Saturday, October 31, 2015

Oldest Electric Service I Have Ever Seen

This is the electric panel in a 19th century mansion in Martinsburg, WV.  This is the oldest one I have ever seen.  It is still in use.

The service has a finished wood case with a glass door.  It looks very cool.

It is conspicuously located in the entry hall.  Unlike a modern electric service, which is usually hidden somewhere, this service is meant to be seen.  When this was installed, it would have been a prestigious thing to have electricity; something only the rich could have.

This is a 40 amp service.  Each circuit has a 5 amp fuse, curiously on both the hot and neutral wire, with a double knife switch to turn off-and-on the circuit.  Typical of old electric services, there is no provision for a ground.

We joked about tying-in to the service.  We could have powered a few practicals.  Maybe.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

LED Ribbon Light Kit

My custom LED ribbon light kit is coming along.  I used it gaffing on a Steven David Productions show in September, "American Speed", a mini-series about NASCAR.

Some components of my LED kit

I love LED ribbon.  It is easy to quickly add a light in a tight places.

My kit has been a work in progress.  I started over a year ago.  My motivation was a couple jobs using LED ribbon that did not go a quickly or trouble-free as I would like.  The biggest problems I found are time-consuming-to-use connectors, and sometime bad connections, that light ribbon comes with.

Anything that is not quick or reliable makes me look bad.

My kit is 24 volt bi-color ribbon.  It has an excellent CRI of 95 in tungsten and daylight.  I use simple electric connectors; the water-proof LED type, which just push together.  (These come with fastening nuts, which I don't use and discard.)  I put together my own flicker-free dimmers; 2-channel PWM.  I also put together a couple 12 to 24 VDC transformers for car use, which plug into a lighter outlet.

 This scene is almost completely lit with LED ribbon:

iPhone picture of a monitor

My New LED Panel Light

Recently I purchased another Creamsource LED panel.  The new one is a Doppio Bender; a 1x2' bi-color spot.  Like all of Outsight's lights, it is awesome.  I have found the bi-color feature to be so useful, I almost wonder if all my lights should be this way.

One of my Doppios working on NASCAR: The Rise Of American Speed