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ETC fixtures prior to the SourceFour?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by derekleffew, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I've always been under the impression that the SourceFour™ in 1992 was the first luminaire that ETC produced. However, the table at The Stage Lighting Fixture Tables, dated 1999, lists the following:

    As the model numbers are awfully similar, did ETC at one time sell rebranded Altman fixtures? If so, I may have to add these to my growing list of "ETC Edsels.":)
     
  2. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    The description fits the Altman 4.5" zooms, which came in 3 zoom ranges, 30/60, 25/50 and 15/30, as well as fitting the Altman 6" 1000w rated zooms.

    It would not surprise me if ETC used re-badged Altmans. Colortran did the same back before they developed their own set of Mini's and 6" units, as well as Fresnels.

    Having lighting equipment let the company bid on projects, typically new schools being equipped, where they had to supply all the gear.

    Ward Leonard - the manufacturer of auto-transformer dimming systems in the 60's and earlier, won the bid for complete lighting systems for the 4 theaters at State University of NY at Purchase, which had been spec'd as Kliegl. WL then had to copy and deliver a working version of a a Kliegl/Thorn Q-File as well as some multi-preset manual consoles. They also provided a building full of Altman 360Q's all done in sheet steel (like the Kliegl 1300 series ellipsoidals). WL ended up bankrupt over the contract as the console(s) never worked and the State of NY refused to pay.

    As a student at Purchase at the time, I distinctly recall assorted service technicians from Ward Leonard Canada driving down once a month or so to try to make this stuff work, they never had any luck and eventually stopped coming. At that point we got 2 Kliegl Performance Consoles that DID actually work.

    Steve B.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  3. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I'll scan some pages out of the old, old, old ETC catalog that our TD has in his office - you'll be interested to see them. And yes, the do look very much like rebranded Altmans in the pictures!
     
  4. gordonmcleod

    gordonmcleod Active Member

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    The late Bruce Whitehead as the engineer from Toronto that often drove down also Ward Leonard built the same system for the Shaw Festival in Niagra on the Lake
    The big problem eventualy with the SOLIMATIC was corrosion on the IC sockets If they had used goldplated sockets or even machined pin ones on the micro's rather than the tin lead plated ones the unit would not have had an issue
    Also Ward Leonard distributed Capitol light fixtures often rebadged
    In the end Ward Leonard closed it's US dimming division due to pressure mainly from the companies that bought their resistance plates and autotransformers to make sitchboards and didn't think it was right for them to directly compete in the dimming market ith electronics
    In Canada ard Leonard was sold to a TV electronics firm call Richmond Hill Labs that primarily made video switching consoles
    They continued to makemany sizable dimming systems until Richmond Hill labs folded mainly because they could no longer compete in the switcher market
    At that time Bruce Whitehead bought the shop drawings test gear inventory of parts and started Lumitrol Ltd
    For many years I worked for him as his engineer and technician
    I still have almost all the Ward Leonard drawings and the Shaw Festival Solimatic is on display at Ryerson theatre lighting muesum in Toronto
    It was very advanced in it's features and functunality but a small problem was its failure something many other early memory dimmer manufactures learned
    Also of interest Stephan Skirpan was the engineer at Ward Leonard that designed the original Solitrol dimmer and left the company only after the US parent decided to get out of the dimming business
    The canadian SOlitrol fireing cards were a different designed being based on a voltage control oscillator rather than a magnetic amplifier fireing the SCR's
     
  5. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Wow, thanks, gordonmcleod. I haven't heard the name Solitrol in over twenty-five years. (My college had a W-L 60 x 6.0K, 5-scene platen-preset system installed in 1969.) Moving this thread to the Theatre History forum.

    I'll try to look around for past threads to which I bet you could contribute. Here's one that springs to mind: Did you ever see/use the Electro Controls profile spot that used a PAR64-NSP as its source ( http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/lighting/5916-electro-controls-3201-3214-ers.html )? It's actually rather timely in that UniPar today is now marketing a profile spot that uses two parabolic reflectors, and claims better optics than the SourceFour™: Par Squared Projection Technology .
     
  6. gordonmcleod

    gordonmcleod Active Member

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    The canadian designed solitrol card was the C2E and it was also not without its flaws in design
    I have the schematics if anyone ever needs it as well as the calibration routine
     
  7. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    The Williams List is a good resource but also a list at some point and not very fleshed out. Might contact him diectly about the question. Overall, it might be some sort of poetic justice given it’s said in the beginning thats’ like how Altman started out.

    Officially, in 92' I saved the letter from my high school TD whom wrote me a letter after she attended USITT, while I was activated for the famous V’ MEF that never left. (Long story)
    She noted specifically about these new S-4 fixtures in the letter about their introduction. Also, forget if Lighting Dimensions or Theater Crafts or both had major articles about the advent of ETC. I remember reading such articles.
     
  8. Malabaristo

    Malabaristo Active Member

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    ETC still sells Altman fixtures, as well as fixtures and products from many other competitors. When selling a large system, it's often necessary for everything to be a single complete package. If the control console, dimming, and distribution are all going to be ETC products but the customer wants some Altman fixtures, then ETC will buy fixtures from Altman and sell them to the customer. It's just one of the many weird requirements for systems.
     
  9. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I am pretty sure that ETC is not selling fixtures or other devices from other manufacturers. As ETC doesn't sell direct to the end user the point is kind of moot. Having a single package or source for an install is very easy to do, as the manufacturers are all selling through dealers, the dealer puts together the package. The dealer can include any equipment in the package that they can get, so you might get ETC dimmers, Altman fixtures, and Apollo scrollers, but it isn't any manufacturer that is putting together the package, it is the dealer.
     

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