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Activator Question for stage builders


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For all of you that use steel cables and what not for activators, how do you deal with the cable after?  If I cut a length of cable for a certain activator, its almost usless unless down the road I have the exact same distance to run again.  How do you store all of those pieces of cable and organize them?  

 

Anyone have any neat tricks for securing the cables using something other than wire rope clips?

Edited by CrashDodson
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At my club most of the cables are 10’ long with a loop on one end and 2’ of light chain on the other all snap linked together on a extension cord reel. The chain give us the ability to take up slack without having to move stuff, and by having all the cables the same length it saves us the hassle of looking for the ideal long or short one

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clubs near me just use the little u-bolt clamps and keep reswaging a long bit of cable to make it work.

when i build stages in a bay just for myself i just use light nylon cord, like 550/para cord. makes it easy to tie it off to the right lenght and no worries about weight.

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Our club has 5, 10, and 15 foot cables.  

 

We even color coat them with paint.

 

They are easy to replace during a match if one breaks as it can only be one of 3 length. 

 

We have a piece of 90 degree conduit mounted to a small piece of plywood.  We use these to not only change the direction needed to activate the prop, but once the activator and prop are nailed in, these are very easy to move to tighten ir loosen the cables before nailing them in.  Someone can literally stand on them and activate the prop over and iver until we are sure everything is the right distance.

 

Works well for us and we have a ton of props so we deal with setting up and repairing cables a lot.

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35 minutes ago, Trent1k1 said:

Our club has 5, 10, and 15 foot cables.  

 

We even color coat them with paint.

 

They are easy to replace during a match if one breaks as it can only be one of 3 length. 

 

We have a piece of 90 degree conduit mounted to a small piece of plywood.  We use these to not only change the direction needed to activate the prop, but once the activator and prop are nailed in, these are very easy to move to tighten ir loosen the cables before nailing them in.  Someone can literally stand on them and activate the prop over and iver until we are sure everything is the right distance.

 

Works well for us and we have a ton of props so we deal with setting up and repairing cables a lot.

that's a solid idea

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Our club has 5, 10, and 15 foot cables.  
 
We even color coat them with paint.
 
They are easy to replace during a match if one breaks as it can only be one of 3 length. 
 
We have a piece of 90 degree conduit mounted to a small piece of plywood.  We use these to not only change the direction needed to activate the prop, but once the activator and prop are nailed in, these are very easy to move to tighten ir loosen the cables before nailing them in.  Someone can literally stand on them and activate the prop over and iver until we are sure everything is the right distance.
 
Works well for us and we have a ton of props so we deal with setting up and repairing cables a lot.

A thought... some 45s may be useful as well and depending on the bend radius might be small.


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1 minute ago, rowdyb said:

I've also seen a ring welded on the end of a spike and the cable ran throught the ring. You just hammer the spike in where needed to make the turns and slack work out.

 

Ive used the ghetto approach of hammering in a spike at a 45, but this sounds like a better idea. 

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I've also seen a ring welded on the end of a spike and the cable ran throught the ring. You just hammer the spike in where needed to make the turns and slack work out.

Those work well. Use them frequently at club matches


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I really love the idea of just having only 3 lengths. Color coded. Pre assembled but yet modular to replace parts. That can be threaded through whatever cable routing system you use without disassembly. Heck if you really needed longer just clip a couple together.  I'd pick 7, 10 and 15 yards as my stock lengths. Spray paint the middle length green, yellow and red.

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blackburn-wire-connectors-wire-terminals-cull4-14-b2-10-64_1000.jpg
 
Anyone have any ideas for attaching a mount point to a popper that doesnt have any holes in it?  I found this grounding connector.  Not sure how well it would work.

Red loctite the set screw else it will back out. And, may even with loctite


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12 minutes ago, CrashDodson said:

 

Anyone have any ideas for attaching a mount point to a popper that doesnt have any holes in it?  I found this grounding connector.  Not sure how well it would work.

 

Just drill a small hole on the edge below the center, connect a small carabiner, run the cable through it.  Most simple and reliable way that I have seen. 

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34 minutes ago, CrashDodson said:

@Trent1k1 do you have clips or something pre-attached to the cables and do you have one of each size pre-ran through the conduit?  Or do you attach the cables to the props with wire rope clips during setup?

All the cables have a small loop at the end (usually 1 inch or so). and use quick links/small caribiners to connect to the activators or props.

 

We even use those links to add the different lines together to get longer runs.  The 5, 10, 15, or 7, 14, 21 sort of distances allows you to easily identify the length and replace it quickly.

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Trent1k1 said:

All the cables have a small loop at the end (usually 1 inch or so). and use quick links/small caribiners to connect to the activators or props.

 

We even use those links to add the different lines together to get longer runs.  The 5, 10, 15, or 7, 14, 21 sort of distances allows you to easily identify the length and replace it quickly.

 

 

 

 

This is exactly what our club does.  Even the 90* and 45* conduit mounted to a plywood square to create angles / take up slack.  

 

Works well. 

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1 hour ago, CrashDodson said:

Blackburn Copper Lay-In Lug Connector for #4 to #14 Wire (Case of 10)

 

Anyone have any ideas for attaching a mount point to a popper that doesnt have any holes in it?  I found this grounding connector.  Not sure how well it would work.

 

In that situation I’ll arrange for the popper to fall across a cable and trip the activated target that way. Just be sure to let the popper get a running start and hit it about halfway down.

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