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Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items For discussions about other vintage (over 25 years old) electrical and electromechanical household items. See the sticky thread for details.

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Old 7th Jan 2019, 3:29 pm   #41
The Philpott
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Default Re: What's this?

Causation will, I guess, either be yobs (some very strange things can seem sensible after a bottle of vodka) or a prelude to a cat burglary (no pun intended) or a targeted car theft.
As the fuses became airborne i suspect the former- if it was the latter I would think the fuse would be pocketed or dropped in the next street.

There's a man in our local supermarket who moves consumables to the wrong shelves for no apparent reason- ketchup with the deodorant, etc etc. Motive more obvious in this case as I have heard him talking to himself while he does it. A shame really.

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Old 7th Jan 2019, 6:41 pm   #42
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Default Re: What's this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancs Lad View Post
Is this usual practice?
Yes - and rightly so: the contracted lighting-utility will be waiting until they've been notified of enough defective luminaires on the log in your area to warrant sending a fix-team out.

Then they send a cherry-picker and a couple of guys to do the lot in a day.

It helps them show they're doing-their-bit to minimise unnecessary vehicle journeys [and so helping them meet their contracted CO2-emission-reduction KPIs], and also helps keep the bills for us Council-Tax-payers down.

One streetlamp being out is not a national emergency. Sending a team out to fix a single dead street-light makes no sense at all.
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Old 7th Jan 2019, 7:53 pm   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
Sending a team out to fix a single dead street-light makes no sense at all.
...except that the OP mentions "obviously live terminals are exposed" in post #24 which would make it an urgent priority.

It's often hopeless trying to get anywhere with these companies but I find you stand more chance if you write to them rather than phone.


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Last edited by Philips210; 7th Jan 2019 at 8:11 pm.
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Old 7th Jan 2019, 10:14 pm   #44
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Peter, it's a council, so the usual delays apply.
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 2:05 pm   #45
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Another week - still not fixed.

And I noticed last night that another one further down isn't working now. So, out of a stretch of four streetlamps, three are not working.

It's getting very dark around here.....
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Old 19th Jan 2019, 6:38 pm   #46
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Just to note that the live terminal on these cutouts is fully shrouded and only accessible (without further dismantling) to the blade of the fuse carrier, or a similar 'tool'. The exposed long terminal is the neutral.
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Old 19th Jan 2019, 7:39 pm   #47
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Yes, I do understand it would be difficult for any inquisitive passer-by to touch anything actually 'live', but I do think it's very lax to leave all the electrical innards wide open to the weather - and any further 'tampering'!

Just to update you all, another column has stopped working now, about eight further along from mine. So that's four, now, that are dark!

Do these new-fangled LEDs tend to fail after about four years? They were all changed to LED in September 2014.
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Last edited by Lancs Lad; 19th Jan 2019 at 7:58 pm.
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Old 20th Jan 2019, 12:38 am   #48
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This picture is exactly what we used to have on this road when I was growing up in the 1970s. With proper incandescent bulbs, and timeclocks in every column that made a very audible 'clunk' when they switched themselves on and off. I don't think photocells had even been invented back then.


Obviously not with the sodium lamp in the picture, just a very pleasing six-sided glass bowl (if that's the right word for it!)

I miss those elegant lamp columns, and the gentle light they provided. I know modern lamps are terribly efficient, but they're a bit soulless, aren't they?

I wonder what wattage the bulbs would have been? They looked pretty big bulbs when I used to watch them being replaced. 150s maybe? Or would they have been more powerful?
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Last edited by Lancs Lad; 20th Jan 2019 at 12:53 am.
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Old 20th Jan 2019, 3:15 am   #49
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I bet they must have been 200 or even 300 watt bulbs. They must have burned at very hot temperatures, mustn't they?

I remember watching them being replaced with new bulbs, and being intrigued by the fact of them being screwed in - they must have been Edison Screw bulbs, and I had only ever encountered Bayonet Cap lightbulbs in our house!

I always wondered what they did with all the (perfectly good) bulbs they took out. I hope they didn't just throw them away - that would have been a terrible waste.
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Old 20th Jan 2019, 3:24 am   #50
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I wonder how much electricity was consumed to run every individual timeswitch clock motor in every individual lamp column in every town, 24 hours a day?

Can you imagine! It must have mounted up....! I'm amazed the 1970s National Grid coped with it!

No wonder dusk/dawn photocells were adopted so readily
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Last edited by Lancs Lad; 20th Jan 2019 at 3:35 am. Reason: Just to make it more funny!
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Old 20th Jan 2019, 5:30 am   #51
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Almost all the power of an incandescent bulb comes out as heat. So you can guess the wattage of a lantern by its physical size to be able to do the heat dissipation.

Edison screw holders are more robust than BC, and for councils, they thought it would reduce filching. For the same reason, Rolls-Royces had odd-size sparking plugs and David Brown tractors used unique size battery lugs. Farmers used to curse them! The tractor factory hadn't worked out that anyone who nicked a battery could also nick a pair of battery cables.

I have a low pressure sodium tube from a town centre high-mounted street light, the soft yellow ones and that's marked 90W. For heat conservation, the sodium tube is mounted inside a vacuum tube and the vacuum tube has getters in it. A dramatic amount of light when fired up indoors with the right ballast.

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Old 20th Jan 2019, 5:54 am   #52
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I thank you for your most enjoyable post, David, but I need to ask a question (at the risk of sounding really thick!) but, what's a getter?
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Old 20th Jan 2019, 2:39 pm   #53
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Default Re: What's this?

Same gettering you see in a valve.
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Old 20th Jan 2019, 3:00 pm   #54
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When they build a valve they include one or a few 'getters'

A getter is a grooved ring or cup shaped piece of metal. In the groove or in the cup is a plating of a highly reactive alkali metal such as barium with a protective cover of nickel plated over it.

The valve is evacuated through a glass tube - as much as a normal mechanical vacuum pump can do it RF heaters are used to warm the inner metal structure to help entrained gas escape and get pumped out. Then the tube is melted and sealed off. The vacuum in the valve still isn't good enough. Stronger RF heaters are focused on the getter ring/cups and they flash up to red heat. The top layer of nickel is evaporated off and condenses on the inner surface of the glass envelope of the valve. Then the barium boils off and condenses on top of the nickel on the glass envelope.

The exposed metal reacts with the reactive gas molecules, the inert gas tends to get anchored by adsorption rather than reaction. The pressure in the valve drops low enough now.

Sometimes the unfired ring gets called a getter, sometimes the metal deposit after a getter has been fired gets called a getter.

It's a sort of one-shot vacuum pump, though the reactive metal can keep mopping up the odd molecule for a very long time.

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Old 20th Jan 2019, 4:40 pm   #55
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Wow! That sounds really technical stuff that only experts can understand, but thankyou so much, David, for that brilliantly written reply.

I'm afraid I am not very technically minded (I wish I was) I'm just happy if something works, or looks nice lit up, or sounds pleasing to listen to!

I know! I'm a duffer!

I do know how to fit a plug really well, though. It's one of the few things I am really good at....
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Old 20th Jan 2019, 5:08 pm   #56
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The low pressure sodium lamps I've installed atop lamp-posts in the garden are 70w, and produce that lovely yellow glow remembered from childhood.
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Old 20th Jan 2019, 5:47 pm   #57
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Ooh! They sound nice, Richard! Can you post us some pictures, please? Both in daylight and lit up at dusk, if possible. I would love to see them.

Are they now connected to your Gewiss switch?
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Old 20th Jan 2019, 6:04 pm   #58
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Wilco Peter, tomorrow.
No, not yet hooked through the switch, but they will be.
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Old 20th Jan 2019, 6:08 pm   #59
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Thanks, Richard.

Looking forward to the photos

What cable have you used? SWA?
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Old 20th Jan 2019, 6:17 pm   #60
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Instead of an incandescent lamp they probably use one of these https://www.bltdirect.com/venture-me...yABEgLEI_D_BwE versions where (are?) available that use a filament inside the globe as ballast and can be directly connected to 240V.
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