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Old 6th May 2013, 07:07 AM   #21
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Yeah, the locked room for servicing was part of their rider in those days. Varilight lost out because they didn't innovate fast enough, and relied on their own proprietary data protocol for far too long. Their business model was also based on stadium level shows, and it made it unaffordable to just rent a dozen or so fittings for a one truck tour, so they lost out on the starter tours. Than once an LD was used to using other fixtures, they were likely to stick with them when they upscaled.
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Old 6th May 2013, 01:23 PM   #22
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dmills, yes it appears that you are correct, Argon it must have been.

at the time mirrored balls as laser targets were not frowned upon because, afaik, this was the first time it was done on a big tour... afaik there was a diverging lens of some sort used so that the beam filled the ball, which was about 4 ft diameter... I don't think it was just scanned... no reports of blindness that I know of.



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Old 6th May 2013, 02:49 PM   #23
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Usually a diffraction grating to split the beam into multiple less powerful ones; if you used a lens, what advantage over a collimated spot?

Yeah, multiple watts - about four, when ours was set exactly right – but about 10kW power supply. Water cooled, and about a couple of kilovolts striking voltage. Great fun for servicing, Then (if yours was a SpectraPhysics like ours) multiple series/parallel 3055 transistors mounted on a water cooled heat sink. In San Diego, were dropping lumps of dry ice for the smoke machine into the bath of water (and more into the plastic dustbin of cooling water for the beer, and blocks set behind the amp racks so they were sucking in chilled air; got through a lot of solid CO2 that gig). In Rotterdam, had to rebuild the power supply entirely; practically all the transistors and fuses blew. Setting up and testing in a damp environment with several hundred volts even when the gas discharge is running right (no input transformer in Europe, just rectifiers off the incoming three phase. In the states, there was one to boost the voltage that did give a little ground isolation even if, with the condensation on the TO3 transistors, it was not very convincing) but I managed to strip the local electronics suppliers of enough components to do the job, and the thing worked for the evening performance, even if i was standing next to it with a fire extinguisher and a silicon sealant gun.

But what am I doing talking about lighting gear? I was employed as a sound technician (and Mr Fixit). I should be going on about the time they left all the horns - cone and diaphragm – on the runway facing up into the sky when a sudden downpour convinced them that standing around ti get them under cover wasn't worth getting wet for (you would have thought a tarpaulin or something?). The W bins were fine, the mids and highs just needed the water letting out and drying with a heat shrink gun.

But I hate reconing JBL 12"s. The gap's so tight you can barely get the shims in without deforming the coil. And we had about fifty to do.

It really doesn't help improve your already none too brilliant image of airport freight and baggage handlers.
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Old 6th May 2013, 07:22 PM   #24
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Sounds like yours was like ours... the collimated light from the laser looked one heck of a lot better than any spot could have... also it didn't seem to spread quite so much after the reflection. It did look tremendous.

Yes, water cooled monsters... good thing it wasn't my responsibility.

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Old 6th May 2013, 08:21 PM   #25
dmills is offline dmills  United Kingdom
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Ah yes, Spectra Physics and the fecking huge cold plate full of 3055s, miserable things, and with the control card mounted so the condensation from the cold plate would drip onto the card if the cooling water was too cold, what fun....
As I recall the things wanted ~220V delta, which ment that unless you beefed the rectifiers and caps up a lot to let it run on single phase, you usually needed a really odd three phase autotransformer to make it work in europe.

Then there is the endless source of amusment that was the turbine wheel water flow sensor in that power supply, unreliable does not even begin to cover the horror.

The Coherent supplies were smaller, and IME the Coherent lasers usually travelled better (Ceramic rather then glass tube), for all that the beam quality was not usually so good.

I take it that all this predated the advent of the PCAOM?

Airport horror stories, we all have those, and there days I travel to the 'states reluctantly, it is just far too much trouble.

Regards, Dan.
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Old 7th May 2013, 01:54 AM   #26
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Must predate PCAOM since I have no idea what that is!!

1976, summer.

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Old 7th May 2013, 01:37 PM   #27
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Which tour were you on in the summer of 76? It sort of sounds as if you were with the Yesshows - in which case I was Snoopy (more or less under the keyboard riser).
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Old 7th May 2013, 01:41 PM   #28
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No, this was in the USA, and not with YES, although that might have been nice to see the show... PM me for more info if ur interested.

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Old 15th May 2013, 01:29 AM   #29
zouwi is offline zouwi  Finland
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I occasionally browse this forum and mainly work on local retailer/rental company service but I do gigs on varying scale about every other week. Mostly just small rock shows, a few times in a year something bigger, like as assembly convention LD. Funny stuff tend to happen on about every stadium-sized event, like rigging few dozens of moving-heads without any final light-plot..

Designing, rigging, connecting, measuring and setting up a sound system for that kind of venue is also worth several stories, mostly because of its difficulty. Last year I'd recall we had total of 10 or 12 different arrays of speakers (total of over 80 enclosures). Rigging etc. took little less than 7h, measuring and tuning took more than 16h.

One of greatest feats of modern technology was on one gig where I accidentially connected whole system behind an industrial scale frequency transformer. Voltage was correct but frequency was something between 15Hz and 25Hz.. Didn't find it out until several days later, everything worked like clockwork. Gotta love switching-mode PSU's and amps.
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Old 17th May 2013, 04:58 AM   #30
ds23man is offline ds23man  Netherlands
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I used a Crown Dc300a several times as a battery charger when the truck did not start again after a gig!
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