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Old 02-19-2009, 12:09 AM   #1
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Default Vintage Stage Lighting

I had a call one day about some dimming system not working and this is what I found when I arrived...FInd parts for this baby!! Oh by the way, it is a 1/2 SQ D and 1/2 Cutler Hammer system. It is still operational.
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File Type: jpg CH plate9L.jpg (41.2 KB, 33 views)
File Type: jpg inside.jpg (87.5 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg resistor wheel.jpg (74.2 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg resistor wheel5.jpg (58.3 KB, 19 views)


Last edited by patriot1; 02-19-2009 at 12:15 AM. Reason: More information!
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Old 02-19-2009, 12:17 AM   #2
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Frontal View
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Old 02-19-2009, 12:53 AM   #3
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Wow! cool stuff! Is there a date on it?
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:19 PM   #4
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That is really cool looking. I'd be interested to see how old it is as well. Somewhere, a Lutron salesman just saw an opportunity....
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:43 PM   #5
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Good luck with that gear, I have an installation on Catalina Island using Frank Adams dimmers and gear, parts are no longer available at all. You would have to have a machinist make contact assemblies, etc.

I'd guess that gear to be be around 70 -80+ years old.

Another thing to know: those old plate-style dimmers are designed to dim the rated load to dull red, NOT full off in most cases.
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Old 02-21-2009, 11:24 PM   #6
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Never could find a date on any of it. I sent pics to Sq D and Cutler Hammer but no takers. Mxslick is correct, the plates can take a full load and currently they do not dim down all the way anymore. The pieces that came up missing where like brake pads on a car, graphite of some type. It was broken off or fell off, but was fortunate to use parts from another wheel on the same unit to continue the use. As you notice the main power section is Sq D and the resistor wheels are cutler hammer. That would be unheard of today with 2 major companies.
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Old 02-21-2009, 11:28 PM   #7
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Here is another pic.
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Old 02-22-2009, 02:00 AM   #8
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Get the patent numbers and we can look up an approximate date from that. How bout a close up of the square D label?
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Old 02-22-2009, 02:02 AM   #9
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My guess. 1926
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Old 02-22-2009, 07:11 PM   #10
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I will check on the label. I did not have too many pics but Ill get a closer one of the label.
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Old 02-23-2009, 01:55 AM   #11
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Ahhh.... good ol resistance dimmers... don't really miss those. Don't miss having scatter ghost loads around either...
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:48 PM   #12
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I've worked on a system that looks exactly like that one, had a Square D label and the Dimmers were Cutler Hammer. It was installed in a Junior High School built in 1931 in Virginia City, Nevada. It's still working just fine.


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Old 07-30-2009, 07:51 PM   #13
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The wire could have aspestus rap. for the hight temp wire.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:39 PM   #14
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If it's a motor operated dimmer, I think I have one in my collection of oddities for Show 'n' Tell. Let me know if I should look closer. Mine is from the old power company auditorium when they went solid state. Probably from the 20's.

The same building had some really early QO style panels but they had a molded case switch with a little cartridge fuse in the same case. Looked kinda like a 90 year old QO120 gfci breaker. Solid wire laced with wax string and all sharp 90 degree bends going to the pipes. I set it aside but somebody took it.
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Old 07-31-2009, 01:39 AM   #15
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I've dealt with those dimmers a couple of times.. Great stuff as long as you don't have to move it.
I took one out and was going to bring it home to add to my collection of junk in the garage , but.. I would need two or three guys to help carry it.
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Old 08-02-2009, 11:31 AM   #16
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What is this thing?
Also what does it do?
And how does it work?

Real kool find!
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Old 08-02-2009, 11:34 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBIRD View Post
What is this thing?
Also what does it do?
And how does it work?

Real kool find!
There's a pretty nice video on YouTube that explains it fairly well. The video's got a bit of age on it, but it lays it out pretty clearly for you:

YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.
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Old 08-02-2009, 05:09 PM   #18
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great video marc that should be required viewing for all apprentices
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Old 08-24-2009, 02:12 PM   #19
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Was that in English?
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:07 AM   #20
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I had to wire one of them up in trade school.. But the flux capacitor kept shorting out and sending us all back to the future..

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