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Retro moving heads


Andyb75

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Hi guys

So I’ve bought some vintage moving heads from eBay they are very basic 4 motors controlling pan in going to put an iec socket on them and an on off switch as they just have the mains cable going straight to the plug they run at 20rpm I want them slowed and synced together so they create a slow fan effect also if I could make them dimmable that would be great would this even be possible with the right circuit design

 

Hi guys

So I’ve bought some vintage moving heads from eBay they are very basic 4 motors controlling pan in going to put an iec socket on them and an on off switch as they just have the mains cable going straight to the plug they run at 20rpm I want them slowed and synced together so they create a slow fan effect also if I could make them dimmable that would be great would this even be possible with the right circuit design

Also how do I upload a picture or video to show you ?

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Modern devices use stepper motors to place and colour the beams, these move under the control of the on board chip and a controller for rate and position etc.

 

Early devices used synchronous motors with gearboxes to move from power up to power down, they will never control remotely to match anything else.

 

Are you sure that your lanterns have any control fitted.

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Early devices used synchronous motors with gearboxes to move from power up to power down, they will never control remotely to match anything else.

Nor can you control the speed of them at all... so I suspect you cannot do what you are wanting to do.

 

To include a picture you have to put it somewhere else on the internet and link to it e.g. imgur or something like that.

 

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If they reverse direction like that they are not steppers, as Jivemaster posted they are AC mains synchronous motors. Very common in "scanners" like those.

 

In which case they just motor around doing their own thing and there is no control other than on or off.

Edited by timsabre
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They look like the type which have a synchronous motor and gearbox underneath each lamp, with a crank that makes the lampholder scan back and forth. No possibility of changing the speed (without an industrial variable frequency motor drive!). As Brian suggests they may also have a low voltage transformer for each lamp so dimming becomes trickier although not impossible.
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I suppose it might be possible to take the motors out and fit some steppers to give pan control, using something like a DMX or ArtNet capable Arduino and a some hefty H-Bridge driver cards. Although you'd have to equip it with a mechanical end stop and a microswitch to stop it rotating itself to death.

 

I presume that the lamp transformers are in the base, leaving 6v wiring in the head.

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They are simply pinspots on a pivot, driven by a synchronous and geared motor.

 

Likely PAR36, and likely 6v but check first. On one plate like that consider and check whether they are series wired from one transformer.

 

Speed of pan is controlled by the motors, gearboxes and mains frequency. Brightness is controlled by the transformer volts.

 

It's highly unlikely that these could be economically changed to any resemblance to a moving head cluster. Make it work then admit that it comes on, does it's thing, and goes off, simply with it's mains switch.

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