PAR 64 Misbehaving

tomed101

Active Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2007
Location
Brisbane. Australia
I have a very unusual problem (at least to me) with two PAR 64's. I'm in Australia, and seeings as we run on 240V, two 64's plug into a splitter box which connects them in serial (120V gets supplied to each). I have used this for several years with no problems, but today I plugged in a couple of pairs and noticed that one light, not one pair was running at about 5%, while the other in the pair was running at 100%.
My initial thought was that there was something wrong with the bulb, replaced it, same problem. Next thought, problem with the splitter, replaced it, same problem. Next thought was something wrong with the lamp base, replaced the entire lamp with one I know is working, same problem. Weird huh? Getting desperate now, tried another dimmer circuit which I knew was working, and the one lamp is still running at 5%.
I have replaced everything there is to replace, and can't for the life of me come up with any idea let alone an explanation. The only think I can come up with is Voodoo magic which doesn't seem very likely.
Any ideas?
Thanks
Tom
 

soundlight

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Joined
Oct 27, 2005
Location
NJ & NYC
Have you replaced the whole fixture yet? Just swap it out for a whole fixture that you know works, and if that works, you can narrow it down to an element of the parcan itself, even though you've already replaced most of those in the fixture in question.
 

tomed101

Active Member
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Jun 2, 2007
Location
Brisbane. Australia
Have you replaced the whole fixture yet? Just swap it out for a whole fixture that you know works, and if that works, you can narrow it down to an element of the parcan itself, even though you've already replaced most of those in the fixture in question.
Yep tried that as well. I have replaced everything in the circuit, Lamp, the whole parcan, splitter, power source. I really am baffled on this one.

Tom
 

jmabray

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Feb 9, 2007
Location
Dallas, Texas
Is it possible that the par that is having the issue is a 240v lamp?
 

David Ashton

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Sep 8, 2007
Location
perth W Australia
I think you will find that the par 64 which is brightest is a 240 lamp and the dull one is a 120 lamp.The 240volt lamp got into your system somehow.
 

soundlight

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Oct 27, 2005
Location
NJ & NYC
I think that this may be the answer. I second all the others, check to see if the other one has a 240v lamp.
 

Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
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Nov 2, 2006
Location
Denver, CO
I think that this may be the answer. I second all the others, check to see if the other one has a 240v lamp.
Everyone got to it before me...240v PAR's are finally making their way into Australia...and this sounds like the problem here.
 

jmabray

Active Member
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Feb 9, 2007
Location
Dallas, Texas
I think you will find that the par 64 which is brightest is a 240 lamp and the dull one is a 120 lamp.The 240volt lamp got into your system somehow.

Ummmm, no.

If he is using feeding 240v into a voltage splitter/reducing device as he says he is and it comes out of that device at 120V, then the 240 V par lamp would be the dimmer of the two as it is only being fed with half the expected voltage. the 120v lamp would be its full brightness.
 

Logos

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Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Location
Rockhampton Queensland, Australia
Yeah guys but he is saying that he has actually changed everything including the lamp a couple of times. So unless he has managed to keep swapping 240 volt lamps in then thats not necessarily the solution. Having said that it's certainly worth checking out.
 

Chaos is Born

Active Member
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Jun 30, 2006
Location
Cincinnati, Oh
Placing a 240v and a 120v lamp in series, if they are in the correct order even with what is called a "splitter" will cause the 240v lamp to run brighter before the power gets to the 120v lamp.

Have you tried the order of which they are plugged into the splitter?
 

David Ashton

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Sep 8, 2007
Location
perth W Australia
Had he changed "everything" he'd have a completely different unit, trust me, it's a 240volt lamp.
 

Chaos is Born

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Jun 30, 2006
Location
Cincinnati, Oh
Well easy to overlook changing the "working" light with another.
 

ship

Senior Team Emeritus
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Mar 29, 2003
Location
Illinois
Don't know, if you swapped out the bad lamp and that of the electrical series splitter, checked both the "good lamp" for 120v rating and "bad lamps" for 120v ratings, this much less wattage rating, it's a hard question once all has been swapped out in the series circuit. Given a series circuit, the second lamp theoretically if an electrical problem should be at the same intensity as the first lamp in the series - this given both lamps are the same. If there is huge resistance to the first lamp in working, the second lamp would also have huge resistance to it working. Electrically, and given most parts have been swapped out, it more or less leads to it being a lamp problem.

Given the lamps also were swapped out - did you swap lamps between the working one at normal intensity and the not so much working one? After this known fixture A is at low intensity and fixture b is at more, it almost has to be a lamp question that's hopefully confirmed by inversing the two lamps. Were it that lamp B is now also partially as bright and the dim lamp A in the "B" position gets full intensity, it's an electrical issue in a way I cannot fathom. Electrically two lamps in series are as one - this unless there is various forms of resister shunting that first lamp for a multitude of reasons. This than could be the cause.

In other words, a 240v lamp having gotten into your system would explain this best. After that, some type of shunting of the first lamp most likey has to confirm and locate the problem - this after the first and second lamps are swapped and confirmed to have the same symptoms. Are there even if switched out electronics involved in these splitters?

Second option and very theoretical but not much possible given the same lamps to a noticable extent = also about having switched out lamp A verses B to confirm, the lamp that works at proper intensity, was it new or old? Past experience with series wired PAR 56 bases light curtains has shown that used lamps are useless as spares, and once one lamp goes, you replace all lamps for the DHA light curtain. In other words, in a 230v/series world using 120v lamps, are you changing both lamps at the same time due to first one blowing age and similar resistances, or only the one that goes bad? Very theoretical given the stated output but a new and old lamp will have different resistances. One should replace both due to spikes in end of life arching and resistance issues when working two lamps as a team. This is the concept overall for series lamp operation. Not likely the extent you state but as a concept, a new verses old lamp will in series have very different outputs.
 
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David Ashton

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Joined
Sep 8, 2007
Location
perth W Australia
And if you were dissipating that sort of power in a bad connection it would fail catastrophically very quickly.
 

dj_illusions

Active Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2004
Location
Melbourne, Australia
unless someone has made a massive mistake, it would be very difficult to plug a 110v can into a 240v splitter as in australia a 110v parcan must have a different plug to a regular 240v plug to prevent it from getting plugged into a gpo.

the standard seems to be a flat earth pin with a round positive and neutral pin, the splitter has the female version and 1 standard male 240v with all flat pins on the other.

it is possible that the 110v can could of had a 240v lamp placed in it as a replacement which would cause the problem, but then in theory the problem should be reversed.

also a splitter is just that, a splitter it does no reducing etc. you just put the two actives together and two neutrals together etc. you used to just do that with 2 pieces of cable into 1 male plug, however legislation now states the split must be made in an enclosure, so the splitters are usually made with a jiffy box, terminal strip and grommets.
 

tomed101

Active Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2007
Location
Brisbane. Australia
Thanks to everyone for your help. After reading about the 240V lamps I checked the small etching on the lamp and it was indeed a 240V lamp. It appears that our latest shipment were all 240V for some unknown reason, hence the problem not being fixed with the replacing of the lamp. Oh and for those wondering, the 240V lamp was the bright one no matter which way it was connected to the splitter.

Thanks again
Tom
 

David Ashton

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Joined
Sep 8, 2007
Location
perth W Australia
DJ Illusions-No you don't join the actives and neutrals together, you take the active from one lamp to the active pin on the plug and the neutral from the other lamp to the neutral pin on the plug and join the other active and neutral wire together and isolate them [both earths run through].Now you may have meant that but it was not clear in your reply.Tomed 101-And I told you that the 240 volt lamp would be the bright one.
 
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00AVD

Active Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2007
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Ummmm, no.
If he is using feeding 240v into a voltage splitter/reducing device as he says he is and it comes out of that device at 120V, then the 240 V par lamp would be the dimmer of the two as it is only being fed with half the expected voltage. the 120v lamp would be its full brightness.
No, this is just plain wrong. The 120V unit will have a much lower resistance than the 240V unit. The result is that the lopsided resistive divider formed by the series combination will mean that a much higher proportion of the 240V will appear across the 240V lamp, hence it will be brighter.