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Modular connector makes stage equipment simpler

March 13, 2014
Visible on this hoist controller is the Han-Yellock connector that handles power and signal connections. The connector is comprised of modules (below) that can be added to handle specifics of particular applications. Also visible is a power connector; the two smaller ones are for sensor connections.

Position-controlled servo hoists for stage performances use a single modular connector that was easy for stagehands to manage instead of three separate connections.

Rigging-equipment maker Show Distribution in Canada’s Quebec City devises electric chain hoists able to handle loads of up to 12 tons. The hoists help switch out different stage sets and move items for such acts as Metallica, U2, Taylor Swift, and Le Cirque du Soleil.

Show Distribution previously had used three different rectangular connectors on its hoists but wanted to consolidate connection points for control and power into a single interface to minimize chances of a failure. In a recent installation, connections to the hoist controller take place through a Han-Yellock modular user-configurable connector from Harting Inc. of North America, Elgin, Ill. The Han-Yellock interface consists of a
bulkhead-mounted housing on the cabinet side and a carrier hood with cover on the cable side with power, control, and signal-line connections in a single connector. The connector employed by Show Distribution includes a GigaBit module, which carries Cat 6A cable. A pushbutton locking mechanism on the connector lets stagehands plug-in the connector in a single operation. They can also disconnect the hoist with one hand.

Resources:

Harting Inc. of North America

Show Distribution

About the Author

Leland Teschler

Lee Teschler served as Editor-in-Chief of Machine Design until 2014. He holds a B.S. Engineering from the University of Michigan; a B.S. Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan; and an MBA from Cleveland State University. Prior to joining Penton, Lee worked as a Communications design engineer for the U.S. Government.

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