Making the Connections

To run your Trickline, you will need a 120VAC 1HP Stagehand Apprentice and a few cables.

The Stagehand Apprentice will need input power and an E-stop connection to a Showstopper 3 Base and a CAT5 cable connecting to Spikemark for cued motion. From the Stagehand Apprentice to your Trickline, you will need an Apprentice motor/brake cable and a signal cable. On single section machines, the outboard limits are wired permanently to the Trickline’s J-Box. Multi-section machines include a hard wired REV limit while the FWD limit is connectorized.

Motor/Brake Connection

The cable that powers your Trickline’s motor and brake is connected to your Trickline with a 6 pin locking Harting connector that utilizes Han E type pin and socket crimp connectors. The Trickline motor operates at 230VAC, while the brake operates at 120VAC.

Signal Connection

Any encoder or limit signals are sent through the Signal Cable. This cable and pinout is used across all current Stagehand controllers - so any signal cable you have on hand will work. Since this one cable can be used with any machine there are a lot of conductors in there - the Trickline only uses a few of them:

  • Position Encoder

  • FWD Limit

  • REV Limit

Due to the large number of connections, the signal cable utilizes a Harting style IRC-6B 24P locking connector. Below is the pinout for any Signal cable:

Signal Pinout


There are two limit cables integrated into the Trickline’s J-box: one each for the Reverse and Forward initial limits. The Trickline doesn’t utilize the Ultimate Limit circuit.

On a single beam Trickline both limits are hard wired directly into the machine J-Box. If you have a multi-section Trickline then the FWD limit will be hardwired to the J-Box, while the REV limit will be connectorized with the tried-and-true MLP1 connectors. This allows you to remove the REV limit for storage.

Included with the Trickline are cable management clips to prevent your limit cable from hanging too low and also to prevent the cable from getting in the way of the carrier. To install your clips, simply insert the clip into the track sideways, and rotate the clip 90 degrees to lock the clip in place.

Testing The Motor

Prior to connecting your scenery or prop to the Trickline is the best time to confirm all is functioning as expected. With the Motor and Signal cables connected to the Stagehand Apprentice, the limits set, and the Showstopper 3 connected and powered up let’s Make It Move!

  1. Release the E-Stop. You should hear a “click” from the Stagehand. The OLED display will change from “EMERGENCY STOP” to “DISCONNECTED”

  2. Brake and Motion test. Press and hold the FWD jog button on the Stagehand, the display will show FWD: 0% and POS: with a number. Turn the jog wheel CW to display 1%. You should hear a click from the motor and Stagehand and the motor will begin to spin. Release the jog button and test with in REV.

  3. While jogging FWD the POS readout should be increasing

  4. While jogging REV the POS readout should be decreasing

  5. Limit switches. Manually test both the FWD and REV limit switches, confirming the status changes on the Stagehand display.

Connecting Scenery

Without scenery connected, the Trickline is only a cool linear actuator - so let’s make it awesome by moving your scenery. The Trickline carriage includes four ¼-20 tapped holes for attachment - two in each belt clamp plate. Feel free to attach directly to the carriage plate, or mount your own intermediate plate to the carriage.

Setting the Limits

Setting the hard limits is important for operating any automated effect. Properly set limits will prevent travel past the maximum safe amount - protecting against damage to the scenery or the Trickline.

The Trickline includes two hard limits: Forward and Reverse. The limit switches are rod acting, N.C. devices which can be adjusted along the length of the 80/20 track and are actuated by the carriage.

To adjust your limits, loosen the LHCS attaching the limit bracket to the track with a 5/32” allen key. Move the limit to the desired location and re-tighten the LHCS to set the limit into place on the track.

Keep in mind there can be several inches of over travel once the limit is engaged. The amount varies depending on the velocity of the carriage. This means you may need to set the limits to trigger before the very end of travel in order to protect against machine damage.

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