History of 360Q?


Hi all! I am currently enrolled in my first lighting design class. I'm really enjoying it, and one of our first projects is to research different instruments (photometric data, history, etc). I was given the 360Q s (6X9, 6X12, 6X16). I've found my photometrics data and all that jazz, but I haven't been able to find a history of the instrument. I basically need a history - Where did the name 360Q come from? Why/When was this instrument developed? Any suggestions on finding this data? Thanks bunches all, have a wonderful day!
The Altman 360Q derived from the model 360 with the Q designation indicating the "Quartz" lamp design. The incandescent #360 has the lamp "chimney" angled in an upward position, where the 360Q has the lamp on the fixture axis.

The original model 360 itself was a copy of a Century Lighting (which became Century-Strand, then Strand-Century, now Strand) ellipsoidal of early 60's design, which were eventually (late 60's) replaced by the Lekolite series.

The Altman model 360, as with the Century, Capitol Lighting and L&E versions, used an incandescent T12 lamp with the medium pre-focus lamp base (still in use in fresnels). The model 360Q (mid 70's ?) utilized the newer quartz-halogen lamps that used the TP22 2 pin socket. Remember that the early incandescent lamps had larger glass envelopes as the glass was not sufficiently strong to resist the heat from the filament. Quartz glass allows for a smaller envelope, which in turn allowed for a smaller lamp and a smaller hole in the reflector (as compared to the #360, which had a larger hole in the reflector to accommodate the larger lamp).

Quartz lamps also had the benefit of being able to be "burned" in any position, while the incandescent T12 lamps were burn base up, or close to 45 degrees off vertical.

Thus the 360Q had a smaller hole in the reflector, which when combined with the more efficient quartz lamp mounted axially in the fixture, greatly increased light output.

Not much else was different on the 360Q from the original Century models, including the dedicated focal length lens tube assembly, 3 screw lamp alignment, brass lamp cap retaining screw, etc...

In the US, Century-Strand went the next step with the 1500 series Lekolite (late 60's/early 70's ?) to allow lens tubes to be interchanged in the 4-1/2x6, 6x9 and 6x12 series (50,40, 30 degree equiv.) The Strand-Century 2000 (late 70's) series kept the interchangeable lenses, while changing to the TP22 lamps and utilizing a fast alignment knob. Colortran followed suite, Kliegl was still in the dark ages, though they did incorporate the TP22 lamps in their fixtures and eventually coming out with a new axial series ellipsoidal.

Altman continued to manufacture both the 360 and the 360Q into the 90’s, with no real changes in the design up to the introduction of the Source 4, probably only discontinuing the #360 when it became cost prohibitive to acquire the quartz lamps for MPF sockets.

The current 360Q got a number of refinements, including an improved tilt adjustment handle design, a lamp alignment joystick, better lenses and a reflector designed for the 575w lamp filaments.

All the while the assorted French, British, German, Italian, Dutch and Russian, as well as the Australian and New Zealand manufacturers were producing their own wonderful and very expensive ellipsoidals, all based around their own lamp types based on 220volts. Many wonderful designs resulted, including a move to zoom ellipsoidals, but in any case, up to the intro of the S4, it’s doubtful that any fixture in the world was as widely produced as the 360Q.

The 360Q started off as a 360 (incandescent) and the body colors went like this; Olive Drab, Grey, Brown, and finally black. The 360 is now discontinued. It used a stamped aluminum reflector that had a slight stepping on it. The next model was the early 360Q which has a brown color, stamped reflector, metal clutch handles, serrated clutch plates, and a flat yoke. The next model is brown but has been modified with a faceted reflector. Some where during 1990 the black 360Q came out and this one started off with the flat yoke but eventually was modified and had a yoke that had slight bends in it (it was narrower at the top where the C-clamp was and got larger near the fixture). The clutch plates in this model became flat and the yoke locking handles became molded plastic. The latest model has all of what the black model had, plus a super reflector which is the newer faceted reflector (if you open one up it has a slight blue tinge on it). The end cap and lamp socket has changed a lot since first appearing. The 360 (incandescent) uses a triangular shaped focus plate and has 3 focusing screws. (360Q) The next version is the classic 4 screw socket plate for lamp/reflector centering. Also between the different models (1970 to 1999) of the end cap had slightly different heatsink placement around the socket. The most recent 360Q cap is a "speed cap" which uses two focusing knobs (one moves the lamp in and out of the reflector(peak/flat)) the other centers the lamp in the reflector. All of the models apart from the speed cap have the power cable running out from the back of the lamp cap dead center. The speed cap moves rotates cable placement 90° and the cable now runs into the fixture from the lower side of the end cap (which is away from the side that seats into the fixture)
Call Tony Sklrew at Atlmans. Extension 191 and tell him Bill from ESC sent you. He's older than dirt and has been at Altmans around 40 years or so.
The Altman 360Q derived from the model 360 with the Q designation indicating the "Quartz" lamp design. SB

And people say Ship should write a book... remember that I only started doing lighting realistically in about 1992 thus missed lots of history. I know 1979 was a big year in the industry (well after the 360Q) but most of what I learn is second hand or tinkering with stuff after that.

To add if at all to Steve’s post would be that Altman as a concept has been that of an alternative to stage lighting such as American DJ has set themselves up as an alternative to lighting rock shows say in a club setting. Perhaps as a key was that Altman fixtures started using azark aluminum reflectors in their 360 line as opposed to still steel even if say silvered steel reflectors in other brands. The Altman line perhaps became more cost effective earlier. Into the 1970's in fights between brands, Century being bought out (Major disappearing), it became at some point as I am familar with a Strand / Altman question at one point. Strand always having “superior” optics, Altman being more cost effective. L&E, Times Square, Century, Colortran and others like Kliegl, asleep at the wheel. In the 1980's I expect this was much the case. I was raised on “Century” Strand fixtures into the early 1990's and they are good fixtures.

In comparison of say a same era Century Leko verses that of an Altman Leko, it’s different sized and design of reflector and even slightly different shapes and fittings to the gate reflector - but the same concept. Altman parts will work just as you can now as the reason Altman no longer sells the 360 lamp cap assembly, retrofit an older model (P-28s) radial base to that of the new TP-22 (G-9.5) one and it will work, but mostly it’s an economics type of thing I would think by way of long old gear not cost effective to keep stocking. A lamp cap to a Century fixture is different not much in function but by way of how it fits and works. Century and other Leko parts started having minor differences about the time of the 360Q which was revolutionary in the industry to the extent that the S-4 fixture was in the industry. Both sort of like, this is what your stage looks like when lit by candle, and this is what it looks like when lit by “halogen” light. The differences between say a 360 with a DNW and a 360Q with EHD are marked, just as that difference with a 360Q with EHD and S-4 with HPL 575 are marked and legend.

Out of observation, the Strand line of fixture did a still asleep belatedly upgrade to their fixtures once the ETC S-4 and Shakesphere fixtures came out, but it wasn’t much an improvement - only slightly in already having a very good optically efficient fixture they were known for, than cutting costs and making it lighter in using thinner/cheaper materials. A few improvements, but nothing revolutionary. About the time that ETC came out with the 750w rated fixtures, Strand woke up again with coming out with a new class of more in line with what I term “third generation” fixture. Selcon also being “Third generation” in an “off shore” company now replacing many of the older “domestic” brands for leading edge in design and efficiency.

First generation Leko incandescent - radial. Second generation Leko - takes advantage of improved halogen lamps the EHD and EHG for the axial fixture. Third generation fixtures and lamps take advantage of better optics, lowered voltage in the lamp’s rating and refined filaments such as in the HPL, FLK and GLA for a more efficient axial fixture and lamp. Fourth generation lamps are coming or out there in the case of the HPR (internal reflector first seen on a FEL lamp but not a long lasting concept) or DYS by way of dichroic coatings on them and being improved upon even today in attempting to do for say a HPL lamp. IN the coming months, expect a new fourth generation HPL lamp for instance from GE. On fourth generation Lekos, the Selcon 90 degree fixture is also right on the cusp in general of a fourth generation Leko and has become a major player in good fixture while other lines sleep or product develop the next generation.

Still in my impression, Altman during the 1970's and 1980's was a budget fixture. If you had it, you bought Strand or what other “traditional” lines of fixture you were used to or the sales person was apt to sell you. If you were on a budget you bought into that 360Q fixture that was cheaper and turned out to have a really good design. Otherwise if in a less advertised sence but still rocket science way, the 360Q was more advanced earlier than other brands - a more efficient fixture. It was also simply more cost efficient. World wide marketing also went far and perhaps also had lots to do with it being the most important second generation Leko of it's time.

I recommend that for term paper you contact Altman Lighting directly to get their slant and help. Also contact other manufacturers and the web host for the Kliegl Brother's Website to gain incite about this past history. Believe there was also a few books written that you should research on the subject of lighting history. Such books can be found within a search of the forum which will add more to this history and provide titles to the various books.

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