Artificial High Direction (AHD) Easel A-Frame Using Arizona Vortex Multipod Part 2

Written By: Lance Piatt


As noted in other literature, the most overlooked challenge of setting up any AHD is controlling the vector forces or resultants.  Now, we have a bunch of training videos through Rigging Lab Academy that talk about this in depth, but for this short snippet, I am simply making this a point of reference.  And while this video shows the CMC Arizona Vortex Multipod, the applied physics also are true for the TerrAdaptor from SMC and PMI.

The AHD can easily move about trying to figure it’s own neutral path (while under load) and it is up to the technical crew to mitigate this and determine the correct path upfront (which is to find the intended focal point). This should happen at the point of bringing up the AHD to the edge.  Whether this is at the edge, back from the edge or somewhere in between… a plan and strategy must be taking shape before this actually happens.

Guying systems are what I would call a foundational truth.  In other words, the guying system keeps the AHD in place so that the vector forces, when applied, keep the feet placements permanently in force.  In the case of using an Easel A Frame, the resultants are kept inside the “footprint”.  Often, not a super critical point of rigging, the Easel A Frame is chosen for its broad appeal for many riggers and a wide tolerance for usage, as it provides larger footprint than other configurations.

A really nice feature of the Easel A is the configuration from a tripod set up (meaning the resultant is more or less in the middle of the footprint (inside the three feet) to a configuration where the resultant is moved to closer to the fall line. This adjustment modifies the compression-tension forces and is the difference between a tripod (all three legs are in compression) vs an Easel A (where the two front legs are in compression and the back leg is in tension.

Always remember to attach a tagline to the head of the AHD placement as it needs to be anchored securely in order to prevent a displacement caused by tension and compression forces.  This anchor line runs along with and past the easel leg.

As always… rig safely and once the foundations are understood… be creative!


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