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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:03 pm 
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nick217 wrote:
How many Alpha 6's can be saved David?
As i know, most of us would like some! (Including me! :))



I'd be lying if I said I wasn't interested.... ;)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:19 pm 
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Alex wrote:
It still goes down as one of my favourite lit junctions; such childhood memories! I would love to be able to see the Alpha 6s warming up with their mauve (as opposed to red) glow.

I must admit I am sorely tempted to buy one or possibly two of those 140w SLI lanterns from Lampco (thank you for the valuable link Phosco!) and perhaps converting my previously saved GEC Z9517 SOX lantern back to its SLI days using some 90w SOX gear. This write-up about the GEC Z9517 on Simon Cornwell's encyclopaedic web site contains a picture of the SLI lamp inside the lantern and reveals the end caps are not fixed in place - instead only the bulb is held in by two lampholders, and the end caps hang loose when detached. Having never seen a SLI lamp in real life, I have no idea what end caps they use and whether they are easy to get hold of (from a fluorescent fitting for instance?) This project would be to once again see the lilac colour of the bulb warming up, just like I remember from my childhood too!

Phosco152 wrote:
If the grubs are siezed he will probably just disc cut the spigot tube - hammering off doesn't always work anyway.

I hope the guy doing the removal thinks of that, although the bracket is one of those uptilt ones so if he cuts it off he won't leave much of the cranked horizontal section to get his SGS203 on! Unfortunately it's not my contact doing the work tomorrow, which lessens my anticipation of a good save.

Phosco152 wrote:
It looks like the Alpha 6 spine fails at the corner where the shoe follows the canopy contour (top edge of canopy) and across to the bolt hole - see below.

Yep that's definitely where it breaks - having a bolt so close to the join was quite a design fault in hinsdight (thankfully they didn't repeat it on the Alpha Four). That's one heck of a clean Alpha Six you have there! I think any saved tomorrrow will require a heck of a lot of TLC.

Phosco152 wrote:
Hopefully if you get your example, it is a deep bowl variant, where as mine is a shallow bowl version - mine is SLI. Even if you don't want both lanterns assuming they can be removed, I wouldn't mind the other. If one lantern is damaged on removal try and save both bowls - again I'd be interested...

Yes they're all the deep-bowled variant around here. I won't be wanting both of them, but having seen previous interest in the lantern I have asked my contact to save what he can of the little stock that remain.

nick217 wrote:
How many alpha 6's can be saved david?
As i know most of us would like some! (Including me! :))

If all three come down in one piece that's one each, but they are such a fragile lantern that this is hard to imagine. The third one in the picture is not due down for a few months. There are about 15 Alpha Sixes left, about half serviced by my contact and half serviced by the Highways Agency. And it seems that both authorities are happy to let them carry on until they are knocked over or snap in the wind :-(

Stelmer wrote:
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't interested....

Oh heck, that's four!

Please beware that things just move very slowly in Colchester, so there might be a long wait (like there has been for Phosco152's P157 bowl and P225 bowl, and Stelmer's GR150 bowl). The last big lighting investment to hit the town was when the concretes were sleeved in the 1970s!


Last edited by David on Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:34 pm 
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I can wait, after all they say the best comes to those who wait. :mrgreen:


I too am tempted to buy some SL/I lamps from Lampco. Especially now that 90w ballasts will run a 140w lamp and a 55w ballast will run a 50w lamp.

What else do we need?

I'm guessing the wiring is the same as it is in a basic fluorescent tube as they incorporate a starter switch.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:04 am 
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I'd like to add my name to the list, for when a 5th Alpha 6 becomes available... :)

Things may be moving slowly now, but situations can change. Last year I thought that York's mercury lighting stock would be around for many more years to come, as nothing ever happened to them - but that's changing rather rapidly now.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:13 am 
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A 140w SLI lamp is about the same diameter as a T12 fluorescent lamp and uses the same end caps. As for the control gear, make sure that it is a 90w SOX leak transformer that is used and not 90w SOX ignitor gear. When wiring up, the only difference is that the two lamp wires go to the opposite ends of the lamp. In my converted Alpha 5 a little loop of wire exists in both end caps so that both pins at each end have electricity passing through them. It's all quite easy once you have worked out how to make the physical alterations to the lantern.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:34 pm 
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The GEC 9517 and like many fluorescent fittings of the time such as the GEC 8260 that was widely used for railway station lighting, used "Terry" clips to retain the tube with the lamp holders just providing an electrical connection. On the SLI version of the Alpha 5 the lampholders were fixed to retain the tube. Same for the Alpha 6.

I will continue the SLI lamp thread in the lamp section of the forum.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:43 pm 
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Hey you lot! I said I was interested first on the last forum.  ;)  :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:27 pm 
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sotonsteve wrote:
A 140w SLI lamp is about the same diameter as a T12 fluorescent lamp and uses the same end caps. As for the control gear, make sure that it is a 90w SOX leak transformer that is used and not 90w SOX ignitor gear. When wiring up, the only difference is that the two lamp wires go to the opposite ends of the lamp.

Thank you sotonsteve for all this info. At least a pair of end caps will be easy to source! A 90w leak transformer might be harder to find - all my 90w lanterns have ignitors, but one of my ancient 35w lanterns (a GR525) has a big old ballast that weighs as much as a dumbbell and no ignitor, so I'm confident there's still some 90w leak transformer gear around town to be scrapped sometime in the future!

Phosco152 wrote:
The GEC 9517 and like many fluorescent fittings of the time such as the GEC 8260 that was widely used for railway station lighting, used "Terry" clips to retain the tube with the lamp holders just providing an electrical connection

Ah! That explains the fiercely tight 'lampholder' at the end of the GEC Z9517...

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...it was so tight I was worried it would break the bulb! I originally thought it was a spare capacitor holder that they had re-used as a lampholder, when it is probably the original Terry clip designed for the much thinner SLI tube.

mazeteam wrote:
I'd like to add my name to the list, for when a 5th Alpha 6 becomes available...

Indust wrote:
Hey you lot! I said I was interested first on the last forum. ;) :lol:

Heck, that's pretty much all the remaining Essex County Council Alpha Sixes accounted for, assuming no breakages!

It might be a long old wait though. I originally gave my contact a picture of one this time last year. In that year, the one outside the Marks Tey Hotel broke on removal (but I discovered there was another one I hadn't spotted before a few columns down) and the one near Marks Tey Railway Station snapped in the wind.


Last edited by David on Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:35 pm 
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If you keep it as sox, I would see if your contact can get you a lamp clip from a 90/135/180w lantern. The outer tube of the larger sox lamps is thinner than on 35/55w sox and as you say the clip was originally designed for a much thinner SLI lamp (about half the diameter!) and there is the risk the sox lamp may break.

The give away that it is the SLI clip, is that it is too near the end of the sox lamp. The other clip would have gone where the bracket for the sox lamp holder is. The SLI tube is longer than the sox lamp.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:55 pm 
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Phosco152 wrote:
If you keep it as sox, I would see if your contact can get you a lamp clip from a 90/135/180w lantern. The outer tube of the larger sox lamps is thinner than on 35/55w sox and as you say the clip was originally designed for a much thinner SLI lamp (about half the diameter!) and there is the risk the sox lamp may break

No worries. With any luck it'll convert back to SLI if everything goes to plan. I don't know how many years that lantern held its bulbs like that!

I spoke to The Lamp Company today. They didn't have 90w SOX leak transformers and I unfortunately couldn't check whether 140w SLIs were still available. I was proceeding through their checkout, but I'm working in Buntingford next Friday which is about 8 miles down the road from them and, rather frustratingly, I couldn't find their trade counter postal option!


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