Monday, March 16, 2009

Mr. Fix It 2

This was last week's big project.
Cleaning the optical pathways on half of the bands rear lights.
They have seen a few years of use in smoky nasty clubs plus a few more years of dusty garage storage, resulting in major loss of light compared to when they were new.

It required the removal of 1 large wingscrew and washer, 5 top access screws, 3 bolts to remove the color wheel module, 2 thumbscrews to take off the lamp access panel, 2 bolts to remove the color wheel from it's stepper motor shaft, and one each thumbscrew and nut/bolt set for the adjustable lens module, for a total of 15 Philips™ head actuations.

The adjustable lens (already removed in the photo) needed cleaning on both sides, as did the other small lens pointed at in the color wheel section.
The wheel itself has seven colored glass elements that also need years of schmutz scrubbed off of both sides.
That's a total of 18 lens cleanings per fixture.

I was also able to use the brush attachment on our ElectroLux canister vacuum to get most of the dust buildup off the halogen lamp's cooling fan.

The *Coil is what failed in my personal unit--I finally found the broken solder joint after making the mental connection with the same part breaking loose inside Steve's monitor speaker's crossover network.
Manufacturers apparently don't make allowances for the inertia of heavier parts in equipment that might get dropped or slammed around--I keep finding big heavy coils like this "secured" using one or 2 cable ties and soldered directly to the circuit board (the break-point) instead of being located separately with a wiring harness or just bolted down solidly.
If you have sound or light road-gear that has failed, check the solder joints of your coils first--it's a proven weak point.

With 9 lenses/gels that have 2 sides each per unit, in this Mr. Fix It episode I took care of 6 light fixtures for 108 total lens cleanings and 90 screws/bolts taken out and put back in.
Correctly, I might add.

There are three more of these lights that need service, and since the time per fixture is now under 20 minutes due to experience I can knock them out in an hour if there aren't any other issues that need my attention.
Which means that one of the next three has some major problem that adds a few trips to part suppliers and lots of TLC.
Because nothing is ever easy...

Now you know why I added a type-arrow to my aspirin bottle.

What's the deal with a nightlight plugged into the GFI outlet, you ask?
Ground Fault Interruptor outlets are mandated in the USA for all new construction/replacement near water like my kitchen sink seen here.
They can save your life, but will trip at the slightest provocation sometimes so I use the nightlight to verify that my AC power is still active whenever I'm working on suspect gear.
Same with battery chargers in this outlet--sometimes the GFI trips off when plugging-in so I like to have a visual confirmation that the AC is on.

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