The Colortran Minizoom Restoration

Colortran Minizoom In a moment of abject insanity, I asked a very good friend to schlepp a couple of Colortran Minizooms to me. These are perhaps among the dimmest and hottest of the smallish ellipsoidal fixtures made which is why these are not used. However, due to my interest in theatrical lighting and the availability of these to me, I have used these in several projects. Some really rusty ones ended up getting re-painted , their optics replaced, relamped to a normal E26 edison base, and fit with custom gobos to work as a starfield projector as a present to a girlfriend at the time. I don't know where the photos of that one went; perhaps I'll dig them out at some point.

I had four that were going to get cleaned up and used for lighting in my apartment, potentially relamped with less wattage. I never got around to deploying these on account of a combination of laziness and startup-companyness. That being said, it was a valid exercise to clean and refurb these, as I learned a lot about the operation, assembly, and cleaning of ellipsoidal lighting instruments.

minizoom in sink The minizooms have stamped aluminum reflectors which have no special coatings. This is one of the reasons why they are so hot, but it also makes them scrubbable in the sink. Here's a chassis, the shutters, and some other parts sitting in the sink. It's quite amazing just how much crud accumulates on these things over the years. Each one turned two full sinks of water into brown sludge, not including the rust from the shutters, which I didn't scrub too much. One of the most annoying things about cleaning these is the aluminum fins and grooves on the housings. Toothbrushes and other such tiny cleaning implements were used when refurbishing these.

Two fixtures spread out to dry
	After getting a good scrubbing, I just dried them off and let them sit on the counter overnight before re-lamping and testing. Most ellipsoidals have essentially the same components, from left to right: Two lenses (to allow zoom and focus), a body of some sort, a reflector, shutters (not visible in this picture), a lense, and some way to hold the lamp in (the black castings resting on the reflectors). Now that I went through all the work to fix these, they are back sitting my garage, getting dirty again. I did fire up all four of them at one point- I focused all four of them on the sidewalk below my apartment window, over a 20' throw. This threw enough heat to melt a fairly nicely defined circle of snow, and was quite effective at confusing the drunks coming out of the bars.