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This unit is an older style fibre optic illuminator that has a 150W metal halide lightsource, and a rotating effects wheel for sweeping colours and ripples across fibre optic bundles.
Universal Fibre Optics (UFO) have some very neat looking LED based light engines now. Their website can be found here:-
https://www.fibreopticlighting.com/index
If I can find my demonstration bundle of fibres and emitters I'll feature them in a different video.
If you enjoy these videos you can help support the channel with a dollar for coffee, cookies and random gadgets for disassembly at:-
http://www.bigclive.com/coffee.htm
This also keeps the channel independent of YouTube's advertising algorithms allowing it to be a bit more dangerous and naughty.
#ElectronicsCreators

Different filming location again for a reason, this is my main glasgow bench and it's got the one advantage. It's not perfect for filming, but it does. Let me fit in big things like this going to be careful not to fire this out the window here, because it's quite a bright light source. This is a universal fiber, optics, a metal heli light source.

What you might call a light engine for illuminating, bundles of fiber optics that go into this of collet here, and this one's got the disc. You may see the color changing you may not because it really is it's going to be quite intense, so you can see the color change there, but it's got a color disc with patterns that it creates the rippling effect over large areas of fiber optics. And this thing was used for uh. It was used in such shopping centers and places like that and theatrical venues to power, not just sprays of fiber optics like the star fields, things like that, but it was used for things like down lights, where you'd have quite bright little points of light.

All over a ceiling, but they were all fed from a common source. You'll, probably find a lot of these still above the ceilings of those shopping, centers but still running. The fans may be still running, but the lamps love died ages ago. Nobody seemed to know that there was a central lamp running all those light sources, but anyway uh.

Let's take a look at it, so i'm going to turn off and it's now completely red hot, because i've had it running for a while to heat up. But that's okay and let's take a look at the front first. So here is the aluminium collet that has a grip grub screw in the side to trap the fiber optic bundle that went into it. It has a motor in the front and a bit naughty here, because, technically speaking, those are single insulated wires over there.

But that's okay. It's just they've mounted the motor here to save space. It's a roto-link motor, a decent quality motor, a 240 volt synchronous here is the fan inlet and i apologize if this is out of focus at any point, it's hard to actually even see what the camera is displaying right now or recording. But let's pop this open these days, of course, we'd use led, but there's a lot to be said for these older units that had the metal heli light source.

It was also available in tungsten halogen light source, but the metal heli did advantage of a very long lamp life and it was a super ultra bright, crisp white light. So let me get this out. Leds are definitely a better option these days, but uh. Only if they're used with a rotating disc, because that adds a lot to the thing to the effect, so i'm going to pop the lid off this and it'll reveal what is inside and we shall explore it.

How hot is it it's pretty hot? Actually, it's not too bad, so what do we have? We have the incoming supply goes through a fused holder here, and it goes straight out to the on off switch at the side. The on off switch then comes up to this microswitch here, which is a safety switch that if you take the lid off, it will kill some of the power in the unit. It shouldn't be treated as being a complete isolator because uh, it's just an what you might call an idiot switch just for those people who attempt to fix things out, turn the power off to them uh. It means that, if you're faffing around trying to get the lamp in here and you press that you could be in for a surprise, because this little thing down here puts out 4 000 volts to ignite the lamp.

The safety circuit, which this switch is a part of then comes down to this little blue component down here, which is a thermal cut out, and it goes back and it feeds the rest of the circuit. It feeds the ballast at the back here which limits the current through the lamp and it loops up and goes to this power factor. Correction capacitor, which just basically compensates the inductiveness of that it is basically in parallel with the power supply and that then loops across to the fanned power of the fan. Now, where is oh right, i see the fan down here has a little splice joint and it also then feeds the synchronous motor that rotates the disc i remove the disc afterwards, so in operation, when power is applied to the ballast, the ballast output goes to this Device here, which is an igniter, the igniter superimposes, a 4000 volt pulse onto the output from this current limited supply to the metal heli lamp in here uh.

This is going to be super red hot. It is red hot. I shall take that out and show you afterwards but i'll, let it cool down first um, but that then ignites the lamp and then it's strictly down to the current limiting of this ballast. The ballast has four connections.

It's got the common connection. It's got 230 240 and 250 volt taps it's in the 240. Volt tap reasonable enough. This is a big reflector which collimates the light from the metal halide light source and fires it towards a fiber optic bundle.

But first thing it hits here is a shield which has a large piece of infrared reflective glass. It's the acrylic glass which will bounce back infrared wavelengths. Possibly is it just infrared or is it ultraviolet as well? I guess it's mainly for infrared, but that blocks uh. The bulk of the heat, then it hits the disc here.

Actually am i going to have to get this disc out? I shall try and get this disc out and show you. Let me just try it's a bad angle for this. Here is the disc. Now the discs are available in a few different styles.

This is a fairly difficult pattern. It's got the clear section for the white light red and then these black stripes will create a rippling effect. Then you've got the blue, which is very cracked here, but that will effectively because the way it works it provides a visual effect and then green. Other effects you might get would be blue with uh stripes across it or just purely white, with black black stripes, to create scintilling scintillating stars.

In the case of this starfield one, you might have blue with little uh clear dots in it to actually create those little sparkling white points of light over blue sky. The disc itself is this little hub, which is siliconed onto the printed disk, but then they've put another blob of silicon. On the other side and they've put another piece of glass and they've obviously put spacers. It looks as they've used coins for the thickness, but they've.

Then put that on this is just an extra layer of thermal protection to actually protect as much as possible for the heat from the lamp. What else can i show you here? Is this lamp cool enough? Yet it's not going to be cool enough, yet it's pretty hot! I shall try and squeeze a lamp out. Crunchy crunchy crunchy, oh yeah, that's not gon na be easy. Bear with me.

Oh there. It goes. How easy is this to get out of here? Not that easy, no, not easy at home. Uh here is the discharge lamp kind of old-fashioned now, but you know still valid um since this was released.

I think because this is quite an old unit. Uh they'll have had the colored ones as well, so you could actually theoretically have used uh blue, green or magenta uh self-colored lamps, but this is what was available at the time and i think the main advantage of this one uh. This is the color temperature arc stream by general electric um. This one had the advantage over the tungsten halogen producing a really intensely fierce fight, uh very efficiently.

It just meant you could run a lot of light sources with a with good efficiency, but not as efficient as led these days. Um anything else to say about this 240 volt fan worth mentioning not as efficient as the 12 volt ones, but keeps it simple. What value is the perfect, correct, capacitor? What power factor value is that uh? What is it i'm trying to read here and it's uh? 20 micro farad? That's a decently high value, but that's more or less. It was a very simple thing.

Just the ballast and lamp a fan for cooling uh, the various filters to protect against heat and then the little synchronous motor geared synchronous, motor that rotated the color disk and, as i say, even with leds that still there's an advantage to using the rotating disk and A white led because uh the disk adds a lot to fiber optics, particularly if you've got a big cluster of fine points. The patterns in the disc will actually create quite detailed animation over the surface of that. But that's it. That's! What's inside a universal fiber, optics 150 watt metal, halide fiber optic bundle, illuminator.


16 thoughts on “Metal halide fiber optic illuminator”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars telnx says:

    Watching this brings back memories lol, i had a phytoplankton reactor at work and the salt water leaked from the reactor to the t8 bulb and turned the reactor live, i only found out when i stuck my finger in and found out i couldn't move anymore, luckily it clicked in my head, arms not working, need to claps my legs to get away from the water what worked a treat, i got to admit i found it funny but a customer just stood there looking at me strange, when i got up, i was like, don't touch that, its alive lol :')

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jess Hull says:

    What style MH lamp is that? at 4000k it could be used as a very compact MH grow light in applications were MH is still desirable over LED and space is at a premium. I'd be interested in something like that.

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mark Wallis says:

    Love the old lighting effects equipment. I used to have a huge setup of Optikinetics lighting equipment, with oil wheels, static and moving effects and these were all used for a psytrance night myself and a friend used to run.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars D Hristov says:

    they use technology.. but they have no clue of it. that technology just spontaneously came into existence to serve mankind, and it would conveniently do everything for them with zero knowledge. Humanity is dead.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars fanplant says:

    I serviced something like that at a pool but if I rember corectly it was a mr16 or something. It was in a pogoda post kinda thing and full of bugs and webs. There was a switch to stop the disk to keep it on one color.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Paul Drake says:

    All the best to you Clive, looking forward to a new year full of Cheapie Chinese gadgets, electronics lessons, sketchy powercells, the MBC and maybe a couple of MRE taste tests. Stay healthy!

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Fazerider says:

    Interesting to see one of those units again, BBC Tours had a couple feeding downlighters in a display area along a corridor in the basement of Television Centre.
    These ran 24/7 so regularly needed a lamp change, unfortunately about half the time this was because the bulb itself had exploded… possibly some of my colleagues were not careful enough about keeping sweaty fingers off the quartz envelope. I always wondered what concentration of mercury vapour I was being exposed to while crawling around the back of the displays.
    In order to save power and extend the intervals between bulb changes I mounted a timer on the case to switch off the lamp supply overnight (while leaving the fan running since the bulbs supposedly suffered if deprived of cooling immediately after switch-off). A couple of years later BBC Tours moved out ahead of the closure of the building.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Do RC says:

    That's got to be one of the most poorly designed safeties I've ever seen. It's almost worse than not having it at all because it has the potential for someone to rely on it to cut power and then lean on it wow they're working on it. That switch should be off to the side out of the way somewhere

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars ThePoxun says:

    The blue gel likely cracked due to repeated heat/cool cycles and the thermal expansion of the glass plate repeatedly stretching the gel. You see the same on old pinball machine backglass and you tend to see one or two colours being significantly more affected than others as they are less compliant to the expansion. It's repeated heating and cooling that causes it as lightly used but poorly stored machines often show worse cracking than a machine that is in constant use but in a more temperature stable environment.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars MegaWayneD says:

    I remember as a kid being in Dorothy Perkins and watching the "sparkling lights" on the floor whilst my Mother was shopping. I ended up lying on the floor and looking through the gap between the tiles and seeing an amazing array of "clear twinkling pipes" never seen anything quite so amazing in a shop since.

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tony Sheerness says:

    In the 1970's when Fibre optics broke out on the market, Rover SD 3500 used one bulb to illuminate, the dash board, central console and the glove box and was buried in the dash board. When the bulb went the Rover was in darkness and a pain to change.

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Rhys Boni says:

    I actually used to work for UFO and manufactured many of these MH illuminators, I designed many of the led light sources and led fittings that UFO currently sell and continue to work for them on a Self employed basis a great company

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Daniel Armstrong says:

    That capacitor looks to be very similar if not physically identical to the one used as the main wash pump run capacitor on older model Whirlpool dishwashers. FSP number 8269507 which is 23.5 μF 280 V rated. The second groove from the top is actually a folded bellows section to allow it to expand in length should it fail and produce gas pressure internally.

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Rhodexa's Arts says:

    Isn't this the kind of device used to drive the "head" of Max from Flight of the Navigator? — As far as I know it was lit by a bunch of fiber optics from a "pattern projector"

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Justin T says:

    So with a setup like this, i imagine they keep the fibre optic bundle and just change out the light source? One thing i have noted, here in northern Canada, the LEDs up until very recently could not handle the extreme cold – it is currently -40C / -40F here, and yes there are parts of Mars warmer than us right now – whereas the Halide would warm themselves up amply. A common thing to see were ravens sitting themselves on the photo sensor of street lamps during the day, causing the lamp to turn on, and in a short while, warm raven. They seem to be less impressed with the LEDs!

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars imark7777777 says:

    I was just digging around in a video projector for the last few weeks and now I find it funny that I'm watching a video about video projector lamps.
    Interesting fault the two cents lines that come from the lamp ballast we're against a piece of metal and I think shorting a little bit causing the system to go into safety but not consistently enough that it took a while to troubleshoot there's other problems but it's at least ran for five plus hours didn't shut off after I rerouted those two cables.

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