Banner
Home Forums Movie Theaters The Lobby Lamphouse or Console?
Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me

TOPIC: Lamphouse or Console?

Lamphouse or Console? 06 Jun 2008 23:10 #18796

  • Shaboomers
  • Shaboomers's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Junior Boarder
  • Posts: 35
  • Karma: 0
As I had mentioned in a previous post of mine. I had recently purchased a couple of simplex 35 movie projectors that came out of our local cinema. These projectors are original since the place first opened in 1972. Originally they had Optical Radiation lamphouses and those were in use up until sometime in early 1990s. When I ran this cinema in 1987-88 they still had the Optical Radiation lamphouses but sometime after I left and new owners took over they had changed the lamphouses over to ORC consoles. I am not planning on using the ORC's and would like to get a different light source.

What I am wanting to know is what is the difference between using lamphouses and consoles? Which is better and why?

I was able to get the original projector pedestals and like the idea of putting everything back to original if possible. I have never used consoles before and didn't know what the difference was besides the appearance.

Do they still make Optical Radiation lamphouses? Are they any good?

Thanks!
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Lamphouse or Console? 07 Jun 2008 10:27 #18797

  • NSCInemas
  • NSCInemas's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Expert Boarder
  • Posts: 133
  • Karma: 0
ORC is no longer in business. I would stay away from ORC lamphouses there are so many much better options out there.

As far as Lamphouse, or console it really depends on personal taste and the specific situation. You can usually get any lamphouse in console, or stand alone version. They are the same lamphouse wether or not they are in a console. If you have the pedestals you might as well use them but that will mean you will have to mount your automation onto the wall, and use a stand alone power supply which is no problem.

My favorite lamphouses are (in no particular order) The Xetron XCN Series (Same as the Big Sky) The Strong Super Lume-X (or Highlight II), The Christie SLC (Not the H or CH series). If you can find one of those you will be in good shape.

What I would avoid at all costs,

Any ORC (Optical Radiation Corporation)lamphouse, Christie H or CH series, the older Xetron "Trash Can" style lamphouses.

I always really really like the light from the XENEX II lamphouses but they are really old now and parts are hard to get and expensive. They used a glass reflector that really put out a nice white light.

Also here are some rules to remeber,

The size of lamp you need depends on the size of the screen. The bigger the screen the larger the lamp size you will need. Throw distance DOES NOT factor into lamp size. It makes no difference how far away, or close the screen is.

You dont want to skimp on lamp size, a dim picture will drive customers away. You want a nice bright picture that is powerful enough to reach SMPTE Standards on your screen.

Proper cooling is also very important. Improper exhaust airflow will cause you to have poor lamp life, and cost you a lot of money in the long run. You are going to want good roof top blowers to vent the exhaust air from your lamphouses.

Good alignment is critical. You can have the best lamphouse in the world but if it isn't installed and aligned properly the light on your screen will suck. It is important to get a qualified tech to install and align this equipment. Optical bench alignment is hugely important to a good picture.

A damaged reflector will also rob you of light output. If you get a too good to be true deal on a used lamphouse be prepared to replace the reflector. They are expensive but it is worth it.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Lamphouse or Console? 07 Jun 2008 15:01 #18798

  • rodeojack
  • rodeojack's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 1255
  • Thank you received: 6
  • Karma: 2
Couldn't say it better.

One thing: Some consoles will accept a pedestal-type lamphouse. A nearby theatre put a SLC lamphouse on a console that had been using an older Christie. First I've seen it, but maybe it's more common than I would have guessed.

As long as you stay with the brands mentioned, you should be fine. Vertical consoles are automatic light hogs, to one degree or another, because they use an additional reflector to angle the light to the projector. ORC consoles are commonly found, maybe because they were bargain basement junk when they were new. In any case, they're horrible... keep the power supply and sell/give the rest to a scrap yard! Same with any Christie but a SLC version.

As for whether to use a console over a pedestal, that's a personal option for you that will make no difference to your customers.

Consoles commonly include some form of automation. If not, there's usually space included for some combination of automation and audio equipment. Many consoles will allow you to put a full automation and sound package in them. As such, they're commonly seen where a theatre company purchases a full projection/sound package from a single source. They can deliver it prewired and tested, and pretty much included in one cabinet. The lamphouse power supply is usually found inside the console, too. There are also console designs where sound gear is located separately.

If you prefer to mix n match your equipment, pedestals and sound racks might be preferable. A pedestal can be configured to hold most popular sound heads, which can then be geared to run most common projector heads. Same with the lamphouse table. You can pick the lamp that you like best and mount it on the standardized base. Sound gear is usually located in a rack cabinet, somewhere near the projector. For drive-ins, this would be my choice. For indoors, either option would work fine.

Either way you decide on this, you should be OK.

[This message has been edited by rodeojack (edited June 07, 2008).]
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Lamphouse or Console? 07 Jun 2008 18:10 #18799

  • NSCInemas
  • NSCInemas's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Expert Boarder
  • Posts: 133
  • Karma: 0
Some consoles will accept a pedestal-type lamphouse

Wow, thats news to me! Good to know!
Couldn't say it better.

I liked your explanation of what a console versus pedestal gives you a lot.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Lamphouse or Console? 07 Jun 2008 18:56 #18800

  • Ken Layton
  • Ken Layton's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 865
  • Thank you received: 4
  • Karma: -1
A "console" could be described like an "all-in-one" setup.

A console holds the projector and soundhead (becoming a pedestal), has a lamphouse built in that accomodates a certain size xenon bulb, holds the xenon power supply, has automation built in (or has provisions to mount an automation controller of your choice), and some have a sound rack built in.

My personal preference is to have a seperate projector pedestal on which you can choose the lamphouse you want plus it takes up less space. One local theater company uses an "emergency" spare lamphouse and wheeled power supply. In the event of a lamphouse or power supply problem, this emergency setup could be install in 5 minutes and get back on screen. Not so easy if you have consoles.

The cinema division of Optical Radiation was bought out by Strong International in the early 90's. Some parts are available. In my opinion Optical Radiation (ORC) equipment was not very good.

[This message has been edited by Ken Layton (edited June 07, 2008).]
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Lamphouse or Console? 07 Jun 2008 20:13 #18801

  • Shaboomers
  • Shaboomers's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Junior Boarder
  • Posts: 35
  • Karma: 0
It's been almost 20 years since I had been in the theater business. I new almost every aspect of running a theater at that time. However I had never put equipment together from scratch. When you mention the consoles containing the automation could you break it down of what everything consists of?

For example I know if you have a lamphouse you need a power supply or rectifier for the lamphouse, correct?

The automation, where does this fit into place? I know that everything should tie in together to where you just push a button and it goes on it's way. What is used for the automation? This part is foggy to me since I had been there.

It would be nice if there was some sort of diagram of how a booth is laid out. You know like a reader's digest version of what is connected to what to make this and that work.

Is there any such info available on this?
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Lamphouse or Console? 08 Jun 2008 12:21 #18802

  • rodeojack
  • rodeojack's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 1255
  • Thank you received: 6
  • Karma: 2
I think the newer generations of automation were really starting to take off, just about the time you got out of the business. Before that, "automation" was pretty rudimentary... mainly replicating the human changeover process. Some had seqencing abilities... the most amusing used stepping relays and push pins on a grid board of some kind... fun!

"Automation" is a generic term that describes facility control equipment. There are any number of configurations, best built to suit the needs of the theatre. The most basic units will start your projector and lamphouse, then put your show on the screen and trigger a switch from music to film sound. It then goes into a "monitoring" mode, where it watches the failsafe for problems and the cue sensor for 'end of show' triggers. Most current models include the ability to control lighting, curtains and masking. Automation units also facilitate the ability to interlock two or more projectors.

Past that, you can "upsize" the equipment to control additional components... sound modes, volume, lens changes, automatic start, etc. Some automations can operate purely by time, and are said to be nearly frame-accurate. In multi-screen applications, systems are available that will allow the projectionist to control and/or monitor the entire building from a single computer terminal. Some automations can interface with ticketing POS systems, allowing for direct management control of start times.

At its most basic though, the major function most people need from automation is to keep an eye on the projector so you don't have to... especially as it appies to watching for film breakage, brain wraps, etc.

Many current automations are supplied in versions that will mount in a console, a rack cabinet or in a standalone wall box.

My theatre has a common projector automation at each screen. These are remotely started by a broadcast automation system, that controls playout of our preshow and intermission sound programming, sequences the start of the individual projectors and plays a 4th audio channel into the concessions for background music. As such, the two systems combine into a single facility control that reduces my nightly involvement to threading, lens changing and 3 or 4 button presses... as long as everything works!


You can see that setup on our picture gallery,
http://rodeodrivein.com/gallery/


and more specifically, here.
http://www.rodeodrivein.com/gallery/albums/Booth-Rebuild/Dsc00039.jpg

http://www.rodeodrivein.com/gallery/albums/Booth-Rebuild/Dsc00104.jpg


A wiring pictorial... the "what hooks up to where", as you put it, depends on how complex you want the booth to be, how many screens you would be expected to control, what sound equipment you want in the theatre, what accessories you install and how "uninvolved" you want to be in the operational process.

[This message has been edited by rodeojack (edited June 08, 2008).]
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Lamphouse or Console? 08 Jun 2008 12:31 #18803

  • NSCInemas
  • NSCInemas's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Expert Boarder
  • Posts: 133
  • Karma: 0
You need a power supply wether you have a console or not. The only difference is with the console the power supply is built into the bottom of the console. This is good and bad. The bad thing is it makes it a little more difficult to hook up an "emergency spare" power supply. I like the external power supplies because you can use "quick Disconnect" type connections so that if you open or short a diode, or burn up a contactor or anything you can wheel over a spare power supply and plug it in then have the other one serviced without being off screen. you can do this with a console but it's a little more difficult. You can build receptacles into the console so that you can wheel over an external power supply and plug it in but you would also need to add some switches to switch the feeds from internal to external.

Every automation controller automates all your projection functions. Some are more advanced than others. A basic system will provide manual override switches for the projector motor, lamp house, sound reader, and change over douser. It will also have an automatic "start" button that will automatically strike the lamp, turn on the projector motor, switch the sound, and open the changeover either after a delay (usually 8 seconds) or with a foil cue (preferred IMO) It will also give you a failsafe/cue detector. The failsafe will not allow the projector to auto start unless the film is threaded and the platter has taken up the slack. It will also shut down the system and sound an alarm incase of a film break. Some will also sense for the motion of the film incase it gets stuck. The cue detector portion of the failsafe will sense foil cues placed on the film to automate the house lights, the changeover, sound format switching, and the end of show functions. Some systems use cues placed in different areas of the film to perform different functions. Others use a single spot for the cues and run a step down program set-up using either computer software or a peg board. Again what type of Automation controller you wish to use depends on preference and your needs. Some theatres need the more fancy systems, others are happy with the most basic. You will also need to decide if you want an automation system which provides "interlock" capability. That means that multiple automation controllers can be wired together enabling one to become a "master" and control others for the purpose of running one print through multiple projectors at one time. In this mode a film break at one machine will shutdown all "interlocked" machines.

My favorite automations are;

For a basic, easy to use system: The Component Engineering TA-10 Automation. (allows you to place cues on the film in different spots for different functions which are all set at installation by the technician. ie. middle of the film= end show, non soundtrack side=lights down+digital sound, soundtrack side= Lights up. You can program each print differently by placing cues in different spots on the film. There is no timer)

For a more advanced but straight foward and easy to use system: The Engineering Equipment Inc. system sold by Hadden Theatre Supply Louisville Kentucky. (A peg board style automation that will let you set up different programs depending on where you program the pegs, uses the same cue and steps down command lines on the pegboard ie; Line 1= Motor Start+Lamp on, Line 2= Changeover open+sound to dolby stereo+Lights to mid Line 3= Lights down+sound to digital, Line 4= Light to mid, Line 5= Lights to full+end show. You can only have one program pegged out at a time and will need to change the pegs around to run different programs ie; if you have auto lens turret you will need to change the pegs for the lens to flat or scope and for the masking to flat or scope. They have timers but you will need to reset the timer every show )

For a very advanved system that will let you do basically anything (ex. Multiple lens changes per show, multiple masking and curtain changes, all kinds of sound format, volume control, and lighting changes per show, really anything you could think of maybe even automatic flushing of the toilets in the lobby!!!) The Strong CNA 200 Computer based Automation (Uses the same single cue and command line scheme as above but uses computer software to program each command line. You can have up to 99 different programs stored in the system at a time. It will also let you enter the start times of each show and which program to run for the whole week. As long as you thread the right film it will start at the right time and run the right program.)

Those three pretty much represent the kinds of systems out there. There are many different manufacturers and models but they will all work pretty much the same as one of the system I described above. Your needs and personal preference will determine which type of system and which brand you use.

As far as a layout that depends on the space available and personal preference. With a pedestal your automation will be mounted to the wall below the operators port window. In a console it will be mounted below the lamphouse usually. The platter can be placed anywhere you like on either side of the projector, behind it, or even in a seperate room! (ala Brad Millers platter array set-up at the Studio Movie Grills in Texas where any platter can feed any projector) I reccomend either to the right or left of the projector. The sound rack is usually placed on the operator side of the projector with the controls facing the projector. Some consoles have the sound equipment built in but with the expanded space needs that digital sound, and bi, or tri amped system require today you will find most sound systems in a seperate rack. Some consoles include the house light dimmers also but most often these are mounted to the wall above the projection ports. If you have an external power supply it should be placed next to the pedestal on the non-operator side. Depending on your lamp size you may also have a water circulator barrel, and pump located on the non-operator side next to the pedestal also.

Thats pretty much all I can think of right now. I hope that is not too much information for you at one time, lol.

[This message has been edited by NSCInemas (edited June 08, 2008).]
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Lamphouse or Console? 08 Jun 2008 12:37 #18804

  • rodeojack
  • rodeojack's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 1255
  • Thank you received: 6
  • Karma: 2
Any thoughts on the Pennywise system? It seems popular with some... especially a few on "another discussion board". I've never seen one in operation, though.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Lamphouse or Console? 08 Jun 2008 12:43 #18805

  • NSCInemas
  • NSCInemas's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Expert Boarder
  • Posts: 133
  • Karma: 0
I really cannot comment as I have never used or installed the christie/penny wise system. From what I know of it though it would fall into my third category with the Strong CNA 200. I hear that it is pretty good and that pennywise will program custom eprom chips for each locations specific needs.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Lamphouse or Console? 08 Jun 2008 13:48 #18806

  • jholliger
  • jholliger's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Expert Boarder
  • Posts: 87
  • Karma: 0
The Frankfort booth had basic automation, I think it was TA-10 type did the salvage people not get them? I know it had remote start/stop, curtian, house lights, sound change over and projector control and fail safe monitors.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Lamphouse or Console? 08 Jun 2008 14:54 #18807

  • NSCInemas
  • NSCInemas's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Expert Boarder
  • Posts: 133
  • Karma: 0
Sounds like it was a Kelmar deluxe or series X to me. (X= II,III, IV,V,VI,VII)
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Lamphouse or Console? 08 Jun 2008 14:55 #18808

  • rodeojack
  • rodeojack's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 1255
  • Thank you received: 6
  • Karma: 2
The TA10 is a very popular system. It's reliable, relatively inexpensive and comes in console, rack and standalone mounting configurations.

For older theatres, that started with Eprad Co-Operators, the TA10 is an appropriate upgrade/replacement.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Lamphouse or Console? 08 Jun 2008 18:33 #18809

  • Shaboomers
  • Shaboomers's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Junior Boarder
  • Posts: 35
  • Karma: 0
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jholliger:
The Frankfort booth had basic automation, I think it was TA-10 type did the salvage people not get them? I know it had remote start/stop, curtian, house lights, sound change over and projector control and fail safe monitors.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes pretty much basic but the salvage people did not get that stuff. I myself did go in there and get some items like the Xetrol dimmers from the cinema 2. I also did get a control unit that was on the wall in the corner of booth 1. This control unit was original equipment and had several toggle switches that were labeled Proj.1 flat, proj.1 wide, proj.2 flat, proj.2 wide, and intermission. It also had indicator lights that read "ready" "running" and "reset" along with the start button. I believe this unit was still in operation when it closed. It was kind of spooky when I was in that booth just before demolition started. This unit kept clicking like it was trying to do something but the projectors weren't there. Almost like it refused to die.

jholliger! I noticed in a previous post that you had mentioned something about the Frankfort Cinema. Did you run that place at one time? And if so, when did you run it?

I don't know if I remember who you are but the name Holliger sounds familiar.


The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Lamphouse or Console? 08 Jun 2008 18:43 #18810

  • Shaboomers
  • Shaboomers's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Junior Boarder
  • Posts: 35
  • Karma: 0
What I would like to do is to keep it simple when it comes to the automation. A basic set up would be fine with me for starters. My plan is to be able to build a twin screen for now but have it designed to where we can add an additional screen down the road if needed. Both screens will only seat 150 so the idea of having an interlock would be good in case of a bigger attraction and more tickets being sold.

Where would I look to get more info on the auto systems that you guys mentioned? The TA-10 sounds simple and may be what I want. Are these available used or how much new?

Thanks again!
The administrator has disabled public write access.
Time to create page: 0.237 seconds
attraction attraction
attraction
attraction
attraction
attraction