Dodgy Items a Rant

It is amazing in these days of occupational health and safety that you still can come across things that can send a shiver down your spine. You will see from the pictures that I have enclosed some rather un-safe devices. These are scary and it is appalling that the people using these devices are not aware that they are potentially putting peoples lives at risk.
But as a humble technician what should we do if we come across something we thing is dangerous or could become dangerous. Well we should not be scared of reporting it. In fact we are obliged to report this sort of thing. But what annoys me is the fact that some of these dodgy things happen in the first place. You know the people that have let this happen should know a lot better. It happens in theatres where we have students present, I just hope that the powers to be are not showing the students how to do this sorts of things.

Now below are the picture with some notes, feel free to comment or send me some examples of this sort of thing. I am willing to write more about this sort of thing.

Lighting Nightmares

Lack of Insulation
Lack of Insulation

Now as you closely take a look at this pic you will notice the visible cables that are exposed. but also notice the fact that the cable is wrapped with electrical tape, which if being used as an insulator. A little bit dodgy 🙂

HMMM!
HMMM!

Another shot of the cable in the above picture. In fact this cable is a par64 splitter.  As you can see the join is insulated by black electrical tape. I did not open up the join to see how it was put together. I was not in the mood to see how badly it had been assembled. This cable and the lanterns it was being used with were removed from a lighting rig the other day, and they certainly were not put back up. But I still have more photos to show.

More Interesting
More Interesting

Now what is wrong with this image? Go back back to what I said before. This is splitter for par64’s with 110v lamps. So where are the round pins? I would hate to think what would happen if you plugged this in and then plugged a couple of 240v lanterns in. I will leave that to your imagination. Probably explains why 110volt is written on the socket. Which you are not going to notice when you are in a rush rigging up a ladder.

The complete unit
The complete unit

Now this is a pic of the complete device. good luck to you that do this, if I find it I will destroy it.

The Lantern
The Lantern

Now this one of the parcans used with the splitter. now it would be interesting and brief result when you plug this into a 240v socket. There is a warning label on the ceramic lamp holder. Would be nice also to see a par-safe on this fixture. But then you would you not see the warning 🙂

Now for a rigging nightmare

Below is a picture of a homemade i-bolts. Now these were used in a venue for rigging speakers over the audience. These  i-bolts had no ratings or any proof that they would be suitable for the job and load that they were holding. These were made by a local Adelaide company that does the occasional install and hires disco lighting etc..  I wonder how many more of these are in use around town.

Homemade i-bolt
Homemade i-bolt
Another view
Another view

As you can see from the pictures they are beautiful made quality product. They are a standard bolt from a hardware store, not even a high tensile bolt, with a link from chain welded to it. There is no rating stamp on it, or manufacturers name on it.

A mess by any other name

Now this is a control that is rather messy. Admittedly they were in the process of updating the set up. But it was not good to find when you have to operate. Very hard to work out what is patched to what. This picture does not do it justice, i have other pics but it would give the venue away. When I walked in there was a ladder on the floor in front of the door and a cable across the door that was not taped down.

I prefer my spaghetti in a bowl
I prefer my spaghetti in a bowl
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3 thoughts on “Dodgy Items a Rant

  1. Very dodgy!!! I have seen a few like this, the worst was a home made mains splitter box, bare metal, lots of insulation tape, some plugs. Fortunately someone with brain still working had found it and cut the cable off.

  2. For around 3500 pictures of many more examples, go to the Dodgy Technicians group on Facebook. Acres of what not to do. Quite scary, really

  3. Man that’s crazy! The things people will do – even in pro venues. My favourite experience has always been in S. Korea, where follow spot operators had thick cables running over a public access parking area (an outdoor venue of sorts), with no gaffering of the cables down or anything that would stop people tripping. Their operating tower was a scary scaff that had no ladders and no bars to stop people from falling off. Oh, and the scaff tower wasn’t roped off or anything, so the general public could easily bump into it – and this was for an event predominantly visited by families and young, running around, kids. 😛

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