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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » Installing a Xenon ready light on a Xetron XCN lamp house (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Installing a Xenon ready light on a Xetron XCN lamp house
Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2135
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 09-07-2008 08:45 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm trying to install a ready light on a Xetron XCN lamp house to aid in trouble shooting if the paddle switch in the bulb cooling fan isn't functioning.

I tried replacing the Xenon Power switch on the metering panel with a lighted switch. The switch lights up, but the there is no power to the bulb.

Just to be clear, I want a light when the fan switch is engaged and no light when the switch is not engaged. (I don't know which is the open and closed positions)

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Louis Bornwasser
Film God

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From: prospect ky usa
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 - posted 09-07-2008 08:51 PM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just add a 120 volt NEON lamp wired across the manual start switch. If not lit, then you won't "go." (It'll go out when the xenon relay pulls in.) Louis

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John Walsh
Film God

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


 - posted 09-08-2008 07:37 AM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Justin, to connect a light in exactly the way you would like would require a bit of wiring. OTOH, if you wire it the way Louis suggested, it would be much simpler and still give you the same indication.

If you have the meter panel with the digital readout (for bulb hours and amps/voltage) you can connect a neon lamp across JP10 pins 1&2 (should be green & red wires.) This will make the neon lamp go OFF when the switch is ON (pulled in by airflow.) I realise this is counter-intuitive, but a simple note next to the lamp would clairify it's operation, and save a fair amount of wiring.

A suggestion I have is to connect the neon lamp differently such that it would indicate if any open switch (both door switches, the fan switch, and the automation xenon relay) is preventing the power supply from turning on, not just the fan switch. If so, connect the neon lamp across JP2 pins 1&2.

Two things to note: Many people will often change the wiring of eqquipment for their own reasons, which means the wiring no longer agrees with the 'as built' schematic. I don't think you will burn anything up; it just might not work. Second, I suggest purchasing a 220 volt rated neon lamp, as I have seen the 110v lamp burn out after a few years (there is 220v on that fan switch.)

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Randy Stankey
Film God

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From: Erie, Pennsylvania
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 - posted 09-08-2008 10:13 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think your idea is a good one but it won't solve the basic problem of people now knowing how to troubleshoot.

I'm pretty sure I know what you want. When somebody is up in the booth and has trouble and can't figure it out they can simply call you up and you can ask them, "Is the little red light on?"

In my days doing field service for Cinemark, I would often get frantic calls from theaters for things that they should have been able to handle by themselves.

I had a kid call me up on a busy Friday night because he couldn't get sound. Luckily, I was only 20 min. away from the theater. I was able to drive right over.

I walk into the booth and there's the kid standing next to the projector with his head in his hands. I could tell what the problem was from ten feet away. The exciter (Jax Lite) wasn't lit.

I detoured by the spare parts cabinet, picked up the spare, slipped it into my coat pocket, then headed over to the projector.

"What's the first thing you check if you don't have sound?" I asked.

The kid shrugged.

"You look down here, inside this compartment to see if there is a little red light!"

He just stood there, slack-jawed.

I took the replacement Jax Lite out of my pocket swapped it in and the sound was back on within a minute then I walked out. I ordered the replacement part from the warehouse for him on the following Monday. (And, yes! I rechecked the A-chain alignment on my next regular visit.)

I was a little gruff with him because I had to be pulled away from my TV and my bottle of beer on a Friday night just to change a "light bulb." Maybe I should have taken it easy on the kid but your situation reminds me of this incident.

Basically, you've got kids who don't really have the knowledge to be troubleshooting in the first place. A "little red light" might help you when it comes down to the fray but it's not going to help THEM very much if they don't get the proper training to do the job right.

I don't think it's your fault. It's just a sign of the times. [Roll Eyes]

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Tim Reed
Better Projection Pays

Posts: 5244
From: Northampton, PA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 09-08-2008 11:29 PM      Profile for Tim Reed   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually, I use such lights to help ME troubleshoot over the phone.

ME: "Are all the control panel lights on? They should be labelled something like, 'Air,' 'Door'..."
SPROCKET JOCKEY: "No, the one that says 'door' is off."
ME: "Okay, make sure the lamphouse door is shut and the key is turned all the way to the locked position."
(sound of bulb ignition in background)
SPROCKET JOCKEY: "Hey, that was it!"

Trip saved, the theatre is quickly back up and running, and I get to look really smart. [Razz]

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Justin Hamaker
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From: Lakeport, CA USA
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 - posted 09-09-2008 02:11 AM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Randy
I agree with you to a point, but since this switch is located in a place that you can't visually inspect without taking off the entire back panel of the lamp house, it seems like an indicator light would be a no-brainer. Both of our Christie lamp houses have one.

One of the most basic trouble shooting steps is checking to make sure circuit breakers are on and that status lights are on. But yes, when I'm on the phone, it would be nice to easily rule out a fan switch which any of my people can be easily walked through.

FWIW, every time I have had a problem with this switch, it has been something other than the fan not working. Either the switch has gone bad or is sticking, or the fan has dust build-up and isn't moving enough air. All things that need to be fixed, but much less urgent than a bad diode or a dead exhaust fan.

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Randy Stankey
Film God

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From: Erie, Pennsylvania
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 - posted 09-09-2008 09:13 AM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There was one Christie lamphouse that had a sticky interlock switch on the backside access door. I got called up to the booth one day because the lamp wouldn't light and, when I got there, I saw that the green interlock indicator wasn't lit.

Being in a wise-ass mood, I gave the back panel a thump with my fist and... BZZZtt!! The lamp ignited!

When the kid asked me what happened, I grinned and said, "I'm the Fonz!" [Wink]

Seriously, now...

It would have been nice if there was some way to put your indicator on the fan switch, itself. That way you would know whether it's the fan or if it's something else.

Like on that lamphouse I'm talking about, an indicator that shows the back panel interlock is open vs. a general interlock indicator might have been better.

I guess it's a preference call, really.

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Tony Bandiera Jr
Film God

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From: Moreland Idaho
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 09-09-2008 04:07 PM      Profile for Tony Bandiera Jr   Email Tony Bandiera Jr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
To give indication to ANY of the safety switches, simply connect a neon lamp (120 or 220 volt depending on your control circuit voltage) across the two terminals of the switch.

When the switch is closed (situation normal) it will bypass the neon and it won't be on. When the switch opens, the neon will glow. You can easily with a bit of time rig all the switches at very little cost.

One caution though: Get hi-temp rated hookup wire (105c), from your electrical wholesaler or electronic store. Standard wire will not hold up to the heat and UV from the lamp.

Edited to add:

Randy, I had a Strong lowlight console with a deck fan switch that was intermittant..I would have to either kick the console or throw a trailer at it to get it to light off. This went on for a while until I finally got pissed off enough to bypass it. [Smile]

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Gordon McLeod
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From: Toronto Ontario Canada
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 - posted 09-09-2008 04:37 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
also be aware that putting a neon across the switch will require that the load ie the rectifier contactor provide a completion path as such voltage will now be across that device all the time and that can be a health safety issue

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Louis Bornwasser
Film God

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From: prospect ky usa
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 - posted 09-11-2008 08:46 AM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Be advised that Christie "K" consoles had such a "ready" light factory installed across the "manual start" switch. Louis

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John Walsh
Film God

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From: Connecticut, USA, Earth, Milky Way
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 - posted 09-11-2008 08:59 AM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Good point about the neon lamp providing a 'path' for the 220v.

Justin, you can actually connect a neon lamp across all of the switches (air vane, door, automation) so you can tell exacty which one is not working.

If you have the digital-type meter panel, you could save yourself some work and just buy a newer panel; they have four lamps already designed in. It is a plug-in replacement.

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Randy Stankey
Film God

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From: Erie, Pennsylvania
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 - posted 09-11-2008 11:51 AM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Tony Bandiera Jr
I would have to either kick the console or throw a trailer at it to get it to light off.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4073642135433489073

[fake Russian accent]
"This is how we fix problem in RUSSIAN PROJECTOR!!
*BAM!* *BAM!* *BAM!*...
So finally we can watch MOVIE!"
[/fake Russian accent]

[Big Grin]

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Tony Bandiera Jr
Film God

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From: Moreland Idaho
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 09-11-2008 02:03 PM      Profile for Tony Bandiera Jr   Email Tony Bandiera Jr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: John Walsh
Justin, you can actually connect a neon lamp across all of the switches (air vane, door, automation) so you can tell exacty which one is not working.
Um, I think someone already said that... [Roll Eyes]

quote: me
To give indication to ANY of the safety switches, simply connect a neon lamp (120 or 220 volt depending on your control circuit voltage) across the two terminals of the switch.

When the switch is closed (situation normal) it will bypass the neon and it won't be on. When the switch opens, the neon will glow. You can easily with a bit of time rig all the switches at very little cost.

Randy, thanks for the link, now that was funny!!

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John Walsh
Film God

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From: Connecticut, USA, Earth, Milky Way
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 - posted 09-11-2008 02:57 PM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, you are correct; I fully acknowledge you mentioned the idea before I did. I did read your posting, but after a few days, I’d forgotten. My apologies.

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Tony Bandiera Jr
Film God

Posts: 3014
From: Moreland Idaho
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 09-11-2008 04:21 PM      Profile for Tony Bandiera Jr   Email Tony Bandiera Jr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
LOL it's ok John, I was just pullin your chain a bit. [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

No apology necessary. [Smile]

I participate in a number of forums and have done the same thing myself.

Gordon has a point about the current flow with the neon lamps, but since it would be only the value of the neon (around 5ma or less perhaps) it would probably not be lethal, but it would give a bit of a bite.

In fact there was at one time a neon tester built into a clear handle like a screwdriver. It had a pointed tip and the return for the neon was your body, through the pocket clip. It worked quite well and was rated up to 600v!! I think I still have one somewhere in my toolbox.

In any event, one should always turn off and lock out ALL power sources when poking around the equipment. Leave any advanced troubleshooting to an experienced tech.

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