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 > Specific Vintage Equipment > Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items

Notices

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.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 25th Sep 2010, 2:10 pm   #1
Brigham
Heptode
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Co. Durham, UK.
Posts: 935
Default Obsolete fluorescent light fittings

Is anyone else interested in obsolete fluorescents? I've just had new corrugated sheets on my workshop roof, and I'm taking the opportunity to overhaul the light fittings, seeing as how they no longer have water running through them.
General opinion is to ditch the lot, new ones being cheap, and don't require hitting with a brush to strike. However, I didn't get where I am today by ........!
Brigham is offline  
Old 25th Sep 2010, 2:53 pm   #2
Darren-UK
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Blackpool, Lancashire, UK.
Posts: 4,061
Default Re: Obsolete fluorescent light fittings

There's one in my late father's workshop (or rather what's left of his workshop). The fitting's been there about forty years and I do know it was secondhand when he installed it. I think it came from the house kitchen so is, at a guess, around fifty years old. There's been no power to the workshop for at least twenty years now.

I've not taken too much notice of it, but I recall it's much more solidly made than modern fluorescent fittings. Appearance wise, well, little different to modern examples except that it has cowlings covering each end.

I doubt there's any collectors interest in these fittings, they're too big I suppose.
__________________
Darren.
Darren-UK is offline  
Old 25th Sep 2010, 3:10 pm   #3
TuningIndicator
No Longer a Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Sussex, UK.
Posts: 161
Default Re: Obsolete fluorescent light fittings

Oooh yes! I like old fluoros.
I particularly like the old 'ATLAS' fittings, I found one in a skip and installed it as the centre light fitting in my bedroom when I was around 13, much to the disbelief of friends and family.
They don't make 'em like they used to.
TuningIndicator is offline  
Old 25th Sep 2010, 4:28 pm   #4
Herald1360
Dekatron
 
Herald1360's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Leominster, Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 14,653
Default Re: Obsolete fluorescent light fittings

Is it old enough to use the tubes with bayonet fittings at each end?

There's not much to go wrong with an old fluorescent lumiere unless the water damage has seen off the the ballast. Any capacitors or starter bits can be replaced easily enough (mind you so could the ballast) but the bits will almost certainly cost more than a complete new unit.
__________________
....__________
....|____||__|__\_____
.=.| _---\__|__|_---_|.
.........O..Chris....O
Herald1360 is offline  
Old 25th Sep 2010, 6:38 pm   #5
Alan Stepney
Rest in Peace
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Dorset, UK.
Posts: 947
Default Re: Obsolete fluorescent light fittings

Today I fitted, perhaps refitted is a btter word, a flourescent fitting in my new shed.
Previously it had been:
in previous workshops (3 of them),
in my garage,
in my uncles garage.

He fitted it when he moved to that house, in the mid-50's, so it is now over half-a-century old.

All the time it still works, I'll keep using it.
Alan Stepney is offline  
Old 25th Sep 2010, 7:04 pm   #6
AndiiT
Octode
 
AndiiT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Saltburn-East, Cleveland, UK.
Posts: 1,667
Default Re: Obsolete fluorescent light fittings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herald1360 View Post
...Is it old enough to use the tubes with bayonet fittings at each end?...
Crikey! I had totally forgotten about those!, the butchers shop and the local Co-op (and perhaps some of the other shops), in the village I lived in as a child, had Fluorescent fittings with bayonet connections. ISTR that the BC sockets were suspended from the ceiling in the normal fashion, the Choke and starter assemblies for this type of fitting residing elsewhere, often close to the main fuse box.

One of the fluorescent fittings that springs to mind from my youth was of Philips design and looked quite "Space age" for its time (the early 70's) The connection box took up a little more space than a standard ceiling rose, a thin tubular arm perpendicularly exiting one side of the box which then spanned around half of the length of the fitting to a larger box which housed the starter switch and the socket for one end of the florescent tube, a rather thin metal bar then spanning the length of the tube for the connection point at the opposite end.
To replace either the tube or the starter switch the larger connection box had to be removed, this was held on by a knurled screw.

The choke appeared to be housed inside the long bar and was in the form of a long thin spiral, unlike the physically larger chokes found in other fittings.

I have searched the 'net but am unable to find a picture of one of these fittings but do seem to recall seeing a picture of one somewhere a few years ago.

Regards
Andrew
AndiiT is offline  
Old 25th Sep 2010, 7:15 pm   #7
Tractorfan
Nonode
 
Tractorfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: St. Frajou, l'Isle en Dodon, Haute Garonne, France.(Previously: Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, UK.)
Posts: 2,939
Default Re: Obsolete fluorescent light fittings

Somewhere on a shelf I've got an ancient ballast in a steel box about four inches cube with a thermal starter on a small bakelite cap. It's got two twisted cotton covered flexes ending in bayonet holders and a third for the mains. I've also got a bayonet ended tube that's sadly kaput (o/c heater). The hospital I worked at had a shedload of bayonet to bi-pin adaptors as the old bayonet tubes were replaced (well, minus four as they are in my cellar too ). I remember seeing tubes with a metallic stripe along their length connecting the caps. Was this to aid starting?
Cheers de Pete
__________________
"Hello?, Yes, I'm on the train, I might lose the signal soon as we're just going into a tunn..."
Tractorfan is offline  
Old 25th Sep 2010, 8:42 pm   #8
thermionic
Heptode
 
thermionic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Cornwall, UK.
Posts: 744
Default Re: Obsolete fluorescent light fittings

I think these were the very first commercial electronic ballasts, and the stripe was connected to earth potential to aid starting. I seem to remember them being marketed at the time as ' slickstart'.
Cheers. Simon.
__________________
The honesty of imperfection..........

Last edited by thermionic; 25th Sep 2010 at 8:43 pm. Reason: fat fingers!
thermionic is offline  
Old 25th Sep 2010, 8:48 pm   #9
Station X
Moderator
 
Station X's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4, UK.
Posts: 16,823
Default Re: Obsolete fluorescent light fittings

I have vague recollections of adaptors which adapted modern two pin ended tubes to bayonet type, but my memory may be playing tricks.
__________________
Graham. Forum Moderator

Keep the soldering iron hot.
Station X is online now  
Old 25th Sep 2010, 9:12 pm   #10
Alan Stepney
Rest in Peace
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Dorset, UK.
Posts: 947
Default Re: Obsolete fluorescent light fittings

Your memory is correct.
I still have some of those adaptors.
Alan Stepney is offline  
Old 25th Sep 2010, 9:28 pm   #11
dseymo1
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Shropshire, UK.
Posts: 3,052
Default Re: Obsolete fluorescent light fittings

I think the external stripe both assisted starting and helped to maintain a steady discharge throughout the length of the tube. I've come across tubes in specialised applications (but operating entirely on the usual principles) which were enclosed in an earthed open-weave wire netting, presumably serving the same purpose. That these applications require both instant starting (the heaters are permanently transformer-energised) and very consistent short-term output, would seem to confirm this. I'm sure, though, that I've seen old books which assume the existence this external electrode as a normal part of the setup for any flu tube.
dseymo1 is offline  
Old 25th Sep 2010, 11:04 pm   #12
Lucien Nunes
Octode
 
Lucien Nunes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: London, UK.
Posts: 1,866
Default Re: Obsolete fluorescent light fittings

The stripe is required for semi-resonant 'quickstart' gear, as the peak voltage is lower than with switch-start fittings. My workshop is fitted with quickstart battens and when relamping I had to stripe the new tubes with conductive paint, in order to get them to start in winter. I recently had the good fortune to get hold of a couple of boxes of NOS bayonet-ended tubes, some of which are striped, although I don't plan on using those up.

I have yet to find a good selection of external gear enclosures of the type that Andrew describes, only a few rusty units have surfaced so far. Fluorescent fittings are one of those things that should be seen and not heard so don't attract a lot of attention to themselves and rarely get salvaged. I would give my right arm for an original functioning Cooper-Hewitt fitting with uncoated tilting mercury tube, if only because of its evolutionary association with the mercury-arc rectifier.

Attached pic is of my favourite bit of fluoro gear, an Atlas thyratron houselight dimmer that I salvaged from a theatre albeit without the dedicated fittings to run from it. These have separate heater transformers run at full voltage whenever the tubes are lit. The dimmer handles five circuits each of 5A, under pushbutton control. I have some spare thyratrons too, one day I will either get some of the original fittings or modify some ordinary ones so I can get it running.

Lucien
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	commltg_atlasdimmer_0608_cabinet.jpg
Views:	557
Size:	42.4 KB
ID:	40789   Click image for larger version

Name:	commltg_atlasdimmer_0608_coversoff.jpg
Views:	608
Size:	105.6 KB
ID:	40790   Click image for larger version

Name:	commltg_atlasdimmer_0608_mercswitches.jpg
Views:	573
Size:	108.6 KB
ID:	40791   Click image for larger version

Name:	commltg_atlasdimmer_0608_moduleopen.jpg
Views:	545
Size:	79.4 KB
ID:	40792   Click image for larger version

Name:	commltg_atlasdimmer_0608_thyratrons.jpg
Views:	622
Size:	111.9 KB
ID:	40793  

__________________
Three anodes good, six anodes better!
Lucien Nunes is offline  
Old 25th Sep 2010, 11:09 pm   #13
Techman
Dekatron
 
Techman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lincolnshire, UK.
Posts: 3,241
Default Re: Obsolete fluorescent light fittings

I still have fluorescent fittings with bayonet end cap tubes in regular use in both my garage & shed.

The one in the shed does 'hum' a bit & it's so heavy that I think it's causing the roof to sag just a little!

I've got a small stock of spare bayonet tubes in the loft - so no chance of these fittings going for scrap any time soon........
Techman is offline  
Old 25th Sep 2010, 11:15 pm   #14
Herald1360
Dekatron
 
Herald1360's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Leominster, Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 14,653
Default Re: Obsolete fluorescent light fittings

Do the adaptors look like small versions of the old bayonet light socket to 5A two pin plug adaptors?
__________________
....__________
....|____||__|__\_____
.=.| _---\__|__|_---_|.
.........O..Chris....O
Herald1360 is offline  
Old 25th Sep 2010, 11:25 pm   #15
Lucien Nunes
Octode
 
Lucien Nunes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: London, UK.
Posts: 1,866
Default Re: Obsolete fluorescent light fittings

Yes, although usually consisting of a metal bayonet cap with a paxolin disc crimped into the bi-pin end through which the pins engage.
__________________
Three anodes good, six anodes better!
Lucien Nunes is offline  
Old 25th Sep 2010, 11:34 pm   #16
Zelandeth
Heptode
 
Zelandeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, UK.
Posts: 913
Default Re: Obsolete fluorescent light fittings

Simple answer to this question: Yes, I'm very much interested in such things.

Friend of mine has some real oldies in his workshop which lack an automatic starter, and actually have a three position switch (off, on, start). No idea who made them or how old they are, other than that they have large, brown plastic covers which come right down over the tube ends. They're high enough up in the rafters of the workshop that getting to them for a better look is nigh on impossible. While I've read about such controls, these are the only ones I've ever encountered. Know they use bayonet tubes, of which the owner has quite a significant stock.

I don't actually have any vintage fluorescent lamps or gear...but that's something hopefully in time I'll sort!
Zelandeth is offline  
Old 26th Sep 2010, 9:32 am   #17
raditechman
Heptode
 
raditechman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: West London, UK.
Posts: 710
Default Re: Obsolete fluorescent light fittings

I think the Phillips fitting with the long wire "choke" in a thin metal bar running the length of the tube, mentioned by Andrew, actually used a resistance wire. This made the fitting much lighter in weight. There was another similar fitting which used a filament lamp as the ballast. I cannot remember the wattage probably about 60watt bulb, not sure of the tube possibly a 65watt.
John
raditechman is offline  
Old 26th Sep 2010, 9:47 am   #18
dseymo1
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Shropshire, UK.
Posts: 3,052
Default Re: Obsolete fluorescent light fittings

Quote:
There was another similar fitting which used a filament lamp as the ballast.
Ah! I have (somewhere) a glass-enveloped bimetal starter which incorporates a filament lamp. Makes sense now!
FWIW, it's rather smaller than a pigmy lamp, with a 2-pin SBC base, and was originally coated in green paint, which has since partially flaked off - if it hadn't done so, I'd have been hard pressed to identify the device! Made by Atlas, I think.
dseymo1 is offline  
Old 26th Sep 2010, 11:16 am   #19
Herald1360
Dekatron
 
Herald1360's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Leominster, Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 14,653
Default Re: Obsolete fluorescent light fittings

Hmmmm, a resistive ballast wouldn't exactly help the efficiency........ cheap though it might be. I guess it could provide some aesthetic freedom for more esoteric designs.
__________________
....__________
....|____||__|__\_____
.=.| _---\__|__|_---_|.
.........O..Chris....O
Herald1360 is offline  
Old 26th Sep 2010, 1:45 pm   #20
dseymo1
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Shropshire, UK.
Posts: 3,052
Default Re: Obsolete fluorescent light fittings

Come to think of it, the principle is still used in some discharge lams, which incorporate an incandescent ballast, which is intended both to improve colour rendering, and allow the lamp to be plugged directly into a standard luminaire.
dseymo1 is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 3:37 pm.


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 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2020, Paul Stenning.