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My First Menace Arm

Rick Gates

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Well, I just finished putting together my first menace arm. I joined two 8 foot pieces of speedrail with fixtures from Barn Door Lighting. Here's a shot:




It seemed to go well except for one thing. I had a hard time balancing the rig because no matter how hard I cranked down on the lollipop in the middle, the boom would move slowly up or down on it's own. I even followed the right-hand rule. Here's a picture of the ear inserted into the lollipop:




Am I doing this right?

Edited by Rick Gates
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You need another ratchet strap going from the back end of the arm (where your sandbag is hanging) to the base of the combo stand. You leave it loose and get the risers to the right height then ratchet the strap to place the load at the right elevation. It keeps the light from dropping. Other than that, it looks pretty good.



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5 demerits for not having a safety cable from the fixture to the arm.

One stand leg should be in-line with the arm.



Should be a fiber, rubber or aluminum friction disc, part #8 between parts #7 and 10. Missing?

Is your arm nearly balanced or a little rear weighted? Shouldn't take much force to lock it in position.

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Yeah, I can see why the Kupo head is cheaper ($56 vs $92). I do have a rubber gasket, but the metal on both sides of it is smooth, not grooved like the Matthews. Check it out:




Since there are grooved surfaces between the two main metal discs in the head, I tried putting the ear in there, and it seems to hold better. I have about 12 ft of the speedrail in front of the ear, and about 4 ft behind it. It can be balanced as long as I incrementally add the right number of sandbags.


Right you are about the safety cable. Can't let that potted palm suffer.


Thanks JD, as always.

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