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The mayor wants to throw the switch for the lighting

Discussion in 'Safety' started by ship, May 7, 2008.

  1. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Mission statement for the night - to make a switch the Mayor can throw for this weekend’s what ever sort of lighting festival he is throwing. “I need a prop switch for it.” I’m thinking go big and Warner Brothers in going big for the local papers.

    Did a bit of searching about the shop and found a Square D 200A three phase switch that was not in use or pre-wired. I on the other hand have some 1960's era handles left over from an old “portable” Luxtroler dimmer pack.

    Goal for the night, marry the Luxtroler 5Kw dimmer master dimmer handle to that of the switch handle of the Square D knife switch. Took an hour and luckily I had some square nuts in stock but did so by way of re-tapping the central pivot of the old handle from 1/4-28 to 1/4-20. Expecting there is not a lot of square nuts in 1/4-28 out there (in searching my own bins) that would otherwise work and it being absolutely necessary for the operation of the large company switch.

    Took an hour to remove the less impressive switch lever from the Square D switch, the rest of the night in finding spacers, washers etc. in making up for what was there.

    Got it to work initially in testing with a “all thread” 1/4-20 screw but it was only grade 2 and upon first use instantly snapped it. Went with a Grade 5 screw but had to thread it down some lower. Snapped it also in testing. Comfounded, just die grindered down my only Gr.8 bolt of appropriate size I had in stock and did not see any of alloy steel etc. otherwise in stock available. This in addition to adding thru bolts thru the shaft afterwards so as to prevent from unscrewing etc. Looking good but alas no good until I get the main shaft of the lever re-welded solid so I can re-tap them for 1/4-20 which got stripped out during the snap action.

    Never imagined the hard part would be a really hard to do huge cartoon like master switch in the workings - more just how to present it. Had that worked out in not giving the mayor actual power but say some appropriate sized tubing coming out of the switch and perhaps a strobe light wired into it if I wanted a flash. This added to the other six channels of levers for such an older controller that are also fairly large and photogenic mounted below the main switch so it seems more of a controller than it is in not being live. Had this vision of a podium mounted switch with all these various controlling levers plus master switch and a clip board to it for the Mayor’s speech that mounts above it at typical podium height. Perhaps a few fake microphones (it’s a very local town) and podium lights. Easy to do based upon that concept of a main switch and parallel to that - the snap that throwing the switch will sound like and ain’t much out there that will replace the snap of a three phase at least if not better 200A company switch. Echo is good to cover those behind the scenes pressing the “go” button.

    In the morning I’ll try again in having the welders at the shop weld up and re-tap the hole for 1/4-20 than I’ll give it a shot again in attempting to make this not that old Square D 200A three phase fuse knife switch into something great in a cartoon like way.

    They make that for me, I’ll go further with the podium with large size wires (not live) hanging down from it, the extra knife switches and in general something that will be great in it being a fake switch to turn on power but one that”s over the top. Otherwise, just a few parts replaced or rivets re-installed and it is back to what it was with it’s cover and normal but less extravagant switch. This much less a switch that the Mayor might have to bend over to throw the switch on which is never politically good for.

    Politics and cartoons.... love the adventure. Hope it works out but in two tries tonight, sure it works the first time but it snaps the bolt so far in a question of will it snap before or after the intial resounding snap of turn on. My goal in the next day is to make that snap of the springs of the switch with huge cartoon like (photographic) lever work in "him" turning on the lights, as opposed to a controller that might or might not snap before snapping its bolt attempting to do so.

    This all while in not for pay, a 200A three phase panel that has not been wrecked so far but might be if I modify it further other than in removing rivets for safety/lock plates. Such modification would allow more of a safety margin in it working but also not so much of a company switch that would afterwards be useful for paying shows. Goal of course is to make the mayor look good but not spend money in doing so.
  2. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    Houston, Tx
    Man, the perfect switch i can think of is the 8000A, switch that supplys the power to our shop. Its old and freaky frankinstine looking. I need to take a pic of it sometime. it was made in the 50's.

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