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Electrical Decisions: Possibly broken 360Q lamp caps, dangerous twofer, and more

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Charc, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    So I'm trying to figure out what to do with three 360Q lamp caps. If I remember correctly from my tests (with a gamchek only) all three seem to be making poor electrical connection. I'd already flagged these caps last year as troublesome, and took a close look at them today. The lamps only seemed to make contact when depressed at odd angles, otherwise I'd get half/partial/broken tone. Sometimes I'd just hold the cap and it'd be fine, a quick jostle in the air and I'd get constant tone, another jostle, no tone. I'm assuming these three all have poor electrical connection in the lamp base. I think my vote is for replacing the entire cap (because I like getting new stuff), though I'm wondering if attempting to solely get a lamp base replacement is a better idea. From the brief look I took at the lamp base, it seemed to have entirely internally contained wiring, no easy access to re-soldering, so I'm imagining this project would be a PITA regardless, in addition all three of these units need the brass knurl screws. At $50 a pop though these guys aren't cheap. What are the votes for here? Buy replacement caps, or try and buy a replacement part?

    Twofer, I previously mentioned this guy as being straight dangerous. Freely floating pins, which led to awkward situations like only have the hot making contact. This led to some heat, fizzles, weird noises. These are the "fabric sleeve" kind of twofers, all in one connector. It appears that the issue is cramming so much 12AWG conductor into a small space, because none of the pins will sit properly. My idea is to just disassemble it and forget about it, that or bring it to the maintenance dept, and explain what it is going on, I'm not sure what the powers-at-be think though. Thoughts here?

    I sorta have a dilemma with a 1KL6. It has a shattered lamp inside of it, and I can't get the %#[email protected] think apart to remove all the pieces. I haven't been able to get a good grip on some of the machine screws that appear to be holding it together. My next attempt will be an 8" c-wrench. I'm worried about damaging the instrument, but I believe It's unusable in its current state. Any ideas here? Is it worth it to torque it? Should I just shake the hell out of it?

    (Just for clarification, E-tape does well with heat, right? For labeling on yokes. Also for clarification: sharpie writes well on the ceramic base of PARs, right?)
     
  2. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Lamp caps. Yes, you could rewire these, but once you start talking about all the steps involved, and the parts needed, we here at CB would probably prefer you buy new caps.

    The two-fer. Again, considering your electrical ability, if you, in good faith, are up to the task, you could fix it. Probably best to take it to maintenance of scrap it and use the parts to build adapters.

    The machine screws in the 1KL6, what kind of heads do they have? I've never worked on a 1KL6, but it should be a do-able project.

    E-tape on the yoke is fine for short term use. What is your use for the E-tape. E-tape in or around the lamp cap will melt.

    Sharpie on PAR bases is perfect.
     
  3. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Thanks,
    Charlie
     
  4. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like your 360Q's just need the base, which is pretty common in all instruments. You can get the base and the knurled brass screw for about half of what the entire cap would cost. Unfortunately, I have to by 9 complete lamp caps for some 6x9's and 12's because they are somehow MIA. You're right, they do add up.

    As for the 1kl, are you using a nut driver in trying to get the machine screw out? If not, try it. Much easier than using a flathead. Even better use a drill. I forget what the size is but I believe it's less than 1/4". Try spraying each one with WD-40 the night before. If that doesn't help... plan b. Take the cover off the lens housing and shake the hell out of it. Maybe even take the lamp assembly out and turn it on it's end (front facing up) and see if you can get the lamp fragments to come out of the hole in the reflector.

    As for tape, maybe fiberglass electrical tape and a paint pen/sharpie. I've never seen sharpie do anything bad because of heat, but spike tape on yokes can be another story... Another sad, baked-on, crunchy story.
     
  5. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    What are you labeling on the yokes? Degree? School?

    If permanent I'd suggest color-coded paint pens for degree.

    To re wire a lamp base, you're looking at a new lamp base socket, possibly a new ground wire, depending on the state of the old one, new crimps for the connector if stagepin, new strain reliefs, as it is hard to get out the old ones without breaking them, new fiberglass, if needed, and in your case, new brass screws. I think you should be able to do it, it's been discussed several times on the Booth. Also, don't lose the screws that hold down the socket to the base plate or the heat sink plate.

    If the two-fer is a hazard that cannot be repaired, scrap it!

    I believe Lester is correct on the hex headed screws. Use a nut driver, not a flat head.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2008
  6. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Great point on the nut driver, it's a shame we do not own one. I have a not-so-great, gatorgrip "one size fits all" socket wrench deal I'll throw in the bag for tomorrow, give that a try.

    I may be forced to go to Philly Theatrical Supply anyways this week, so I may get a chance to take a look at parts in person. (Huge concert this weekend, I want to pick up some R60, if it's stocked, and some R65. I wish I had some idea what the $#!% I was doing. Even worse, I may not even be there, I may still be on Broadway! :wall: In fact this necessitates further investigation: thread or PMs to follow!)

    Back on topic: Paint pens, I only have one, I think, it's metallic, it writes in silver... :mrgreen: Perhaps a trip to staples is in order as well.
     
  7. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    A trip to Home Depot will get you the nut driver (or a set) you need. I know how much you like Klein, and a set of nut drivers is one of ships "recommended tech tools". It's good thing to have one in your kit, I'm about to get one to fit all the 360Q's I work on.

    A trip to the art store will reveal more possibilities in paint pens, if you feel so inclined.
     
  8. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Hmm, what about $50.00 or more for a new lamp cap or like $20.00 or more for a new lamp socket? Don’t know how experienced are you mechanically might play a major role in your safely fixing the lighting fixtures. Not a joke, out of safety if not trained and supervised to be wiring the stuff it is wise to replace the assembly as an assembly that is wired by someone with that training, or at least in sending it in for someone else to wire it for you which in labor chargers would probably add up to more cost than buying the assembly. A week ago the head of the moving lights repair department asked me in to give a quote on a PAR 56 re-wiring project/service call. Simple enough but this fixture was missing or pre-dated its safety screen in front of the lamp and I could or would not let it out the door without one if I was working on it. This amongst other things I would do to it if handed the fixture.

    Always hurts to give a “with labor” and parts quote, and or I would love to work on it but at some point it is not worth the money to have me service it properly. Kills me to throw out a lighting fixture also but in this case, it would probably cost less to replace this can I gave the quote on fixing. Would love to have fixed it but I cannot in working for a business that has to charge for my labor and it is stilled labor in my working on it.

    So, I’m thinking by way of your question, unless you can find supervision, it would be safer to replace the lamp cap assembly or put the fixture away for a later day when more experienced and or trained in wiring it and the assembly. Honest and frank answer if of help.

    The brass knurled screws are easy replacement 1/4-20 threaded screws that can also be replaced - side note re-tap the fixture before putting in the replacement screw. What’s trashed in screw is often also trashed in socket.

    ----
    Twofers have been debated in length before on the forum, I perhaps lost the debate about such fiberglass sleeved styles or won it in such a thing being against code or properly doing things in my opinion yet it is still done and quite safe enough if done well. Your choice on such a concept, such twofers are still on the market and there is even a Bates plug offered for doing so. Cramming type of thing always bad. If old style more rectangular shaped “Union” style plug with the “free floating pins” often on that brand of plug it happens that the plastic making up the plug breaks away and allows the pin to float. At that point the plug is no longer servicable. Cut up but don’t put away, throw out. This given an advisor approves it of course - dot your “i”’s and cross your “t”’s in covering your rear always. A Pin splitter tool also sounds like something needed at your theater by way of description. It’s like a knife that reforms the slot in the pins back to a parallel slot so they hold and don’t fizzle in the socket any longer. This given the fizzling is not from something else.

    ---
    Oh’ the horror of using a 8" C-Wrench (at least semi if not also old school wrench nobody would use other than). But a C-Wrench for a machine screw? Do you mean for some hex head/slotted sheet metal screws or for some slotted machine screws that given a square shank or hex supplemented shank screw driver, using the wrench to supplement the screw driver for leverage?

    If a 1/4" hex head slotted washer head sheet metal screw, the C-Wrench won’t work very well either given the head size, you would be better off getting a nut driver, box wrench or socket wrench to remove them and that is 50/50% chance going to be just fine. If still stuck in compensating for the extra leverage - before you break a screw off, go for the “Liquid Wrench” and allow it to seep into the screw before removing. If old and or corroded as at times happens with high heat or steel to aluminum connections, it will rust and or bond with what attached to thus become hard to remove. Best to treat and get the proper tool before further stripping it out and or breaking it off.

    ---
    Clarification, E-Tape on a yoke dependant on the fixture and grade of tape will either be fine as long as on the apex of the yoke or become gooey. Sharpee tends to fade away when exposed to heat, graphite such as from a pencil or especially HB, F or 2F from an artistic pencil stands up much better to the heat.
     
  9. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    As a subset to this, my boss today had me raid and un-pack a large box of lighting fixtures that have not been touched for three years now or used for say 20x more years before that. - They were my once I get caught up, I get to work on “carrot on a stick” toys. He remembered us having six 20 year old 1KAL 6" Altman Zoom fixtures plus two 1K 6-30 Lekos and was going to give at least the zooms (from my personal at work stock of non-existing inventory) to a local church. But under the principles of even if salary staff in not really effecting cost or man/hours in pay to do so, specially did not want me to service call them. Knew I could and would and they would be back to factory spec even if late in notice, but did not want me getting distracted away from other things like making 200x Luminarie candles, inspecting lamps (primary project), supervising my guys making some light fixture/chain hoist controllers, supervising making hoist cable, finishing up the Mars light fixture or working on the quote for the latest special project for a TBA Spring tour in lighting fixture that will be amazing but is at this point “top secret....” Think Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual p.10 Beholder monster with 650w audience blinder lamps and Halo Lazer lampholder fixtures - this given I can get 96" long 5/8" goose neck conduit. (While searching for the proper image, note p.70 of the origional 1978 Monster Manual for the Mimic... how many would wish this to replace one’s tool box for a day?) Now if I can articulate the flexible conduit to DMX control... that would be sweat but perhaps a few years in the possible future. This him (one of my boss's but a primary boss) not knowing specifically what I’m doing today hour to hour or day to day but knowing that it is more important for me to work on what ever it is than spending hours on donation fixtures I would be doing once given the go and loving it. Seems he felt the need to caution me not to service call the fixtures somewhere between choosing lamps for them that could out preform the S-4 and me finding time this afternoon and in staying late it was fealt I might put a bit more effort into them as normal.

    I argued it that at very least if we sell or even give away equipment we are liable for its structural and electrical safety. He had to agree with at least that amount of work to the fixtures done by me if needed as we could not give away something that could electricute someone. Turns out the person did not show up to my area to have a look at the very rough if not rusted solid condition of what was being given away. Seems my boss in giving away the fixtures was having a slip of memory and double giving away the fixtures that would be in decent condition a second time.

    Gave away the zooms back in 2001, these only two zooms and five 6-30's I now have came out of some night club years ago and were found in the rear of some leaky semi-trailer in not just cigarette and fog goo bad condition but leaked on with water condition and not the same gear he had in mind. Not the same fixtures as he had in mind and they would not need a simple cleaning in giving away out of good will to make them function. Really rough condition to the extent of patters rust welded to the fixture. Even if they could be made electrically safe by way of replacing the wiring and bases, they still would need a huge amount of work in a way that was not so nice to a church looking for some light on source. Back these fixtures now go to the carrot on a stick and not existing in the company inventory short of a boat load of work by way of me for each. This added to the three 360Q’s 12 degree and four 360's without lamp cap in nine degree also that came out of that same trailer and had been there for years longer than I worked for the company. Mine now to tinker with. While I have literally 20x at least 6x9 to 6x20 lens trains and 50x even more still lenses in stock from the really olden days, (in having options in what these fixtures once worked on become - even I think a few 4.5 lens trains,) and parts for the zoom or 6-30 fixtures, still the time it will take to bring back to factory spec is significant. This even given I have most of these parts in stock to replace even 360 series lamp caps which I do and now have a purpose for. Knew I ordered them for some reason years ago before such a part became discontinued, me in not knowing what was in the box before today now know what I bought the parts for.



    Glad such fixtures did not go bye bye today. While the zoom and 6-30 fixtures are fairly useless for me and I don’t like them as much, at least I’ll be able to first give them a proper service call before at some point giving away. I would also hate to see any lighting fixtures go out the door in trashed condition. In the past I have been known to stop some resale fixtures from going out the door when other than in up to our standards condition, and this until told differently and even after is still the standard I hold to. Would I use it on a show at very least in what I would sell. Once got some Lekos from BASH. Perfect condition, re-painted so they were fresh and overall perfect. How could I expect less now that they are owned by PRG? On the other hand, got some Reich & Vogul beam projectors from PRG a few years ago and less by way of PRG that didn't so much prep the fixtures in question, more that that brand didn't make a tour worthy piece of gear I had to totally re-support the transformer and frame so it would survive trips around the world. This given while in Argentina than Brizil I had to field questions on long distance phone calls on how to re-tap the ballast for power once upgraded for structure to re-axcess the transformer easily. Not so much from PRG though not impressed with the care of them, but more the fixtures themselves in being more suitible for perminant mounting and a non-sufficient webstie about the fixtures.... long story about wrong lamps ordered and sent.

    This much less I know of the 360Q and 360 series fixtures, and a Strand #2250 and Colortran forget which 5 or 10 degree that also still exists in my non-inventory. Plus I just finalized the trade to the local theater three 65Q’s, two of mine one in brown/olive color that came from me for the 65Q also in them getting the 65Q’s, me the antique 6" Fresnels and the shop a model 65 that at some point I’ll buy but for now is upgraded to 65Q in wiring and is original color. Theater makes out in having fixtures all re-wired properly and safely, I make out in antique fixtures, shop has a fresnel that works as per a 65Q that will resale at some point to me in as its last stage type Fresnel in stock, getting sold off at least to re-coop cost at some point. Fair trade overall in my supervision of it. Noting another AF-1000 fixture sitting on a shelf in my area, and of course the Mole Ellipsols and Mole single cell audience blinders and wash lights stuck in a cabinet. This amongst other fixtures I have and will be used or sold off at some point out of the non-existing inventory.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2008
  10. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I once encountered 30-some Altman 1KL8-10° units unused in an FOH catwalk. I thought they'd be more suitable than the ETC 419s. Wrong! Try as I might, I could not get an acceptable field out of any of several units. I ended up admitting defeat, cutting off the male 2P&G connectors for re-use, and removing the lamps. The fixtures remained unused until the building was demolished. I much prefer the 360Q series.
     
  11. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Ship especially, and everyone who has responded, thanks for the input, it has been very valuable.

    Perhaps this thread should be changed to Charc's Random Questions:

    So I noticed some sort of electrical thing the other day. I'm thinking now it could be a company switch, with camlocks. Large plastic looking things with caps. However, the weird thing is (if I remember correctly) there are only 4 capped "taps"...?

    Note on the stubborn screw, yea it was a slotted hex head I suppose. The c-wrench did the trick, glass extracted today, awaiting reassembly.

    The twofer, caps and an unusable 4.5" zoom have made it into the newly creating "s*** that doesn't work" pile. I took a trip down to the theatrical supply store, picked up a sheet of R60, meant to pick up 3 though (for a very large upcoming concert). Anyways, while there I took a look at the lamp bases, substantially cheaper. Also, took a look at the method of installation and had a quick discussion about it. Piece of cake. I had feared there would be some complicated wiring inside the ceramic base, but that's not the case. Just throw that sucker in there, one lead on hot, one on neutral, and good to go. However, on the subject it looks like the now retired 4.5" zoom uses the same model base as the 360Q, so I plan to remove that piece tomorrow and transplant it into a 360Q cap.

    Dimmer issues: Circuits(Dimmers) 86, 99, 100, 109.

    86, if not yet resolved, is a no-power issue. I'll have to look into that, I haven't checked the issue in over 12 months. 109 was a condition I've known about for awhile, constant on. 99 and 100 are the same story. I've now endeavored to determine the cause. To the best of my understanding the most likely scenario is blown SCR dimmers, resulting in a "fused to on" situation. My solution is to swap the 2 dimmer modules in question with 2 from a barely used position. (2 modules from the canopy with any 2 of 12 rarely used module in the balcony.) However, a work note has already been submitted to maintenance. I've tested this issue with all channels at 0. I suppose there's an odd chance that these channels have somehow worked their way into the house light system, very improbable, or were set to nondim on the rack, improbable.

    I believe that's all for today. I'm really getting excited about rehabbing most of the inventory though. Engine spray paint, lint-free cloth, cleaning supplies and graphite lubricant are all on my "to order" list. I've been reorganizing and taking stock of most of my stock. Organized gel the other day, had to throw out a lot of crap, and some old roscolene. I meant to ask the theatrical supplier if they carry 12AWG and 16AWG uninsulated crimp ends, but I think it's a good bet.
     
  12. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    My response in YELLOW

    Large plastic looking things with caps. However, the weird thing is (if I remember correctly) there are only 4 capped "taps"...? Pics?

    Note on the stubborn screw, yea it was a slotted hex head I suppose. The c-wrench did the trick, glass extracted today, awaiting reassembly. That's good, but in the future, please use a nut driver, or a socket wrench

    Also, took a look at the method of installation and had a quick discussion about it. Piece of cake. I had feared there would be some complicated wiring inside the ceramic base, but that's not the case. Just throw that sucker in there, one lead on hot, one on neutral, and good to go. I still want to know your plans for stain relief, both on the cap and on the connector. It's not a "piece of cake", especially if you've never done it. I spent over an hour the other day cleaning and tuning 4 four 360Q's.

    I'm really getting excited about rehabbing most of the inventory though. Engine spray paint, lint-free cloth, cleaning supplies and graphite lubricant are all on my "to order" list. I've been reorganizing and taking stock of most of my stock. Cosmetics are great, but what if the wiring is questionable? That is the biggest concern in fixture rehab.

    I meant to ask the theatrical supplier if they carry 12AWG and 16AWG uninsulated crimp ends, but I think it's a good bet. I bet not.
     
  13. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Most theater suppliers would I think still carry old style Union Stage Pin plug flag and ring crimp terminals. This at least in 12ga. fold the 16ga wire in half and you now have 13ga which is close to 12ga enough to use a 12ga terminal. You could otherwise at least McMaster Carr the flag ring termianals sized to the wire size you wish but a good Union Connector type un-insulated ring terminal is something I'm yet to find available other than from them which the theater supplier would have an account with possibly in getting the proper crimp terminal.

    Normal (ground) ring center terminals are a bit longer in necessitating re-adjustment of the cut length of the ground wire to a bit shorter in length. On the other hand, you now at least for that terminal have various home center crimps available. As long as they are from a #8 stud/screw and you pull off the nylon insulation, you have the ring terminal un-insulatled the same as from McMaster or Grainger, Allied etc as it were for suppliers of ring terminals or other crimps.

    McMaster, a few other places that sell flag ring terminals will do the same as the theater supplier but otherwise, short of changing plug brand would be necessary if not from the theatrical supplier for that crimp. For a proper ground crimp terminal, it is only from theater suppliers that get their crimps direct from Union Connector - nothing is as short. Can be done with a normal un-insulated ring terminal but not as well and you have to adjust cut length to about 1/8" from the outer jacket thus crimp touching outer jacket of the cable.

    Big question I would have overall is with doing normal and flag terminals. How and with what tool specifically do you intend to crimp them to the wire? Tell me you are not Vise Gripping the crimps or something similar as barbarian. Thus the concept of training and supervision in my opinion in at times not doing some stuff at times short of properly by way of system, training, supervision. This amongst other details.

    Heyco Strain Relief Pliers for instance, very important in removing the strain relief from a lamp cap. Vise grips might work, than again might not properly.
     
  14. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Quick note on crimping: I plan to purchase a crimping tool when I (eventually) convince those in charge to purchase the crimp terminals.
     
  15. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    So rather than start a new thread, I thought I'd continue in this one, because it has some relevant information, despite the fact I had the title. (I could have sworn I started a thread on the new subject line, but I guess not.)

    Anyways, so I've apparently secured at least some funding for buying supplies, and I'd like to get some suggestions on what I plan to purchase:

    > 12AWG/16AWG crimp terminals in both standard and flag styles.
    > A couple of rolls of black electrical tape, a set of multi-colored e-tape for labeling.
    > Friction tape (for faux strain relief)
    > High-temp black spray paint
    > Half dozen male & female Edison connectors (I used my cable-cutters for the first time today when lopping off the 2P&G/20A Twist lock connectors of 14AWG orange extension cord.)
    > Brass paper fasteners
    > Goof-Off
    > Strain relief for 360Q

    Anything I'm missing or should add here?

    On the fabrication list are storage solutions for tophats, barndoors, gelframes, and gel. The only thing I'm going to end up storing in the catwalks are lights (with a safety chain, and without broken parts), and 2P&G cable.
     
  16. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    TP-220 sockets with 36" leads for 360Qs and 1KL6s.
    WD-40 for those rusty C-clamp bolts.
    Powdered graphite or other hi-temp drylube for shutters.
     
  17. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Maybe a hammer for my shutters...?

    OR

    Does anyone have some sort of hydraulic press? :mrgreen:

    Thanks for the input, Derek.

    I did some searching of past topics, and I think the resistor color code scheme may make the most sense, it's pretty universal. That, or I thought I'd contact the ME of a regional theatre or two and see if there is anything common around Philly.
     
  18. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Crimp terminals all depends upon the plug and wire - not all and many more at times are needed. Black electrical tape - depends on grade of it simple and temporary or perminant in grade. Friction tape inside a light fixture for a strain relief supplement - bad idea it starts on fire. Goof off for other than adult use might not also be a good idea. Strain relief for 360Q... could be a Heyco or other brand type available thru other sources or cold be a 3/8" NPT two screw strain relief or as a better option be done with such a thing as an option in a good upgrade. Nylon strain reliefs tend to give out due to the heat of the fixture. Two screw strain reliefs as long as rounded edges and fiberglass electrical tape protecting the surfaces of the fiberglass conductor sleeving from bending too sharply or in general is a good solution.

    General concept for the cap is to go two screw strain relief over the Heyco, this given a need of work to the whip to prevent that strain relief from cutting into the cable at the flex point. Lots of other upgrades and details of course.
     
  19. rustystuff

    rustystuff Member

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    Speaking of repairing things: our church recently acquired some "experienced" lighting fixtures; among them were 4 ea. 4.5" 25-50 deg. baby zooms. 3 are Strand-Century, 1 is Altman. After a thorough cleaning, it looks as though the Altman and 2 of the S-C's will need only lamps to be functional. The remaining S-C will need shutters, a lamp, and 1 of the spacers that fits between the body and the yoke.
    Should I spend the time, effort, and $$ to bring it back to life; or simply keep it as a novelty item? (And cannabalize it for the others?)
    Any advice and/or recommendations will be appreciated!
     

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