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Followspot Survey

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by avkid, May 5, 2005.

?

What brand followspot do you use?

  1. Chauvet

    75.2%
  2. Strong

    2.5%
  3. Lycian

    7.0%
  4. Altman

    7.0%
  5. Selecon

    0.6%
  6. other

    7.6%
  1. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Occupation:
    Stagehand/ Production Company Owner
    Location:
    Howell, NJ
    What type(s) of followspot does your theatre/company use most often, do you like or not?
    why do you like or why do you not specifically?
     
  2. tenor_singer

    tenor_singer Active Member

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    Location:
    Orwell, Ohio
    The cheapest rental fee for the light that best fits our parameters (110' throw) :D .

    Usually it is a comet from a local theater lighting supplier.
     
  3. asb002

    asb002 Member

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    Location:
    Rochester, NY USA
    We have a Comet spotlight at one of our schools, and several Altspots at the other schools. We like the Comet the best, since it is the newest and most functional.
     
  4. propmonkey

    propmonkey Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Beloit/Milwaukee, WI
    we have an Altman Satellite 1 and at the theatre i work at in the summer they have a Lycain 2k Midget.
     
  5. tadawson

    tadawson Member

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    Location:
    Lewisville, Texas USA
    Lycians are really nice, although for the big stuff, I prefer Strong. Alman is, well, cheap and easily found, but not much else I can say that is good about them . . . (In my opinion, at least . . . )

    - Tim
     
  6. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Occupation:
    Stagehand/ Production Company Owner
    Location:
    Howell, NJ
    Two Altman Comets and one Lycian Clubspot
     
  7. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    New York
    My school has two Time Square Lighting spots. I forget the model number, but its just like the generic Altman follow spot. One annoying thing about it is that the color frames constantly get stuck together.
     
  8. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
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    Occupation:
    Stagehand/ Production Company Owner
    Location:
    Howell, NJ
    How exactly do they get stuck to each other?
    The comet has self-canceling color booms.
     
  9. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    New York
    The arm's get bent easily, or the clips holding the color in the frames get caught together. The company should have given each color frame about another centimeter in-between and there would be no problem.... However, the spots were fairly cheep, so thats why we bought them.
     
  10. moojoe

    moojoe Active Member

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    Location:
    merion, PA
    two Lycian Super Arc 400 Long followspots.
    theyre nice spots, give me a lot of options when designing.
     
  11. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Location:
    Illinois
    I own my former high school's 1970's era 3Kw incandescent Kliegl Dyna Beam with Boomerang, and it's in mint condition including the Roscolene gel last used in it. As big as a small moter cycle and no doubt as heavy. Don't even make that lamp any longer.

    I normally service our gear plus 1000Q, Club Spots and Midgits for the local schools and clubs. Yearly maintinence is the key to all, but I have seen some 1000Q fixtures with welds that snap at the yoke mount or broken castings for the lens mounts. Easy enough to fix or replace. Note on taking apart a 1000Q, should you need to slide something off the rail, use a metal scribe to mark where it was before you remove it. Otherwise, focusing is a bear. While a dealer for Strong, I'm yet to service any of it's equipment.

    For inventory use at work, City Theatrical/ETC-S-4 Leko on a stick. Lycian 1271 and 1272. 2kw Xenon Lycian 1290 and the Lycian M-2. Might be getting some 3Kw Xenon Lycian 1293 fixtures this summer also.

    Wouldn't mind the extra punch for my yearly football stadium show. That given it's a pain in the rear in the first place to install a Xenon lamp - only a limited amount of people are allowed to install them thus more often than I would like it's me, thus my yearly show plus some.

    All unfortunately I'm by default often the person to service or supervise in, though I bow down to one of our crew chiefs in general knowledge as the real expert for how it works beyond it's wiring, or the electronics repair/moving light repair area for knowledge about making them strike an arc. Them little electronic parts get me all the time. Good thing Lycian has a compitent staff that will walk you thru a repair.

    The 1271/2 are getting old and have normal lubrication and replacement/burnt up part issues as a constant thing. Some of the reflectors get interesting after a few years of use. Overall, good reliable fixtures. Lens changing on them can be less than easy but that's it's own after market upgrade. The ballast (weighs a ton) in common to both on the other hand had a huge overhaul in a few wee design flaws in the design. Now they are good to go. Some voltage drop and lots of heat realated issues to the internal wires, much less the shunt switch to it likes to break. This in addition to color frames all around that at times need some grinding to their lock mechanism to make them engauge.

    The 1290 other than it's pulley system slipping off it't guide track in transport is very reliable. Never had a gernade go off after I installed a lamp, but it happens infrequently more so with some "qualified tech people" than others. A scratch in a lamp will cause it to explode with a big noise and lots of concussion.

    Much less that 6" Cathode cable normal to this type of Xenon lamp must be at all times 1" from any surface of the fixture. Otherewise there is enough current to arc to the frame and melt down that wire feeding the lamp as path of least resistance. Luckily, no matter the brand, they all use the same threading into the lamp for it's cable. Once someone explodes the lamp, save that cable.

    Just don't drop the Cathode cable nut while installing. Once it falls, there is about a 99% chance it will fall down the hole for the squerrel fan, and only the most dainty of female hands than can get the nut and lock washer out than short of taking apart the fixture.

    Yea, lots of experience both in buying $400 to $600.00 lamps to these fixtures and in working with them. At one point, some show was lifting a fixture up to a scaffold tower but forgot to strap the fixture to the lift. It fell and no matter what I did in making it work, we still had to send it back for over a few $K worth of re-alignment and replacement reflector. Luckily Lycian for fixtures as expensive as a car will send out free replacement fixtures to replace the ones you send back for service. At that point, it was just a question of shipping a fixture that needs four people to lift overnignt.

    Oh the other hand, it's one heck of a Gobo projector. Long story about glass pattern gobos for Prince I was in default doing a show for given the tech at the time installed it but forgot to bench focus it. Still they have one heck of a beam projection. Unfortunately Lycian does not have a glass pattern gobo holder so I had to invent one.


    Our M2 Follow Spots are beginning to have problems now that they are a year or more old. First and almost constantly it was the heat shield lenses popping off. The High Temperature RTV Silicone used to attach the dichroic glass to the stamped metal frame at times just is not a good bond and the lens pops off. Found another just this week.

    Had one come back with some burnt up iris leafs. Luckily it's the same as used on a ETC or Altman Leko as far as Iris design and while a pain in the rear to replace, for two leafs needing replacement it was cost effective. We have spares of the stock iris leafs. The Iris than got a general cleaning and spray graphite coating. Good as new or better.

    All ballasts went thru a total replacement for something that would work with voltage drop issues, than a second upgrade to them. Get around 96v, and it causes problems in the striking of the arc. No doubt as it should but has been found to be the case in some instances.

    Had a M2 on my work table this week. What a pain in the rear given the electronics and it's cause - won't strike an arc even with new lamp and ballast.

    Never found the issue and it struck right up in the end, but I did find some issues with why some of the lamps in them are breaking in a specific location as now found to be a heat shield touching the lamp issue. Next week all fixtures will be set up and a minor adjustment or re-engineering will be done in the shop with vendor tech support awaiting our call for what to do. Somehow the lock mechanism for the lamp the heat shield is attached to has slipped in now allowing the heat sink to touch the lamp and break it. Two +/- $300 dollar lamps last week blown in the same way, this week I learned the cause.

    But in studying why this fixture would not strike a arc, I had to go to school in how to take apart the fixture. It's a component based light and in theory easy to take apart. Once I got down to the ballast assembly in not finding a loose or burnt up wire otherwise as cause for it not to strike an arc, I found a difficult problem.

    The moment I dropped that ballast, I found something sliding within the assembly. We are talking about a box for the feeder cable strain relief, a plate that mounts under the fixture and a circuit board with all types of things mounted to it.

    Easy enough to remove the ballast assembly, but a very complex electronic ballast. Metal parts were sliding around somewhere inside it, and given all other parts were now exposed, it had to be the box the cable gets it's strain relief from.

    Opened up the strain relief fitting on the wire feeding it, took out a flash light and saw a screw, a brad that normally mounts a gel to a frame and a 4" cable tie within this little box. How such things got in there I have no idea given a 1" hole in the bottom of the ballast plate the wire comes out of, but they did need to get removed.

    Pleeding as it were with my boss did no good in me just sending it to the electronics repair area - that has more experience with such circuit boards. The only way to get at this little box that housed the fixture cord was to remove it from the under follow spot plate. Unfortunately by way of wee bit of design flaw, it was screwed to the plate by way of four screws top (inside) mounted to the plate - and under the the circuit board and it's various capacitors etc. Absolutely no way to get the screw, and other gack out of the strain relief box under the fixture short of taking apart the circuit board assembly above it. Everything is attached to the circuit board and it's all attached to the metal plate under the fixture.

    Tried playing the "wrong union man" excuse in these components needed to get at the wire way mounting screws attached to the circuit board that in intimidation would need to be removed, but it did not work with my boss. "Do your best."

    Luckily after removing like 20 screws both mounting the circuit board and other components to the bottom plate, it was for the most part now free. Just a question of lots of things to remember in re-assembly. I got lucky in my boss's assumption that it can't be that difficult in it not being that difficult in reality. Won't admit the difficulty level on the other hand once I did have access to this cavity that housed the parts to remove. Instead of threading the strain relief for the feeding wire, they also had a nut on it meaning that you should avoid taking the wire strain relief to the fixture apart, much less should it come loose as normal, you also need to completely take apart the ballast to tighten it.

    Just one little electrical box that serves no purpose other than to mount the strain relief and it's a few hours of work to get to. wee bit of a design flaw in otherwise much easier to surface mount and reverse the screws mounting it.

    Anyway, never found the source of why it would not strike an arc, but I'm tinking a screen over this patricular hole in addition to the 1290's squerrel fan hole would be a good idea.

    Lycian as a company I most deal with is good, and certainly the details I deal with are with hard usage type issues, but they will work with you on the upgrade. All companies will work with you on the upgrade or repair, it's just the company I most deal with in repair.
     
  12. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    DFW, Tx.
    I've used mostly Altman. The Voyager's are really good for a long throw. I've also used Midgets. They're ok but kinda dim/amber if you're using alot of arc sources.
     
  13. JasonH

    JasonH Active Member

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    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    strand all the way!
    pattern 293
     
  14. ccfan213

    ccfan213 Active Member

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    Location:
    Maryland
    we have two altman comets bleh
     
  15. PATech

    PATech Member

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    Location:
    CT (school year); NJ (vacations)
    We have two Lycian Midgets and an ancient Altman Comet.

    All the best,
    Anand
     
  16. Radman

    Radman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Franklin, TN
    2 OLD Altman altspots and a Lycian Midget 2K

    Hate the altspots, at least that we have them where they are. They are bolted to the wall of our already cramped 2nd cat and there is not enough room to operate it with the rear controls. The Midget is in the booth and like all our nice gear is the wrong light in the wrong place to be uset much. Generally used as the last special when we are all too lazy to find another light, circuit, and cable then put it up. It plugs into one of the circuits in the booth so its nice and easy to use!
     
  17. SketchyCroftPpl

    SketchyCroftPpl Active Member

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    Location:
    Near Worcester, Mass
    Hmm I don't actually know. I know our other lights are altman but we have two totally different spots even though each need the same throw. I'll check tomorrow.

    ~Nick
     
  18. teksalot2

    teksalot2 Member

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    Location:
    So Cal
    I'm in love with my strong gladiator. It's my baby :-D
     
  19. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    We have two Altman Voyagers which I love, though I find it strange that we have longthrow spots when it's not all that far from the stage. We also have an Altman from what I think is the 70's. No model name, but I call it a tin-can with a lightbulb and a magnifying glass.

    Ian
     
  20. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    I have the comets lying around but I love my Lycian ArchSpots. The comets don't see much use, they usually aren't bright enough with a decent wash.
     

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