Conventional Fixtures Cleaning lamp socket terminals on 360Qs

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Excitronic, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. Excitronic

    Excitronic Member

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    Hi, this is my first thread here and I want to get some insight on the best approach on cleaning socket terminals. At my high school we've got 8 source fours with 575w bulbs in them to light our stage and pit. After the source fours were installed, the old 360Qs were retired. Still lying around we have about 6 or 7 of them but mysteriously only have 3 socket assemblies and 1 working bulb. At the moment we would use them to spot our flag so that we don't have to run down and turn on the follow spot. The bulbs are a 750w and a 500w. The one 500w works alright but I suspect either the bulb is incorrect or it is in serious need of bench focusing. The 750w recently stopped working despite the fact that the filament looks almost brand new. I took the bulb out to inspect and it looks as though the terminals on the bulb have blackened and I suspect they aren't making contact. I'm willing to get a bulb or two to get them working but I want to make sure that if I do, I won't run into this problem again. So what can I do to clean out the sockets themselves and make sure they stay clean? image.jpg
     
  2. Plawler5

    Plawler5 Member

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    I'll bet you need new lamp sockets. I just replaced 2 in my Strand lekos, which run 575W lamps. New sockets cost about $8-10.
    Make sure you clean the lamp pins before reusing them. The carbon can cause other lamp sockets to fail.

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  3. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    No doubt about it, they need new sockets. And while it may seem thrifty, DONT reuse the corroded lamp. Even a well cleaned contact will kick start the process all over again.


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  4. Excitronic

    Excitronic Member

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    Thank you, I was hoping to be able to use the sockets again but it makes sense to replace since they get eaten up like that. Now if I were to replace a socket or two, where would be the best(cheapest) place to buy them? And ultimately is it worth doing considering the year is pretty much over now and next year will be the last year of stage crew at my school which now that I think of it might involve some liquidation of our assets...
     
  5. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    If you have a local supplier, try them first for parts. Otherwise, there are plenty of places online. I've used 1000Bulbs.com before and everything went fine. Here's the socket you need, and it's only $12.

    I would say that if the school is willing to pay for them, do it. If nothing else, it's a small price to pay for the experience you'll get.

    You'll probably want to buy some new Heyco strain reliefs, too. The old ones rarely come out in one piece. You'll need a tool for that as well, or you can try your luck with pliers (I've done it but it was frustrating). Here's a cheaper one, but I don't know anything about it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  6. Excitronic

    Excitronic Member

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    Thanks Les for the links, I'll probably end up purchasing the socket and bulb myself under the wire given how difficult it is to get financial support from my school. Our advisor can be really apathetic 9 times out of 10 when it comes to mantince and basic stuff and I'd rather not start something. Thanks again everyone for your help!
     
  7. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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  8. Excitronic

    Excitronic Member

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    Good point, after reading that thread I think i'll go to our assistant principal who I feel I can ask for something insignificant like this without the grief of going through our advisor, especially during end of year. Chances are if I explain to her the problem and why we need a light on the flag, I think she'll understand and help me out. The tricky part is that our stage crew doesn't really have a budget or funding from the school for our own stuff that I know of. We always rent for productions and it always comes out of their budget. After not spending a dime to maintain our assets, I think $25 is something that can happen.

     
  9. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    As said above, really the only solution is to replace both lamp and TP22 socket.

    However, looking closely at the lamp you've pictured (and is most often the case), only one of the two pins shows evidence of arcing (carbon build-up). The socket probably looks something like this:
    [​IMG]
    Again, one good and one bad contact.
    To buy some time, and since both are trashed already, reverse the lamp and re-insert it. How long this hack lasts depends on how much the fixture is used and at what level, but I've gotten anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. One can only get away with this once, as the lamp cap will be quite undependable once it fails again.

    Might get you through the end of the school year, and if the light on the flag suddenly goes out during the big graduation assembly, you can say, "I told you we needed budget for lamps and maintenance," and perhaps the purse strings will be less tight next year.

    BTW, lamp and socket has contact s not terminal s. And lamp not bulb but I'm a little more lenient on that one than many.

    Is the school closing? Building slated for demolition? No more auditorium? Brings up another tricky topic--the theatre dept or show budgets should not have to pay for lamps used during assemblies, but I won't go there right now.
     
  10. Excitronic

    Excitronic Member

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    I tried flipping the bulb numerous time to no luck, Upon investigation, I found I could spin one of the contacts on the end of the lamp leading me to believe the wires inside burned up or were simply eaten away. After carefully mangling the metal part away from the glass part, my theory was proven. The filament is still in tact and the lamp lights. The only difference is now the G9.5 base is separated and in the trash. I was able to put some wires on the bare contacts of the lamp and test it out just to make sure I wasn't going crazy.

    Our school isn't closing, we recently passed a $89 bond referendum to refurbish the fields, repair the roofs and build new facilities across the district. One thing I didn't mention was the renovation of ALL the auditoriums in the district. The work was stated to be finished by the beginning of the 2016-17 school year but low and behold not a single lick of paint has touched our auditorium. Promised was a new sound system, air conditioning, all the features of a new auditorium in a 1930's building, but I digress.

    Back to the reason why we might liquidate our assets is because sadly our entire stage crew / pa club is composed of myself, another student and our advisor. Occasionally we recruit some of our friends during a production to be run crew or work the bars backstage but thats about it. Students in the lower grades aren't interested in the technical side of theatre anymore and our advisor has decided to retire from stage crew after we graduate. There isn't another faculty member thats comparable that would take up the responsibility but even if there was, the younger student body isn't interested in stage crew anymore.
     
  11. Excitronic

    Excitronic Member

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    Good news, I talked to our assistant principal and she's going to have the custodians deal with it, my wallet is happy :)


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