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Author Topic: Ward Leonard dimmer parts
Ken Layton
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1452
From: Olympia, Wash. USA
Registered: Sep 1999

 - posted 05-21-2004 05:20 PM      Profile for Ken Layton   Email Ken Layton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For those with older theaters using these classic dimmers, I found a source of parts. It's this company:

Vara-Light / Dimatronics, Inc.
6207 Commercial Road
Crystal Lake, ILL. 60014
Phone: (815) 455-4400

They mention they are THE source for all Ward-Leonard, Hub, and Vara-Light dimmers and stock thousands of parts for other makes as well.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7576
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 05-21-2004 08:50 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks, Ken! Good to know that someone sells those parts. I spent quite a bit of time turning up dead ends for W-L parts about five years ago.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9257
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 05-21-2004 09:18 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have parts for most of the WL autoransformer systems and all there electronics ones in stock

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John Walsh
Film God

Posts: 2489
From: Connecticut, USA, Earth, Milky Way
Registered: Oct 1999

 - posted 05-22-2004 08:31 AM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Funny, I just found out the same thing... I need to interface an older WL 76-37 "Motorlite" motorized dimmer to a new pulse-only automation, and found Dimatronics who supplied a schematic.

It seems that many of the companies that made autotransformer or reostat dimmers have either closed or sold off that division. While searching, I found this story about Radio City MH:

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9257
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 05-22-2004 08:58 AM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
WL was the source to Kleigl, Century and Ariel Davis for autotransformers and resistance plates and those companies had issues with WL competeing with them with there line of Electronic Dimmers
Skirpan was an engineer at WL who invented the first stable SCR type dimmer back in the early 60's that used a Magnetic Amplifier to control a pair of SCR's By the early 70's Solitrol dimmers were becoming very common in large installations and in the US the loss of the component business to others caused WL to shut down the dimming division
It stayed in operation in Canada eventually being sold to Richmond Hill Labs that was an early video switcher company that was doing most of the canadian broadcast facilities and offering the dimming completed the package
They were liquidaded in the late 70's with Bruce Whitehead (who had been the canadian engineer with WL) buying the parts and drawings
Currently I have most of it now all uncatalogued and piled up in boxes in the barn but I know there is at least 20 of the solitrol corntrol cards

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