Stage Designs

Throwback: Rods and Crowns

Greg Springer from firstCHRISTIAN in Norfolk, Nebraska brings us this hanging pipes in their stage design. (Originally posted June 2014)

The light pipes design was inspired by a different design which utilized EMT at Calvary Christian Church in Bellevue, NE. The crown was for their sermon series called The Story and was inspired by a much larger set piece created by Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY.


Light Pipe
Emt Electrical Conduit 1/2″
3/4″ Nuts (Slighty larger than the inside diameter of the pipe)
50lb Tess Spider Wire
S chain (used individual links to create hooks for hanging the pipes quickly from their light bar)
Six Par 64 RGB Pars (Already owned)
4 ADJ Megabars (Already owned)

Cost: $150 Man
Hours: 6 people, 5 hours of assembly.
4 people, 3 hours of install.

3 Sheets 1/8″ Hard Board
Latex Paint (which they already had)
3 2x4x8
6 2x2x8
3 1x2x8

Total Cost: $50
Man Hours: 2 people at 6 hours (+Dry Time)

Light Pipes Process

They cut the EMT to various links and deburred it (to protect the spider wire from possible fraying), making 2 of each size. Having the same pieces in size and quantity for each side helped ensure balance even though they weren’t shooting for symmetry. The vast majority of assembly was done on the ground, in a layed out area the same size as the hanging installation. They layed out their patterns for both sides, and then strung spider wire with a bolt tied to one end and a hook tied onto the other end which would be wrapped around the light bar and hooked back onto itself. They were able to tweek the install by looping the line around the pipe extra times.

They used spider wire because it does not stretch like monofilament, it ties very well, and is a dark green matte finish which doesn’t reflect as much light (well worth the extra cost). The nuts at the bottom of each pipe created a cool effect completely by accident. Their A/C vents blow on that area pretty intensely, and ended up providing some rotation of the pipes and the nuts below. These nuts would catch the uplighting at different times creating a sparkle effect which had several people asking how they got lights inside each pipe.

Crown Process

They took the crown PSD and split it into 6 panels, created an overhead transparency and projected the design onto the hardboard, tracing and then painting. The rest is pretty self explanatory. They left gaps in between the panels and staggered their depth to create some activity as people changed positions in the room. These were also very easy to remove for the numerous weddings and other events they had during the 31-week series.







LED Boards Bounced

7 responses to “Throwback: Rods and Crowns”

  1. Stephen Sisson says:

    I really like the use of the conduit. About how many pieces did it take for your stage?

  2. Stephen,
    If I remember correctly I think 6 sticks of the 1″ conduit (left whole), and 15 of the 3/4″, that we cut into 2′,3′,7′,6′ sections. Where I bought it and when I bought it, their conduit had more of a shiny appearance, and looked a little darker. Now they are selling more of a silver matte, if you have the option I think going with the silver matte would be better as it was somewhat difficult to get a good uplight effect as the uplight was getting reflected more to the ceiling than scattered to the congregation.

  3. LeeAnn Bush says:

    This is a very neat look. However, I am still unsure how to get the piping lit even after reading your info. Maybe I am ignorant of the type of wiring you are using. Could you please explain it to me as if I were in 5th grade. Thanks in advance for your response and thanks for the cool idea.

    • Victoria Quirk says:

      Hey LeeAnn! It looks like the pipes are just being lit by some LED color battens that are on the floor and facing up!

  4. Mary says:

    How were these hung?

  5. Randy Storms says:

    I used this technique last week for R&B/Gospel group “Take 6”. I used 41 sticks of 1/2″ EMT conduit, side lit with 50 degree Source 4s in various colors. (Open white w/ breakup gobo, R39, R20, R90, R80). I actually top and bottom lit it with LEDs as well, but it was nowhere near as effective as the side light. Also – I laid out my design using MS Excel first – it gave me an accurate materials/cut list, and took all the guesswork out of assembling the rig later.
    Here’s a few pictures, sorry but the videos wouldn’t upload. Apologies for the poor image quality. (cell phone)

    I got compliments on this all night – thanks for the inspiration!

  6. liuliying says:

    A New PCB Experience in Troubleshooting
    There are several ways to find faults:

    Measuring Voltage Method

    First of all, it is necessary to confirm whether the voltage of each chip power pin is normal. Secondly, it is necessary to check whether the reference voltage is normal, and whether the working voltage of each point is normal. For example, when a silicon triode is turned on, the BE junction voltage is about 0.7V, while the CE junction voltage is about 0.3V or less. If the BE junction voltage of a transistor is greater than 0.7V (except for special transistors, such as Darlington transistors), it may be that the BE junction opens.

    (2) Signal injection method

    The signal source is added to the input terminal, and then the waveform of each point is measured back to see if it is normal to find the fault point. Sometimes we also use simpler methods, such as holding a tweezers in our hands to touch the input terminals at all levels to see if the output terminals react, which is often used in audio and video amplifier circuits (but it should be noted that the circuit with hot backplane or high voltage can not use this method, otherwise it may lead to electric shock). If there is no reaction at the first level and there is reaction at the second level, it means that the problem lies at the first level and should be checked.

    (3) Other methods of finding fault points

    Of course, there are many other ways to find fault points, such as watching, listening, smelling, touching and so on. “Look” is to see whether the components have obvious mechanical damage, such as rupture, blackening, deformation, etc.; “Listen” is to listen to whether the working sound is normal, such as something that should not be loud is ringing, where the noise is silent or abnormal, etc.; “Smell” is to check whether there is any odor, such as the smell of burning, the smell of capacitor electrolyte, etc., for an experienced electronic maintenance. Personnel are very sensitive to these odors; “touch” is to use their hands to test whether the temperature of the device is normal, such as too hot or too cold. Some power devices will get hot when they work. If they feel cool, it can be basically judged that they are not working. But if it’s not supposed to be hot or it’s too hot, that’s not going to work. General power transistors, voltage regulator chips and so on, working below 70 degrees is absolutely no problem. What’s the concept of 70 degrees? If you press your hand up, you can hold it for more than three seconds, which means that the temperature is about 70 degrees below. (Be careful to touch tentatively first, don’t burn your hand.)

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