Twistlock conversion

fosstech

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I managed to get my old school's theatre to donate their unused borderlights to my high school's theatre. They're old Strand/Century R40 strips, 4 circuit, 6 feet long, 12 lamps. We got 12 of them, plus an equivalent Altman strip for a total of 13. Anyways, here's the problem. Their theatre has twistlock connector strips, and we have parallel blade (Edison). There's something like 104 connectors total on these things (with the outputs for daisy-chaining), and I'm certainly not going to change all of these things, nor will the school want to pay for 104 plugs at $4 a piece. Since we'll only be plugging one in to each strip, and then daisy-chaining the other three off the first one, would you just replace the plugs on that one end unit with Edison plugs, or would you just leave them all as is and use adapters? There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach. Adapters are more expensive, but not too much more expensive. They offer greater flexibility in the long run, since they can be used on any fixture. Hard wired plugs are cheaper, but the flexibility is limited because that one must be plugged into the strip.

Any thoughts before I start hanging these things?
 

Mayhem

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Well I think that based on what you have just said that adaptors would be the sensible thing to use and provide you with the flexibility that you want.
 

Chris15

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I am guessing that an adaptor would mean that if they got hung and you went to plug them in that it would not matter which one was where. Same idea if they are used in a different application. Though they would be one more thing that could fail. So I guess it depends on what you think would work best in your situation.
 

kingfisher1

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Jul 14, 2005
i'd go with the adapter, for flexibility, and also you'll be able to use it for any other conversions, and just out of curiosity, how much of a price gap are we talking here?
 

koncept

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i would go with adapter, and then down the road maybe do an upgrade on a few of the fixtures as needed. adapters are nice because htey can be used for many different things later on.
 

BillESC

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Kilmarnock, VA
I'll disagree, adapters are simply a waste of money for your application. Border lights are rarely moved once hung. Just change out the male ends on one unit for each rail and you're good to go for under $ 60.00 (5 rails.)

Should you find use for one of your spares in new locations in the future it is still only $ 12.00 to convert another one. Each adapter will cost you around $ 15.00 due to the cost of the twist lock connectors, so for the cost of adapters for only one fixture you could convert 4 to edisons.
 

fosstech

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Tacoma, WA USA
Thanks for all the opinions. After coming back to them today, I remembered that some of them are missing plugs. The theatre that owned them knew they weren't going to use them anymore, so they canabalized some of the plugs for some of the new instruments they were buying. So there were a couple with no plugs on the male end at all. Those are going to be the ones that receive the new edison plugs. Some others are missing twistlocks as well, so we're just going to replace them with more twistlocks so they can chain together.

I also just had a random thought about these units...has anyone tried using them on their ends mounted to some type of vertical pipe for dance sidelight? Given they're 6 feet tall they're the perfect height for 95% of all the dancers out there, and they can change colors without scrollers ;). The only problem I see is pattern control and intensity. But for gentle toning they may work.
 

ship

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Illinois
Should work interesting for vertical walls of light.

Wondeing what the total wattage of the fixtures is verses that of your parallel blade (15A) Edison plugs.

Given a single 3-circuit strip with 150w lamps would have 600w per circuit load on them, the Edison plug (adaptor or not) would only allow for three strips per circuit before you have an unsafe condition at the school.

It's probably twist lock in also being rated for 20 amps or four strips per bar.

Can't say not to change or adapt, but were possible, leave what is 20 AMP rated alone in making it difficult to just simply plug in a bunch of them. Perhaps even tag the adapted to Edison fixture at it's plug that only a maximum of three strips can or should be installed on this strip of them at a time. This would look out for future tech people that inherit your good ideas what ever the end result.

Also having a qualified service tech come out to visit them might be a good idea. Just installing plugs on or using obsolete gear from someone else is normally a bad idea short of good detailed inspection.
 

koncept

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that is an interesting idea for dance concerts. we have these boom poles that we could probaly mount them on but we normaly use two 6x12's per pole i think.
 

fosstech

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Tacoma, WA USA
ship said:
Should work interesting for vertical walls of light.

Wondeing what the total wattage of the fixtures is verses that of your parallel blade (15A) Edison plugs.

Given a single 3-circuit strip with 150w lamps would have 600w per circuit load on them, the Edison plug (adaptor or not) would only allow for three strips per circuit before you have an unsafe condition at the school.

It's probably twist lock in also being rated for 20 amps or four strips per bar.

Can't say not to change or adapt, but were possible, leave what is 20 AMP rated alone in making it difficult to just simply plug in a bunch of them. Perhaps even tag the adapted to Edison fixture at it's plug that only a maximum of three strips can or should be installed on this strip of them at a time. This would look out for future tech people that inherit your good ideas what ever the end result.

Also having a qualified service tech come out to visit them might be a good idea. Just installing plugs on or using obsolete gear from someone else is normally a bad idea short of good detailed inspection.
Didn't really give much thought to that, but thanks. We're using 120w 120V R40 lamps (conveniently 1A each ;)), so with the four circuit models we got (3 banks of four colors), we're only getting 12A per circuit with four units, which is still under the plug's rating. What I would then do if we were going to do more than 15A is get a 5-20P plug like this, since our connector strips are wired and dimmered for 20A.



I'll try that dance light concept once we get all of them up and running, which should be before not too long.
 

Chris15

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Might I suggest that if your sockets will take a 20A plug, that you use that because putting a lower rated socket than plug would to my way of thinking be an opportunity to overload the plug, whereas using the 20A plug would match the rating of the existing plug. Forgive me if I am wrong. I know little about the connectors you use in the US.
 

Radman

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Apr 9, 2004
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Franklin, TN
I've seen this done on at least one show before where strips were vertically on booms (well, the same concept at least... they were actually mounted to the fire pocket... wasn't a show I worked on...)

Unfortunately I never saw the results (I just saw them up there walking through one day.)
 

ship

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Nope, you are correct and also getting the point of not de-rating the gear. But in going Edison as response, there is a 15A and 20A version that both play well together. The one presented in the photo is a suitable option in it being the only difference straight blade as opposed to twist lock but rated for the maximum load of a standard dimmer.

Taking it as a given the school was using a L5-20 plug, the new version would be a 5-20 only in loosing the twistlock format but otherwise the same plug. Good option.