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#152703 - 12/17/05 06:53 PM Avalon Theatre *****
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 Quote:
Hello all:

Attached are some photos from a theatre I service here in So. Calif. Virtually all of the gear is original and dates back to the 1930's when the building was erected.

hope you all enjoy!

- mxslick









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#152704 - 12/17/05 06:54 PM Re: Avalon Theatre
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#152705 - 12/17/05 06:57 PM Re: Avalon Theatre
sierra electrician Offline
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Registered: 02/12/05
Posts: 220
Loc: North Fork, CA USA
How would you like to be the guy that had to lash all that cable. Neat stuff mxslick.

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#152706 - 12/17/05 08:12 PM Re: Avalon Theatre
JoeTestingEngr Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 786
Loc: Chicago, Il.
Those pics remind me of some of our old GE and Westinghouse supervisory gear and some controls still present in our subways.
Joe

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#152707 - 12/17/05 08:58 PM Re: Avalon Theatre
mxslick Offline
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Registered: 10/24/04
Posts: 785
Loc: Atomic City, ID USA
Thanks for the comments, guys. And a BIG thanks to Bill for posting these for me! To fill in some info on the pics:

#1: Shows the Frank Adams "Major System" logo. It is normally backlit by the worklights on the front of the board.

#2: The deadfront, a very nicely done unit. All handles are indetified by solid brass engraved plates. (Like the ones in the contactor pics.) The large handles with white, green and red tops are masters which operate selected groups of dimmers. The red one is the "Grand Master" which can control ALL the dimmers at once. (It is also able to be motor-driven, see pic in next thread.) Each of the small handles can be turned to set it to operate independantly or with a master. (Horizontal is normal, vertical is tied to master, IIRC)

#3: The original wire bundles feeding to the lights and other devices throughout the theater. All are the old rubber/asbestos covered and are in surprisingly good condition.

#4: All dimmers terminate into this set of terminals. The wiring leading to these is a work of art!

#5: Inside one of the compartments. The transformer in the box was, I think, formerly powering the buzzer/phone between the projection booth, stage and lobby. The newer THHN passing thru leads to a modern sub-panel mounted on the side of the gear for the new projector and lamphouse.

#6: All lighting goes through a contactor like these. Despite thier age and a lot of cycling, most of these are in very good condition. Some, as you'll see in #8 and 9, however, have some issues...

#7: The buss and wiring behind the contactors.

#8: This contactor has a bad habit of not opening completely, with the result being a lot of arcing. The string you see leading off to the left was at one time attached to a small weight on the outside of the compartment door. After a close call despite the weight, the string now continues on to the booth where the operator gives it a tug to ensure the contactor opens! This controls the red screen wash lights.

#9: OOPS!! This contactor gave everyone a scare when the pressure spring for the lefthand contact failed, allowing a sustained flaming arc which threatened to get out of hand. A few shots with a dry-chem extinguisher put it out. IIRC it serves the blue wall wash lights, whose dimmer also failed...there is a short in the line somewhere which has yet to be located.

The contactors are going to be the downfall of this system eventually, as they are all showing signs of contact erosion and there is copper dust all over the place in the contactor cabinets, I have advised the building's rep to get them vacuumed out soon.


second edit for spelling

[This message has been edited by mxslick (edited 12-18-2005).]

[This message has been edited by mxslick (edited 12-18-2005).]
_________________________
Stupid should be painful.

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#152708 - 12/18/05 12:16 AM Re: Avalon Theatre
Trumpy Offline

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Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Ahh,
Cable lacing,
I have an old book here from the 1930's showing the correct way and the incorrect way to lace cables together.
I suppose at the time it set the amateurs apart from the pro's.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#152709 - 12/19/05 07:11 PM Re: Avalon Theatre
yaktx Offline
Member

Registered: 02/19/03
Posts: 286
Loc: Austin, Texas, USA
What is the material used to lace the cables? Silk? Rayon? I know they didn't have ty-raps back then.

Also, in the 5th pic, is that a 2-pole plug fuse cutout on the right, and what is it for?

Are the dimmers resistive or inductive?

This is gorgeous equipment!

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#152710 - 12/19/05 08:10 PM Re: Avalon Theatre
yaktx Offline
Member

Registered: 02/19/03
Posts: 286
Loc: Austin, Texas, USA
Oops! Saw you already answered the question about the dimmers. That's what I thought!

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#152711 - 12/19/05 09:28 PM Re: Avalon Theatre
mxslick Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/04
Posts: 785
Loc: Atomic City, ID USA
yaktx:

Not too sure what the lace material is, but if I had to guess based on the age of this stuff, I'd lean toward waxed cotton or silk.
As Trumpy noted, lacework like this does separate the amateurs from the pros!

Yeah, dimmers are resistive, designed to dim rated load to dull glow.

Good call on the plug fuse holder. IIRC, the bottom hole with the fuse serves the board worklights and the top with the fuse missing served the transformer on the left.
_________________________
Stupid should be painful.

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#152712 - 12/19/05 09:30 PM Re: Avalon Theatre
yaktx Offline
Member

Registered: 02/19/03
Posts: 286
Loc: Austin, Texas, USA
This is on Catalina Island, right? Do you know anything about the power generation there?

[This message has been edited by yaktx (edited 12-20-2005).]

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