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Kliegl Bros. Type SP Patch Panel

Glossy Shines

Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Location
Georgia USA
Thanks for having me. I have been working in the local TV broadcast business for almost 20 years at stations in Western NY and North Carolina, before moving to Georgia.

I work at a TV station that still has a Kliegl Bros Type SP patch panel in use. It is connected to a "newer" SmartFade ETC lighting board. We have been running into an issue with our bulbs blowing prematurely. The fixtures that we are using are Mole 3081, 5421, and ETC Source 4's. The bulbs are not blowing like a typical bulb does.... they are melting inside the glass. My ENG Dept has went and checked fixtures and the drops from the grid. Everything is pointing back to the Kliegl Type SP. Any help would be great, I can't keep feeding the monster bulbs.
 

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RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
Thanks for having me. I have been working in the local TV broadcast business for almost 20 years at stations in Western NY and North Carolina, before moving to Georgia.

I work at a TV station that still has a Kliegl Bros Type SP patch panel in use. It is connected to a "newer" SmartFade ETC lighting board. We have been running into an issue with our bulbs blowing prematurely. The fixtures that we are using are Mole 3081, 5421, and ETC Source 4's. The bulbs are not blowing like a typical bulb does.... they are melting inside the glass. My ENG Dept has went and checked fixtures and the drops from the grid. Everything is pointing back to the Kliegl Type SP. Any help would be great, I can't keep feeding the monster bulbs.
@Glossy Shines Have you measured the voltage applied to the lamps within a foot or two or the lamps?
Without asking what type of connectors you're using, it may be easiest to unplug a fixture, insert a two-fer, reconnect your lamps in question to one leg of the two-fer and measure the voltage applied to the lamp on the opposite leg of the two-fer with a working lamp in place and your dimmer(s) set at full.
Measure between hot and neutral.
While you're there, measure hot to ground AND neutral to ground. This will possibly prove nothing OR it could prove very revealing.
It's difficult to imagine your Kliegl patch, in spite of its age and experience, contributing to the premature deaths of your lamps.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2007
Location
Las Vegas, NV, USA
Everything is pointing back to the Kliegl Type SP.
The patch panel is merely a distribution device and is not responsible. It's either the incoming service or the dimmers. You didn't even mention dimmers, did you? They'll probably be similar to https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/kliegl-12kw-scr-dimmers.37191/ if they haven't been replaced.

Do as Ron says, measure the socket voltage using a twofer and RMS DMM. Let us know.

The bulbs are not blowing like a typical bulb does.... they are melting inside the glass.
Please post pictures for our lamp expert @ship to take a look at. But it sounds like long-term slight over-voltage.

Edit: BTW, the SP in the interconnect panel's description stands for Safe Patch, due to the fact that one cannot energize a circuit until it's plugged in and the circuit breaker handle covering the hole is turned on. The dimmers may be one floor above or below the patch panel. Somewhere is also a DMX-to-Analog protocol converter (demultiplexer) allowing the SmartFade to talk to the Kliegl dimmers. These dimmers have trim pots and drift out of alignment and must be periodically serviced.
 
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RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
The patch panel is merely a distribution device and is not responsible. It's either the incoming service or the dimmers. You didn't even mention dimmers, did you? They'll probably be similar to https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/kliegl-12kw-scr-dimmers.37191/ if they haven't been replaced.

Do as Ron says, measure the socket voltage using a twofer and RMS DMM. Let us know.

Please post pictures for our lamp expert @ship to take a look at. But it sounds like long-term slight over-voltage.
@Glossy Shines Expanding on the thinking behind my previous post.
Decades ago, when your dimmers and patch were installed, (in general) lamps were less efficient / higher wattage devices.
Due to this, and with voltage drops over distances in mind, dimmer racks were often powered by three phase autotransformers with a number of taps to select from; the designer's intent being: If your incoming line voltage is tapped up a few % above your nominal 120 volts, you could power your 2K's, 5K's and 10K's with a full 120 volts regardless of voltage losses on the copper conductors between your dimmers / patch and your actual lighting loads.

In present times, increases in the efficiency of incandescent lamps ( and their reflectors ), coupled with modern arc and LED sources, far less power (watts) are being consumed heating copper wiring. If your line voltage was originally stepped up to compensate for losses; now that you've reduced your line losses, you've effectively raised the voltage applied to your lamps to several % above their anticipated operating voltage. NONE of this is the fault of your hard-patch.
Under-voltage = increased lamp life.
Over-voltage = more intensity, higher color temperatures at the expense of reduced lamp life.
There you go; more than you ever wanted to know and worth every penny we're not charging.
Please post back with your findings.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 
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ship

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Location
Illinois
Certainly not the 1911 patch panel I'm familiar with. If you were to send photos, would want lamp globe in seeing, if possible close up to failure, lamp socket = the "hot" contact, lamp socket = especially there for starting photo's in if lamp or direct to lamp some problem. Mostly the type of stuff that should be looked at in a lamp change.

Patch panel in being remote - doubt it would have an effect on lamps, but still checking for arching on pins and sockets is a good constant thing to do. I took part in many patch panel repairs over the years. Learned my "Hot Patch" term I use for even Edison plugging in of gear (in being bad) from that panel.
 

Glossy Shines

Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Location
Georgia USA
The patch panel is merely a distribution device and is not responsible. It's either the incoming service or the dimmers. You didn't even mention dimmers, did you? They'll probably be similar to https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/kliegl-12kw-scr-dimmers.37191/ if they haven't been replaced.

Do as Ron says, measure the socket voltage using a twofer and RMS DMM. Let us know.

Please post pictures for our lamp expert @ship to take a look at. But it sounds like long-term slight over-voltage.

Edit: BTW, the SP in the interconnect panel's description stands for Safe Patch, due to the fact that one cannot energize a circuit until it's plugged in and the circuit breaker handle covering the hole is turned on. The dimmers may be one floor above or below the patch panel. Somewhere is also a DMX-to-Analog protocol converter (demultiplexer) allowing the SmartFade to talk to the Kliegl dimmers. These dimmers have trim pots and drift out of alignment and must be periodically serviced.
The patch panel is merely a distribution device and is not responsible. It's either the incoming service or the dimmers. You didn't even mention dimmers, did you? They'll probably be similar to https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/kliegl-12kw-scr-dimmers.37191/ if they haven't been replaced.

Do as Ron says, measure the socket voltage using a twofer and RMS DMM. Let us know.

Please post pictures for our lamp expert @ship to take a look at. But it sounds like long-term slight over-voltage.

Edit: BTW, the SP in the interconnect panel's description stands for Safe Patch, due to the fact that one cannot energize a circuit until it's plugged in and the circuit breaker handle covering the hole is turned on. The dimmers may be one floor above or below the patch panel. Somewhere is also a DMX-to-Analog protocol converter (demultiplexer) allowing the SmartFade to talk to the Kliegl dimmers. These dimmers have trim pots and drift out of alignment and must be periodically serviced.
@Glossy Shines Expanding on the thinking behind my previous post.
Decades ago, when your dimmers and patch were installed, (in general) lamps were less efficient / higher wattage devices.
Due to this, and with voltage drops over distances in mind, dimmer racks were often powered by three phase autotransformers with a number of taps to select from; the designer's intent being: If your incoming line voltage is tapped up a few % above your nominal 120 volts, you could power your 2K's, 5K's and 10K's with a full 120 volts regardless of voltage losses on the copper conductors between your dimmers / patch and your actual lighting loads.

In present times, increases in the efficiency of incandescent lamps ( and their reflectors ), coupled with modern arc and LED sources, far less power (watts) are being consumed heating copper wiring. If your line voltage was originally stepped up to compensate for losses; now that you've reduced your line losses, you've effectively raised the voltage applied to your lamps to several % above their anticipated operating voltage. NONE of this is the fault of your hard-patch.
Under-voltage = increased lamp life.
Over-voltage = more intensity, higher color temperatures at the expense of reduced lamp life.
There you go; more than you ever wanted to know and worth every penny we're not charging.
Please post back with your findings.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
Certainly not the 1911 patch panel I'm familiar with. If you were to send photos, would want lamp globe in seeing, if possible close up to failure, lamp socket = the "hot" contact, lamp socket = especially there for starting photo's in if lamp or direct to lamp some problem. Mostly the type of stuff that should be looked at in a lamp change.

Patch panel in being remote - doubt it would have an effect on lamps, but still checking for arching on pins and sockets is a good constant thing to do. I took part in many patch panel repairs over the years. Learned my "Hot Patch" term I use for even Edison plugging in of gear (in being bad) from that panel.
Thanks for all the input. I will get with my station's ENG team this week and start checking things. I will post our findings. I have uploaded pics of some of the blown bulbs. Most are HPL 575 & 750's out of Source 4's. There are some EGN 500w in the mix too. If you look at the HPL bulbs, many have a blisters on them. Normally i would say someone "thumbed" the bulb; however, i installed 99% of the bulbs.
 

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STEVETERRY

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2007
Location
New York
Thanks for all the input. I will get with my station's ENG team this week and start checking things. I will post our findings. I have uploaded pics of some of the blown bulbs. Most are HPL 575 & 750's out of Source 4's. There are some EGN 500w in the mix too. If you look at the HPL bulbs, many have a blisters on them. Normally i would say someone "thumbed" the bulb; however, i installed 99% of the bulbs.
This could be a valuable clue. Are the HPL's 115V?
ST
 

DELO72

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2007
Location
New Hampshire
Yes, they appear to be in the photos, but the EGNs are 120V and also showing the same effect. I agree you should start by taking a multi-meter to the plug and seeing what voltage you are getting at the fixture. They do appear to be arc-outs and end-of-life failures as a result of possible over-voltage if happening very early.
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
THERE's the dimmers we were looking for earlier! if it's overvoltage, it'll be there rather than the patch panel.
@Glossy Shines @DELO72 @Calc Possibly a poor neutral connection supplying the three phase dimmer rack with one, or more, phases effectively going higher as the rack is loaded and the neutral fails, to some degree, to do its job. Comments? Thoughts??
@Glossy Shines Every time you mention your ENG department, I envisage your Electronic News Gathering crews rushing in to video your problems.
I gather you're speaking of your Engineering department but I definitely grinned the first time I read it.
BTW; your pseudonym makes me suspect you're a bald guy with a reflective dome, a dome that shines and glistens when back lit.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

tdrga

Active Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2011
Location
Central TX
THERE's the dimmers we were looking for earlier! if it's overvoltage, it'll be there rather than the patch panel.
If I had to guess, the problem is overvoltage from the dimmers being out of calibration.

Pulling the details out of my long-term memory: Those dimmers are all analog - with firing cards located in the modules. A bad capacitor on the firing card can result in the calibration going all out of whack. Or they could just drift over time.

Hopefully somewhere in the dimmer room there is a Kliegl test bench which will allow you to calibrate the dimmer modules outside of the dimmer rack. The test bench that I used had built in output AC meter, DC control voltage meter, control slider and sockets for load lamps. You would adjust two trim potentiometers on the firing card to get the correct output voltage from the appropriate input control voltage with the appropriate load applied.

The test bench had exposed high voltage contacts, so appropriate precautions should be taken while in use.

Maybe some of the older Control Booth folks have a copy of the calibration instructions - I remember that it was a finicky process. I think we calibrated so that a 10v input gave 120v output and 5v input gave 80v output.

If you don't have a test bench, calibration could still be done but it would be a much longer and more laborious process.

-Todd
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
If I had to guess, the problem is overvoltage from the dimmers being out of calibration.

Pulling the details out of my long-term memory: Those dimmers are all analog - with firing cards located in the modules. A bad capacitor on the firing card can result in the calibration going all out of whack. Or they could just drift over time.

Hopefully somewhere in the dimmer room there is a Kliegl test bench which will allow you to calibrate the dimmer modules outside of the dimmer rack. The test bench that I used had built in output AC meter, DC control voltage meter, control slider and sockets for load lamps. You would adjust two trim potentiometers on the firing card to get the correct output voltage from the appropriate input control voltage with the appropriate load applied.

The test bench had exposed high voltage contacts, so appropriate precautions should be taken while in use.

Maybe some of the older Control Booth folks have a copy of the calibration instructions - I remember that it was a finicky process. I think we calibrated so that a 10v input gave 120v output and 5v input gave 80v output.

If you don't have a test bench, calibration could still be done but it would be a much longer and more laborious process.

-Todd
@tdrga Back in the steam age, the theatre where I played IA assistant LX had 100 of the 6 K's for performance lighting and twenty more ranging from 4 Kw to 12 Kw for house lighting. The dimmers were in the basement USR below the telco style hard patch. The console was one of the first Strand Q-Files in Canada, I believe there were only three of the Q-Files in Canada; Hamilton, Ottawa and Stratford, Ontario.
In Hamilton, we never had a test bench. With the console being so many steps away, we left the console with several channels set to 10, 20, 30, 50, 80% and full while the remaining 94 channels remained set at zero. One floor up, at the deck level hard patch, we'd patch 1 Kw PAR 64's into dimmers 1 through 6 for consistent resistive loads. Down in the dimmer room, we slid dimmers 1 through 6 out of their slots and, one by one, pulled each dimmer and cycled it back and forth through slots 1 through 6 while measuring with our old fangled 6" moving iron 120 volt RMS meter and carefully nudging the zero, full and curve trimmers to readings matching a chart of our own creation. That's how we calibrated our 100 dimmers twice or thrice yearly.

Calibrating the Q-File was another couple of long days for two IA brothers, one who didn't mind sitting on his duff and carefully adjusting sliders while drinking coffee all day while the other stood behind the two 44 RU control racks finessing three pots per channel and reading his bench model Tripplett with its bright blue fluorescent 7 segment display tubes.
Dimmer and console trimming was SUCH FUN in the 70's, fun and LUCRATIVE too, in the IA kind of way. Some call it nepotism, we call it tradition.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

ship

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Location
Illinois
Fusing of Lamps (Believe from a GE catalogue - possibly the "Stage & Studio" Catalogue in not noting at the time the source so it was at least 10 years ago.):

"Fusing of Tungsten Halogen Studio and Theater Lamps - A lamp normally fails at the end of life by fusing of the filament. Often an arc then forms and as there is little resistance to the limit of the current this rises to a very high value which if maintained can result in a serious overload on the envelope and seals. This might result in the lamp shattering. A quick acting high breaking capacity fuse must be connected in the supply line in all applications if there is not a fuse already provided in the lamp’s body."

Explains some lamps perhaps in arched blackened failures, with voltage drop / long runs, you might not see shattering, more so the arc. - though the over voltage interesting for the blackened arc ones. See this arched failure a lot in VL-500D fixtures - nothing wrong with the base or wiring... just how they go and very similar in blackend failure of something hot blackenening to the globe.

This is not an answer to the bubbles which happens over a period of time. If not touching the lamps, possible they were in a fog fluid area? In some postitions near an air conditioning & fog fluid? Someone pre-touched the lamps? I completely know me as a carp at the time fingered a lot of lamps one year before I knew better, but to your knowing better... would be more than one bubble in the globe in not just towards the source of heat possibly.

For other lamps which might indicate too much movement in breaking more than just the filamet but it's supports? A speaker too close in movement for others where the lamp supports fell apart? Perhaps the fixture changed positions recently especially if hot, or if bumping up a ladder in catwalk?

Good questions, but I think different issues presented.

Suspecting the failures of removed bad lamps were in different areas and different problems about the theater. This the case in fighting multiple fires?

Somehow over the past years of new computers I lost "Lamp Notes" data I saved which had a germain section about fuses I was looking for. Said something about what to look for in a fuse blowing, what to look for in the window to supplement the above article.

Hope of help.
 

STEVETERRY

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2007
Location
New York
If I had to guess, the problem is overvoltage from the dimmers being out of calibration.

Pulling the details out of my long-term memory: Those dimmers are all analog - with firing cards located in the modules. A bad capacitor on the firing card can result in the calibration going all out of whack. Or they could just drift over time.

Hopefully somewhere in the dimmer room there is a Kliegl test bench which will allow you to calibrate the dimmer modules outside of the dimmer rack. The test bench that I used had built in output AC meter, DC control voltage meter, control slider and sockets for load lamps. You would adjust two trim potentiometers on the firing card to get the correct output voltage from the appropriate input control voltage with the appropriate load applied.

The test bench had exposed high voltage contacts, so appropriate precautions should be taken while in use.

Maybe some of the older Control Booth folks have a copy of the calibration instructions - I remember that it was a finicky process. I think we calibrated so that a 10v input gave 120v output and 5v input gave 80v output.

If you don't have a test bench, calibration could still be done but it would be a much longer and more laborious process.

-Todd
Hmm. A phase-control SCR dimmer cannot raise the incoming line voltage. However, in some cases a system would be fed with a high line voltage (230 wye/133V was a popular choice) in order to compensate for choke drop, SCR drop, and branch circuit drop. The dimmer would then be calibrated to provide 120V at the outlet with a typical load. This technique was often applied on dimmer-per-circuit systems such as ETC Sensor--where the full-scale voltage can be set on a per-dimmer basis.

I am not aware of this overvoltage technique ever being applied to a system using a patch panel and large-capacity dimmers.

I like the suggestion of a previous post regarding a loose or high-impedance neutral as a potential source of the problem.

I suggest:

1. Observe caution and use appropriate personal protective equipment per the NFPA 70E standard where required. If you are not clear on "where required", get a licensed electrician or other Qualified Person to make the measurements.
2. Measure all three phases to neutral on the dimmer feed when the system is under load.
3. Measure at a number of outlets when the system is under load.
4. Use a true-RMS responding meter.

ST
 

tdrga

Active Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2011
Location
Central TX
Hmm. A phase-control SCR dimmer cannot raise the incoming line voltage. However, in some cases a system would be fed with a high line voltage (230 wye/133V was a popular choice) in order to compensate for choke drop, SCR drop, and branch circuit drop. The dimmer would then be calibrated to provide 120V at the outlet with a typical load. This technique was often applied on dimmer-per-circuit systems such as ETC Sensor--where the full-scale voltage can be set on a per-dimmer basis.

I am not aware of this overvoltage technique ever being applied to a system using a patch panel and large-capacity dimmers.

...

ST
Hi Steve,

I wasn't implying that the SCR dimmers would raise the voltage to 120 - I believe that we had incoming voltage of ~125v at the dimmer rack, calibrated the dimmers for 120v at the test bench which gave us 118v to 115v at the circuit due to long cable runs. All of our lamps were 120v rated.

But since it's been ~25 years since I had to calibrate a Kleigl dimmer, I could be mis-remembering things.

EDIT- I reread my post - and see that you're replying to the first sentence in my post:

Just raising the possibility that the dimmers, if fed from a higher voltage supply, might be putting out ~120v which would be bad for 115v lamps.

-Todd
 

FMEng

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Fight Leukemia
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Mar 31, 2008
Location
Tacoma, WA
Remember, this is a TV studio with an older lighting installation. When Kleigl was still around, color cameras were hungry for light and very sensitive to color temperature. Setting white balance was a major chore. They would have done everything possible to keep the lamps uniformly running at rated voltage. That could include tapping the service transformer to compensate for heavy lighting, electronic, and HVAC loads. Those loads are much lighter with modern equipment, so the service voltage could be high now.

Modern, 115V Volt lamps are designed on the assumption that there is voltage drop inherent in the wiring of the lighting system. Running them at a solid 120 Volts or more will shorten their life considerably.

If the voltage applied at the lamp socket is high, and if you cannot make adjustments elsewhere, you could switch to the long life version of the lamps, which have a higher voltage rating. The color temperature will drop, requiring cameras to be adjusted.
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2007
Location
Las Vegas, NV, USA
@Glossy Shines , how does it feel to be the caretaker of an installation that's older than you are? I base that on a similar installation where the building opened in 1972. Someone has done a great job keeping this going as long as it has. But it's long past time to think about an upgrade. Change to all LED sources and you'll never have to think about lamp replacement again.

It looks like the original console is still there, under the SmartFade. Could you post of couple of pix of it?
 

JD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
North Wales PA
Although it is possible an older analog SCR dimmer could have had the high-trim backed off to deal with high line voltage, it is more likely that when you are at 100%, the full line voltage (minus equipment drop and forward waveform notch) was being passed through to the lamps. As mentioned, if feeds a patch panel, so cable run length could not be assessed. If the system was set back, it would have been done based on the line voltage when the equipment was installed. Many years have passed, and in general modern line voltages are higher than they were 10, 20, or 30 years ago. Two other thoughts come to mind: First, if the line voltage was always high, the set-back adjustment could have been made in the board. Change the board, no more set-back! Second, if all the fixtures had been relamped at the same time you might have a lot of lamps reaching their end at the same time.