Vintage Lighting A concern about early 1970's Century Leko's

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Sucks! Sucks! Sucks!!!

Just spent 4 hours working on the lamp caps to 8x Century #1480 or 2211 (some question) 6x9 Leko’s. I have perhaps an experiential version of this lamp cap which as a G-9.5 medium Bi-focus lamp factory installed. So some question other than the castings saying Century, but re-branded by Major what they are... Probably best guess they are Century #1480 and re/bought and branded for resale by Major in the early 70's. None the less, Excellent optics’ (I’m told) from the mid 60's thru early 70's, think this is the Leko type. I went to High School with in first experience with doing the lighting part of a show with these Leko’s during High School.

The lamp housing castings were easily cleaned, the bolts in really good shape - just a light cleaning and rust inhibitor on them. How I was going to make the separate inlet 2x small Heyco cord grip designed for two or three wire braided asbestos, with 1x terminal outside the fixture for ground; into a #0 sleeved 2-wire SF-2 + grounded lamp casting.. I have a plan and 3/8" NPT Altman cord grips for.

Drill thru the ground casting, and attach it’s longer ground strip length from the inside of the casting. Drill and tap one of the oval Heyco fittings for 3/8" NPT. More difficult but can do even if I have to send to shop machine shop to do, easy to get done. Castings cleaned up great. Easy easy. Semi-skilled to skilled level in drill/tap for cord grip needed TBA, but easy to do.

Onto the lamp sockets. Three of the ceramics of the sockets fell apart on removal. OK. Bryant brand P-28s socket no longer available, and modern replacements are a larger dia. and will not fit in the lamp cap casting. Pulled a few from parts stock, spent an hour breaking apart broken porcelains for the terminals and more especially the square nuts and mounting nuts in making from parts another.

The P-28s lamp socket invention goes back to the mid-1930's and didn’t change at all until about the 1990's for unknown reasons in mounting holes no longer aligning and the OD of it now larger.
On the old Bryant discontinued lamp socket, the square nut to mount the neutral shell of the lamp socket (only one) under the hot connection terminal... I find is the hardest to save once a screw is broken off on it. It is smaller than standard 4-40 square nuts, it’s hard to grab to grind away corroded material so as to remove a broken screw - one in three able to do so. With time possibly some Liquid Wrench might have helped in waiting... but overall the hardest part was that nut under the hot as only part to otherwise make from parts a lamp socket. Got one needed freed up.

I also noted while doing this that the 4-40 porcelain nuts to mount the lamp socket have the same size nut square at the end of it’s rivet nut like different shape. Should you break apart as it were at the square nut / rivet nut porcelain extended nut from the ceramic... you now have two of the proper sized nuts once cut down to just the square nut for future use. Mini sledge hammer... save the nuts from trash from the ceramic for next time. To re-finish the discontinued lamp socket... gotta save what you can on it especially just that nut under the hot contact in what will work.

Three lamp sockets pulled from parts stock and ready once one was finally reconstructed after finding a viable 4-40 square nut from the three lamp bad sockets. Just finished high temp. siliconing up the gap between hot terminal and neutral ground shell square mount on all 8 I need - just a good / modern idea to high temp. silicone that gap..

I have a few more of this lamp socket in stock I am fairly sure, just have to dig bins for them. One pulled from the long term Fresnel to Leko P-28s to P-28s adaptor long term adaptor project. But I’m running out of the very important lamp socket in it’s O.D. which fits mounting holes to most lights, and more important, will only fit in the casting to this Leko fixture.

So silicone done... ready, noticed a chip of the porcelain laying on the table next to a lamp socket. Thought nothing of it and tossed it to the trash in perhaps a part from a broken apart lamp socket. Had another look. Ah’ Snap! That’s another lamp socket breaking apart, and next to it another. Examine all 8 lamp sockets (3-replaced but used), 4x total more with really bad cracks in them and none from the replacement lamp sockets.

Only one out of eight lamp sockets had it’s porcelain lamp socket not un-usable cracked in a way that would fall apart on re-install or use.

That’s a bad day for me. I know I have two more of these Leko’s still hanging at the theater, and doubt I have enough good Bryant ceramics around to replace the lamp sockets for what I need for replacement on for this or future needs. I want to make all the Leko’s viable for some other theater - had to design with clip lights before..., and these are good fixtures, and will be factory spec + better once I’m done.

So last week I finished restoring 6x Fresnels to perfect condition/lamp sockets refinished. They all have Bryant lamp sockets... I know I have enough modern - different mounting lamp sockets to lamp the fixtures.

These Fresnels are done and complete. To take them back apart to remove the lamp sockets which are necessary for the Leko’s and future needs, and re-drill for a new modern one... This is going to be a Suck! So not wanting to do this, not busy at the shop at the moment. My department has stuff to do in always busy, but I just might bring this lamp base swap into them for bulk labor to get re-done. I need the old lamp bases from the Fresnels to make the Leko’s viable, and to save the lamp socket for future work.

On the Leko’s I’ll look into high temp/insulating ceramic padding perhaps between the aluminum cast heat sink and the lamp socket. A bit of cooling, a bit of padding in seeing if a modern upgrade will fit. Think this Leko has a problem in lamp socket crashing into that heat sink given 7/8 at this point, ceramics broken... but the same brand lamp socket Fresnels were fine. Or perhaps the heat sink but thin ceramic base was overheating in some way. Years too late to figure that out. Something I have not seen before, but while the style, I have the theorized G-9.5 prototype only in the museum at this point with experience at this point. It didn't have the problem.

What is not seen in photos on the right is cracks deep into the ceramic sufficient they are bad.

Or is this a systemic Century/Strand #1480 or 2211 problem to be concerned about if one has them still in use?

Really nice lighting fixtures, very well engineered but is this a design flaw say 50 years later - easily perhaps solved but also perhaps too late given a lack of the same style of lamp socket?
 

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I checked and Barbizon does indeed have these in stock (In NYC) I see you're in IL call or email the Chicago office and ask them for the BR3742 part number. They could gladly ship to you. [email protected]
 
Decided to swap all lamp sockets in upgrade to Century #2321 upgrade with G-9.5 lamps given the problems in lamp cap breaking lamp sockets.

Also noting the upgrade G-9.5 fixture is rated for 500w. The Century #2211 I think these Leko's are (resold by Major in changing a knob on them for branding and all other rating stickers melted down...) are also rated for 500w per Photometrics Handbook.

Lamps removed, a bit mixed up at the moment... was the 750w EGG and more of them stuck into a Fresnel (totally wrong lamp) or a Leko? 3.1/2" LCL verses 2.3/8" LCL. Much of both for either no doubt given heat damage.

My thought if re-wired, such a fixture can do a 575w GLA or GLC lamp in best optically and given improvements for the fixtures in its parts resurfaced and now dealing with heat better.

So the difference between the fixtures is a 16ga steel plate so as to mount the new lamp socket, with various mounting and tapping holes, and some 7/16" long, 1/2" dia. spacers. Plus a different grounding - though I probably grounded both lamp cap and this plate... Different cord grip was years ago in fitting three conductors into one too small hole, verses all into a 3/8"NPT Altman two screw cord grip.

Can tell from paint, the #2321 was an factory thing in Pre-Axial Leko, and a halogen upgrade to the incandescent T-10 lamp the fixture was designed for. A Radial Leko, with upgrade to axial Leko halogen lamp, while less efficient given the radial reflector.... still a hole in history in how it was done.

The upgraded to #2321 Leko, are now going to be more efficient than the Altman #360 series Leko's. Just have to re-wire all the lamp socket caps and make a bunch of plates. Luckily... recently "Roy Lights" got purged from inventory, so I have lots of G-9.5 lamp socket cap assemblies to swipe lamp sockets from. Can easily do this.
 

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Decided to swap all lamp sockets in upgrade to Century #2321 upgrade with G-9.5 lamps given the problems in lamp cap breaking lamp sockets.

Also noting the upgrade G-9.5 fixture is rated for 500w. The Century #2211 I think these Leko's are (resold by Major in changing a knob on them for branding and all other rating stickers melted down...) are also rated for 500w per Photometrics Handbook.

Lamps removed, a bit mixed up at the moment... was the 750w EGG and more of them stuck into a Fresnel (totally wrong lamp) or a Leko? 3.1/2" LCL verses 2.3/8" LCL. Much of both for either no doubt given heat damage.

My thought if re-wired, such a fixture can do a 575w GLA or GLC lamp in best optically and given improvements for the fixtures in its parts resurfaced and now dealing with heat better.

So the difference between the fixtures is a 16ga steel plate so as to mount the new lamp socket, with various mounting and tapping holes, and some 7/16" long, 1/2" dia. spacers. Plus a different grounding - though I probably grounded both lamp cap and this plate... Different cord grip was years ago in fitting three conductors into one too small hole, verses all into a 3/8"NPT Altman two screw cord grip.

Can tell from paint, the #2321 was an factory thing in Pre-Axial Leko, and a halogen upgrade to the incandescent T-10 lamp the fixture was designed for. A Radial Leko, with upgrade to axial Leko halogen lamp, while less efficient given the radial reflector.... still a hole in history in how it was done.

The upgraded to #2321 Leko, are now going to be more efficient than the Altman #360 series Leko's. Just have to re-wire all the lamp socket caps and make a bunch of plates. Luckily... recently "Roy Lights" got purged from inventory, so I have lots of G-9.5 lamp socket cap assemblies to swipe lamp sockets from. Can easily do this.

Scrapped 50 of these at the end of last season. The powers that be finally got me enough source-4s to allow me to do so. These things are TANKS, however, some people had abused them over the years and I had been cannibalizing them for 10 years. Mainly busted bent and otherwised mangled shutters and I've rewired many of them so many times due to people not cabling properly. I was getting sick of stuck shutters, and had exaused just about every trick I have to keep them operating smoothly.

All of mine were lamped 750w as well. Always were.

FROM THE STRAND ARCHIVE
2321/22 - Lekolite Spotlight 6" x 9" (152mm x 229mm) 500W / 750W
2112/11 - Lekolite Spotlight 6" x 12" (152 x 305mm) 500W / 750W / 1000W
2113/14 - Lekolite Spotlight 8" x 13" (203mm x 330mm) 500W / 750W / 1000W

(edit: send before I was done)

Could not seem to find the older pre-lekolite ones yet on there. But I seem to remember them taking 750w. My other space mostly has the "newer" 2220 and such.
Let's see if I can find the pre-axial ones on the strand archive...
 
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1977 cutsheet attached.
 

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1977 cutsheet attached.
THANKS, I know I had that stored SOMEWHERE, but can't find it anywhere, and could not find it on the STRAND ARCHIVE either :( Also had no luck with those fresnels that were so common in the north american market, the round grey ones can't find their data sheet anymore either.
 
Converting from Century #1480 or 2211? in not sure which as they are resold from Major in the same light, just a knob and a clamp staying Major with all other fixture marking removed.

A shame about scrapping yours, but completely understand. A shame as with gear where I work scrapped, but even eight of these older gen Leko's to work on is a project.... and still for no customers other than one perhaps, and one for the museum - with two more still at the theater to cover this need, as with other gear ready for a home. The G-9.5 lamp socket upgrades in my case are saved from "Roy Lights" which were a pod of Altman 360Q reflectors and lamp sockets from many years ago. I now literally have stacks of reflectors and lamp cap assemblies for the 360/360Q now. In my case I saved what parts I could that were useful. Work is fairly good in sending my way examples for the museum on complete fixtures to pull parts from, or bulk gear I might want parts from. This even at the same time others were downsizing my storage.

Fixture upgrade work went well in converting from P-28s to G-9.5 base. In this case for this Century as opposed to a 360 series Leko, there is a good/better location to mount such a upgrade plate and standoff thing for this fixture.

Interesting project... found a 3.1/4" hole saw that could cut the mounting plates - but would be large hole saw suck!, to use in having to do it that way on flat plates. Have a 3" Green Lee punch.... 1/8" OD less... works. And as opposed to laying out and drilling out plate steel or aluminum, found a stack of ceiling plates to LED Color Kinetics wash lights. A slightly larger ID for the shaft of the green lee punch... this will work great. Drill out various mounting and focus spring holes than punch the ceiling caps.

Yea, such an inner cut part from a 3" Green Kee punch comes out like a Pringles's chip in shape, but some time on the anvil with car body hamer and they are almost flat, an adventure under the 12 ton arbor press afterwards... they are flat and ready to install. Now just to cut the 7/16" long 1/2" dia #10 screw spacers for a challenge. Gonna take a jig. Lots of 1/2" Dia x 2" spacers to cut down, just the challenge of cutting them to length tbd. with tools chosen.

Thanks for the fixture ratings, but my #2321 I'm duplicating from is only rated for 500w per the fixture sticker. So I think I will rate them for 375w-575w GLA series of lamps at 575w max.. Suspect that will be ignored.

Century #1480 or 2211? the fixtures with P-28s lamp sockets... Suspecting they are #2211 if similar to the #2321 others, and I probably also have a #1480? So need to re-inventory and mark what I have in stock.
 
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Squared up, made a jig for cutting surplus 2" long x 1/2" dia. spacers I found enough of. Rockwell bench table jig saw "tool". As some form of band saw.

Did everything correct, squared up my fence and square, added a spacer to the fence etc. Correct blade for what I was doing, and a jig to hold fast the spacers. (Non-dimmable / speed adjustable.)

Squared up rails didn't hold in semi-gorilla tight, that didn't solve the problem.... blade itself in mounting is not square to the frame of the tool. Just a few degrees off! And in not being able to adjust speed... didn't help in the tool jumping a lot while in use.

Option B' use the jig with a jigsaw... somewhat more accurate.

Option C' in normally I would just McMaster Carr up the proper spacers, this these days is not an option.

Option D' is now to pull from the literally hundreds of inner core Lex Products 1/8" thick x 1/2" wide brass grounding ring spacers we never use - our own grounding ring system better for doing Soco grounding rings. Add a #10 SAE washer and in stacking, now gets to 7/16" in height. Can do this.

Have to totally re-wire all the lamp sockets from P-28s I just wired... but I think a better option in sustainability for the lights... once someone wants them.
 
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Spent the day re-assembling the bodies of the fixtures, than once I realized the gobo thru lens train assemblies were up-side down on all... spent the next hour or three re-doing that. Darn it! This type of restoration work is relaxing and enjoyable, just a mistake easily fixed. It's like a Zen fun relaxing time.

Onto or back to the lamp socket upgrade from Medium Pre-focus (P-28s) normal Radial, but these fixtures have a known problem I made the conversion spacers to somewhat fix. The upgrade of the lamp sockets to Medium 2-pin (G-9.5) lamp socket will solve the problem. Mounting plates are made and now flat.

Lots of room inside the empty (missing it's P-28s lamp socket) radial cap now for high temperature butt splicing, and grounding now both the adaptor plate and the lamp cap. Also, a really good use for the obsolete parts from the "Roy Lights" (Pods of 360Q reflector's and lamp caps in a pod of six in assembly,) with shortened cable whips - I did a few years ago for some. In the past, people just taped up the extra cordage to get to the Soco fan-out. Got messy, I started just cutting cable whips from the lamp socket to the plug the the necessary whip length.

So in upgrade to the Roy light fixtures, and me later saving all the lamp caps, I was able to pull 12x from the bulk with short cable lengths. 1x turned out original non-heat sink G-9.5 lamp socket but in good condition. I put it into spare parts as the rest were all heat sink versions. 4x lamp sockets were arched and could not be put back into service. 7x heat sink versions of the G-9.5 were good. (Dozens more lamp cap assemblies in stock to look at in random cable lengths, but still lots of useful spare parts sufficient to hold onto).

Silicone abrasive fiber Dremmel wheel to clean off aluminum coorsion and rust on the metal surfaces, than Electrical Contact Cleaner with Lubricant applied over and into all surfaces. Soon ready to butt splice and high temp. tape connections between new lamp sockets. Accomplished the ring terminal Twofer for connecting ground between ground in (already run in now HT butt splice), lamp socket adapter plate ring termainl and actual lamp cap with set screw connection with ferrule connection to the ground.

Just have to rivet nut the lamp base mounting plates for 8-32 rivet nuts. Inspected the original upgraded fixture, that's how it was done, and tolerances say a nut won't fit for the upgrade. 10-32 rivet nuts would be better with my spacers but probably won't fit inside the P-28s housing ring also. Also in seeing a different brand of lamp socket in use for the bad Roy Light lamp sockets, 8-32 will fit in it, 10-32 will not.. Upgrade should be sustainable.

Ready to go in splicing new lamp sockets thru various rings, and grounding the adaptor plate. Few more hours, bench focus.. Than onto other more fun old lighting gear to work on. I have a "Magic Moon"!!! to restore, amongst other gear.
 

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Almost done - no rush. Just need to attach lamp cap focus ring with springs & bench focus to lamps Suppose I should or will soon to get onto other fixtures. One on the right kept original for the the museum, one on the left was origional upgrade these were based on.
 

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