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Old July 21st, 2013, 04:28 AM   #1
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Location: San Francisco, CA
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Kino 4bank ballast operation

I've been on the lookout for some Kino Flo 4banks for a long time and finally came upon some being sold from a local college. These were student rentals so abused pretty much. Only about 30% of the ballasts actually worked, and I spent a long time digging through kits to put together a working kit of 2 ft and 4ft 4banks (2 each) for me.

So the Ballast that I got four of is the BAL-400S, which is an obsolete model: 4bank "Select" but not VE or DMX or anything. What is surprising is that you can't control all four banks individually... there are in fact only two banks because there is just a single on/off switch that turns all four banks on on one position, and only two banks on with the other position. Yet it says "4Bank Select" on the case as if it had 4 banks. Glad they seem to have corrected this in the recent models of the 4Bank ballast and put 4 switches on.

Anyone know if there is a hack that I can do to add more switches for the other banks?

One of the ballasts made a sparking noise upon igniting a couple of times and the lamp cable socket on the ballast spins freely as if an inner locking collar isn't tightened. I'll be opening these up and perhaps replacing parts... At least two of the ballasts fail to light some bulbs some of the time, although I've always been able to solve by reseating, even though the failures also happened after the reseat and no disturbance. I'm thinking of replacing the sockets if it's easy since students weren't good about seating connections properly and the connectors seem hard to seat in general on these units.

I wonder if anyone has suggestions for how to seat these connectors I'm very interested. The best I can do is squint to figure where the single versus double spines are on the edge of the mating barrels, then remember where they are as you hide those spines while mating. But it seems to require me having a great grasp, good support, good concentration, and good light to mate these connectors. I'll probably paint indicator lines but I'm wondering are there any alignment aids visible while these connectors are mating? At least XLR connectors have a clear top and bottom; I can't find that on these twist-locking collar connectors.

I also bought a bunch of C stands so I could use the 3/8" studs that come off the ball joints on these, but that requires an arm to angle downward which is difficult in tight spaces so I'm considering buying an angled baby receiver lollipop. Good idea?
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Old July 25th, 2013, 02:51 AM   #2
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Location: San Francisco, CA
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Re: Kino 4bank ballast operation

The older Kino BAL-400-S120 ballasts that I have seem to have strange fasteners that I can't figure out preventing me from opening the cases. Are they unremoveable rivets? Is there a special took that I can use to get them out? All I can see is that the rounded heads have flat cylinders inside instead of screwholes.
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Old May 28th, 2016, 05:53 AM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 1,929
Re: Kino 4bank ballast operation

This is a shot in the dark but I'm hoping Tom is still around and figured out how to open up this Kino Flo ballasts. I have one that has a rattle in it. Sounds like a little nut or screw or piece of metal is loose inside. I really don't want to power it and risk shorting it out. But I can't figure out how to get the case open. Can anyone help?
All the best,
Robert K S

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