The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

Conventional Fixtures Lotsa questions: Altman 1000Q followspot

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by chadgreen, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. chadgreen

    chadgreen Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    My church just purchased an Altspot from a local theater. It is in fair to good condition but I would like to tear it down some and clean it up. Some of these questions my not be able to be answered but that's ok.
    1. How do I bench test the follow spot?
    2. Is graphite lube still ok for the iris?
    3. The glass in front of the iris rattles when the spot is moved from level, is this normal?
    4. How are the gels normally held on? I see plenty of masking tape but no brackets. I also see reusable fasteners were used.
    5. Speaking of masking tape there is at least some on the top lid. Can I use something like GOO-Gone for this?
    6. The glass is really dusty/dirty. What can I safely use to clean this?
    7. The metal itself is pretty dusty/dirt. What can I safely use to clean this?
    8. When I reposition the light it kinda bounces even though the clamps are tight. Is this normal?
    9. It makes a vibrating/buzz noise that I'm assuming is due to normal wear and tear. Does anybody know what the usual suspects would be?

    I think that's all for now. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  2. Spader

    Spader Member

    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    4
    Here's the help that I can offer -

    4. I think that the spot originally came with brackets to hold the gels in and the local theatre lost them.

    8. My thought is that this probably is a design flaw on Altman's part. What Altman did with their newer spots like the 1000Q is they moved a lens to the front part of the light which made the front end of the light a lot heavier than the back end. This obviously sucks for the operator or if you lock it in like this. If you plug it in to a place nearby and don't plan on refocusing it very often, it helps to take some of the extra electrical cable, coil it, and gaff it onto the lens focus control bar that sticks out behind the iris knob. It acts as a counterweight and helps the balance problem a bit.

    3&9. The rattling is most likely the shutters. I know that the 1000Q's that my local theatre owns are very loud, and the rattling can be fixed by carefully and slowly rotating the shutter control knob until the rattling goes away. This I'm guessing is a design flaw that is so frustrating that I want to take the shutters out of our spots.

    Here's a piece of advice that I learned the hard way - The silver-ish clamp that you use to keep the spot set to a certain height isn't the strongest thing in the world. If you reposition this, make sure that you tighten it, but don't over tighten it. We had to reposition one of our spots once, and knowing how heavy it is and how tight the clamp normally is, we set the height and I said to the other person, "OK, now tighten it as tight as you can get it." I then realized after a short while that I should have said, "make it tight," because I heard a snap and he said, "uuhh...it broke..."
     
  3. church

    church Active Member

    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    Canada
    Graphite spray lube is best for the iris and the slides. Do not over apply better to do this in multiple small applications allowing the solvent to evaporate than cover everything by applying one large dose. Remove the old lubricant using rubbing alcohol and kitchen roll. Dispose of carefully because it can catch fire easily. When applying the new graphite to the iris the iris should be closed when you apply the graphite and then opened and closed slowly to spread the lubricant. Allow to dry and then repeat three or four times until there is an even black/grey colour to all of the iris vanes and the operation is silky smooth.

    There is no coating on the lenses in these units so you can use dishwasher soap or even just put the lenses through the dishwasher. Only do this after you have removed the lenses from the metal brackets. Use a bit of jet dry to ensure there are no spots on the lenses. Remember to note which lenses go where and the direction they face.

    The colour filters are held in place sandwiched between the ring on the changer semaphore arm and a second metal ring made out of approx 26 or 30 guage metal. I have made these out of aluminium flashing. There are holes around the ring and you use the paper rivets you buy in Staples or any other office supplier for about $3 for a hundred.

    Note the optics for the Altspot and the Q1000 are completely different the 1000Q uses an axial lamp and the Altspot is a base down lamp 1500W lamp that differs from the Dynaspot in that it has no fan and the focal length on two lenses is shorter than the dynaspot.

    Bench focusing of these units is not difficult if the optics are correctly installed and you own or have access to the required safety equipment. However there are safety issues involved in doing this so I will not provide the details here. If you send me your contact details in a PM I will explain what is required and how it is done.

    A number of rattles are due to the lenses being loose in the lens brackets. This was done to allow for the differential expansion rates between the glass and the metal brackets to avoid the lenses cracking after extended use. many ellispodals use a silicon rubber pad around the axis to fill this gap to eliminate rattles which causes lens chipping and to accomodate this expansion.
     
  4. chadgreen

    chadgreen Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    For the record the follow spot is an Altman 1000Q. I must have merged the two when I was researching the spot. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2009
  5. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

    Messages:
    5,790
    Likes Received:
    1,095
    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Location:
    Portland, Or.
    2. Is graphite lube still ok for the iris?
    Yes but in Very small amounts.

    3. The glass in front of the iris rattles when the spot is moved from level, is this normal?

    Rattles happen, There are a couple of different types of retainersand often they can be tightened back up once you pop the cover off and start dining around with the insides you be able to see the best course of action for securing the lens


    5. Speaking of masking tape there is at least some on the top lid. Can I use something like GOO-Gone for this?

    Don't Use Goo-Gone! WD-40 is your friend. Spray some on a rag or paper towel place the rag over the masking tape residue and allow to sit. This will soften up/ loosen the residue and allow you to easily remove it with agitation from a paper towel. Peanut butter also works but people will look at you strangely if you start spreading Jif all over your new spot.

    6. The glass is really dusty/dirty. What can I safely use to clean this?

    Already answered above but I want to add a couple of things. Do not use windex, or any other OTC "glass cleaner" most contain silicone to guard against streaking this will eventually leave a build up on you r lens and it's icky.
    7. The metal itself is pretty dusty/dirt. What can I safely use to clean this?

    rag and rubbing alcohol.

    8. When I reposition the light it kinda bounces even though the clamps are tight. Is this normal?

    The Beam bounces ? then most likely it's the lamp socket having loosened up.

    9. It makes a vibrating/buzz noise that I'm assuming is due to normal wear and tear. Does anybody know what the usual suspects would be?

    Hmmm is it filament buzz? What type of lamp does your altspot take.?

    Hope some of that helps.
     
  6. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

    Messages:
    950
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Somewhere far far away, Vic, Aus
    Quick virtually un-educated guess for q9, our followspots have a fan in the bottom it's really obvious, could this followspot have one tucked away somewhere, causing the small buzzing sound? Just a guess.
     
  7. church

    church Active Member

    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    Canada
    The Altspot was not suppopsed to have a fan fitted, however I have seen the same fan that is fitted to the Dynaspot retrofitted to the underside of the Altspot. The Altspot has the name cast into the rear of the housing.

    The Dynaspot and Altspot both use a 1500W lamp which runs very hot when it is turned on for a couple of hours. They also share a number of the same parts but there are differences in the optics other than the fan - at least according to the Altman drawings and the limited sample of four spots that I have examined in detail. The fan used on the Dynaspot do become noisy particularly on start up. If you notice that the spot starts to trip a 15A breaker on start up and there is some noise from the fan then it is time to replace the fan. Of course someone may have fitted a 120V four inch fan as another solution.

    Re the lens rattles, the lenses are held in place with a wire spring clip which fits into the inside of a groove on the inside of the lens holder castings. This is designed so that it does not press against the glass. This allows the lens some freeplay and hence the rattle when you move the spot. This is easily distinguished from the fan rattle, if the fan is off and you hear a rattle when you move the spot it is either lenses or the shutter/iris mechanisims. When the shutter/irs mechanisim is correctly adjusted and in good condition it should be quiet, require little effort to operate and smooth in operation. Any stiffness or jerkiness and it is probably dirty or misaligned. The bench focus may require that the iris location is adjusted - there is only a small amount of adjustment possible for this and they are sometimes forced too far which places the mechanisim under stress.


    The lamp holder is held in place with 2 screws and unless the lamp holder is correctly positioned and secure it is impossible to focus the spot. Optimum focus may require that the front or back of the lampholder is shimmed to ensure the filament is vertical. One quirk of the GE DTA lamp is that the lamp base and the filament are out of alignment so the filament is not vertical. I have seen this on new lamps out of the box and develop on lamps after a few hours of operation.
     
  8. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,159
    Likes Received:
    43
    Occupation:
    Teacher
    Location:
    Central Wisconsin


    Plus you wouldn't want to give your follow spot salmonella!

    Peanut Butter... never heard that one...
     
  9. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

    Messages:
    5,790
    Likes Received:
    1,095
    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Location:
    Portland, Or.
    Peanut oil is great! You can use Peanut butter to do things like; remove gum from carpet, hair and the bottom of your shoe.
    Remove pesky labels from Xmas presents < though you shouldn't do this if the person you are giving the gift to is allergic to peanuts>
    Remove Residue from bumper stickers.

    Did you know that Henry Ford constructed a proto-type car than was constructed almost entirely out of peanuts and peanut by products, such as "plastics" made from peanut oil and solids. It een had a deisel engine that ran on.... You guessed it Peanut oil!

    Sorry, We now return you to your Spotlight questions.
     
  10. chadgreen

    chadgreen Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok I have some pictures of the spot. As you can see there is some masking tape residue. As well as the overall state of the light [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    A big thanks to all!
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009
  11. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    88
    Occupation:
    truck driver
    Location:
    perth W Australia
    I was given one of these some years back and it was useless with the 1000watt 240volt lamp which was fitted, so I changed it to a 400watt HMI and this made it quite a functional unit.And cool to operate.
     
  12. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

    Messages:
    4,401
    Likes Received:
    2,785
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    What's pictured is a current model, the Altman 1000Q. Plain Altspot refers to an entirely different model.

    1. How do I bench test the follow spot? Assuming you mean bench focus, not bench test. Is the field evenly illuminated from edge to edge? Are there noticeable hotspots or darkspots in the beam? The lamp may not be in the optimal position in the reflector. Here is the exploded drawing.

    2. Is graphite lube still ok for the iris? As already said, yes, but in very small quantities. Molybdenum disulfide lubricant is better.

    3. The glass in front of the iris rattles when the spot is moved from level, is this normal?
    Again, as said above, sort of normal. You may be able to find a rubber gasket or weather stripping product to stop this.

    4. How are the gels normally held on? I see plenty of masking tape but no brackets. I also see reusable fasteners were used.
    Again, see drawing. One ring is welded to each arm of the boomerang. Brass paper fasteners (third page Altman part#33-0101, but 1/2" Brass Plated paper Fasteners, available from any office supply store), through the holes on the plain ring, through the color, and into the holes on the fixed ring.

    5. Speaking of masking tape there is at least some on the top lid. Can I use something like GOO-Gone for this?
    Any number of the remedies for removing tape residue from cables will work, and some will also strip the paint from the fixture.

    6. The glass is really dusty/dirty. What can I safely use to clean this?
    I prefer a 50/50 mix of distilled water and isopropyl alcohol, and paper coffee filters.

    7. The metal itself is pretty dusty/dirt. What can I safely use to clean this?
    Any clean cotton towel, slightly dampened with water.

    8. When I reposition the light it kinda bounces even though the clamps are tight. Is this normal?
    Yes. Since it's a relatively small, lightweight fixture, without much mass, holding it steady is a chore. Fabricating a new 1/8" leather friction washer, Part#14-0042, may help somewhat, but not much.

    9. It makes a vibrating/buzz noise that I'm assuming is due to normal wear and tear. Does anybody know what the usual suspects would be?
    Either lamp-sing from the filament of the FEL lamp, or vibration noise from one of the two fans.

    IF one is qualified, it's a fairly straight-forward modification to electrically isolate the lamp from the fans, which would allow one to 1)Turn the fans off during especially quiet moments, and 2)Power the lamp via a dimmer, controlled either from the lightboard or by the operator. This also makes for a nicer fade than using the black-out slide in the color boomerang (The black-handled Frame#0).

    It's not the worst followspot ever, but is inferior to the Strong Trouperette III/IV and Lycian Midget #1206, both of which use the same lamp family. Yours just needs some cleaning and TLC.

    Have you hugged your followspot today?:lol:
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2010
    chadgreen and (deleted member) like this.
  13. chadgreen

    chadgreen Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    So I think that one of the vibrations is the middle lens that isn't secured in as well as it should be. Hopefully as everyone has suggested placing a gasket will dampen this.
     
  14. grandetheatre

    grandetheatre Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ontario + Central Florida
    Read your answer on Altman follows. Further question: Can a DynaSpot be re-lensed to give it longer throw? We have two which were good in our old theatre, but have no puch with the longer throw in our new house. Or is there a higher output lamp which can be fitted?
    Thanks!
    grandetheatre
     
  15. venuetech

    venuetech Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,355
    Likes Received:
    242
    Occupation:
    aud man out
    Location:
    AK,
    I like to use a citrus based cleaner for removal of old tape. spray onto the old tape and then cover it with a bit of plastic, let it soak for a an hour or so then use a stiff brissell brush to remove the tape. the black wrinkle finish will be a real pain
     
  16. church

    church Active Member

    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    Canada
    the dynaspot is already lamped at 1500W but the optical efficiency is pretty poor, the reflector and conza lens do a really bad job of collecting the light from the large filament of the lamp. I own some of these and I have consideredhow to get better light output. To increase the throw is ridiculously expensive as it involves complete replacement of the optics and if you have all of this available from a donor followspot you are better to fix the donor. increasing the output to give more punch does not also have to mean increasing the throw - although the dynaspot is a fairly wide beam width for a follow spot. One approach I am considering is to change the light source completely. A number of overhead projectors use the same lamp as the Altman Comet which is an MR16 style lamp. This type of lamp is much more efficient than the DTA lamp used in the Dynaspot because the filament is very small and so is closer to a point source and it includes a reflector which is superior to the reflector in the Dynaspot.

    I have extracted the guts from an overhead projector which also includes a large ceramic resistor which drops the 120V line voltage to the 82V required by the lamp. This will also still allow the use of a dimmer. This next on my 'to do' list. note a good clean and a proper bench focus will improve the performance on these followspots because every one I have ever serviced was not correctly bench focused. the need to remove the housing to do a bench focus makes this a very laborious process unless you own an auto darkening welding helmet and some other protective clothing.
     
  17. photoatdv

    photoatdv Active Member

    Messages:
    934
    Likes Received:
    32
    For a normal incandescent FEL a welding helmet is not required (at least that was what I was taught). Face mask wouldn't be a bad idea (borrow from the scene shop) or as shiben says sunglasses and gloves. If you want to be REALLY safe wear thick long sleeve clothing. Something darker could help you see it easier and avoid looking directly at the lamp.

    There is a SMALL chance an FEL could blow. Arc lamps on the other hand DO require Arc Welding equipment (at least) to be worked with exposed.

    The modified lamp could require this... though I somewhat doubt it if it's dimmable.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
  18. shiben

    shiben Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,129
    Likes Received:
    229
    Occupation:
    Lighting Technician (Tour)
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I think you could probably get away with dark sunglasses or welding goggles. Its more for safety if you look at the lamp by mistake. Another thing is if you do have a welding mask, get the kind that dimms automatically. I doubt you need extensive PPE, but some eye protection (probably equivalent to using a plasma cutter) would be fine.
     
  19. dshriver

    dshriver Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Rockport, MA
    Altman 1000Q follow-spot

    Hello everyone,

    For an upcoming show I rented an Altman 1000Q. I have not worked with this instrument in the past, so I was very surprised by how noisy it is. There are two very loud fans on the bottom of the instrument. If I were to operate it with the top door open could I run it without the fans?


    -d
     
  20. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,954
    Likes Received:
    1,141
    Location:
    North Wales PA
    Re: Altman 1000Q follow-spot

    No, the FEL is deep in the reflector and needs a lot of air moving to keep the envelope temp in the safe range.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice