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Neil Hampson

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    Working in the industry
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    Currently Employed as a Design Engineer for GE Power systems, but I also work as a casual at the Brindley Arts Centre in Runcorn, near Liverpool. I also manage to do some freelance type stuff as a hobby
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    ABTT BECTU
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    Neil Hampson

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  • Location
    Warrington, Cheshire
  • Interests
    Technical theatre<br />Victorian Engineering<br />My new (1972) Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. {Hoping to learn how to keep it on the road myself, rather than pay a gargae a fortune to do it for me...}

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  1. We have 4 Robe250AT spots in the venue I design for however one of the units has come to me with an annoying shutter error. The 'lower' shutter keeps on getting thrown out of phase. I tried a new motor but no difference and I noted that that if the unit was reset and then not tilted, it did not error, but as soon as it tilts the error occurs. My thoughts then turned to the cable which I have now replaced with a known good one. The unit appeared to be working but every now and again it will open too far and then not close correctly as if the has rotated on the shaft a little. I have noticed that the top shutter has a top and bottom rubber bump stop but the lower shutter does not have a bump stop to prevent it from opening too far, (only on the close part) it's hard to tell as the blade goes between the gears of the prism and seemingly the prism shaft acts as the stop. I haven't yet been able to remove the front lens assembly to try to get into the thing better and I've not got another unit for comparison. I wonder if in the greater knowledge of the BlueRoom there is someone intimately familiar with these units that might be able to offer assistance in being able to dissasemble the unit further and if there is a bump stop that needs to be replaced. Thanks in advance, Neil.
  2. I've just inherited an old StudioMaster Diamond-Pro 16-4-3 mixing desk as the previous owner considered it scrap. I've done a general clean and everything except channel 1 works perfectly. I know it's hard to diagnose on a forum but I'm hoping someone might be able to point me in the right direction. With a line input the channel responds perfectly through the 'listen' bus or through either of the Pre-fade Aux channels. when routed though the fader the sound is there but faint, and there is a huge amount of noise/crackle on the channel peaking it out even on low gains. I've swapped the fader out and the fault does not lie with the fader, and the noise is constantly there even when the fader is not moved, the noise level does increase with the fader. Because it works OK on PFL and Pre-fade Aux, and the fault is there on Post-fade Aux and to the group/Main bus I'm suspecting it is something to do with the fader circuit but I don't have a diagram or any real knowledge to fault find more than this. I have had a brief look for any dry joints and re-soldered a couple of suspects but it didn't make any difference. Can anyone offer any words of advice. Otherwise, because the channel strips are modular, I'll just swap the PCB over with Channel 16 which is unlikely ever to be used. Thanks in advance, Neil
  3. I managed to find two minuetteF reflectors in my stash of “bits”. They fit with a little fettling and are almost the same shape. At least the units can go into service until I can get a proper solution. The minuette ones are not chrome but certainly better than the clear glass dish that was there before.
  4. I've just bought (sight unseen) a few lanterns for our community theatre, mostly Lee Colortran Club650F and PC variants. On two of the units the reflector is virtually burned out with no silvering left at all. It surprised me that the reflector is a silvered glass rather than a chrome plated aluminium or similar. Does anyone know of a stockist that might have spares for these, they weren't exactly common back in the day, which is a surprise as they are certainly better built than the CCT minuette or Quartett. As a stopgap I have managed to jam in a spare reflector from a minuette, but I would prefer an original if possible. out of all of the lanterns, only two are affected, the other all look as-new.
  5. Of course. The volt drop across the diode would be fixed and not proportional to the voltage. When I saw the diode I immeasurably assumes it was to sip the switch input from back feeding the DMX electronics, it never occurred to me that it was a dropper. I’ll give this a go thank you.
  6. Of course. The volt drop across the diode would be fixed and not proportional to the voltage. When I saw the diode I immeasurably assumes it was to sip the switch input from back feeding the DMX electronics, it never occurred to me that it was a dropper. I’ll give this a go thank you.
  7. So I've had an old TechnoFog machine for about 20 years, it's an analogue controlled machine and I have a Multi-function controller with a manual and timer and a Jem DMX controller. The Controller suffered a stage accident and I have had to re-wire the internal connection to the PCB board and the test/purge button. Since the repair the 0% output is slightly too high meaning the smoke machine is always wisping smoke out. I have compared the outputs from the other controller and I get the following: Multi-Controller: 0% 1.62V, 100% 10.7V with a supply voltage of 16.9V DMX controller: 0% 1.95V, 100% at 11V with a supply voltage of about 15V When I re-connected the wiring there was a diode in the box loose that looked to have been connected to the Purge button but I do not know exactly how this should have been wired up. Is there someone with one of these units that might be able to tell me how the three pins are wired. Other than the DMX input there are only three wires into the unit, 18V power, 0V and a signal return. My initial thoughts is either that the diode is important in the circuit somewhere, or ther is a fault on the unit, other than the overvoltage at 0% it appears to work OK. My other thought is to put a potential divider across the signal output to drop the output voltage by 10% Can anyone advise what the return voltage should be to not fog, but still force the unit to heat? Or is there a trim pot inside the Fogger it reduce the output thershold. Sorry in advance for the long post...
  8. Thanks for the input. Its a brand new motor but not an OEM branded one as I couldn't find any so I bought one with a VERY similar part number that fitted the size and description from a company called Steppers online. The colour wheel motor I also replaced works great. I have been keen to try to resrict the strobing from this unit but of course it generally snaps open. it is always smooth. I wonder if a smaller motor would work as it's only got to move a tiny flag. other than that I might try to find the 'best OEM motor from the other units and try to swap out. THe biggest issue I found was loosening the grub screw without rounding it off.
  9. After firmly believing I had these two VR8r's under control a new problem has presented itself. The shutter motor on one of the units went belly up so I replaced it with one of the new units I bought, the unit responded and on the bench it will run for hours without ant problem. HOWEVER. when in the rig (only difference is that the unit is mounted differently 45deg with the mirror at the top pointing down as oppesed to on the bench where it's on it's back) the light misbehaves. The shutter will work correctly and then after a period of time it will 'over close' giving light out of the other side of the flag, on subsequent cues this either slowly resoves or gets so bad it is so much over-closed it is actually working in reverse, this can also cause the whole thing to become confused and throw out the gobo wheel which I think is on the same driver chip. There is no trim on the shutter so I cant play with that. reinisialising the unit will always work for about an hour. The flags and wheels are pretty much seized onto the shaft of the motors as a helpful previous owner has rounded out the grub screws (very easy to do I admit) so I can't easily swap out motors. Is it worth swapping out the driver chip or is this unlikley to be the cause? should I be looking for an OEM motor? although the old motor does display this dendancy as well. One think Ive not done is tried to re-seat the chip. I was thinking of reducing the limits of travel on the bump stops to see if that made any difference but I don't know if it will confuse it even more. It's a shame to have to ditch a pair of great little units for the sake of one iffy flag. Any advise would be appreciated.
  10. Well, As Clive suspected the pump was jammed up, the O-ring seal was very tight against the piston, most probably swelled up as Clive suggested. I didn't have a new o-ring to suit and as I have ordered a new pump anyway I opened up the O-ring recess a little with a blade and that allowed the piston to move fairly freely again while still maintaining a seal. It has worked for the two days of performances across the weekend so once the new replacement pump is fitted, back to normal.
  11. Thanks Clive, I'll take the thing apart and see if it simply needs cleaning. I did find a couple of reference numbers on the back later on last night and it appears to be one of these: Coffee Pump eBay The one you linked to is much cheaper though and probably has the same life expectancy. I hadn't realised the little component was a diode, I thought it was an in-line fuse, so that explains that one as well.
  12. I have seemingly killed our community venue’s hazer. The heater is clear and I can push fluid through and the air pump works. I’m sure the pump has gone but I do need to test if it will run on mains on its own. I can find loads of the big 48wcoffee machine unit but this is physically a smaller unit. Does anyone have a source? I can’t see a part number until it’s stripped down thanks in advance
  13. After this show I'm going to strip it down again and have a look at it again. I'm pretty sure the air pump and fluid pump don't run at the same time, I hadn't considered that it is to purge the line through. I thought it was some kind of weakener to give a lighter haze. I might also try adding a little distilled water to the fluid to dilute is a little to see if I can thin it out a bit, maybe start at about 10% water. I suppose the fluid is an important factor as well. I couldn't find a KAM specific fluid so I'm using a fairly generic QTX haze fluid.
  14. I can't complain as I have been given a KAM 800W (KHM800 I think is the model number) haze machine for free as it wasn't working. The issue was found quite quickly as it was totally blocked up and therefore no output, I cleared it with the help of a syringe of hot vinegar and then running the pump constantly to flush out the unit. Now that the unit is cleared it now has the opposite issue, when asked to haze at 5% on DMX input the unit appears to haze heavily, there being no real difference in volume between 5% and 100%. The fan operates OK. It took me a while to notice that the fan and haze channels are actually swapped over from what the manual states. Internally I notice that there is an air pump in the system, that I can hear running at times, but it is a very weak flow and I cannot imagine it being able to compete with the pressure from the fluid pump or the back pressure of the heated fluid from the element. What does this air pump do? is it to somehow dilute the fluid for a thinner haze at low values, as if this pump is not working, I can see that might be my issue? any ideas? I don't have any details of the air pump as I didn't strip it down enough to be able to take it out, it appears to be a 12 or 24V unit rather than the aquarium type you would find in a Lemaitre or Unique. At the moment I'm having to run the hazer through a submaster running a 2 step effect of 30 seconds on, 2 mins off, otherwise the haze is just far too thick in our small venue. Any Ideas?
  15. I need to take the second unit apart to make sure what I need, but I believe the units are salvageable. I have ordered a single stepper from FleaBay for £12 but I've noticed it's a 12V motor and I actually didn't check what the VR8 drive is (mainly because it's not labeled on the unit what the voltage is, I simply assumed 12V. I have a feeling I will need more motors for unit 2, if you can let me know how much, and if you have a pair of working VR8's I'd be interested for the right price.
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