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Cleaning Ellipsoidals

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by squigish, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. squigish

    squigish Member

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    Anybody have any recommendations on what to use to clean our ellipsoidals? They're mostly Altman 360Qs and CCT Shillouette Zooms, but most of them haven't been cleaned in at least 4 years, and possibly in the lifetime of the fixture. We also have several Zoom spots and incandesent ellipsoidals that are just sitting up in the catwalk, and haven't been used in years. Are they likely to be any good? I've seen some theaters using incandescant ellipsoidals similar to ours, but when I hung one and turned in on, it looked absolutely pitiful compared to the rest of the stage lighting.

    I'm assuming that we should take them apart and clean the lenses and reflectors, but if that's not the best idea, let me know.

    And cheap is good.

    How often do you think cleaning in necessary? How about tuning/bench focusing?

    Also, in a related question, what exactly is a zoom spot? Is it some kind of precursor to the Ellipsoidal Reflector Spot?
  2. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    New York
    I would say take the instrument apart, get some of that electronic dust-off stuff (some gas that shoots out of a can) and dust off the parts you can't reach. For the parts you can reach, a damp or dry cloth is good.

    Do not use WD-40 on an instrument. Its flash point is just barely over 120'F I believe.
  3. bdesmond

    bdesmond Active Member

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    Chicago, IL USA
    I suspect the issue with your incadescent fixtures is that they are a different color temperature than the halogens. Thus, the light just "looks" different. I doubt they're actually so dirty that the light isn't getting through. If this is the case, you'd likely be able to tell with a visual inspection of the lens without taking anything apart. If the fixtures haven't been touched in years as you describe, a good cleaning would be nice either way.

    Many of the manufacturers have recommendatiosn on how to and with what to clean their equipment in the manuals that came with the units. You can get these off the web usually if you don't have the originals.

    Zoom Spots are Ellipsoidals. They have an extra axis of movement so that you can change the beam angle rather than having to swap out lens tubes to get froma 19deg to a 26deg for instance.
  4. digitaltec

    digitaltec Active Member

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    President of CRU design, LLC
    Pittsburgh, PA
    This has been discussed on here before, but It is sugested to clean your fixtures at least once a year.

    I usually have some compresed air or even a low powered air gun and some Isopropyl alcohol. You know, blow all the dust and dirt off of the fixture, then clean it with a soft rag and some alcohol.
  5. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    As Chris has pointed out, there are several related posts on the site somewhere. Here are 3 that I have been able to put my hands on that may help you out:

    Spot overhaul - some info on cleaning

    Tips for taking things appart

    Bench focussing

    You may be able to replace the incandescent lamps with halogen ones, however, I am certainly no expert on this matter. I would enquire into this though, as it seems to be a waste to have them just sitting there. Ship will probably be able to help you out here.

    Hope this gives you a few places to start.

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