and 20" truss, the Branam Truss Hanger is designed to eliminate the need for spansets and can be used to hang truss-to-truss or motor-to-truss. The breaking point for the 20" hangar is 14,000lbs; the 12" breaking point is 13,000lbs.
Bishop & Bishop: Black Magic Filters Designed to retrofit most existing intelligent lighting instruments, consoles, and other equipment to remove fog, smoke, dust, and other airborne pollutants which might collect inside, the Black Magic Filters reduce mineral oil and other vapors while simultaneously maintaining high air flow through the instrument. The filters attach to the air intake ports on the equipment by means of adhesive-backed Velcro(R), and can bend to fit any molding.
Etil: U-View Resembling a package of LifeSaver(TM) candies, the long, cylinder-shaped U-View is attached magnetically to the lighting console, and a board operator can see at a glance which colors and lighting instruments are controlled by a specific fader. The color bands on the U-View represent the colors controlled by the corresponding fader. This takes the place of writing codes on duct tape and small scraps of paper, etc. The U-View has templates created for virtually any console. The templates on the U-View hold small pieces of gel to aid in locating the fader for a particular color or group of lighting instruments.
Lowel Light: The Missing Link This nifty little mounting device features a double articulating female fitting designed to make it easier to position lights, flags, reflectors, poles, and more. Based on a design by Canadian videographer Peter Warren, the Missing Link can be used with other Lowel accessories, such as ML-12 and ML-13 stud-mounted spring clamps, for added versatility.
Marinco Specialty Wiring Devices: The Flip Lid The economical, spring-operated Flip Lid is designed to cover and protect 20A and 30A three-, four-, or five-wire receptacles when they are not in use. The black nylon Flip Lid installs quickly, utilizing the same mounting holes used to secure the receptacle to the equipment panel. The spring mechanism is designed to hold the Flip Lid tightly against the receptacle's face, keeping dirt and humidity from damaging the electrical contacts. The lid also includes a molded tab that allows the user to easily "flip" the lid to insert plugs.
Neutrik: The Minirator(R) MR1 This analog audio generator features a comprehensive set of audio test signals to enable audio engineers to stimulate a device with appropriate signals for performance checking, maintenance, and repair. Lightweight and battery-powered, the Minirator provides sinusoidal signals over the entire audio band from 20Hz-20kHz at levels as low as 76dBu up to +6dBu, including sweep capabilities at various speeds. A dedicated polarity test signal enables the user to unveil devices with inverse polarity.
Rose Brand: The Mixers The Rose Brand family of mixers are designed to allow faster and more consistent mixing of paint in five-gallon cans through the use of a drill to power the fan blade mixers. The Easy Mixer sports a plated, rectangular blade, is available in 28" and 36" shaft lengths, and is suitable for primers, texture cement, mud, and coatings. The Fixed Blade and Adjustable Fan Blade Mixers are ideal for mixing paint and acrylic coatings. The Fan Blade Mixer blades are zinc-plated, 5" diameter, mounted on a 24" steel shaft, and are offered with two or three blades. All Mixers have a 3/8" hexagonal shaft for operation with a 1/2" chuck drill, capable of operating at slow speeds.
Sound Illumination: The Multi-Multiplex Remote Control The cordless telephone-operated Multi-Multiplex Remote Control allows for wireless remote control and focusing of theatrical lighting and control of dimmers. The base station of the cordless is connected directly to the Multi Multiplex Remote, which is connected to the DMX network. Through the "wireless" functionality of the cordless phone, the remote control feature of dimmer adjustment is fast and easy, via the use of the telephone keypad and a simple, logical code sequence. The system also interfaces to AMX192, CMX, and Microplex-controlled equipment.
Stage Rigging: The LeveLite Pocket Laser Stage Rigging is distributing the LeveLite(R), a combination self-leveling pocket laser that enables one person to check and set objects plumb, on level, and at a 90-degree angle. Through the use of a highly visible red laser, the beam can be seen indoors and out and is extremely accurate, as well as being small and lightweight. From a location on the floor, the automatic self-leveling laser beam projects an instant plumb line overhead to a minimum distance of 40' high. The self-leveling feature allows for checking of an object to be level quickly and easily.
TMB Associates: The Grapple The TMB Grapple is a multi-purpose adapter that allows for 90-degree attachment of unique accessories to conventional truss in a variety of sizes. The Grapple is sized and machined to span the truss on the inside and to secure accessories or another piece of truss to the original truss. Truss accessories include a caster plate attachment, truss ladder accessory, spot yoke attachment, spot seat attachment, and a side post/outrigger accessory. The Grapple is also a DIY widget, in that it allows users to attach items of their choice with flexibility of placement in a safe and secure manner to most conventionally used lighting truss.
Ver-Sales: The Gripple No relation to the aforementioned Grapple, this rope grip, manufactured by UK-based Gripple Ltd. and distributed in the US by Ver-Sales, is designed for terminating wire rope used in bracing between two fixed points, or for suspending stationary objects. Installation is easy: simply insert the rope through the two channels of the Gripple; built-in spring-loaded toothed wedges prevent the rope from escaping, and any slack in the rope is removed by pulling it through. Because the Gripple is self-locking, wrenches aren't needed.