A Question for the Armorers

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by Inquartata, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    36,735
    Likes Received:
    1,321
    Those of you guys who work the NACs and Nationals and such...

    Is there an established protocol for how each piece of equipment is set up at the strips---eg boxes, reels, cables? I'm particularly interested in knowing just how the reel cables are laid out and plugged in, if there's a certain order or method or if it's just done by each armorer's preference, or by habit, or convenience?
     
  2. Mergs

    Mergs Podium

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2000
    Messages:
    3,540
    Likes Received:
    229
    While there is a certain way that the equipment should be laid out - from an appearance perspective, the order in which it is set up is pretty much up to the individual. The goal is to have it working, safe and look fairly neat.
     
  3. DHCJr

    DHCJr Armorer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Messages:
    5,420
    Likes Received:
    207
    I agree with Mergs. For example, one of my individual quirks is to have Velcro cable ties on the floor cords. This does two things, it makes a visible identification and the Velcro ties the cable to the leg of the table/stand. When teaching, I have been known to tell the person setting up they plugged the wrong end into the reel/box. Invariably, they take the loose end plug it into the box and then walk the Velcro end to the reel.

    I am also particular about tear-down. How the machine should be put away and especially how cords are put away. I learned how to take up the floor cords from someone in the movie industry. When I set up, I stand at the middle of the piste, throw the cord and it is basically done except for plugging in and taping down. Too many people wrap the cord to the transformer tightly around the transformer, breaking the wire where it goes in.
     
  4. brtech

    brtech Podium

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,368
    Likes Received:
    180
    Some head techs are known to have preferences, but most of us just care that it's functional, looks neat, and is safe.

    The most variation I find is in floor cords, with some armorers preferring lots of tape and others, like myself preferring minimal tape. I usually tape a service loop in back of the reel, a piece holding it down left or right of center between strips, a piece in the middle and one at the table end where it goes up. I want to be able to replace a floor cord swiftly and efficiently and get the strip back in operation. If we have an extension cord running between strips, I want it centered, with the two floor cords running parallel to it a few inches away, I prefer separate tape for each wire so I can remove one wire without disturbing the others. A trick someone taught me is to use an approximately square piece of tape, and put the corners on the wire. It's easier to pick up that way because lifting the wire lifts the tape nicely. I do try to make the table top look neat, but again make it easy to replace one cord. I usually thread the cord through the lower bar on the stand, back through the next lower bar, up between the machines and in to the top sockets. Better to use the top ones: too easy to knock them out when using the bottom ones. Get the cord to lie flat on the table without taping it. But that's just me.

    One thing I am very particular about is cord winding, both floor cords and extension cords. I learned from the sound reinforcement/stage hand end, as apparently did Don. The cords MUST be wound with a figure 8 pattern so that the twisting evens out. That's what let's you hold one end and throw the loops out and have a straight cord. I use the overhand/underhand method, but there are others. Because we handle wrapped cords a lot, get at least 3 wraps around the loops and pull the end through to cinch it. It's a PITA when the wrapping comes undone while we are testing, inventorying, packing, unpacking or distributing the floor cords.

    USA Fencing does have a preferred reel taping method, although since we recently switched to Favero pizza box reels, I don't think we've settled on one. For turtle reels, we prefer the strongtie plate on the handle, with a single piece of tape holding down the plate. When you don't have the plate, turn the reel upside down. Put one 12" or so piece of 3" gaff so half is on the plastic plate and half is on the floor. Flip it over and you are ready to go.
     
  5. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2001
    Messages:
    16,306
    Likes Received:
    581
    Now THAT makes me VERY happy!

    However...did you get the ones without the carrying handle? Stupid for Favero to remove them for "aesthetics" when ease of carrying is far more importasnt in a large venue. Not everyone's gonna have the carrying cases.
     
  6. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    36,735
    Likes Received:
    1,321
    So there is no official order of assembly/disassembly, eg first the box stand, then the box, then the power cord and cable, then the reels, etc, and no mandatory "best" way of handling and connecting/disconnecting each piece of equipment.

    The reason I am asking about this is: I have been told that things like the layout and plugin of the floor cords and reels MUST be done a certain way because otherwise it damages them and because "that's how they do it at NACs" to keep the equipment intact and in good shape. Cables have to be unwound, laid out from box to reel, then plugged into reel and box. Never plug into reel then lay out.

    Can you describe your method? Usually I coil up a floor cable like a cowboy coiling up a rope, in coils of about a foot in diameter, trying to keep from imparting a twist to them. But the next time they are taken out invariably they tangle up unless uncoiled and played out in reverse of the take-up procedure. I was never able to "throw them out" successfully. I used to wind them around hand and elbow so that indeed I could get a figure-of-8 and take a few turns around the middle, and this made them stay together in storage and when taken out, but they still seem to tangle when being laid out and I haven't been able to throw them out that way either. ( Not that I would be allowed to do that anyway, it would be "HEY! Stop! That's not how you do it, you'll break the pins! Walk them out!" or some such. )
     
  7. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    36,735
    Likes Received:
    1,321
    So there is no official order of assembly/disassembly, eg first the box stand, then the box, then the power cord and cable, then the reels, etc, and no mandatory "best" way of handling and connecting/disconnecting each piece of equipment.

    The reason I am asking about this is: I have been told that things like the layout and plugin of the floor cords and reels MUST be done a certain way because otherwise it damages them and because "that's how they do it at NACs" to keep the equipment intact and in good shape. Cables have to be unwound, laid out from box to reel, then plugged into reel and box. Never plug into reel then lay out.

    Can you describe your method? Usually I coil up a floor cable like a cowboy coiling up a rope, in coils of about a foot in diameter, trying to keep from imparting a twist to them. But the next time they are taken out invariably they tangle up unless uncoiled and played out in reverse of the take-up procedure. I was never able to "throw them out" successfully. I used to wind them around hand and elbow so that indeed I could get a figure-of-8 and take a few turns around the middle, and this made them stay together in storage and when taken out, but they still seem to tangle when being laid out and I haven't been able to throw them out that way either. ( Not that I would be allowed to do that anyway, it would be "HEY! Stop! That's not how you do it, you'll break the pins! Walk them out!" or some such. )
     
  8. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee is a Verified Fencing ExpertMac A. Bee Podium

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1,718
    Likes Received:
    177
    For local meets where NAC taping-protocol isn't followed, wrap the floor- and extension-cords once around the machine's table- or chair-leg. Inevitably, the cords get pulled, pulling the machine to the floor. Or, if the machine is hit, it's anchored.
     
  9. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    3,761
    Likes Received:
    569
    Over under coil:



    Figure 8 is good for bungee in that it keeps twists out of it, but for electronics use over under, like the sound guys do.
     
    DangerMouse likes this.

Share This Page