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This is a very retro light that uses a high power 3kW xenon projector lamp to blast out a multitude of intense beams of white light that rotate, expand, contract and pan back and forth.
It used to be used a lot in the UK to attract attention to outdoor events by firing into the air so that the beams projected onto clouds.
The base has two ballasts, a fan, a small transformer, control PCB and the pan motor assembly.
It uses a potentiometer on the gear assembly for the pan system to detect position and movement. The DMX data input provides external control over speed of pan, beam rotation, beam expansion and the shutter. You can also set these to fixed values locally.
A knob on the control panel lets you set the panning sweep range. In this case the unit was not responsive to most of the pan adjustment range with just a short pan-segment active at the extreme end. After validating the integrity of both potentiometers, and ensuring that the main detection one was being used within its range, I noticed that the pan adjustment knob's connector had a calibration pot associated with it that was set at an extreme position.
After noting the original position I adjusted it back slightly and the pan segment size increased accordingly. At the point the knob had full control and the pan was stopping just short of its end stop, the calibration pot was dead centre.
I wonder if someone had screwed the calibration pot to an extreme position while trying to find another fault, or maybe done it deliberately to restrict the pan angle for some unknown reason.
There were other signs of "unusual" repairs, including replacing a four way dip switch with a 12 way one wrapped in tape and mounted on the PCB at an angle to clear other components.
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15 thoughts on “Inside a high power xenon space-flower light”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ray Mitchell says:

    Awww… go ahead and annoy Ed just a bit… tell him it was for a good cause to show your YouTube audience! I've never seen that before… Neat!!!

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mark Harris says:

    Have you ever worked on Blackpool Illuminations, known colloquially through God's palatine county of Lancashire as "t'laytes"?

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jeff Groves says:

    We’ve been in Edinburgh all this week. The tour of the castle was awesome! Hope you’re having a great time running The Tattoo!

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars D says:

    Grow your beard to your feet. Do it for us all.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Super Digital says:

    Reminds me of the synchro light brand of XBO moving heads with separate power supplies connected with 150 amp D.C. Cam loc's and controll cable. Some fine memories!

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars K. says:

    Is this how you contact.
    The mothership 🛸

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars BariumCobaltNitrog3n says:

    I guess DMX was around a while ago. Windows that open and a comfy work space. What part of the power plant is that?

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Billy Ponsonby says:

    More of these fixtures please

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Francois Leveille says:

    I remember there was an intense xenon lamp inside a scanner used for top grade color printing and separation. The Optronics ColorGetter was a very expensive machine I used at work for magasine output. It worked with a xenon lamp and photomultiplier tube to scan ONE pixel at a time. Back in 1992 it was worth about 80'000$.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars White Rose says:

    Love your work, Clive.
    Keep them coming !!!

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Paul Ecosse says:

    You had me at 'Fanning Shutter' Which, to be fair was pretty near the end.

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Anamnesia says:

    Studio Jew?

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Long Bow says:

    Dark isle Piper : Siubhail (Original)🙏🏻Thanks

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars LightingDesk says:

    I've always admired these units for their simplicity yet adaptability.

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars James says:

    I was a passenger in a new BMW, and we drove from London to Edinburgh overnight. The amount of light the new "Lazerlight" headlights gave was astonishing! And the way the headlights cut off parts of the beam to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers was also astonishing! No doubt these headlights are very expensive, but if you can borrow one or get a broken one it would be fascinating to watch you examine it. Apparently they use a huge amount of tiny mirrors to direct the beam.

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