UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Powered By Google Custom Search Vintage Radio Service Data

Go Back   UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum > General Vintage Technology > Success Stories

Notices

Success Stories If you have successfully repaired or restored a piece of equipment, why not write up what you did and post details here. Particularly if it was interesting, unusual or challenging. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 22nd Feb 2018, 11:40 am   #1
ajgriff
Pentode
 
ajgriff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 225
Default Porsche Jazz Desk Lamp (Star Trek VI)

PART 1 - BIN OR MEND?

At the risk of becoming known as 'the idiot and the lamp' I felt the need to share my experiences restoring this desk light.

I'm currently in the midst of a Tektronix 465B restoration but was recently distracted (happens a lot) when I spotted this lamp at my favourite local flea market. Something about it made me think it might actually work quite well as an adjustable workshop light. As it turns out Captain Kirk thought much the same as Jazz lamps were used as props in the Star Trek VI film. Luckily for him the good Captain's lamps had not been abused by Klingons, unlike my example. Actually I think Kirk may have been an Admiral by the time this film was made in 1991.

A thorough examination of the lamp revealed the following issues:

1. One of the hinges had failed. This was the most serious fault as the hinge structure also forms part of the electrical circuit connecting the halogen bulb to the dimmer circuit. Yes, it has a dimmer facility.

2. The swinging arm is counterbalanced by springs hooked to the hinges at one end and plastic posts at the other. The spring post for the broken hinge had sheared.

3. The two lugs holding the case screws at the back had disintegrated.

4. The neon mains indicator bulb had died - probably not caused by a Klingon.

It didn't take too long to figure out possible ways to repair 2, 3 & 4. However, each hinge is part of an alloy casting extending into the sealed swinging arm. Much as I tried I couldn't find a way to access the castings without potentially destroying the arm and its slide rule mechanism in the process. It was also clear that the failed casting could only realistically be repaired by soldering with an iron in order to restore electrical continuity and some degree of structural integrity. My experiences of trying to solder cast alloys have not been good. Also it was difficult to see how to gain access to the site of the breakage inside the plastic moulding. At this point the desk lamp came within a whisker of being thrown into the parts bin (decent toroidal transformer and dimmer circuitry). However, before taking aim I scraped the alloy with a sharp point and miraculously revealed signs of copper content. Maybe soldering was an option after all.

The next step was to see if the alloy would take solder so out came the trusty Weller TCP with a medium temperature bit fitted. To my surprise, after thorough preparation the solder (standard leaded fare) flowed and stuck firm. As this was 'proof of concept' could I now gain access to the break inside the moulded plastic arm? This was achieved by weakening the plastic around the break with a sharp knife and a bit of levering with a small screwdriver. Eventually some method of disguising the ugly scar would need to be devised.

The joint was soldered using two short pieces of stout copper wire as reinforcement and to achieve good electrical continuity. The casting now seemed to have reasonable structural rigidity and partial reassembly of the unit showed that electrically everything functioned properly, except for the neon of course. After clamping the hinge end of the casting I applied some super glue to the repair. Araldite epoxy was then used to fill the gaps and cover the repair. When set the epoxy was carefully pared level with the surrounding plastic using a freshly honed wood carving chisel. Araldite is quite soft until fully cured. I'm pretty sure that the completed repair is at least as strong the undamaged hinge, bearing in mind that this is the weakest point of the casting. Time will tell.

The remains of the two damaged case fixing lugs were cut away (sharp chisel again) as well as the spring posts. Only one of the spring posts was broken but this was a clear design weakness so I decided to use a more robust arrangement using two bolts. The threads act as a means of appropriately locating the spring hooks. I've never had any success recreating lugs for self tapping screws so I opted for bolts passing through both halves of the case to replace the rear self tappers. Although the bolt heads were countersunk this still left them visible on the top surface of the case. More disguise needed.

The dead neon was replaced with a couple of sub-miniature versions that I had in stock. The current rating (about 0.25mA) was clearly much lower than the original so one of the two existing 56k series resistors was changed for a 270k alternative. The new neons were wired in series.

With all the main issues sorted I was still faced with the problem of how to disguise the hinge repair and the exposed bolt heads. The solution I came up with is a technique I've used before for concealing blemishes involving peelable self-adhesive stickers. These were developed using photo-editing software with the intention of producing something in keeping with the style of the lamp, all a bit crude but reasonably simple to achieve.

Hopefully the attached photos will help to clarify my ramblings.

Part 2 provides more information about this unusual adjustable desk lamp including its provenance and functionality along with more photos.


Alan
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Star Trek.jpg
Views:	340
Size:	134.1 KB
ID:	157957   Click image for larger version

Name:	Soldered.jpg
Views:	321
Size:	138.6 KB
ID:	157958   Click image for larger version

Name:	Filled Hinge.jpg
Views:	295
Size:	140.2 KB
ID:	157959   Click image for larger version

Name:	Screw Heads.jpg
Views:	279
Size:	127.6 KB
ID:	157960   Click image for larger version

Name:	Spring Posts.jpg
Views:	272
Size:	169.3 KB
ID:	157961  

ajgriff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd Feb 2018, 11:44 am   #2
ajgriff
Pentode
 
ajgriff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 225
Default Re: Porsche Jazz Desk Lamp (Star Trek VI)

PART 2 - CAPTAIN'S LOG SUPPLEMENTAL

I thought it might be interesting to consider this lamp's merits in the context of the many Internet sellers who claim that their wares are vintage, collectable ('ible' if you must), designer, classic, iconic, legendary, rare etc. No doubt these descriptions are used in the belief that perceived value will somehow be enhanced. In reality many of these are difficult to pin down with any degree of agreed accuracy. The term collectable particularly amuses me as pretty much anything can be, and is, collected by someone somewhere from fossils to valve radios (yes, I have a few of those too) or sand in your shoe. However, there are a couple of these terms, designer and rare, which might arguably be applied to this lamp.

So could the Jazz lamp be described as designer? In fact it was designed in 1988 by the well respected and long established Austrian based agency F A Porsche, the founder of which was responsible for the styling of the 'legendary' Porsche 911. The lamp was granted an Italian design award known as The Golden Compass in 1991 as it was manufactured in Milan by PAF. It does also have a certain elegant simplicity which might also justify use of the word. It was certainly conceived with particular goals in mind rather than being simply cobbled together or manufactured as a copy of someone else's product.

Could the lamp be accurately described as rare? Well, there don't seem to be many advertised for sale worldwide so they are not exactly commonplace. I'll leave you to check this out should you feel so inclined. I would speculate that there are a couple of reasons for this apparent scarcity. Firstly, I suspect it was both expensive to buy and to produce. The extending curved slide rule arrangement in particular must have been a real manufacturing challenge at the time. In any event I can't imagine that they sold in vast numbers. By the way, there was a choice of two colour schemes, anthracite (like mine and Kirk's) or black. It's not clear whether or not they were in production concurrently or indeed how long production lasted. Furthermore the whole structure is rather fragile so I'd guess that quite a few will have been damaged during the last thirty years and simply got thrown away.

Does the lamp's possible rarity, Porsche association and designer status plus its Star Trek credentials matter to me? Not a lot, although these things are a bonus which probably led me to write this in the first place. I bought it because I have always wanted (and never found) an adjustable lamp that does as it's told. This one does just that. The light stays where I put it without moving off in some random direction and without the whole thing toppling over. Added to this it has a very neat switch and dimmer function. In the folded position light pressure downwards turns the lamp on or off. Holding down one end of the neon lit bar dims or brightens the light. Holding down the other end reverses the direction of intensity change. The lamp remembers the last dimmer setting when it's switched off providing it remains connected to the mains. The unit is compact when folded and is easily transportable. It even has a small compartment for stowing the cable. Functionality wins over style for me. I assume the design award judges will have taken this into account as well as the aesthetics.

In today's terms the electronics are straightforward enough with a 13V toroidal transformer feeding a triac and DIP8 controller chip which is thoughtfully socketed for easy replacement. In 1988 I suspect that not too many desk lamps would have had this level of specification. This will have pushed up production costs still further. I've developed a bond with this inanimate object as a result of repairing and using it so might even treat it to a spare chip while they are still around. It's not widely available now but cheap Chinese ones can still be had for a couple of pounds.

The lamp was definitely worth repairing despite the consequent cosmetic compromises created by the stickers although these really aren't that offensive in practice. Would I sell it if offered the silly price currently being asked by an Italian purveyor of 'classic designer collectables'? You bet I would as I'm not a complete idiot.

If you are the only person who has stayed with me thus far I'm both grateful and impressed. Finally, if it's of any interest, the desk lamp cost 2 with an estimated parts/materials cost of less than 1.

Please see attached photos for greater clarity.

Must now return to the Tek scope and its faulty B sweep trigger. All things point to tunnel diode failure. Thank goodness for the former USSR's military surplus. At least now I'll find it easier to see the tiny little socket holes for the diode leads. Let there be light - but in the right place of course!


Alan
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Base.jpg
Views:	223
Size:	149.0 KB
ID:	157967   Click image for larger version

Name:	Circuit.jpg
Views:	254
Size:	155.3 KB
ID:	157968   Click image for larger version

Name:	Folded.jpg
Views:	227
Size:	162.6 KB
ID:	157969   Click image for larger version

Name:	Working.jpg
Views:	254
Size:	156.8 KB
ID:	157970   Click image for larger version

Name:	Labels.jpg
Views:	222
Size:	135.7 KB
ID:	157971  

ajgriff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd Feb 2018, 10:04 pm   #3
bobskie
Hexode
 
bobskie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Falkirk, Stirling, UK.
Posts: 330
Default Re: Porsche Jazz Desk Lamp (Star Trek VI)

That looks like a very good lamp, especially for the price paid! Good job on the repairs I'm sure it will do nicely as a workshop lamp. The added provenance is a nice addition, I like things with a bit of a story.

Cameron
bobskie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd Feb 2018, 11:40 pm   #4
Herald1360
Dekatron
 
Herald1360's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Leominster, Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 12,207
Default Re: Porsche Jazz Desk Lamp (Star Trek VI)

Looks good, but that large footprint wouldn't help on my bench. Undershelf LEDs did the job.
__________________
....__________
....|____||__|__\_____
.=.| _---\__|__|_---_|.
.........O..Chris....O
Herald1360 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd Feb 2018, 5:54 am   #5
Radio Wrangler
Dekatron
 
Radio Wrangler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Fife, Scotland, UK.
Posts: 10,624
Default Re: Porsche Jazz Desk Lamp (Star Trek VI)

Styled to be very trendy in its day, but can only be moved in one dimension. The base will get in the way of things, and those look like ventilation holes on the top, waiting for spilled coffee or flying trimmings from component leads.

The reduced overlap of the sliding joints at full extension mean that it's at its most fragile just when forces are going to be greatest.

Enough style to get it in a style magazine or museum, but not enough function for my workbench.

I'd like to think that by the twenty third or whatever century we might have more effective lighting than this. However, in their universe, they thought that there would only be one computer per spaceship. Though in the very first star trek game (for minicomputers!) it always knew the exact total of how many Klingons there were in each sector - even if it couldn't show you where they were. Shades of Heisenberg?

David
__________________
Can't afford the volcanic island yet, but the plans for my monorail and the goons' uniforms are done
Radio Wrangler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd Feb 2018, 11:45 am   #6
ajgriff
Pentode
 
ajgriff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 225
Default Re: Porsche Jazz Desk Lamp (Star Trek VI)

Really appreciate the feedback and comments. Encourages me to consider further write-ups in the future (which may or may not be beneficial). I hope you will forgive me if I respond with a few thoughts in defence of my new 'friend'.

1. Low level LED array or strip lighting is a great way to illuminate a workbench but I find a more concentrated and localised light very helpful for intricate work and peering into the depths of complex equipment like the Tek 465B.

2. The footprint of the base is about 5" x 7" which is much the same as a typical soldering station with integral iron stand and sponge tray.

3. Using an oscilloscope analogy, the lamp head is easy to move in both y and z planes. It is only the third, x axis, that requires the base to be moved.

4. I have long since banished all flying liquids from work areas as coffee inside a live mains valve radio or oscilloscope is no fun at all.

5. The lamp is indeed fragile in some respects and I wouldn't recommend its use by young children or Klingons (not sure which are more desructive).

I might try a dimmable LED in place of the halogen bulb as this would reduce heat generation aswell as running costs. It may prove possible to cover the ventilation holes internally as the triac wouldn't get as hot either. I've no experience of dimmable LEDs and would welcome any input on pros and cons.

By the way the Jazz makes a great desk lamp too!

Alan
ajgriff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd Feb 2018, 4:27 pm   #7
bobskie
Hexode
 
bobskie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Falkirk, Stirling, UK.
Posts: 330
Default Re: Porsche Jazz Desk Lamp (Star Trek VI)

I have LED strips in my workshop and I agree it's very important to have an adjustable lamp to cast light on a specific subject. I have an old anglepoise which works very well for this, easy to move around on all planes. I also have a standard lamp which is pointed at the subject too, you can never have too much light!

Cameron
bobskie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th Jul 2018, 3:56 pm   #8
Schmidt
Diode
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Brazilia, Distrito Federal, Brazil
Posts: 3
Default Re: Porsche Jazz Desk Lamp (Star Trek VI)

Dead neon. Nice post. I have a Jaz Lamp but the neon is dead. Do you have any idea of the original specifications of the original neon? Thank you very much. Renato Schmidt
Schmidt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st Aug 2018, 7:16 pm   #9
ajgriff
Pentode
 
ajgriff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 225
Default Re: Porsche Jazz Desk Lamp (Star Trek VI)

The original neon had no markings but based on the series resistor values something with a working voltage rating around 90V and a current rating of about 1.3mA should be satisfactory.

Hope this helps.

Alan
ajgriff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd Aug 2018, 5:02 pm   #10
Schmidt
Diode
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Brazilia, Distrito Federal, Brazil
Posts: 3
Default Re: Porsche Jazz Desk Lamp (Star Trek VI)

Alan, thank you very much for your reply. It certainly helped. The jazz lamp I bought ( 30 pounds) came with original box and leaflets so I presume based on appearance, it was left in a drawer for quite some time maybe because of bulb, neon and fuse. Bulb and fuse replaced, it works. So the neon is the next step.

Renato Schmidt.
Schmidt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd Aug 2018, 2:59 pm   #11
dave walsh
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ramsbottom (Nr Bury) Lancs or Bexhill (Nr Hastings) Sussex.
Posts: 3,840
Default Re: Porsche Jazz Desk Lamp (Star Trek VI)

That's quite a futuristic item still Alan and well worth the effort
Which one of the three users in the first photo is you

I have trouble with Star Trek itself. After going to the Manchester Premier of 2001 in 1968 and having read a great deal of classic post war Sci-Fi [most of which is now coming true faster than we anticipated] I had high hopes from this new US TV series that it was reported all the Nasa Scientists and other staff were watching every week. In the event, I found it all a bit clunky and wooden, like "Forbidden Planet" in the fifties. Yes it was socially and technically predictive [looking back now] but a disappointment to me after the amazing Kubrick "Odyssey"at the time. I do like some episodes and particularly the film versions more now though. My favourite would be Spock on the bus dealing with a punk and his "Boom Box". Is that the same one where Wales are actually running things? Like the mice in Hitch Hikers!

Dave W
dave walsh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd Aug 2018, 7:10 pm   #12
camtechman
Nonode
 
camtechman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Milton Keynes, Bucks. UK.
Posts: 2,413
Default Re: Porsche Jazz Desk Lamp (Star Trek VI)

At first, when I saw pic 2, I thought it was a record disc that played that god damn rendition of "Judy In The Sky" by William Shatner.

Then, when I took a closer look and realised it was a toroidal transformer, my world settled back to normal.....Phew !
__________________
When I die, please don't let my Wife sell my collection for the amount I told her I paid for it!
camtechman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd Aug 2018, 7:23 pm   #13
Radio Wrangler
Dekatron
 
Radio Wrangler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Fife, Scotland, UK.
Posts: 10,624
Default Re: Porsche Jazz Desk Lamp (Star Trek VI)

Leonard Nimoy sang "Bilbo Baggins" difficult to know which one's worst.

Most sci-fi fil and TV is disappointing after 2001. THere are a few honourable exceptions, but they are few.

Gimme "The Dish" and Sagan's "First Contact" anyday, there's a lot more radio-interest.

Star Trek was rather variable, Star Wars was just a western shifted off-planet.

David
__________________
Can't afford the volcanic island yet, but the plans for my monorail and the goons' uniforms are done
Radio Wrangler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd Aug 2018, 11:01 pm   #14
McMurdo
Dekatron
 
McMurdo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Staffordshire Moorlands, UK.
Posts: 3,175
Default Re: Porsche Jazz Desk Lamp (Star Trek VI)

Star Trek fans tend to be committed to the subject. I'd think it has collector appeal, irrespective of its practicality as a work light. If your example's faults are common, I'd say you did a great service by working-out a quality repair. Those hinges for example would defeat alot of people before we start.
__________________
Kevin
McMurdo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd Aug 2018, 11:51 pm   #15
MrBungle
Nonode
 
MrBungle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: London, UK.
Posts: 2,501
Default Re: Porsche Jazz Desk Lamp (Star Trek VI)

Indeed. We are

Very nice job with the lamp.
MrBungle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd Aug 2018, 11:52 pm   #16
ajgriff
Pentode
 
ajgriff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 225
Default Re: Porsche Jazz Desk Lamp (Star Trek VI)

Originally bought the lamp as a 'fun' distraction from the more usual radios, amplifiers and oscilloscopes and I really did think that it might serve as a useful workshop light. At the time I was unaware of the Star Trek or vehicular links to say nothing of 'designer' aspirations. Never could resist something quirky anyway. It'll not surprise anyone to learn that it actually gets used as a desk lamp of all things!

As for Star Trek, although not an ardent fan, I do remember watching early episodes on the family's black and white Bush TV95 with 17 inch screen. The more recent re-mastered versions viewed on a larger flat panel screen in colour are perhaps a little more acceptable when compared to Space Odyssey. One thing I hadn't remembered from boyhood viewing is the quite strong moralistic content.

I do think Renato did well to find one of these in its box with the accompanying leaflets. Bet there aren't many like that still around. Will send him a private message asking if he'd be kind enough to send photos or other copies of the literature.

Thank you all for your interesting and amusing comments.

Alan
ajgriff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th Aug 2018, 1:52 pm   #17
Schmidt
Diode
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Brazilia, Distrito Federal, Brazil
Posts: 3
Default Re: Porsche Jazz Desk Lamp (Star Trek VI)

Alan, of course I will send you a digital copy by email after receiving your message.
Renato
Schmidt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th Aug 2018, 10:17 pm   #18
ajgriff
Pentode
 
ajgriff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 225
Default Re: Porsche Jazz Desk Lamp (Star Trek VI)

PM sent regarding leaflets.

Alan
ajgriff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th Aug 2018, 10:15 am   #19
ajgriff
Pentode
 
ajgriff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 225
Default Re: Porsche Jazz Desk Lamp (Star Trek VI)

Renato has kndly sent me copies of the original literature in pdf format. The files are too large to post here but let me know by PM if you would like copies. Very much of minority interest I would imagine!

Alan
ajgriff is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 12:30 am.


All information and advice on this forum is subject to the WARNING AND DISCLAIMER located at https://www.vintage-radio.net/rules.html.
Failure to heed this warning may result in death or serious injury to yourself and/or others.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2018, Paul Stenning.