Below are common issues encountered with the Trickline and how to address them.

Belt Tension

Many challenges are associated with belt tension.

Motion is not smooth

Rough motion is most likely due to poor belt tension.

Check to make sure the belt on your Trickline is not slack. If there is not enough tension, the belt teeth will not catch the pulley teeth and the motion will be jerky. To tension the belt follow these simple steps

  1. Move the carriage to the center of the beam.

  2. Loosen, but do not remove the 8 pulley attachment low head cap screws with a 5/32” hex key

  3. There are four 5/16”-18 x ⅝” bolts on each side

  4. Tighten the ¼”-20 x 2-¼” Jack Bolt with a 3/16” hex key until the belt has approximately 1/64” of deflection per inch of belt.

  5. Measure the deflection at the center of the belt between the carriage and turnaround pulley.

  6. Tighten the 8 pulley attachment 5/16”-18 x ⅝” low head cap screws with 5/32” hex key

If adjusting the belt tension doesn’t solve the poor motion, it’s time to confirm there isn’t binding. The quickest way to figure this out is to disconnect the scenery from the Trickline and run the machine. If the problem goes away, attempt to manually move the scenery to find the binding point.

Excessive belt noise

Without enough belt tension, the belt could be rubbing against the inside of the 80/20.

Belt alignment

Confirm the belt is running approximately in the center of the pulleys. Belt noise can be caused by rubbing against the pulley flange. Adjust the belt tracking by adding or releasing tension on the appropriate jock bolt.

Popping noise

A slipping drive belt will make a popping noise. This can be caused by poor belt tension, excessive weight, binding of the load or too steep of an acceleration.

Sloppy Position accuracy

Sloppy positioning on the Trickline generally accompanies popping noises from the drive belt. Position is taken from the motor, so any slippage on the belt will translate to poor positioning in real life. The most common reasons for sloppy positioning include poor belt tension, excessive load, excessive speed or acceleration and binding.

Limit is activated

When a limit is activated, further motion in that direction will be prohibited. Adjust the physical limit switch location to allow motion.

Stagehand or Spikemark Displays Drive Fault

A drive fault can be caused by many factors. To reset a drive fault use the drive reset button in Spikemark or power cycle (disconnecting input power for 25 seconds) the Stagehand. If a drive fault reappears see the Stagehand reference manual for further troubleshooting.


If you get stuck, we’re here to help. The best way to get in touch with a tech expert is via email - even during normal business hours - because most days we are spread around the shop and may not be near the phone. There’s someone in the office from 8:30a-5pm EST Monday - Friday and will return an email or phone call quickly. After hours (honestly when most tech support issues arise) we have a crack team monitoring email and voicemail who will respond quickly to help get you moving.

  • Online:

  • Email:

  • Phone: 401-289-2942 x2

Last updated