Understanding Touring Dimmer Rack Patch Panels

SteveB

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Mar 20, 2004
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Brooklyn, NY
@SteveB You're conjuring the right image: The three Strand CD80 twelve by 2.4 Kw packs are in the basement in a locked room off the prop room to isolate their fan noise. 1.25" EMT brings the dimmer outputs straight up the wall to the bottom of the slide-patch and the approximately 100 circuits are distributed around the theatre / auditorium as several Socapex's and primarily 2P&G's as tails off of troughs. Fixtures are a totally mixed bag from ancient ellpsoidals still running a very few 500T14bi-posts to Strand 2200 series, Altman 65's and their predecessors, plus Strand grey ellipsoidals that pre-dated the 2200 series to Source Four 36 and 50 degrees. Add a pair of I-Mirrors and stir to suit. The community theatre has been in operation since sometime prior to 1900 with only a minor interruption for the first world. The person largely responsible for keeping everything maintained and operational is retired from his career as a sales support technologist with Reliance Electric specializing in LARGE AC and DC motors and drives globally; think steel mills, pipe lines and ocean port gantry crane control systems and their drives.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
I think the grey Century Lekos were the 1500 series. Strand Century had a nifty upgrade to these where you purchased the 2200 series rear end and repurposed the lens tube. We did that for over 100 units, gave us a nice modern 1KW rated unit.
 
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RonHebbard

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Waterdown, ON, CA
I think the grey Century Lekos were the 1500 series. Strand Century had a nifty upgrade to these where you purchased the 2200 series rear end and re-purposed the lens tube. We did that for over 100 units, gave us a nice modern 1KW rated unit.
@SteveB "A nice modern 1KW rated unit" whose 6x9 rear lenses cracked regularly with FEL's and 4.5 x 6.5's had to be lamped down to 750 Watts once Strand got fed up with shipping gratis lenses under warranty.
Thanks for the memories @SteveB
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

dvsDave

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Uploaded on behalf of @RonHebbard

Please find a few photos of an appreciably larger slide patch still in service until purportedly the end of June this year, 2019 when the entire secondary school is slated for demolition. This patch was originally installed in neighboring Oakville, Ontario’s PAC decades ago and was removed from service when they upgraded to dimmer per circuit. At that point the smaller slide patch I previously submitted was removed from a secondary school in downtown Hamilton, Ontario and relocated to an amateur group’s rehearsal and performance space where it’s currently still well maintained and in regular service. This larger slide patch was moved from Oakville and installed in the secondary school theatre in the heart of downtown Hamilton. When it was reinstalled in the secondary school the Heinemann 60 Amp magnetically actuated breakers protecting the circuits with the red sliders were replaced with 20 Amp magnetically actuated Heinemann breakers to properly protect the additional circuit wiring and old style 20 Amp twist-lock connectors in the secondary school’s theatre. In mere months it’s slated to hit the dumpster.

If any CB’ers are in need of parts for this larger panel it MAY be possible to impose upon a few friends to save a few from the wrecking ball.
IMG_20190319_1643317.jpg IMG_20190319_1643421.jpg IMG_20190319_1644081.jpg IMG_20190319_1644228.jpg IMG_20190319_1644570.jpg IMG_20190319_1645040.jpg
 
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DuckJordan

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Oct 7, 2009
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Doesnt matter
Hi...this equipment is clearly not a portable appliance! PAT testing such an item is foolish to say the least, it is electrical distribution equipment, and it takes a significant level of power input, probably at least 50kW! PAT testing is aimed at power using equipment, at the end of a circuit where earth continuity may be suspect, and leakage should be controlled.
I'm not entirely sure who you are responding to. The origional thread was about a touring Dimmer rack and these photos are showing installed alternatives to what we see today.
 

TimMc

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Feb 15, 2017
Hi...this equipment is clearly not a portable appliance! PAT testing such an item is foolish to say the least, it is electrical distribution equipment, and it takes a significant level of power input, probably at least 50kW! PAT testing is aimed at power using equipment, at the end of a circuit where earth continuity may be suspect, and leakage should be controlled.
PAT is not required anywhere in the USA.

For those unacquainted, PAT is "portable appliance testing" done annually in the UK (and maybe elsewhere) that is intended to find electrical problems with portable equipment used by personnel. The "applicance" either passes, or fails and is repaired or removed from service.
 

Cue_547

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Feb 17, 2020
Location
Cleveland, OH, USA
@RonHebbard asked me to post this picture in this thread for him.
View attachment 17604
So this just solved for me, what the port in the middle of an old Major lightboard was...a sliding patch bay. That was the very first lightboard I'd ever seen in my life way back in 6th grade. I have no idea what model it was. Consequently, that was the first lightboard I'd ever ran and the beginning of my interest/love of stage lighting.
 

RonaldBeal

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Joined
Jan 24, 2004
Location
TN
Story time:
Back in the late 1900's I worked for a community theater in Georgia that had 2 Kliegpac 9 dimmer packs (each pack had 9 x 20 amp dimmers,) with one non functional dimmer on each pack, so we had a grand total of 16 working dimmers.
And 350 circuits.
My job for "My Fair Lady" was patchman.
Would re-patch after practically every cue. (fortunately there only about 80 or so cues in the show, and we only used about 100 ish circuits)
First tech rehearsal I discovered that the color coded labels I had spent hours making don't work under a red worklight! Many colors looked the same!
(ended up with a dimmed littlelite gooseneck so I could see colors again)
 

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