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Old 24th of May 2011 (Tue)   #1
DM1975
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Default DIY Automatic Backdrop System Advice!

OK, I have an idea, but would like to get advice if anyone knows anything about doing this. I plan on building a backdrop suspension rack out of EMT tubing and suspending it on a steel cable and pulley system that leads to a garage door opener to raise and lower it. Has anyone done this and does anyone have advise for me? I know I have seen pulley systems used in photos here and would appreciate any advice. Thanks.
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Old 24th of May 2011 (Tue)   #2
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Default Re: DIY Automatic Backdrop System Advice!

depending on the load, a garage door opener might not be strong enough to lift the rack... garage door openers are assisted by the coil spring located above the door.

~mike
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Old 24th of May 2011 (Tue)   #3
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Default Re: DIY Automatic Backdrop System Advice!

DM1975:

Here's a more elegant and safer way to do this.
Buy this:

LINKY HERE

Buy your paper background:

LINKY HERE

Problem solved.
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Old 24th of May 2011 (Tue)   #4
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Default Re: DIY Automatic Backdrop System Advice!

Mixing ^ That, with a chain drive of any sort (like a garage door opener) would allow you to roll/unroll your backgrounds if you so wish.

Are you saying you want an entire rack system that goes up and down ? Or just the background itself?
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Old 24th of May 2011 (Tue)   #5
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Default Re: DIY Automatic Backdrop System Advice!

I am just talking something to lift one backdrop at a time. I don't need a paper roller system as I am not using just paper. Problem I am having is that I can not lift my left arm over a certain height so I am trying to make things a bit easier on me. I figure I can make a light frame that could be hoisted and lowered with the garage door opener where I could replace the backdrop or roll of paper and then push the button and have it lifted to the ceiling rather than having to climb a ladder or lift stuff over my head.
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Old 24th of May 2011 (Tue)   #6
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Default Re: DIY Automatic Backdrop System Advice!

the chain drive system like he linked is a great option. You could keep your arms at waist level. The garage opener might be more hassle than it's worth
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Old 24th of May 2011 (Tue)   #7
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Default Re: DIY Automatic Backdrop System Advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hawk911 View Post
the chain drive system like he linked is a great option. You could keep your arms at waist level. The garage opener might be more hassle than it's worth
I have more than just a couple rolls of paper though. I have several muslins and canvases that I have to hang as well.
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Old 24th of May 2011 (Tue)   #8
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Default Re: DIY Automatic Backdrop System Advice!

The easiest would be a set, where everything is rolled up and fastened to the Top. Like what was linked here, Then having a chain drive system to -unroll- things.

I'm guessing the trickiest part of the rig, would be setting it up in a way to have 1 motor unroll/roll different things, maybe a gear set of sorts ?

Lifting up a roll of muslin, or paper for that matter, would be heavy and hard to rig up. As for rolling/unrolling simply Switching the plastic chain that comes with background holders, and putting a bicycle gear on it would allow you to easily hook it to all sorts of motors.

Keep in mind, what was linked can be used for muslims as well, you will need a core of some sort to hold the muslims, but they aren't terribly difficult to find. Some people use spend paper cores from their paper bgs, then just tape the muslim to that.
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Last edited by Csae : 24th of May 2011 (Tue) at 18:26.
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Old 24th of May 2011 (Tue)   #9
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Default Re: DIY Automatic Backdrop System Advice!

A muslin only weighs a few pounds at most. I am not talking about lifting them all up, just one at a time. Just a small rack I can lower, hang a muslin (which are on rods) on, and have lifted back up. I looked at motor drive systems but I have several muslins, and plan on getting more, and those drives are pretty expensive. I will already need eight as it is if I go with one of these things and like I said, I plan on getting more backdrops.

Another thing is that I will be using pulleys, so the weight load will be even less. I am fairly good at building stuff and very mechanically inclined so I don't think I will have much of a problem with building it all, but was just wanting to see if I could find someone with some advise. I have seen pulley systems built for this using hand cranks so I am fairly confident in the implement of it, and I am pretty sure the load will be light enough for the motor. If not I could always use a hand ccrank instead.
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Old 24th of May 2011 (Tue)   #10
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Default Re: DIY Automatic Backdrop System Advice!

Maybe a chain drive would be OK if I could figure out a way to mount everything I have without it taking up a huge amount of wall space.
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