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Old 13th Jan 2020, 4:14 am   #1
rambo1152
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Default Frankenstein fuse box

I bought this old fuse box on Ebay as a little novelty gift for an electrician I know.

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The ivorine nameplate will be replaced with an engraved brass plaque for presentation at an occasion.

If you look at the "fuse wire" you will see I have used fragments of wire LED strings, and the original idea was a static illumination. Then I thought "How can I make them flash randomly and "dangerously"?

I had an idea involving the use of a flickering LED as used in some tea-lights and solar powered garden ornaments to impart a variation in current through the normal LEDs. My idea worked better than expected, with the flicker effect far greater than the actual flicker LED (which was hidden in the battery box with the resistor)

Here's a video

Here's the circuit.
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Old 13th Jan 2020, 10:11 am   #2
M0FYA Andy
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Default Re: Frankenstein fuse box

A shame to remove the ivorine nameplate, that's all part of its history and originality!

Andy
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Old 13th Jan 2020, 11:22 am   #3
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Default Re: Frankenstein fuse box

Just add the new name plate at the top.
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Old 13th Jan 2020, 11:27 am   #4
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Default Re: Frankenstein fuse box

Great find.
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Old 13th Jan 2020, 11:38 am   #5
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Default Re: Frankenstein fuse box

Very effective way of generating a random sequence! I hope the East Anglian Supply Co provided asbestos gloves for fuse replacement
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Old 13th Jan 2020, 3:31 pm   #6
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Default Re: Frankenstein fuse box

I've changed my mind about the nameplate, I'll leave it in-situe.

The 1-2-3-4 is a bit strange, as this only a two circuit double-pole unit.
The plywood separator is just an interference fit.
Would it originally have been for DC mains?

The fragments of wiring I removed from the terminals all had perished VIR? insulation with the exception of one red & black pair of pristine 1mm modern PVC
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Old 13th Jan 2020, 4:16 pm   #7
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Default Re: Frankenstein fuse box

How lovely!

Could easily have been for DC, yes - there was DC mains around until the mid-60s in some areas.

And remember that 'back in the day' it was normal for both sides of a supply to be fused.
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Old 13th Jan 2020, 4:38 pm   #8
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Default Re: Frankenstein fuse box

The GEC catalogue for 1910-11 shows fuse boxes with similar fuses, referred to as "Channel fuses". Unlike the ones in the photo, in GEC's version the middle third of the channel is 3 to 4 times wider than the remainder. Fuse boxes were available either with channel fuses or "Home Office" shielded fuses. While the Channel Fuses conformed to the then-current LCC and Fire Insurance Rules, the Home Office fuses conformed to the tighter requirements specified in a report of 1909, and resemble the rewireable porcelain fuses that can still be found in use today.. I would guess that the rules were subsequently tightened up on safety grounds to make the Home Office type mandatory.
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Old 13th Jan 2020, 4:39 pm   #9
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Default Re: Frankenstein fuse box

I remember removing one of these type fuse boxes on the landing of an old house in Bognor. When the rewire was finished, a few days later the lady of the house telephoned to say that I had not fitted a (night light) on the landing.. This turned out to be the fuse wire glowing. the cables to this box were paper covered with a lead sheath.

It was normal at this time for both sides of a supply A.C 230V to be fused.

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Old 13th Jan 2020, 4:52 pm   #10
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Default Re: Frankenstein fuse box

I think John Ward did a review of one that looked very similar on his Youtube channel it was very interesting and worth a watch.

https://youtu.be/-_vOllDpH8s

Ok just watched again different but still interesting.



Thanks Regards Chris
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Old 13th Jan 2020, 4:59 pm   #11
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Default Re: Frankenstein fuse box

A nice bit of "old school" kit made into a witty and appropiate gift wthout spoiling the original unit.... Well done - I like it!. Tony.
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Old 13th Jan 2020, 8:10 pm   #12
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Default Re: Frankenstein fuse box

My first house still had fuses on both sides in the late eighties. The wire fuses were inside circular ceramic housings. Both sides were also switched with what looked like two of those old round lightswitches, joined by a wooden rod. At least someone had uprated the wire in the N side so it would be less likely to open.

I got on with the rewire sooner than I'd anticipated when I found the flourescent batten in the kitchen was wired with bell wire, and didn't work because of the failed original rubber cable behind the modern switch.
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Old 13th Jan 2020, 8:22 pm   #13
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Default Re: Frankenstein fuse box

Quote:
Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post

And remember that 'back in the day' it was normal for both sides of a supply to be fused.
I have a book on domestic (electric light, mostly) wiring from the 1920s which states that the regulations then in force _required_ both live and neutral to be fused.
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Old 13th Jan 2020, 9:02 pm   #14
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Default Re: Frankenstein fuse box

Nice to see these old fuse boxes.
I have a selection of these together with bar switches and porcelain circular fuses actually in use in my collection and vintage workshop. They only run on around 5 amps maximum and always generate amusement from visitors.
The fuse clips and holders were cleaned before I installed them and all connections are nice and tight. There were a surprising number of these still in customers houses well into the 70's probably installed in the early 1920's until I guess the mid 30's.
There must have been millions manufactured. Regards, John.
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Old 13th Jan 2020, 9:23 pm   #15
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Default Re: Frankenstein fuse box

The round porcelain fuses in the first picture are illustrated in the 1910-11 GEC catalogue.
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Old 13th Jan 2020, 10:07 pm   #16
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Default Re: Frankenstein fuse box

A schoolfriend of mine in the late 1980s had a fuse box just like that above the front door. It still fed the house's lighting circuits. The switches were old brass ones, and removing the covers revealed crumbly old rubber/cloth covered wire. One of the jobs I helped him out with was rewiring the house!

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Old 14th Jan 2020, 12:53 pm   #17
lesmw0sec
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Default Re: Frankenstein fuse box

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heatercathodeshort View Post
Nice to see these old fuse boxes.
I have a selection of these together with bar switches and porcelain circular fuses actually in use in my collection and vintage workshop. They only run on around 5 amps maximum and always generate amusement from visitors.
The fuse clips and holders were cleaned before I installed them and all connections are nice and tight. There were a surprising number of these still in customers houses well into the 70's probably installed in the early 1920's until I guess the mid 30's.
There must have been millions manufactured. Regards, John.
I recall those circular ceramic fuses well, as they were fitted to the house we lived in at Swanage, when I was around five years old. I had a strange desire to insert needles into the holes. My mother advised me to stop it as I would get a shock. I carried on and got a shock! First practical experience with electricity!
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 7:41 pm   #18
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Default Re: Frankenstein fuse box

Lovely old fuse box , pleased you decided to keep the ivorine nameplate.

Robin
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 5:44 pm   #19
duncanlowe
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Default Re: Frankenstein fuse box

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heatercathodeshort View Post
Nice to see these old fuse boxes.
I have a selection of these together with bar switches and porcelain circular fuses actually in use in my collection and vintage workshop. They only run on around 5 amps maximum and always generate amusement from visitors.
The fuse clips and holders were cleaned before I installed them and all connections are nice and tight. There were a surprising number of these still in customers houses well into the 70's probably installed in the early 1920's until I guess the mid 30's.
There must have been millions manufactured. Regards, John.
The board with the switches and round ceramic fuseholders are just the same as I mentioned.
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