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January, ’08 – Star Trek, The Tour

Star Trek, The Tour opened at the Queen Mary, inside the Dome. The Tour, is a 50,000 square foot traveling show filled with sets, costumes, props and hundreds of visual and audio effects. Several motion base rides, interactive sets, and the Encounter Theater. The show is scheduled to travel to over 40 cities around the country.

Hefner Products inc. was contracted to provide electrical and control systems for the all new multi media Encounter Theater audience platforms. After completion of the installation, Hefner Products, Inc. was contracted to build and install the show control cabinet for the Encounter Theater. Working on site, the road case mounted control system was designed and built. As each sub system of the show was completed and installed. Hefner Products, Inc. wired and tested each effect to the control system. After completing the installation and testing, the show elements were turned over to show programming.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

Standing in the midst of downtown Los Angeles, the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels serves the total Archdiocese of over 4 million Catholics. The Great Bronze Doors were designed by the Mexican born, Los Angeles sculptor, Robert Graham. Graham divided the 30’ x 30’ space for the South Doors into five, geometrically balanced shapes. He created a door within a door, with four separate parts that operate in various configurations as they open and close. Although they weigh 25 tons, they open easily, rotating on steel posts with a sophisticated electro mechanical system. The powerful motors can open either the solid inner doors or the hollow outer doors, or for maximum effect, the two pairs of doors in majestic sequence.

Hefner Electric was contracted to manufacture and install the door controller. The control panel was certified and listed to Underwriters Laboratory UL508 industrial control panel listing.


Hefner Electric designed and built the motor control center which operates four (4) independent electric motors, which allow the doors to open to any of the five (5) preset positions.


Budweiser – Traveling Beer School

Busch Bud World 2000 – Hefner Electric was contracted by Showmaker Productions of Burbank, CA to participate in the conversion of two (2) existing pair of “Bud Beer School” 45-foot semi trailers.

The existing 5 year-old rigs were converted into the new “Bud World 2000” series of high tech audio / video display trailers. These rigs travel across the country to major sporting events such as the Long Beach Grand Prix, NASCAR events, and other sporting venues.


Automated People Mover (APM) Prototype Development 2004

Hefner Electric was contracted by Entertainment Engineering Inc. to design, build and commission the propulsion, steering and guidance system for the Automated People Mover (APM) for a wilderness park setting. Once the frame assembly and drive system were installed on the frame, the prototype vehicle was delivered to our facility in Burbank, California for wiring, testing and preliminary wire guidance testing. Our staff designed and built a temporary control system enclosure for all the electrical components, contactors, fusing, etc. The system was brought up and operated in a test manual mode, checking forward and reverse operations, preliminary manual steering as well as manual hydraulic brakes. Later on, we added the wire guidance antennae, and closed loop servo motor and control onto the steering system. A wire cable was taped to the driveway and adjacent street, and the vehicle was launched along a 450 foot long test track while the system was proven and calibrated.

Upon completion of the testing and commissioning of all systems, the prototype unit was delivered to the Southern California facility and test operated in there environment. Several hours of testing and approval by the executives secured a contract to complete the prototype vehicle and proceed with first article construction.


Some of the features of this prototype vehicle are:
- Fully Automated Operation with Wire Guidance
- Manual override for special events operations and maintenance
- Battery Powered with Opportunity Charging
- All Wheel Steering
- Independent Suspension
- 9 Passenger Loading

Monorail System

Hefner Electric and James Hefner have many years of experience on Monorail Systems and Ride Control Engineering. James Hefner’s first monorail experience dates back to his previous employment at a Special Effects Company. While employed by this company, James supervised, installed, tested, and commissioned this large monorail system in a major theme park environment.

Fifteen years later Hefner Electric, working with Magnetek Electric, (Now Yaskawa Electric Drives) accepted a contract to upgrade the same monorail system that Mr. Hefner had worked on 15 years earlier. This contract required the replacement of all propulsion motors and controllers, and the conversion from dc traction motors to ac flux vector motors and variable frequency drives. Hefner Electric and its team fulfilled this contract over a 2 ½ year time period, and broken into 4 different phases. Each phase consisted of one complete train, 5 cars, and the new installation of the new propulsion system, complete wiring replacement, and a new control system. Hefner Electric wired into the ride controller dual redundant Allen Bradley SLC500 family of controllers. The system has performed so well, that the customer has requested a bid package on updating its’ fifteen train monorail system in Florida.

Private Residence – Sherman Oaks, CA

This private residence was designed and built prior to the creation of Home Automation. The owner, working with his architect, hired the top engineers in their field to produce a “Home of the Future”. Two years later, this thousand square foot mansion was completed. Hefner Electric was contacted by an air conditioning consultant who was having trouble with the five IBM PC computers which failed to operate the house smoothly. After Jim Hefner consulted with the owner, a plan was adopted to bring the house into the future, and investigate a home automation system. Hefner Electric selected the Unity Home Manager to control all of the existing facility sub-systems. Three months of installation and integration created a home with computer touch screen control of ten central air conditioning systems, four exhaust fans, complete burglar alarm system with voice annunciation, and lighting and appliance control. The system also allowed for remote sight access, and integrated with various sub-systems including electric locks, whole house audio system, and mail delivery notification.


Hefner Products Inc. was asked to complete a fast paced project for a world renowned major recording artist. A 1930’s Auburn was to be retrofitted into a battery operated stage prop to deliver the well known Diva Madonna for her 2008 “Sticky and Sweet” world tour. Hefner Products designed, acquired, and installed the motor, controller, battery pack and associated wiring into the vehicle in 7 days. 2 way radio enabling, electric operated brakes, and on board camera and monitoring were added during the installation.

After completing the Electric Vehicle, Hefner Products was contracted to complete the wiring for this turntable /scissor lift for the upcoming world tour. On a Thursday afternoon at 4:00p.m. Joe and Jim reviewed the equipment, and placed orders for material delivery the next morning. Joe and Jim wired the 24 conductor slip ring assembly and associated wiring devices to allow for shipment the next morning . The unit was shipped out Saturday morning for show rehearsal Sunday morning.

Turntable top deck


Power distribution real estate was very limited under the turntable deck. Custom machined electrical junction boxes were machined to house the twistlock wiring devices. This allowed for maximum connectivity with minimum space requirements under the deck.


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