The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

Cleaning of Dimmer Packs

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by LCTLight, Oct 28, 2003.

  1. LCTLight

    LCTLight Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    To everyone out there-

    Our stage floor was recently sanded and refinished with the dimmer packs on, naturally. Unfortunately I noticed that they packs are FULL, yes full of dust and saw dust. The fan casings are caked up around the edges, and some of the vent holes on the front of the dimmer packs are actually clogged clear closed.

    It might be useful information to everyone, but I would really like to know what the best method is to clean them. Have a professional do it? Can I unplug them and use compressed air? Obviously liquids are out. Anyone care to offer some suggestions? What about other annual or periodic maintenance? How much of it can I do, and how much needs to done by a professional?

    Thanks, any help and suggestions would be most appreciated!!

    P.S. I have NSI DS12-24 and NSI NRD9000 2.4Kwz dimmer packs in case you are wondering.
     
  2. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

    Messages:
    6,069
    Likes Received:
    364
    Location:
    Illinois
    Power them down, test to verify that they are powered down, blow them out as long as the airflow from blowing out is not going to just spread and dispese it further, in which case wipe and vacuum them off as much as you can, than blow what remains off. Hold the fan blades from spinning as you blow them off or you can damage the motors to them. Might also be a good time to change the filter screens at the inlet source, or add them if not there.

    After that, push up your normal professional maintinence to the dimmers by say 2 months if due within the next 6 months, and get them in to see a professional at cleaning and maintaing the dimmers as per normal maintinance for the equipment which is due once a year. Since the dust is not really an oily substance that will easily stick, it should be fairly easy to get them clean.

    No, there is not much else professional service people will be watching for persay and by my estimate, besides stuff that needs replacement or is not taking heat well, and it's trim, but professionals at maintaining them do it for a living and know what to test and look for and I don't. Dust bunnies, once they mildue do all kinds of bad things to dimmers. That I do know.
     
  3. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

    Messages:
    419
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    We had a similiar problem in college. Problem was there was no money for professional cleaning job. So I and some of the other electronics/computer people took them abart and blew them out and used Circuit board contact cleaner to get them really clean. Check the fan, it may have a little dimple for oil. After we were done we trimmed the dimmers and they are still working today.
     
  4. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

    Messages:
    1,155
    Likes Received:
    93
    Location:
    Eastcoast USA

    Hiya,
    As Ship said--power them down completely and make sure they--the entire rack, is powered OFF. Use an air compressor to blow out the particles from the packs, use a vaccume to suck the dust out of the bottom, and CAIG deoxit on a rag works well on the bars if they are showing any corrosion. Clean the fan blades and blow out their motors making sure you hold the fins so it doesn't spin and give you that old-style "whirrrrrrl" we love to do sometime<g>.

    We clean our sensor racks every 6 months, time permitting...given there will still be sawdust floating around your space and embedded in drapes, stuck in corners and on on top of battens for a while you may want to check your racks every month or two to ensure they stil are not collecting the floor dust....
     
  5. cruiser

    cruiser Active Member

    Messages:
    243
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Melbourne
    If they are out of waranty, it is much easier to unplug them and open them up. That way you can take all the dusty casings outside and brush them off and clean all the foam air inlets in warm soapy water.

    If you do open them, brush the insides with a clean if not brand new paint brush but do not touch any chipsets or wiring with your hands!!!

    If they arn't out of warranty, then just blow them with air and brush them down should get rid of most of it, but don't even think about cracking them open cuz the manufacturer wont even look at em without you paying a rather large sum!
     
  6. LCTLight

    LCTLight Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    They is NO doubt that these are out of warranty. I cannot even begin to think about when these were actually installed.

    I am going to attempt to power them down, open them up and get them cleaned out this weekend. All of your suggestions have been fantastic.

    Does anyone know where I can get a manual for these NSI dimmers that might tell me how to "correctly" open them up and take them apart?

    Thanks!!!
     
  7. cruiser

    cruiser Active Member

    Messages:
    243
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Melbourne
  8. Patches

    Patches Member

    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salem (Podunk) Oregon
    what we do at the end of every school year (and should robably do the morning of each tech rehearsal) is blow ours out.

    as every one said before, ower down comeletely, and we used our shop vac, (which i just cant seem to get it to suck) and set it on blow. aim AWAY from the rack (ull each dimmer out individually) and go for it. be thoruogh.... it hels....

    i'm done trying to sound intelligent.
     
  9. 1kfresnel

    1kfresnel Member

    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    I wouldn't recommend your standard paint brush from the hardware store. They can generate static electricity (in the realm of 1000's of volts) that has the potential to damage components. They do manufacture ESD-brushes if you're looking to do that fine of a cleaning near static sensitive equipment.
     
  10. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

    Messages:
    9,392
    Likes Received:
    1,789
    Location:
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Holy necro post batman.
     
  11. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    1,729
    Likes Received:
    490
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    I would avoid the air compressor. The air from compressors is often rather moist and contains small amounts of oil. If you don't believe me, blow one through a clean, white painter's cloth for a minute or two and tell me what the rag looks like. There are compressors that are filtered and dehydrated, but those are in rare installations.

    A simple shop vac that has been emptied of dirt and has a fresh filter will do the job. You can carefully vacuum the worst of it, and then connect the hose to the vacuum's blower spigot and blow what ever is left. Keep the hose and nozzle from actually touching circuit boards and components. Use the thin crevice nozzle.
     
  12. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

    Messages:
    4,361
    Likes Received:
    2,738
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    See this, and the subsequent posts.:)
     
  13. Sony

    Sony Active Member

    Messages:
    856
    Likes Received:
    96
    Occupation:
    Freelance Electrician/Rigger
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Actually you can get filters and condensation removers at your local hardware store like Home Depot for fairly cheap. In fact I don't know of many contractors who don't have them already on their Air Compressors, it helps extend the life of your air tools and keeps them working at peak performance. We have one on our Ridgid 5 Gallon shop compressor in our Scene Shop.

    Porta-Nails Filter Regulator - 50233 at The Home Depot
     
  14. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    1,729
    Likes Received:
    490
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
     

Share This Page