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Older Moving Light Help!

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by jcslighting, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. jcslighting

    jcslighting Member

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    Happy New Year to all!

    I am currently working on an event for this Saturday, the 2nd and am having some issues with a couple older movers. For background, I just finished using all of these fixtures for a 4 weekend run of a Christmas musical without issue. Now I moved a couple and am trying to get things going before Saturday.

    1st - Silver body HES Intellabeam 700hx - powers up and works fine on initial start-up. DMX works fine and fixture responds normally. This is where it gets weird. After about 5min, the fan shuts off, then after a bit longer, the lamp shuts off as well. I switched out the fan for one I knew was good thinking that was the issue but I got the same response. The weird thing also is that the motor, fan, and lamp leds stay lit normally even after the shutdown. Any ideas what would cause this shutdown? If it was DMX it would normally shut off the lamp and then later cycle off the fan - not the reverse.

    2nd - Black body HES Intellabeam 700hx - buzzing like an alarm clock - a really loud alarm clock! My thoughts - Transformer or Ballast?, Power Factor Cap? Light works fine it just makes way too much noise to use in an event setting. Quick fix? I have a few spare parts lying around to pull from.

    3rd - HES Technobeam - Was working fine when pulled from an overhead electric, now I set it on the floor and it gives the following symptoms. . .
    If it powers up correctly (lamp, home, int ), it only works for a short while then the lamp shuts off and the fixture won't respond to DMX at all. But most of the tries I had, it only started its power up and then when the lamp started to strike the whole process just stopped - mirror stopped moving and was dead etc. The whole time though the display was working along with the motor and receive leds.

    Thanks for any suggestions or ideas. If I can't get any up and running I will just drop them from the plot and move things around to try and compensate but I would rather not.
     
  2. Thetechmanmac

    Thetechmanmac Active Member

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    I had similar problems with some MAC 250s. It seems like your technobeam could have a problem (or short) in the temp sensor. That would cause your lamp to shut off and not respond to DMX. For the others, it may be a PCB issue. So all three of them started acting weird at the same time? Did you have some sort of electrical issue or storm at your facility that could have caused this?
     
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  3. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Suspected ring cracks on the PCB. Basically, where connectors are mounted on the board, the thicker pins expand and contract at a different rate then the solder or the board so very fine cracks form, often the cannot be seen without good magnification. These problems often manifest themselves like a thermostat so that they make/break dependent on temperature. One of the hallmarks of ring cracks is that a unit will work ok until it is moved or bounced around a bit, then the problems start. This can be because the last little flake of solder that was making the connection breaks from the vibration of the move. Phantom intermittents = Ring Cracks. Unfortunately, the same type of thing can happen inside a potted module or even an IC, but often it is where a thicker component lead or connector pin is soldered to the board.

    As for the buzzing: Often a loose plate in a ballast or even a fan shaft bearing. If it is a ballast or transformer core, often can be fixed with epoxy or even silicon.
     
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  4. jcslighting

    jcslighting Member

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    I'm not aware of any electrical issues recently however, I will check the sensors when I get to the theatre later this evening.
     
  5. jcslighting

    jcslighting Member

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    I don't know that I have the time to check every PC board solder joint before Saturday however I may try the ballast/transformer repair. I never thought of using epoxy to stop the buzzing. I am guessing a more fluid epoxy that is heat resistant should work? Silicone might be too thick to penetrate the core far enough. Any suggestions on which epoxy?
     
  6. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Back in the Intellabeam days, HES used these awful quick-connect terminal strips. It was common for them to work their way loose and begin arcing. They should be visible on the power supply board if you pull the back plate of the unit off. Check those first and foremost, and pull/re-insert them. If there's any scorching, the units should be taken out of service and repaired. It's pretty easy to desolder the old quick-connect strips and replace with standard strips, as long as you have the time. Even if they're fine, I would plan on retrofitting them soon if you plan on using the fixtures a while longer. They are certainly the Achilles heel of the Intellabeam.

    The buzzing issue sounds like a ballast or transformer as noted. I had a buzzing Technobeam and it turned out to be the ballast ($60 at LightParts). Apparently this is rare with Techno ballasts, but I'm not sure about the Intellabeam. The I-beam does have both a transformer and ballast, so it could be either one. Check for any evidence of heat build-up. My Techno's ballast was pretty scorched, and I wouldn't be comfortable using it even with an epoxy repair.

    The Technobeam issue you're having does sound sensor-related, but check all Molex/ribbon connectors as well.
     
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  7. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. If you see scorching on the ballast, replace it. Often buzzing on such a ballast is actual windings that came (or toasted) loose and are smacking back and forth. That usually doesn't end well.
     
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  8. jcslighting

    jcslighting Member

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    Well, with tonight being the show, here's the update....

    Tried all of the sensor connections on the technobeam board and basically unplugged and replugged each sensor. Re-assembled and it fired right up and is now working fine.
    Probably need to check the solder connections after this show. The Intellabeam buzzing is most likely a ballast. I injected some epoxy into the core without taking the fixture apart
    and at least now the buzzing is acceptable. After tonight I will need to replace or at least dis-assemble and make sure the epoxy gets all the way into the core - hard to do inside the fixture.

    Thanks to everyone's suggestions I at least can get through tonight's show with the original plot!

    Controlbooth is AWESOME!
     
  9. jcslighting

    jcslighting Member

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    The funny thing is, I was planning on selling off most of my old intellabeams after this show as they always present problems. I guess like anything, age plays a huge factor and parts are getting more
    expensive to keep replacing vs. buying new used fixtures. I love the speed of the mirrors on the intellabeams vs. even modern heads but doing mostly theatre design work the fan noise is often too
    much as well as having to leave the room for them on a pipe. They take up more room than a moving head if you orient them along the pipe!

    Also, the Intellabeams aren't as optically efficient in my opinion. I just picked up 4 coemar digiscan 575s that have more output than the 700w Intellabeams! The 250w Technobeams are almost comparable
    to them as well.
     

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