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Author Topic: 1940s Policeman's lamp conversion to LED bike lamp  (Read 835 times)
yereverluvinunclebert
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« on: February 16, 2017, 02:56:28 am »

Steampunk? Certainly. A combination of the old and new combining to make something not quite as good as either...

No, actually it is a LOT better.

This is a conversion I carried out on an old 1940s British Police lamp.  It had a conventional bulb powered by an old 4.5v vertical twin battery that is no longer manufactured. So, it was open to conversion being impossible to run in a conventional way due to total obsolescence of the main component. For the donor lamp I took an LED tent lamp from ebay with 24 LEDs and dismantled it extracting the LED circuit board and the battery holder/batteries. All else was discarded.



I placed the LEDS and mounting board on top of the old reflector, setting them in place with a silicon potting compound. They mount just flush with the glass leaving a little space to dissipate any heat. The silicon is transparent and not visible. The whole face is filled with the LEDs. The old reflector is retained allowing easy mounting of the LEDs/PCB board and giving the wiring easy access to the lamp body through the old bulb hole.



It is as if the old lamp and new components were destined for each other. Inside the battery holder is free-floating being held with a dob of silicon and the batteries bound with tape to keep them in the holder. Batteries are easily changed. It runs on three 1.5 v AA batteries found everywhere.



The old lamp body had a rust hole on the right hand side where a battery had leaked causing a weak spot. I drilled out the hole and mounted an old toggle switch that had been reclaimed from some old 1930s electrical tech. That switch was mounted on the lamp using the conventional screw to tighten it to the body.  Some soldering of suitable low power, low resistance cables and the switch operates with a proper old fashioned 'clunk'.

The lamp in use? Well, it is literally a difference of night over day. When the old lamp was operated the 4.5v bulb shone with an adequate light that illuminated a human face or cast some light into a dark room. Not super bright by any means but adequate by 1940s standards. The new functionality is astounding. One click of the switch is enough to bathe the whole room in a directed narrow beam of pure light. The 24 LEDs are a massive and phenomenal upgrade that makes this old torch super-useful! The old lamp would require a change in battery fairly often, it was a large two cell battery about 3.5" tall and each an inch in diameter. The new batteries are small and due to the LEDs being low consumption, the batteries last for days.

The torch is held by a belt bracket on the rear that easily slips over a large leather belt, it also has a handle and two threaded screws that allow it to be mounted on a bracket, so it could be bike mounted too.

I feel no guilt about upgrading this lamp. I have had it for years and have contemplated an upgrade through all my onwership. It is not until now that such an upgrade is both possible and practical, the upgrade components being so cheap and readily available. No components have been thrown away, the old bulb and bulb  holder have been placed inside the lamp and secured with a blob of silicon so that if any future historian wants he can put the old lamp back again.

I am very pleased with the result and I use the lamp daily.



Bigger images of the lamp can be found here: http://yereverluvinuncleber.deviantart.com/art/1940s-Policeman-s-lamp-conversion-to-LED-bike-lamp-663769112  (Click on the image to enlarge)
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 03:10:36 am by yereverluvinunclebert » Logged

Lightquick - Steampunk Widgets and Icons of Some Worldwide Repute
Hez
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Canada Canada


aka Miss Primrose C Leigh


« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2017, 06:24:06 am »

And looks great too.
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Antipodean
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New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2017, 06:44:17 am »

Very nice modification.
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Did you just go PSSSSSSST at me or have I just sprung a leak?

I'm not retreating, I'm advancing in another direction.
Prof Marvel
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United States United States


learn from history, or be doomed to repeat it


« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2017, 07:36:57 am »

nicely done Uncle Bert.
yhs
prf mvl
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Your Humble Servant
~~~~~Professor Algernon Horatio Ubiquitous Marvel The First~~~~~~
President, CEO, Chairman,  and Chief Bottle Washer of
Professor Marvel's Traveling Apothecary and Fortune Telling Emporium

Acclaimed By The Crowned Heads of Europe
Purveyor of Patent Remedies, Snake Oil, Cleaning Supplies, Dry Goods, and Picture Postcards
Offering Unwanted Advice for All Occasions and Providing Useless Items to the Gentry
Since 1822
Banfili
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Australia Australia



« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2017, 09:05:02 am »

Nice work, unclebert!

I have a roadworks lamp - must investigate putting LEDs or such in it.
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yereverluvinunclebert
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2017, 01:08:21 pm »

yhs
prf mvl


Thankyou all, appreciated, what does yhs prf mvl mean?

This tent lamp was the source of the materials, LEDs, battery holder &c:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Camping-Tent-Light-24-LED-Handy-Lamp-Magnetic-with-Hook-Lantern-Lamp-/321569217744?hash=item4adf04dcd0:g:XrcAAOSw1XdUU5o5

At only £2.95 it is a really cheap source of components for a similar conversion.
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SeVeNeVeS
Immortal
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England England



« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2017, 07:42:24 pm »

That turned out rather well, a job well done, sir!

yhs
prf mvl
Thankyou all, appreciated, what does yhs prf mvl mean?
Your Humble Servant Prof Marvel  (I think)
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Hektor Plasm
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All-Round Oddfellow.


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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2017, 07:43:51 pm »

That's a nice conversion, I like the old switch too!

HP
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Miranda.T
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2017, 12:32:11 am »

Lovely - a very sympathetic conversion that has brought new life to this vintage piece.

Yours,
Miranda.
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steiconi
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2017, 04:20:25 am »

I'm guessing, "your humble servant, Professor Marvel"

yhs
prf mvl

Thankyou all, appreciated, what does yhs prf mvl mean?


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Prof Marvel
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


learn from history, or be doomed to repeat it


« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2017, 10:54:14 pm »

Ah My Dear friends -
you are correct, please forgive me for the shorthand.

allow me to end with a more proper closing:

Your Humble Servant
 ~~~~~Professor Algernon Horatio Ubiquitous Marvel The First~~~~~~
President, CEO, Chairman,  and Chief Bottle Washer of

 Professor Marvel's Traveling Apothecary and Fortune Telling Emporium

Acclaimed By The Crowned Heads of Europe
Purveyor of Patent Remedies, Snake Oil, Cleaning Supplies, Dry Goods, and Picture Postcards
Offering Unwanted Advice for All Occasions and Providing Useless Items to the Gentry
Since 1823


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Hektor Plasm
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom


All-Round Oddfellow.


WWW
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2017, 11:08:26 pm »

Ah My Dear friends -
you are correct, please forgive me for the shorthand.

allow me to end with a more proper closing:

Your Humble Servant
 ~~~~~Professor Algernon Horatio Ubiquitous Marvel The First~~~~~~
President, CEO, Chairman,  and Chief Bottle Washer of

 Professor Marvel's Traveling Apothecary and Fortune Telling Emporium

Acclaimed By The Crowned Heads of Europe
Purveyor of Patent Remedies, Snake Oil, Cleaning Supplies, Dry Goods, and Picture Postcards
Offering Unwanted Advice for All Occasions and Providing Useless Items to the Gentry
Since 1823



I'm sorry,that's too large for the Clacks!   Grin Grin


(not really.  Pterry allowed large message buffers. Sad    )


HP
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yereverluvinunclebert
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2017, 01:14:32 pm »



Another lamp that I have restored for my bicycle. It was a design that required a specific battery type that is now obsolete. The battery terminals are in the wrong place and so it was never going to run again on modern batteries without some major changes internally. The 4.5v bulb would have been dim and flickering as the battery connections would not have allowed a tight fit on the old battery.

The same donor LED lamp was used as the basis for the conversion:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Camping-Tent-Light-24-LED-Handy-Lamp-Magnetic-with-Hook-Lantern-Lamp-/321569217744?hash=item4adf04dcd0:g:XrcAAOSw1XdUU5o5

The LED and PCB simply glued in place with clear silicon, the new battery holder held in place by another blob of silicon and the batteries taped into the box to prevent drop-outs and flickering of the light. The batteries remain easy to change.



As before, the transformation with regard to the light output is enormous. The light actually performs as it should giving a beam of pure white light that illuminates the road as well as providing oncoming cars a highly visible indicator of your presence on the road.

The new LED lamp cluster is wired into the original switch which turns with a very solid click completely unlike any modern switch.

The old lamp was black with a chrome on brass bezel. However, the chrome had failed and had almost completely peeled off. The brass was a feature I could have polished up but the metal was thin and I did not want to damage the lamp further - I would have to have used a machine tool to remove the remainder of the chrome, so instead I simply resprayed both the lamp body and the bezel. A coat of clear varnish sealed the paint and hardened it for exterior use. I know the old lamp looked worn and lovely but this restoration is to make the lamp useful for the next 10 years.

If I do ever want to polish the brass in the future it will be an easy job to strip the paint. This is something I may do in the future.



I had previously restored it a few years ago so it was in good condition and ready for a coat of paint. Only the bezel had deteriorated. I have not restored the reflector as it is barely used, the light is directed in a narrow beam by the LEDs themselves.

None of the old lamp has been broken or removed so it could easily be put back into original condition by a future restorer. It just needs a 4.5v lamp bulb and a totally obsolete battery to make it function as the original designers intended... Smiley



I am happy that I have saved an old lamp and have brought it into the 21st century. Hope you like it. It already has a bracket for mounting to a bicycle so I will be fitting it to my old Sunbeam bike very soon.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 01:22:58 pm by yereverluvinunclebert » Logged
Banfili
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Australia Australia



« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2017, 09:23:42 pm »

Despite the lack of chrome/brass, a good, functional result. The black looks good and the whole job looks solid. Well done, unclebert.

I will have to paint my roadworks lamp body - bright yellow plastic just down't cut the mustard, so will have to brass or copper it up a bit. Must investigate a bit further and measure it up again (haven't touched if for a couple of years) for the correct size of electrical fitting. A winter indoor workshop job, methinks!
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cossoft
Gunner
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2017, 04:53:36 am »

Is that an AVO meter on your workbench?  Do you still use it?  Are those things even calibrated in volts  Smiley ?
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yereverluvinunclebert
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



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« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2017, 01:52:41 pm »

Yes, that is an avometer and of course calibrated in volts, (they have been available for usage for a long time) the device is still useful and usable. I will drop a photo of the insides of that too later.
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