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Old October 7th, 2008, 10:12 AM   #16
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Actually, one other ?. Do you need to have a ground wire and three prong type plug for this project?

Jonathan
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Old October 7th, 2008, 12:59 PM   #17
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Yes, I used a ground wire and a three prong plug. The power cord I used is like the ones used on computers and is removable from my light fixture.

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Old October 7th, 2008, 06:33 PM   #18
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I would. Just ground it to the chassis. No place to attach a ground on the plastic type medium bases so the chassis is the only thing needing ground.
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Old October 8th, 2008, 05:50 PM   #19
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Nice to see the D.I.Y. CFL thread still has legs.

When I wired up the sockets in mine, I just stripped the insulation from the wires with a hobby knife and looped the bare patch beneath the screw terminals. Each leg was one long run of wire, with about 3/4" of insulation removed at the appropriate places. IIRC, I used 12 ga. stranded copper wire. I could have used solid, but stranded was easier to run around the chassis.

I'd have preferred porcelain sockets, but phenolic was all Home Depot had. No temperature issues with CFL (as yet), but I worry about breaking one of the sockets if the lamps get struck or knocked. For storage and transport, I use a large footlocker with foam dividers. It holds both lights, the stands, and an assortment of extension cords, power strips, and assorted clamps and clips for rigging. It's the kind of thing I can throw in the back of the truck (literally) and hit the road with everything I need, light-wise.

Yeah, you definitely want to ground the chassis. I used a ring crimp lug under one of the screws holding the switchbox to the rear pan. Everything's metal-to-metal contact in the assembly, so the connection is good throughout.

Martin
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Old October 8th, 2008, 05:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norm Rehm View Post
Yes, I used a ground wire and a three prong plug. The power cord I used is like the ones used on computers and is removable from my light fixture.

Norm
I thought about using that type of cord, but decided to use a fixed 20-foot cord on both my units. One less item to get lost or left behind.

Martin
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Old October 8th, 2008, 06:05 PM   #21
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Jonathan:

Flicker shouldn't be a problem in --MOST-- cases. CFL lamps actually have a high-frequency driver circuit built into the base (the better quality ones do -- not sure about the real cheapies) that I was told drives the lamps in the kilohertz range, NOT 60 hz. They went with this approach because they could make the electronics smaller (higher-frequencies can use much smaller transformers and inductors for the same amount of power), and the flicker you can sometimes see in regular 60hz florescents is no longer visible. They're also much more efficient, which is why you get more light for less consumed watts.

If you're not sure about a particular lamp, buy or borrow one, put it in a fixture, and shoot some video of it (when you finally get a camera, that is). Pick some shutter speed that isn't a mutlipe of 30 (like 1/100 of a second) and see if you get pulsing or flicker.

Martin
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Old October 8th, 2008, 07:51 PM   #22
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Martin, Richard and Norm,

I always seem to hang around with people that are smarter than I. Thanks for your help.
Right now I'm working some things out on paper.

Cheers.

Jonathan
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Old October 9th, 2008, 02:50 AM   #23
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Be careful and be consistent is the best advise when working with electricity and always have a healthy respect for it, never taking for granted any part of the process. When touching the chassis for the first time after building, first energizing and test, make sure to touch with the back of the hand only when testing and using switches. Otherwise, touching with the palm side of your hand, a muscle spasm caused by the electricity could actually cause you to grab onto the device and have a far worse electrocution than just a quick shock. I've always found DIY fun and interesting but that assembly process and first test should not be done at 3AM--if you know what I mean...
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Old October 10th, 2008, 06:43 AM   #24
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One of my friends many years ago was a supervisor at the electric company in Boston. He once told me about the "back of the hand" trick and said they used it to check whether the power had been cut before touching large electrical panels. He claimed that the reason was that the hairs on the back of your hand would straighten in the presence of a significant electrical field and act as a warning that electricity was present. He also said that it was standard practice to make the guy who had been assigned to cut the power be the first one to touch it and nobody would start work until he had checked it.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 12:01 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Moses View Post
I use a a different but similar fixture. I have 9 100 watt CFL's in my fixture. Instead of a dimmer I have a switching process that allows me to use either 4 bulbs or 5 bulbs or all 9.
I love the soft light (no need for diffusion) and daylight color. I have been using 2 fixtures for about a year and have no complaints. I must tell you that soft light (by its very nature) has "no throw". Dependning on ambient light, I get about 10 to 15 feet of usable light.
By the way the Fotodiox fixture I use costs about 90 dollars without the bulbs (which I get at Home Depot).
Gary

Gary,

I just ordered the 16 light fotodiox fixture to use as a key light. I am curious if there is any way to attach barn doors to it to direct the light. I initially thought I would only use it with a softbox but the one fotodiox makes for it is only 24" x 24" which seems small for the amount of light hopefully this 16 bulb unit will put out.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 12:21 PM   #26
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I have seen a lot of posts talking about the Home Depot nvisoin dayllight CFL bulbs being 5500k but nothing to verify that.

I have looked at the packaging in the store and then found the nvision website. Under "color temperature" they give no kelvin, just a generic description of the difference between their three color temperatures.

If they really are 5500k that is wonderful and saves me a ton of money. Now if only their soft ones were 3100 or 3200k instead of 3500 as I have read.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 04:48 PM   #27
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I don't think it tells color temperature on the package. As I recall, the packaging is blue for the 5500K model and the color temperature is actually indicated on the base of the bulb.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 04:58 PM   #28
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I just finished two fourteen-hour shooting days, about half of which was lit primarily with my two 900-watt CFL fixtures. They performed like a champ, giving a fairly even, though directional light. The barn doors were even more effective than I'd hoped for controlling spill and problem shadows.

Most appreciated was their relative coolness when compared to halogen or CMI. We were jockeying the lamps around the room (sometimes while still lit) every five or ten minutes as we shot scenes inside a cramped hotel room. White-balancing with the daylight CFL tubes gave an almost exact rendition as noon outside.

No flicker or fading seen in the captured files. We were shooting 24P (something I don't usually do, but the director wanted "the film look"), so I was curious as to how well it would work.

I'm so happy I think I'll make a couple more, plus a couple four-or-five tube versions for fill. My advice is: forget the worklights, go CFL. Much better results, and a lot easier and safer to handle.

Martin
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