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Daisy chain Kinoflo tubes

Jonathon Sendall
 

The cable used to daisy chain tubes (kinoflo). Do people make their own or is it a hire item? When you have 8 in sequence what kind of ballast do you need or do you just run in groups of 4?

Cheers

Jonathon Sendall
DP, London UK

Jonathon Sendall
 

Forgot to ask what the score is with the new LED versions as well. I'm guessing easier to chain. Maybe not.

Jonathon Sendall
DP, London UK

marivee cade
 

Jonathan, yes, the new Quasar Science crossfade tubes are very easy to 'daisy chain.' They have standard edison ends - here in the US - and a regular house hold 'cube tap' or triple tap will cover the AC power input.  They are much brighter than the Kino tubes and have the option of dimming - best on a Lutron dimmer. Here in US.  I think you'll love them.


On Tue, Sep 4, 2018 at 11:00 PM Jonathon Sendall <jpsendall@...> wrote:
Forgot to ask what the score is with the new LED versions as well. I'm guessing easier to chain. Maybe not.

Jonathon Sendall
DP, London UK



--
Marivee Cade
Gaffer
678 776 5920

jcsb11@...
 

Another option: if you have the budget, Astera tubes will be an even easier solution than either the Kinos or Quasars.    

Josh Benson
DP
LA

Ian Muir
 

Quasar tubes are now available in Europe with TRU1 end caps, which makes the fabrication of robust looms for daisy chaining very simple. This also ensures CE compliance, which is a requirement here in Europe. 

AC Entertainment in High Wycombe can supply both Quasar Tubes and cabling (they have a full cabling manufacture facility).

Clearly I'm utterly biased as I work for AC, but do genuinely love the tubes. 

Ian Muir
AC Film/TV bod

jcsb11@...
 

You make your own.  In the US, we use zip cord (18/2), which is a thin household wire and purchased as an expendable if the job requires it (UK equivalent would be roughly 1mm squared, I think).  If using original Kino bulbs, grab some electrical tape to protect the ends and run a line per one set of prongs on a tube back to the harness (you'll need two lines per tube to complete the circuit).  Matching your ballast to the number of tubes you need can save you running excess cord, but it is not imperative (i.e. if you need three tubes in one area of the set and one in another, you may consider using a 4 bank ballast for the three and a single ballast for the single tube).  For your project, it sounds like two 4 bank ballasts would do the trick.

With the Quasar tubes, the same wire will do you, but you only need to tap the tube once using a female add-a-tap.  You can run up to 8 4' tubes safely without maxing out the amperage that the zip is rated for.  That being said, I was working in the UK last year and Quasars were not readily available.  Perhaps that has changed?

Best of luck.

Josh Benson
DP
LA

Fred Young
 

If you want to build your own I’d check out Workhorse Ballast they make a few options for 230v input and have some European distribution.  Just size the ballast to your wattage. For the rest I’ve sourced the Kino parts I needed from my local Kino Dealer (head cable connectors, end caps) or your add-a-taps.

The Quasar Bi-Color tubes are a good option for Kino replacement.  They dim on a standard SCR or Varic dimmer pretty well, with a big caveat that the Bi-color tubes have poor power factor correction that will start to cause problem as the rig grows in tube number (when dimmed).  I’d test out the dimming solutions well before hand as some things that say they work well with these tubes don’t in many situations. 

The Astera tubes are neat, but not a simple out the box solution, especially as an Kino replacement.  They have an internal battery, which is nice, but no on-board controls.  Wireless only! Either through their app via Bluetooth or using DMX with a wireless transmitter.

My suggestion would be to look at the new RGBX tubes from Quasar.  Currently they come in 2’ and 4'

The pro: onboard control with CCT, +- Green, as well as RGB control.  Plus there are a few FX modes to play with.  They also have built in wireless that works with most of the popular wireless systems.

The con: the lowest level light output can be too bright for some situations. The DC powering options have a weird connector that we’ve had trouble sourcing.


Fred Young

Boston Based Lighting Programmer for TV/ Film




Scott Stueckle
 

Jonathon: Regarding the new Kino Flo FreeStyle LED Tubes, the FreeStyle LED tubes offer nearly 360 degrees of light output like a legacy fluorescent tube, with the full color management features of our LED products. There is nothing like them in production lighting. There are other sources with 180-degree, or half-dome,  light surfaces and built-in drivers beneath the LED emitters. These popular designs are available off the shelf at your local hardware store or from about a dozen quality manufactures serving the production community. The Kino Flo FreeStyle LED Tubes operate remotely via a FreeStyle Controller, in the same way legacy Kino Flo tubes are driven by a remote electronic ballast. FreeStyle Controllers power several product lines: various size FreeStyle Tubes and the FreeStyle 21, 31 and 41 LED fixtures and panels...with more fixture designs to come (debuting at IBC next week). All FreeStyle LED Tubes operate inside a typical 4Bank Fixture housing, or as bare tubes, up to 75 feet from the controller. The FS Controllers can, of course be ‘daisy chained’. All FreeStyle Tubes have Kino Flo designed 5-color LED emitters: 2 x white with RGB. Note: since the FS Tubes are powered by a FS Controller--whether on DMX, Wireless DMX or Manually—up to 4 tubes are slaved to each FS Controller. The Controller does not operate each lamp on a separate setting. (The FS LED Tubes are new the market and are available for purchase or lease in November.)

 

If you have any questions, or need more information, please feel free to call or email us anytime.

 

Sincerely,

Scott C. Stueckle
Kino Flo Lighting Systems

hoevenaars@...
 

Fred, I wanted to expand on your comment regarding the poor power factor that is present with many of the LED systems, especially when dimmed. Low PF is primarily due to the harmonic currents that the LEDs generate.  Since harmonics don't do any useful work, they are reactive power in nature and therefore, lower power factor.  The best way to address this is to apply harmonic mitigation equipment, such as harmonic mitigating transformers. The proper application of this equipment will substantially lower neutral and phase currents, eliminate voltage distortion (ie. flat-topping) , improve PF to near unity and reduce energy consumption. Guy Holt of ScreenLight & Grip has had great success with this equipment and has written some articles on the topic.  A brief case study can be found at the following link: http://www.mirusinternational.com/downloads/Spotlight-on-harmonics-in-the-film-industry-2014-04-04.pdf.  If you would like some further information, please let me know.  These new lighting technologies are great but you do need to make sure that the electrical distribution supplying them can handle the harmonics without overheating and/or creating equipment problems due to poor power quality. Properly designed, savings in cables and generator capacity will more than compensate for the added mitigation equipment. 
Thanks! Tony Hoevenaars