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Gels Burning Out, S4 Juniors...etc.

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by drawstuf99, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. drawstuf99

    drawstuf99 Active Member

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    Hi,
    I know I've mentioned this before in some posts of mine, but I've got a small problem with gels burning out...

    Now before I ask a question, I'd like to present what I know to do in order to minimize this. These are all ETC Source Four Jr 26 Degree fixtures...(I hate those instruments.)

    -- Bench focus units so lamp is centered..etc
    -- Put the gel in the furthest gel slot from the lamp
    -- Don't use S4 Jrs.

    Well, not much I can do about the S4 Jrs but here is my situation.

    I have six total units (3 on each side tree of our theatre) that are geled Red Green and Blue (to make white) and that allows for easy mixing for last minute color changes and stuff. I've noticed that my two greens in those S4 units are burning out quickly, and one of the blue ones is starting to. The reds seem just fine. Is there any type of connection between color, saturation, and gel burn out. Obviously, its quite obvious when the gel is being burnt through because when mixed, the area lit starts to not be white any more.

    This is a community show my school is putting on with like, no budget. We have very little money to invest, and of course the money has gone to set building and not to lights. I have a few spare cuts of those three gels but is this something I'm going to have to change every week? It's not doing this with 6 regular S4 19* units I've got with the same gel. I'm going into programming and we are extremely short on time so I need to know how many times I can expect to do this. Our show goes up in two weeks.

    Any experience with this sort of thing happening? I've always hated those S4 Jrs, but they are the only things with a wider beam spread than 19* - all of our Source Four's are 19 degrees and the Altman units are 20.

    Thanks for your help,
    Andrew
    (a very stressed designer having to hang and focus their own show within days)
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Open up your gel book, look at the transmission, usually the lower the transmission the faster you will get burn out. There are a few things that make burn out happen faster such as how much air moves around the fixture and how much the fixture is tilted. You can buy heat shield for around 6 bux a sheet, and it helps if you put it between the gel and the lens in a separate frame. There are also high temperature versions of most saturated gel. But, the more saturated colors will burn through fast, and thats just the nature of the beast.
     
  3. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Hey, don't feel so bad, I'm 31 fixtures into a re-vamp with S4 25/50 zooms (not Jr's), that will probably total 90 or so fixtures at finish @410 ea. plus $16 per lamp.

    Every one of these otherwise terrific units requires a supplemental City Theatrical 3" long color frame extender @ $22 ea.

    Just the way it is.

    SB
     
  4. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I think that Gel Extenders will fix your problem. Even the best fixtures sometimes need gel extenders for the really saturated colors (primary/medium hues of the primaries, dark purples, and so forth).
     
  5. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I can second that.
    Make sure your bench focus is as flat as possible. I don't want to tell you something you might already know, but it's not just about getting the lamp in the center of the feild it's also about getting the lamp < front to back > in the center of the reflector and the two are not the same. As others have stated yes with a highly saturated gel your going to burn color. It's just the nature of the beast, But you shouldn't be burning through color.
     
  6. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Ship posted a long detailed step by step of how to do a proper bench focus about 6 months ago. If you aren't 100% sure of your skills you might search for that as it was outstanding.
     
  7. drawstuf99

    drawstuf99 Active Member

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    Thanks for the advice folks. Hehe, it's not buringa hole in the gel, just getting lighter and altering the color a bit
     
  8. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Ah, Yeah you can Kind of expect that with the more saturated colors. But I have, in the past, had fixtures so screwed up they would literally burn a hole in a gel in under 30 seconds. Who needs "sharks with frickin lasers"? give me a 360Q really tweaked out of focus. :mrgreen:
     
  9. TupeloTechie

    TupeloTechie Active Member

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    we had a "Star-Par" that would burn a hole in the gels before we could really even get them in the slot! turns out someone replaced the lamp with one that was ment for a S4
     
  10. drawstuf99

    drawstuf99 Active Member

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    That's almost as sad as realizing one day during a hang at school that all of our S4 Pars' lenses were somehow installed backwards on all 15 fixtures. They weren't going to fall out and the plot was accounting for the beam shape with them in backwards so we kept them. But who on earth would've done something like that?
     
  11. dbn

    dbn Member

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    How quick is "quick"? Remember that gels are "expendables" and not expected to last a very long time. The lower the transmissivity, the shorter the life. If the R/G/B set-up is sufficiently long term so as to justify the investment, you can switch to dichroic glass color filters. These are a bit pricey, but they will last a very long time.
     
  12. Lightingguy32

    Lightingguy32 Active Member

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    First off, Source Four Jrs. are ok lights, especially if you are on a budget. You may want to bench them and insure that the focus is flat to insure no hot spot in the beam. Gel extenders are worth the money if you just can't fix the problem.
     
  13. Kelite

    Kelite Apollo Staff Premium Member

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    Imagine if someone developed a device that allowed the lowest transmission gels 10x the average life.....

    hint, hint



    :)
     
  14. drawstuf99

    drawstuf99 Active Member

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    Thank you guys for the help. What I ended up doing was sort of an "eh" solution but our show only runs for three days at this time so it'll do. I just went up before the last dress and changed the gels to a new cut. We have literally no budget left, and I've already been pulling money out of my pocket and I can't afford to do that anymore.

    This advice will be good in the future though. Thanks!
     
  15. KaR356i

    KaR356i Member

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    I didn't see this suggested, but when I was in college we had the same issues with highly saturated gels. I would often steal a tracing wheel from the costume shop and run it across each gel in a star pattern. The holes were so small that it didn't show white light through them, but it allowed some of the heat to escape through so the gels didn't burn out AS quickly. It gave us a few extra days so reduced the number of times we had to replace gels for a long run.

    have fun with your show!
     
  16. bmiller025

    bmiller025 Member

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    I had a good chuckle when I read the last post. I haven't thought about doing that for many years! Back when gels were made out of less effective materials than they are now, they couldn't handle heat very well at all. When you used a saturated color, you had no choice but do that "tracing wheel" action on the gel before putting it in front of the light.
    Does anyone here remember Rosco's old 800 series? They called it Roscolene, instead of Roscolux! The difference between the two media was like cardboard and stainless steel!
     
  17. KaR356i

    KaR356i Member

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    hehe, it was a while back when we did that, but I'm pretty sure it was Roscolux we were using. Of course we kept gel forever and never threw anything away...<shrug> it helped a little :) That suggestion came from our TD who probably used the old Roscolene gels when HE was in college! :D
     
  18. psmcat

    psmcat Member

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    has anyone mentioned using heat sheild?
     
  19. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Once worked for a TD that used Roscolene in preference to all other gells in the 1990's. Said there was saturation and colors from it that just was not available from others. Kind of like me and Gam when I want a special feel. In addition to a large pre-cut gel file of it, he still had full sheets in stock and is probably still using it when given the choice. Some of it got so old, it turned into pokadot gel when not rotting away in the drawer. Still, the stuff in his hands worked well given at the time 360Q's using it with a combination of EHD and FLK lamps. He could make it thru a run using that gel without burning it up - it was rare we burned up a gel in fact.

    Fairly rare I burn up a gel also unless the fixture is out of bench focus. Depends upon intensity and saturation I suppose.

    Than again, I still have some of the 800 series in stock also, it's in the back of my own gel files just in case I run out of any paticular color from any number of brands I would prefer to be using - this given that I absolutely must have that specific color and it converts. Wonder why I keep it beyond never throwing nothing out - I'll never use it. Kind of seems like a combination of Lee gel and acatate.

    Wonder if he still has the pokadot gel. that was cool. The crystalized and flaking apart Roscolene at the bottom of the gel file on the other hand was not so cool, it was just messy. Probably had something to do with the moist lime/morter falling off the brick work in the catacombs of the theater the gel file was stored in.

    I collect up old swatch books - kind of a useless thing I know, but a full drawer of them. Got a red RoscoLux, two Roscolene and somewhere about in a place I cannot find, a white background pokadot swatch book from a brand I don't remember but think Roscolene. This along with the various E-Swatch, Cosmetic Colors etc. small or odd books.

    Best thing is the larger size RoscoLux swatch book. Perfect thing for a 3" Fresnel or just about for a 3.1/2" Leko size.
     
  20. Wayne

    Wayne Member

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    I'm having an issue with burning a hole in AP 3850. We have it in a Source 4 70 degree. And we burnt through it in under a minute. I was wondering if anyone had tips about how we might avoid burning through it so fast. We've put a frost between it and the light and also pounced but that hasn't helped at all. Any advice would be welcome.
     

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