Repair or buy new?

mbandgeek

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Apr 1, 2006
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North Carolina
At my school, we are having a bunch of problems with our Ellipsoidals. We are using the altman 1KL series of fixtures. These fixtures are of varying degree measures. Recently, about half of these instruments are no longer operational, We have tried swapping bulbs, but this doesn't work. I believe that the sockets are to blame.

Which would be more likely to happen in a public school. Buying the necessary parts to repair these fixtures, or upgrading?
 

DaveySimps

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I would say that, as long as parts are available, it is much cheaper to fix the existing units. Usually schools are more concerened about the financial aspect of things, not the labor involved. I know I can buy Source IV sockets for about $16 ea., assuming yours are in that ball park, it is by far cheaper to repair, even if you had to be charged for labor.

~Dave
 

soundlight

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Oct 27, 2005
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NJ & NYC
Short story: neither. Especially in rural NC. My high school's lights were 30 years old (the old matte gray paint fixtures) with asbestos tails and to the best of my knowledge, they have still not been replaced.
 

Les

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DFW, Tx.
1kl's have been discontinued, however they use widely available TP22 sockets, which cost under $20 and are easy to find. So compare that to several hundred $$ each for new fixtures. Basically if you can afford to upgrade, do it; but if not, try to be content with repaired older units. I know they're a clunky beast, but you should be more pleased with them when they're all happy again.
 
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gafftapegreenia

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If you can find the money, upgrade.

If not, the lamp sockets are common and cheap enough and not to difficult to replace. New sockets and a cleaning/lubrication will make those 1KL's happy enough.
 

Pie4Weebl

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trash'm and buy used fixtures, even 6xs are better than what you have now.
 

SteveB

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Mar 20, 2004
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Brooklyn, NY
The G9.5/TP22 socket is $11.05 at Production Advantage

That said, after all the material costs plus labor, as well as cleaning and tuning, the fixture is still a boat anchor, though I suspect a generic boat anchor has better light output.

Your call if the fixtures are important enough to repair.

Steve B.
 

Les

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Charc

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Feb 14, 2007
I hate these friggin' things.

Plus, I gotta stop putting instruments in the air that are falling apart: Two screws holding the "tube" of a 6x22 on, except one screw is broken... :oops:

(Hey, I just noticed it the other day, well after it was hung, it's coming down on Monday.)

Edit:

So if you, or your TD or whoever, are capable of this repair, then it's fair cheaper to replace the lamp socket. However, the light will still be terrible.
 

DarSax

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May 3, 2006
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Bethesda MD
The quality of light isn't all that bad. We had (well they're still there) a lot of those at my high school, we used them if we needed a little punch from a 1kW, but otherwise they just sat around. Do weigh a freaking ton, there is no doubt, but not an awful instrument. Not as bad as the CCT zooms my college has now
 

David Ashton

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perth W Australia
It's pretty obvious you need to repair them but at the same time tell the management that they are getting beyond practical use and suggest a rig that they build towards in the next 5 years, base this on the need to conserve energy by using more efficient lamps, safety, no asbestos in new lamps and educational, students should learn and use current equipment[the computer people don't use commodore 64's]
Once your 5 year plan is agreed on, if some extra funds become available they can implement it earlier.Just complaining about old gear means nothing to a finance board.But they love a plan, a vision and all that stuff.
 

mbandgeek

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Apr 1, 2006
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North Carolina
thanks to all for your replies. I know a lot of you are against the 1KL's but i have to say, for 15-20 year old technology they work good enough.
 

gafftapegreenia

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I'm not against them insofar as you repair for short term and find a way to plan for long term.

Derek might disagree, but the 1kl is still better than a 10x with a step lens.
 

Charc

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Feb 14, 2007
It's pretty obvious you need to repair them but at the same time tell the management that they are getting beyond practical use and suggest a rig that they build towards in the next 5 years, base this on the need to conserve energy by using more efficient lamps, safety, no asbestos in new lamps and educational, students should learn and use current equipment[the computer people don't use commodore 64's]
Once your 5 year plan is agreed on, if some extra funds become available they can implement it earlier.Just complaining about old gear means nothing to a finance board.But they love a plan, a vision and all that stuff.
In the immortal words:

"Bear in mind that old theatre lights are very close in performance to new ones and that, in lighting, quantity is more important than quality, so if the choice is to recondition 10 old lights or buy one new one, then the choice is clear."
 

David Ashton

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perth W Australia
If you are going to quote you need to be in context, in the market I was quoting to, the predominant lights are fresnels and it is absolutely the case that modern fresnels are only slightly more efficient than older units.In the case of your market the predominant light is the profile, as in this case. and profile technology has increased its efficiency by a factor of 2 or 3 as opposed to the10 or 15% gain in fresnel efficiency.
Bear in mind that if you had not had a go at me about this quote I wouldn't be haunting you now.
 

Charc

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Feb 14, 2007
If you are going to quote you need to be in context, in the market I was quoting to, the predominant lights are fresnels and it is absolutely the case that modern fresnels are only slightly more efficient than older units.In the case of your market the predominant light is the profile, as in this case. and profile technology has increased its efficiency by a factor of 2 or 3 as opposed to the10 or 15% gain in fresnel efficiency.
Bear in mind that if you had not had a go at me about this quote I wouldn't be haunting you now.
David, I posted the quote from your website because I thought it was relevant to the thread. In an educational environment I doubt the OP has much of a budget, and 10 x TP22 sockets is in the ballpark price range of a S4. Much though I abhor the 1KL6 series, ten 1KL6 series ERSs are better than one S4. The take away message for the OP should be: go repair your lights.
 

David Ashton

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perth W Australia
I do apologize, but I got a real pasting about that quote from people on this site.
 

derekleffew

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Las Vegas, NV, USA
Derek might disagree, but the 1kl is still better than a 10x with a step lens.
You're absolutely right, I disagree. I once tried in vain to get a decent beam out of several 1KL-8 10° units, and failed. I'd rather have a 360Q-6x22 any day. In fact, I'd rather have any 360Q than any 1KL! Axial Century 10x? with step lens would at least attain an even beam. Even Kliegl 1355/8 (x12s) would be preferable to Altman 1KLs. Once the SourceFour™ ERS came out in 1992, every lighting shop was dumping their 360Qs for as low as $79 with working lamp, 2P&G, CC, CF, and SC.
 

gafftapegreenia

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I do apologize, but I got a real pasting about that quote from people on this site.
Yea, but then you joined, we had all had a long, lengthy thread, you explained your context, and all was good.
 

mbandgeek

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Apr 1, 2006
Location
North Carolina
You're absolutely right, I disagree. I once tried in vain to get a decent beam out of several 1KL-8 10° units, and failed. I'd rather have a 360Q-6x22 any day. In fact, I'd rather have any 360Q than any 1KL! Axial Century 10x? with step lens would at least attain an even beam. Even Kliegl 1355/8 (x12s) would be preferable to Altman 1KLs. Once the SourceFour™ ERS came out in 1992, every lighting shop was dumping their 360Qs for as low as $79 with working lamp, 2P&G, CC, CF, and SC.
it really isn't that hard, it just takes a little time. I am able to get a really nice focused beam out of any of our 10° fixtures. it is all about how you go about solving the problem. The only thing that i can see on the 1KL lights is the lens adjustment knob on the bottom of the fixture. Other then that, they are still stage lights, and a light is a light no matter how hefty.