Vintage Lighting Carbon Arc carbons

SteveB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Thanks Derek!!!
Any chance of finding some spots for parts or one that works for sale any where?
Before you invest in rehabing some pretty old machines or buying used, consider that in order to operate safely, you need good ventilation if in a closed room/booth, etc. This usually meant a powered room fan venting system with hosing connected to the top exhaust vents on the spots.

We contemplated donating our old Super Troupers back in 2000 but we're told bad idea due to the operational dangers and potential liabilities.

I would be looking instead at used follow spots that do not use carbons.

OR if this is truly the only option for you, find a lighting rental company that's been in business for 50 years and might have parts in stock. Long shot but who knows what's in some basements.

I can tell you that in the NYC area, which had a lot of rental shops, only a few stocked these (it's a Trouper, as BTW, not a Super Trouper) and they long ago got rid of the units and parts. But as a thought, maybe Altman Rentals in Yonkers, NY. Also maybe Limelight in Mass., or anybody local to you that's been around forever.
 

music_hic

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2016
Location
Fort Stockton TX
We are an out door show so venting is not an issue with us. We have 9 other small standard spots as well, but nothing can come close to the wonderful light a carbon arc will throw in our pool! We would like to keep as many as we can, years ago all 12 spots where arcs, that would have been a sight to see.
 

derekleffew

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Las Vegas, NV, USA
Any chance of finding some spots for parts or one that works for sale any where?
@SteveB offered some good possibilities.
Member @DaveySimps from Michigan told of a rental company near him wanting to rent Troupers out not so long ago. https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/carbon-arc-followspots.32767/
@Les in the Dallas area posted a picture of a ton of Supers abandoned in an arena in Texas--there might have been Troupers in there as well. https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/running-power-around-an-arena.32675/#post-287460
Search CB for other carbon-arc users. Perhaps all of you should form a club or support system or something.

"Don't let this happen to your trusty and faithful companions..."
SuperTrouper_rusty.jpg


I do occasionally see Strong Trouper s come up for sale on eBay, but they're almost always ridiculously over-priced; I don't think any sane individual would/should pay more than $500 for a fully-functional, pristine model.

Special Lighting Solutions
Jack Schmidt
phone (712) 326-9246
E-Mail: [email protected]
Training and repair of followspots, primarily Strong
Drop Jack an email; if anyone knows, he does.

-----
I haven't seen the topic discussed here, or on any online forum for that matter. This thread might be as good as place as any for me to bemoan the fact that, as of 12/21/15, Strong Electric as we know it (originally of Toledo OH, later of Omaha NB) is no longer. http://syncrolite.com/syncrolite-purchases-strong-lighting-assets/
Syncrolite's Website is only listing Super Trouper, Super Trouper II, and Gladiator IV as current models. Sad, sad days.
 
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SteveB

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Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Correct that a carbon was always a special quality of light, that only xenon comes close too.

Sad as well as Derek has indicated that Strong is gone, though I hope Syncro keeps the line somewhat alive. Strong spotlights have been about as good a unit to have as a front light as ever built.
 

Les

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Location
DFW, Tx.
@Les in the Dallas area posted a picture of a ton of Supers abandoned in an area in Texas--there might have been Troupers in there as well. https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/running-power-around-an-arena.32675/#post-287460
Ah, the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center (aka, Dallas Convention Center). Might be worth a call, @music_hic , but good luck getting in touch with someone who knows anything. :(

I was hoping to salvage some old Holophane and Porcelain Enamel fixtures from a prior renovation, but never could get in touch with the right people.
 
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music_hic

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2016
Location
Fort Stockton TX
Thanks Les, maybe luck will be on my side? Dallas is 9 hrs across TX from me but I will be there twice next month. This gives me a good place to start!

By the way the show I volunteer for has been running since 1936 with just a few missed years. It is 100% run by volunteers.

I would like to thank all of you for your help so far, it is great to find a resource such as this!!!
 
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derekleffew

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Las Vegas, NV, USA
Well, the cat's out of the bag now.


FF to 5:40 for my favorite part, a whole new dimension to flash 'n' trash.
 

Les

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Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Location
DFW, Tx.
Thanks Les, maybe luck will be on my side? Dallas is 9 hrs across TX from me but I will be there twice next month. This gives me a good place to start!
You'll also be in the neighborhood of Synchrolite, Vari*lite, and Christie Lites. It might be worth your time to pay them a visit and see if they have any industry veterans who might know of sources/stashes.

I would like to thank all of you for your help so far, it is great to find a resource such as this!!!
You're welcome. Great to have you here!
 

SteveB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Like the Gladiator and carbon ST design better, with the gel frame assembly on top. Which is why we have Lycian 1293's.
 

JD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
North Wales PA
Like the Gladiator and carbon ST design better, with the gel frame assembly on top. Which is why we have Lycian 1293's.
Always liked the frames at the top. My original Troupers and Supers had them there. There is a trend away from that. One practical reason for front mount frames is that gel life is much greater. Many of the top mount designs put the gel in the optical path where the beam is more focused. I have a Lycian 575 HMI (1209) that is rough on gels. On the flip side, the old supers were top mount but not at a focused beam point so they did ok with gel life.
 

derekleffew

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Aug 21, 2007
Location
Las Vegas, NV, USA
Always liked the frames at the top. My original Troupers ... had them there. ...
??? I've never seen a Trouper, carbon or xenon, with color anywhere other than on the front.

BTW, I strongly dislike the "new" boomerang pictured. I understand it makes the luminaire easier to troup, but why should permanent installs suffer? Something weird about the unused frames flopping in the breeze, plus older frames don't fit quite right and jam.
 

JohnD

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Jan 11, 2012
Location
north central OK
How many of you classic lighting people remember that large UV rondel for use with carbon arc followspots?
 
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JD

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Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
North Wales PA
??? I've never seen a Trouper, carbon or xenon, with color anywhere other than on the front.
Yes, just the Supers! The troupers had two booms, the newer ones were self-canceling and the old ones were the slide-booms. (two of mine from 1980)

 

DaveySimps

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Feb 25, 2007
Location
Macomb, MI
@SteveB offered some good possibilities.
Member @DaveySimps from Michigan told of a rental company near him wanting to rent Troupers out not so long ago. https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/carbon-arc-followspots.32767/

Funny you mention this now. This company is actually looking to get rid of all of theirs by the end of the month. They are getting out of lighting and consolidating to just special effects and audio. Feel free to message me, and I can get you his contact info if you wish. He is a quirky guy, but exceptional about being able to track down old parts.

~Dave
 
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RonHebbard

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Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
How many of you classic lighting people remember that large UV rondel for use with carbon arc followspots?
The carbon Supers were comfortably rounded so your left wrist didn't get kinked wrapping around the hard-ninety corner to keep your left hand positioned for the iris, guillotine / upper- lower masking and dowser. Having the boomerangs on top also placed them much closer to the tilt pivot making it easier to remain perfectly still, zero bouncing, while you were snapping, or smoothly rolling, color changes mid-song. The large, heavy, glass UV filter's mount was fitted with an appropriately balanced spring specifically chosen to balance the weight of the glass. A carbon super could easily out shine a 1K6 xenon when doing tight, 1/2 body, chest and up, shots. At our throw distance, we'd normally be running a flat field with the trombone all the way forward and the iris closed in just a hair so we could still pull in for a head only shot. If you were running waist up most of the night, you could focus for a slightly hotter center and beat the pants off a 1K6 xenon. Our 'soft seater' venue had four Supers positioned as xenon, carbon, center-line, carbon, xenon. When tours rolled in, the touring spot op' would always DEMAND a xenon presuming they'd be brightest for his "star". We'd put an experienced op' on the other xenon but our most experienced op's would grab the two carbon supers and delight in blowing the socks off the road op'. I'd normally throttle back a carbon to match the road op's xenon but, if they were behaving like total anal orifices, I'd let 'er rip 'til the road op' cried uncle asking me to douse down a little so he could see his light, or so his star performer wouldn't appear dim in comparison to a nearby lesser god. I'll admit to being biased but, so long as they were well maintained, I'd pick a carbon super over a xenon every time.
BTW; There were smaller diameter / lighter weight glass UV filters for the Troupers as well but they were an ugly kludge of a thing that bolted on to the outer face of the boomerang holder and were hardly intended for smoothly rolling in.
I'll quit drooling and get back in my cave now.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
Edited to correct "blowing the socks of" to blowing the socks off.
 
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RonHebbard

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Premium Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
We are an out door show so venting is not an issue with us. We have 9 other small standard spots as well, but nothing can come close to the wonderful light a carbon arc will throw in our pool! We would like to keep as many as we can, years ago all 12 spots where arcs, that would have been a sight to see.
If you're operating arcs with silvered glass reflectors (rather than polished metal reflectors) outdoors, keep an eye peeled for rain, no matter how light. I recall working with four arcs outdoors in the round from four sides when a tiny sprinkle of a shower rolled through. All it took was a single rain drop finding its way to the top rear of a reflector which instantly shattered leaving us with zero light for the folks on that side. This was the official opening night of a local shopping mall. It was a tight budgeted, spots only, thirty minute show. As there was zero rain forecast, the producers had made no provision for any sort of tent over / around any of the spots. They'd advertised their starting time as nightfall and had zero other lighting. Losing that one spot just into the performance left one entire side in the DARK.
Lesson learned: As much as I prefer the silvered glass reflectors, when outside it's polished metal or some form of protection from the elements.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard.
 

JD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
North Wales PA
The carbon Supers were comfortably rounded so your left wrist didn't get kinked wrapping around the hard-ninety corner to keep your left hand positioned for the iris, guillotine / upper- lower masking and dowser. Having the boomerangs on top also placed them much closer to the tilt pivot making it easier to remain perfectly still, zero bouncing, while you were snapping, or smoothly rolling, color changes mid-song. The large, heavy, glass UV filter's mount was fitted with an appropriately balanced spring specifically chosen to balance the weight of the glass. A carbon super could easily out shine a 1K6 xenon when doing tight, 1/2 body, chest and up, shots. At our throw distance, we'd normally be running a flat field with the trombone all the way forward and the iris closed in just a hair so we could still pull in for a head only shot. If you were running waist up most of the night, you could focus for a slightly hotter center and beat the pants off a 1K6 xenon. Our 'soft seater' venue had four Supers positioned as xenon, carbon, center-line, carbon, xenon. When tours rolled in, the touring spot op' would always DEMAND a xenon presuming they'd be brightest for his "star". We'd put an experienced op' on the other xenon but our most experienced op's would grab the two carbon supers and delight in blowing the socks off the road op'. I'd normally throttle back a carbon to match the road op's xenon but, if they were behaving like total anal orifices, I'd let 'er rip 'til the road op' cried uncle asking me to douse down a little so he could see his light, or so his star performer wouldn't appear dim in comparison to a nearby lesser god. I'll admit to being biased but, so long as they were well maintained, I'd pick a carbon super over a xenon every time.
BTW; There were smaller diameter / lighter weight glass UV filters for the Troupers as well but they were an ugly kludge of a thing that bolted on to the outer face of the boomerang holder and were hardly intended for smoothly rolling in.
I'll quit drooling and get back in my cave now.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
Edited to correct "blowing the socks of" to blowing the socks off.
Yup. Trombone out, on a long throw you could then adjust the gap to give you a center hot-spot that would blow away the newer xenon's. Loved the old carbon supers. The upside and downside of that is that the talent of the op would make or break the performance of the spot. You ended up with "star" operators that everyone else had to aspire to be ;)
 
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JD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
North Wales PA
If you're operating arcs with silvered glass reflectors (rather than polished metal reflectors) outdoors, keep an eye peeled for rain, no matter how light. I recall working with four arcs outdoors in the round from four sides when a tiny sprinkle of a shower rolled through. All it took was a single rain drop finding its way to the top rear of a reflector which instantly shattered leaving us with zero light for the folks on that side. This was the official opening night of a local shopping mall. It was a tight budgeted, spots only, thirty minute show. As there was zero rain forecast, the producers had made no provision for any sort of tent over / around any of the spots. They'd advertised their starting time as nightfall and had zero other lighting. Losing that one spot just into the performance left one entire side in the DARK.
Lesson learned: As much as I prefer the silvered glass reflectors, when outside it's polished metal or some form of protection from the elements.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard.
Can't say I ever had one shatter while running even with rain, but re-trims did at least two in over the years. Had two spots with metal and six with glass. Glass always seemed a bit brighter, but that may have been the power of suggestion.