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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 3rd Sep 2019, 8:57 am   #201
Station X
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Leaking Duracells can be discussed here:-

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...d.php?t=151115
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Old 3rd Sep 2019, 1:09 pm   #202
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

I did this write up a few years ago.

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...ad.php?t=88783

I find that using a 2.2v MES bulb provides a good bright white beam but the bulb soon burn out. So as a compromise I use a 2.5v MES bulb. Its not quite as bright or as white but the bulbs last much longer and the two C cell batteries last for ages. I still like to use it and often run it for a few hours in my workshop during the evenings whilst I am watching my old colour tv or just listening to one of my vintage radios. Its much kinder on the eye than the harsh 100w room light.
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Old 10th Sep 2019, 10:16 pm   #203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil G4SPZ View Post
Here’s one of the torches I was looking for earlier. The supplier was Internatiinal Sourcing Solutions of Peterborough, a company now dissolved. It’s a scam. Despite the blurb on the box, “Everlasting torch - no batteries needed”, it actually contains a pair of CR2032 coin cells in series, which are essential to its operation.

When I acquired the torch, it didn’t work at all. The magnet can be shaken between two rubber end-stops and passes through the centre of the solenoid in the handle. The solenoid feeds what looks like a bridge rectifier comprising four diodes. However, no amount of shaking would produce even a glimmer of light. When I took it apart I found the duff batteries, and once replacements were fitted it worked perfectly, albeit with a fairly pathetic beam of light from the single cold white LED, flat reflector and bullseye lens.

I could understand it if the batteries were disc-type DEACs or similar rechargeable cells, but they weren’t!

Phil

This post prompted me to examine my specimen of one of these shake for light torches when I came across it in a storage box last week. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was the real deal, or at least it flashed when it was shaken. As one does, I took it apart to see what made it tick. What I found was a well made setup with quite an impressive magnet to shake through the coil that would have worked fine except that the little 0.33F supercap had dried out over the last 20 odd years. I particularly liked the switch- a reed switch operated by a small magnet moved by the switch button. If only all torches were so equipped!

A new supercap was called in from RS (well two for a fiver actually) and the dead one replaced. The torch won't break any records for effort vs reward but it does indeed work and gives at least a reasonable period of illumination after a minute or so's shaking.


A few pics of the innards etc are attached.
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 9:38 am   #204
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Everlasting torches are still available on eBay. The lowest price I could find was £6, including free delivery from the UK.
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 10:01 am   #205
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Chris, your torch is superficially similar to mine, but considerably different inside. Your supercap makes complete sense. Mine has four discrete diodes. I’m away for a week but I’ll post some close-ups as soon as I can for comparison purposes.
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 11:51 am   #206
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I am looking to restore and upgrade an old Ever Ready plastic torch. The front bit which houses the reflector has gone yellow. How can I restore it to its original white colour ?
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 12:36 pm   #207
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Paint it?


Or maybe try some of the techniques suggested for bleaching phones and the like?
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 9:28 am   #208
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How can I restore it to its original white colour ?
Google the 'Retrobright' process. A few readily-available household chemicals and some sunlight is all you need.
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 10:36 am   #209
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Thanks for the suggestions. Fingers crossed for a sunny weekend
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 11:07 am   #210
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Fingers crossed for a sunny weekend
You'd be surprised at how little sunlight you actually need. I cleaned up several 706 / 746 telephone cases with a 'reduced' formula: some 'Oxy-Action' dissolved in warm water and put into one of those clear plastic storage boxes from B&M Bargains or wherever. I didn't have anything to hand with Peroxide in it. Can't remember if I added anything else.

I sat it outside on a bright, but overcast day, and kept an eye on it from time to time: all very unscientific! But it worked a treat.

I can't vouch for the longevity of your new whiteness though.
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Old 18th Sep 2019, 6:10 pm   #211
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Brilliant suggestion, it worked nicely, thank you. I mixed some ASDA Colour OxyAction powder with some water at room temperature and soaked the white plastic torch front in it for a couple of days in a bucket outside. The yellow stains have almost disappeared completely It's a pity I can't soak the white slide switch though, it seems permanently fixed to the body of the torch.
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Old 18th Sep 2019, 10:00 pm   #212
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It's likely held on by one of those nasty barbed clips that push on but dig in if you try to remove them. It may be possible to get it off with judicious use of miniature screwdrivers, but if you don't break the actuator you'll likely wreck the clip.....
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Old 19th Sep 2019, 2:53 pm   #213
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Brilliant suggestion, it worked nicely, thank you.
Excellent! I think the process was created originally for computer case restoration before the telephone enthusiasts got hold of it. It is possible to over-develop your item and it will end up bleached, so keep an eye on it.
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Old 19th Sep 2019, 3:45 pm   #214
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The rest of the EverReady torch is blue. I was thinking of using a soft cloth and TCut to polish it up unless someone has a better idea. I cannot immerse the torch in anything because of the electrical connections inside. It used to house a lantern battery, but I can upgrade it to four D cells and a modern LED bulb without too much difficulty.
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Old 19th Sep 2019, 11:53 pm   #215
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Not sure that's an upgrade (the battery change) ISTR Lantern Batteries are still available. A LED will give rather more light with less current than the original bulb.
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Old 20th Sep 2019, 5:18 pm   #216
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I'm not sure about 'upgrades' at all.
I f I wanted the 'latest thing', I'd go out and buy it.
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Old 20th Sep 2019, 9:31 pm   #217
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I'm all for more efficient drop in replacement type upgrades if you actually want to use something. No problem with reverting to original if you just want to admire it.... and there's something nicely quirky about an old torch behaving more like a spotlight!
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Old 21st Sep 2019, 12:03 pm   #218
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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.
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Old 21st Sep 2019, 12:50 pm   #219
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I have long been curious about a Varley torch(Varley the choke people) which my father owned (my brother now has it). I had never seen another one like it until a week or so ago when one was bought by me off of eBay.The pics are of the one I bought,my fathers (at least 65 yrs old) is a deep red colour,its in brilliant condition for its age.Anyone else got one? Les
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Old 21st Sep 2019, 5:58 pm   #220
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'I would recommend a 6 volt lantern battery over D cells...'
Do 996 lantern batteries still have the original size cells in them, or are they now just four 'D'-cells fudged together with a bit of packing? Haven't been inside one for decades!
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