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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 21st Sep 2019, 10:48 pm   #221
broadgage
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

The cheaper 996 lantern batteries may contain 4 cells, each D size.
The better ones still contain F cells.
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Old 22nd Sep 2019, 12:09 am   #222
Jolly 7
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

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I would recommend a 6 volt lantern battery over D cells. Fewer contacts and thus fewer opportunities for loose connections.
A reasonable quality zinc carbon lantern battery has a capacity of nearly 10 AH.
Alkaline lantern batteries exist but are uncommon and often expensive.

A good quality LED bulb is worth fitting, and readily reversed if original type bulb is wanted.
A 1 watt led bulb should give several dozen hours service from a zinc carbon battery.
Point noted, thanks. My reason for using four rechargeable D cells is because I have them lying around and some plastic D cell holders too. Not much soldering is needed and two double D cell holders can easily be coupled together. Not sure if a fuse is required though.
Another option might be to use four AA NIMH cells in which case one holder is required. Sponge or similar material could be used inside the space to prevent the battery holder from flopping around inside the torch.
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Old 22nd Sep 2019, 10:20 am   #223
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

You didn't mention the D cells were rechargeable and to hand. That makes using them perfectly logical!

If you can source an old plastic cased lantern battery, you'll save yourself a fair bit of bodgery......
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Old 22nd Sep 2019, 11:51 am   #224
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Not deliberately, they just sort of multiply.
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Old 22nd Sep 2019, 8:14 pm   #225
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

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The cheaper 996 lantern batteries may contain 4 cells, each D size. The better ones still contain F cells.
I took apart a Panasonic alkaline PJ996 lantern battery a few weeks ago, and found four bare F cells inside. Annoyingly though, the compartment was sub-divided by moulded cross-pieces, thus splitting it up into four tall square compartments each holding an F cell. Each compartment was slightly too small to accept a D-cell with its insulating outer jacket in place, and also too small to accept a loaded 4xAA holder. Taking out the cross-pieces looked like too much effort, and as I only have two torches that take 996 batteries and get only occasional use, I opted to buy new batteries at £2.99 from Wilko.
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Old 23rd Sep 2019, 12:26 pm   #226
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Rechargeable 996 batteries do exist and are worth considering.
They are usually sealed lead acid and give a true 6 volts on discharge, unlike the disposable batteries that average about 4.8 or 5 volts.

The recommended bulb for a disposable 6 volt battery was 4.75 volt 0.5 amp. This will have a much reduced life on a 6 volt lead acid battery though the light will be brighter.
Either accept the reduced lamp life, they are cheap in bulk, or use a true 6 volt bulb as sold for use on 5 disposable cells, or use a multi voltage LED bulb.

A less common product that takes this battery is a table lamp. These take a 5 volt 3 watt bulb with a single contact small bayonet base, more like a vehicle bulb.
The bulbs are still available from overseas via ebay.
These table lamps used to be very popular in case of power cuts and for premises without mains electricity.

Years ago, I recall a TV documentary about Balmoral castle, holiday home of HM the Queen. Several of these battery table lamps could be seen, suggesting either no electricity supply, or little faith in the reliability thereof.
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Old 23rd Sep 2019, 4:51 pm   #227
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Quote:
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The cheaper 996 lantern batteries may contain 4 cells, each D size.
The better ones still contain F cells.
The mid-50's US built four valve portable radios used "F" cells, either one or two depending on the design of the set. Naturally, also had a 67.5 or 90 volt HT battery.
The charity thrift I frequent had a large bin full of torches and lanterns that no one seems to want.
The trend today is the LED and rechargeable type. I don't know of an incandescent lamp that can outshine a 4 watt LED.
Getting spoiled in my old age! DAVE, USradcoll1
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Old 23rd Sep 2019, 6:39 pm   #228
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I'd like a scan of a British 'F' cell label, if anyone has such a thing.
I've re-labelled them with the old Ever Ready style, modified from a 'U2', but it's only guesswork. It would be nice to see a real one.
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Old 23rd Sep 2019, 6:41 pm   #229
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

The 1950's/1960's valve portable radios here normally took a special 1.5V LT battery. The most common ones in my experience were the AD35, which was 2 F cells in parallel (I think, may have been the smaller E cells) and the AD4 which was 4 F cells in parallel. Individual E and F cells were not common, although they did exist (Ever Ready U17 and U18, for example).

I've seen a recharageable 996 battery where the body was roughtly triangular in cross-section (and filled one half of the normal space occupied by such a battery). The hypotenuse face (if you see what I mean) had the pins of a BS1363 13A plug coming out of it (and the earth pin was arranged so tit would contact the remaining corner of the battery compartment for a 996 battery, this holding this odd-shaped thing in place). Of course it included the charger circuitry, to charge it you just plugged the whole thing into a mains socket.

As for modern LED torches, I bought a cheap one from a high street shop (Wilko I think) and while it's bright the batteries do not last that long. It's just an LED and the switch, relying on the internal resistance of the battery to limit the current (!) and with fresh alkaline cells it draws around 1A from them.
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Old 23rd Sep 2019, 7:01 pm   #230
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

You can add your own series resistor to limit the "starting" current on a cheap torch like that to a much lower level and still get adequate brightness for ordinary torch type use. It'll give you a much longer battery life as a result.
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Old 23rd Sep 2019, 7:55 pm   #231
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I'd like a scan of a British 'F' cell label, if anyone has such a thing.
I've re-labelled them with the old Ever Ready style, modified from a 'U2', but it's only guesswork. It would be nice to see a real one.
You might struggle to obtain this.
F cells were not widely sold as loose cells but were primarily intended for assembly into batteries.
The type 800 cycle lamp battery, the door bell battery, the AD28, 996 batteries and 991 batteries all contained F cells. IIRC the now defunct HP1 contained 8 "F" cells.
Some large capacity 1.5 volt dry batteries contained multiple F cells.

I believe that loose "F" cells WERE supplied in the last war in plain brown card outers. They were about the same diameter as a "D" cell but about one and a half times the length.
Two such cells would fit a torch intended for three D cells, if the bulb was replaced with one intended for 2 cells, then a reasonable light with a long run time was obtained.
A special low consumption 2 cell bulb was available, if used with a pair of F cells this gave a battery run time of about 150 hours.
During WW2, ARP wardens, policemen, firefighters, and others needed torches, but not too bright under blackout conditions.
Later in the cold war, there was a need for minimal dry battery lighting that would run for days on one set of batteries, and for weeks with a limited number of replacements.
Bulb life was relatively unimportant. Stocking 200 spare bulbs in say a fallout shelter was trivial, 200 large batteries not trivial.
Rechargeable F cells are still popular, they were used in some early electrically assisted bicycles.
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Old 23rd Sep 2019, 7:58 pm   #232
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Regarding lantern batteries, these are not easily find in Sweden anymore, and when found they are usually quite expensive. Four D cells has a bit lower capacity but turns out cheaper in the long run.

The snag though is that if we do not buy them they will be discontinued someday.

You need an adapter for D cells which add to the costs so what you pay for the batteries and how often you use your light determine the payback time, unless you make something up yourself.

I use this one in one of my torches:
https://www.conrad.com/p/mpd-ba4d-s-...-65-mm-1555524
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Old 23rd Sep 2019, 10:40 pm   #233
Herald1360
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

UK source: https://www.enrgtech.co.uk/buy/produ...1271964/BA4D-S
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Old 25th Sep 2019, 9:50 pm   #234
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

I've used a 'Cree' LED bulb in a couple of my torches, and they are the dog's bits.
They are on ebay: Cree LED 3W E10 Screw Bulb Replacement Torchlight Head Bulb
I've not used that particular supplier, but that's the thing. The light emission is positioned at just the right place to replace a filament bulb and it's bright with long battery life.
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Old 27th Sep 2019, 9:39 am   #235
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

The LED retrofits i got from Reflectalite/Bikeco are still going strong. Critically the torches that i use them in have adjustable focus so problems with the point of light emission don't arise. I recommend their Maglite upgrade which is designed specifically for the 6 cell torch, draws 200mA from 9 volts, and thus barely troubles the D cells.

I am accused of collecting torches but in truth many of the modern ones are so short-lived for one reason or another that a half-decent looking one in a shop can't be passed up.
Beware the small cylindrical ones with multiple (old style) LED's crammed in the top. Some of them rely on the maximum theoretical current supplied by alkaline AAA's and have no current limiting. One LED eventually pops then a cascade failure starts.

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Old 27th Sep 2019, 10:33 am   #236
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

If the uploading bit has worked, this is my Ever Ready vintage torch. I got it broken and without a front glass and concluded it could well have had a bulls eye len so fitted one.

Enjoying everyone's pictures of their torches.
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Old Today, 12:52 am   #237
usradcoll1
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by usradcoll1 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by broadgage View Post
The cheaper 996 lantern batteries may contain 4 cells, each D size.
The better ones still contain F cells.
The mid-50's US built four valve portable radios used "F" cells, either one or two depending on the design of the set. Naturally, also had a 67.5 or 90 volt HT battery.
The charity thrift I frequent had a large bin full of torches and lanterns that no one seems to want.
The trend today is the LED and rechargeable type. I don't know of an incandescent lamp that can outshine a 4 watt LED.
Getting spoiled in my old age! DAVE, USradcoll1
Went back to the same charity thrift today. They had one of those Radio Shack five cell flashlites or torches, that they used to give away, to promote battery sales.
Customers would go there to claim the freebee, but many of them would refuse the purchase of the needed cells. I never took one, as it was too cumbersome, plus I had a few of my own Two cell torches. That's the only kind I needed!
Dave, USradcoll1.
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