Look Back at Lighting ------ Pluto Electronics

Around Late 1971 Richard Millington and Rick Westlake formed a new company, Micky Thompson also came with them bringing his photographic skills. Some discussion in a pub resulted in them calling the new company Pluto.
They bought Czechoslovak projectors, converted them to take a six-inch oil wheel, which was purchased from Optikinetics, and the lot sold to Proops Brothers in the Tottenham Court Road. At this time (1972) they rented premises almost opposite Rick’s house.
Pluto was not a brand name yet and manufactured projectors and accessories for others to market.
This then led to a relationship with Hanimex. Hanimette 100s and also 1000s, were converted into lightshow projectors, they were labeled as the Hanimex Aquarius range and sold back to Hanimex. The Aquarius range was then marketed through the Hanimex network.
The Hanimex catalogue included the Aquarius projectors as well as a full range of accessories. Later Pluto began manufacturing thier own design of projector, the Pluto range consisted of the Pluto 140 (fixed motor 100w 240v lamp, no fan), Pluto 150 ('intachange' motor plate, 150w 240v lamp, no fan), Pluto 250 ('intachange' motor plate,12v 50w lamp, no cooling fan). Pluto 500 ('intachange' motor plate,12v 100w lamp, cooling fan), Pluto 5000 ('intachange' motor plate,24v 250w lamp, cooling fan). Pluto also manufactured the 'Intachange' adaptor. This adaptor allowed Pluto motor and accessories to be fitted to the Rank Tutor II. It was in 1976 they had new premises and produced their own hand built projectors, making all the metalwork and finishing themselves. They also cut thier own glass and had silk screen printing facilities for the effect wheels. Some of the Pluto projectors and effects can still be found today, however Pluto themselves are long gone and sadly missed.
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Above. Pages from the Lighting Effects catalog of about 1973 I guess up to 1978.
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Above and left below. Pages from the Equipment Lighting catalog, again around 1973
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Downloads of the catalogs in pdf format can be made using the buttons below. (Files are zipped)
Effects
Download
Intachange Adaptor
Equipment
Download
 
Above is the Pluto 500 Projector
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Below some of the 6" effect wheels in close-up (click any image to open full size in a new browser window) These low res images do not do the graphics justice, the colours are extreemly vivid in reality.
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In addition to 3" cassettes and 6" wheels, Pluto also produced a set of 35mm slides. You loaded these into your slide projector (I used Hanimex and Kodak projectors with a timer for slide changes). The slides were intended for use with a colour changer wheel in front of the lens, rotating at about 20 to 30 rpm. Some of the above wheels also gave striking images when used with the colour changer, different speeds gave different results and my setup had a speed control for the motors giving 10 to 60rpm speeds. The slides can be seen below. If you click the liquisplode image below, you can see the Liquisplde in operation, this opens a low res video clip in a new window, great effect!
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Click to view Liquisplode Movie Clip
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Original Liquisplode refill instructions       Page Top
Click to enlarge Liquisplode oils were available as a refill kit the colours available were:

RED/BLUE

BLUE/YELLOW

YELLOW/RED

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Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge For the Autochanger please goto the Hanimex Aquarius Page.
         
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Copyright © M.Ginda 2000

 Page Updated 03 may 2009