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Happy New Year from Creative Conners

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Happy New Year from Creative Conners

Happy New Year 2014

 

We wish you all a happy and healthy 2014! We will be closed Wednesday, but back in the shop on Thursday. Enjoy!

Happy Holidays from Creative Conners


From all of us at Creative Conners, we wish you and yours a happy and safe holiday. We’ll be closed on Wednesday and then back in the shop on Thursday. Have a nice break everyone!
 

All New Spotline Hoist Pages!

Spotline theater hoist image

We’ve been working on improving our website, and today we re-launched our Spotline hoist pages. That’s right, pages. All of our major products will now have multiple pages and we’ll have tons of information for all our gear.

The new Spotline Overview page starts with the Features Interactive that we rolled out for the Stagehand Pro AC, and we’ve also got another 360 degree interactive that you can spin around and see the machine from any angle you want.

We’ve also added a Specifications page, a page for Videos and page for Related Products, where you can see all the parts that tie into a Spotline hoist.

We’re going to be updating our other machines with this treatment in the next few months. Let us know what you think or if we left anything out!
 

Lectern Lift Video Compilation

Theater machinery for lifting lecterns

We just wrapped up the build and installation of a custom lectern lift, and we’ve got the video to prove it! It’s a 3-axis machine; the first releases the lock bars so the lift can lower, the second is the lift and the third axis is the ‘sunroof’. All 3 axes are interlocked, so the operator simply has to hold down the Up or Down button until the sequence is complete. Most of the machine fabrication was done by our good friend Adrian Davidson at Stage Machines. The project was for the TELUS Science Center IMAX Theatre in Edmonton Alberta. Let us know what you think in the comments!


 

Check Out Our ‘How It Works’ System Diagram

System diagram of Creative Conners scenic automation products

Big news today: After years of talking about producing a system diagram, we’ve finally gone and done it, and you can check it out here. It’s something that we hope will help new visitors to our website understand exactly what we sell and how the parts fit together, but we’ve never had time to do it right. But now that we have an in-house graphic designer, we were able to produce a diagram that looks great and helps clear up some of the questions we hear from people who are new to the Creative Conners scenic automation system.

You can see that we kept it pretty simple with an image-based map of all the different ways you can use our gear for your automation. Clicking on any product image will bring you to the product page to find out more.

We’d love to hear what you all think of the diagram, so let us know in the comments. Thanks!

 

Gareth’s Scenic Automation Seminar at Actors Theatre

Actors Theatre scenic automation seminar 1

Last week Gareth got to spend a couple of days with The Actors Theatre who invited him to Louisville for a scenic automation seminar. The seminar took place in their scene shop, so the entire set construction crew was able to attend and they had plenty of space to spread out and dive right into some automation.  In only two days, they covered topics from “what is electricity” to computer controlled moving scenery.

On the first day, using a workbench full of various motors, drives, bearings, switches, and controllers, the attendees got a chance to dig into the core technologies used in any automated system, and not just learn how to use finished products. There was an in-depth discussion of all of the techniques and products used to measure motion, such as limit switches, proximity sensors and encoders.

On the second day the attendees learned about the Creative Conners products, much of which The Actors Theatre has in their inventory. Gareth showed them how the core components they learned about on Day 1 make up our Stagehand motion controllers, which we always hope demystifies the controller a bit and make the people who use them more comfortable with what’s going on inside.

Other topics at the seminar included:

  • How to effectively setup a network and the various techniques for making your network robust and trouble-free.
  • PID tuning theory and practical tactics for running smooth cues.
  • Advanced cue writing in Spikemark, using complex link sequences,
  • Using the Stagehand FX in place of a PLC to incorporate extra sensors and simple motor effects in a Spikemark show file.
Finally, with all that knowledge, they used a powered car antenna, proximity sensor, relays, an FX, a Stagehand AC, a Revolver and Spikemark to make a multi-step sequence that seemed inspired by the game Mousetrap.
It was a very successful seminar and Gareth really enjoys spending time with our customers and hearing about how they’re using our gear. If you’re interested in hosting a seminar at your place, just let me know at ian@creativeconners.com.

 

Here are some more pics:

 

 

 

 

 

New Spot Block 3D Interactive

Creative Conners Spot Block rigging sheave

We’ve just updated the Spot Block page of our website to show off our latest 3D interactive. We made it using Keyshot and you can use your mouse to orbit the rendering in any direction. Check it out at the bottom of the Spot Block page and take it for a spin.

 

Fall Demos

One of the best parts of my job as Sales and Marketing Manager here at Creative Conners is that I get to travel around and demonstrate our products to people who want to know more about the gear. Most of my demos are at colleges and universities, and I got to visit 10 different schools during this fall semester:

  • University of Maine, Orono
  • Husson University/NESC
  • Bard College
  • Bates College
  • Colby College
  • SUNY New Paltz
  • Eastern Connecticut University
  • University of Massachusetts
  • Central Connecticut University
  • Southern Connecticut University

A big thanks to Joe Donovan, Brave Williams, Steve Michalek, Michael Reidy, John Ervin, Chris Noble, Chase Rozelle, Michael Cottom, Scott Bartley and Mike Skinner. I appreciate the chance to show off the gear!

Here are some pics:

Bringing a 300lb Revolver in through a single door at Eastern Connecticut University!

Husson University

Ian demo at Husson

University of Maine, Orono, with the Revolver setup

Attendees at the University of Maine, Orono

Creative Conners demo at University of Maine

If you’re interested in hosting a demo, let me know at ian@creativeconners.com. Thanks!

 

Check Out the Spotline 3D Interactive

New 3D interactive for our Spotline hoist.

We’ve been experimenting with a new rendering software suite called Keyshot, and one of the very cool features is their “VR” output. It creates .PNG files of the product from every angle and packages them up with some HTML and Javascript so you can drop the whole thing into your website. We used it last month on the Stagehand Pro page, and we just put one up for the Spotline. You can go straight to the VR by clicking here, or you can go to our Spotline page and click the link.

It’s a very cool way to show our customers what the products really look like without clogging up the website with a lot of tiled images. You should check it out, it’s pretty cool. We’re planning to give a lot of our products the VR treatment, and we’ll let you know when there’s a new one.

 

Donut Turntable at Cleveland Playhouse

Cleveland Playhouse uses Creative Conners gear to make donut turntable

I was checking in with Cameron Michalak from The Cleveland Playhouse today about his donut turntable project, and he sent over a quick video to show us how it worked out. Cameron used a couple of Pushstick winches and chain-wrapped the revolves. We love seeing the gear in action, especially when someone takes it up a notch. Here it is:

Nice work, and thanks for the video Cameron!

 

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