Beauty of old electrical and measuring things, etc.

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dlgoff
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Even as a kid, I saw beauty in old devices. That made me want to understand how they worked. I had lots of old things that I keep and now reviving. Old things need to work to see the beauty. Here's what I've done so far.

Two views of the gadgets shelves and my small work space:

vSQaxxn.jpg


TLCR4FU.jpg


Here's a close up look at the meters, gauges and other measuring things:

texXDp4.jpg


This is what I think of as surface-mount electrical components and wiring. The components are very old and shows how electrical wiring was done from ~1915 to ~1930+. The ceramic "stand-offs" were called knobs and ceramic "through-hole" insulators (usually through wood beams) were called tubes. Hence the name, knob and tube wiring. I haven't acquired any tubes however.

tSKRLe6.jpg


Everything has been wired to power (with the exception of the knife switch w/fuses with vintage incoming and outgoing cloth insulated wire). The toggle switch is made of black ceramic and brass. The bluish color bulb is very old and still works. The other white bulb is modern, but the pull-chain socket is vintage.

WCZs1vB.jpg


ta6ImiO.jpg


Here's two reproduction Edison bulbs in vintage ceramic sockets and is switched by the right push-button switches (other push-button is a spare). The switch cover is brass plated copper.

upMVm5z.jpg


These ceramic sockets have pull-chain switches in their bases. The switches still work and the pull chains are original. The clearance between the pull-chain and rotating brass contacts is very small. That's probably why the left pull-chain has an insulator in it.

There's another push-button switch and duplex receptacle in the wall under the surface stuff. It's receptacle and cover are made of Bakelite. That push-button turns on these bulbs:

OqdQ0Cs.jpg


Two of the bulbs are really old; one uses neon to make a flickering flame and one uses phosphorescent purple and green flowers and leaves. They’re running on 115 volt power. The other ones (note the big 1000 watt bulb) filaments are being lighted by 25 volts via a step down transformer so as to just glow and not overwhelm the gas bulbs. The gas bulbs are screwed into vintage ceramic sockets.

There are three high voltage transformers (two are really old). The 6.0 kV transformer powers the green neon tube. Check out how it illuminates my old glassware.

hqn3pQf.jpg


The 7.5 kV transformer applies its potential to one end of small vintage fluorescent tubes inserted in the test-tube & distilling flask and causes them to glow from "static" discharge. Note how I tried to make the flask appear to be condensing drops of light from the string of very small neon tubes inside the flask's discharge tube. I was very lucky to find the drip shaped neon tube. I took it out of an old Heath-Kit fish/depth finder.

hePjIRQ.jpg


The 9.0 kV transformer power is applied to handmade electrodes. I had two really old bi-metal temperature switches where I removed and reshaped the bi-metal, added the brass "arc tips", and attached them to a vintage glass power line pole insulator. After being power, the bi-metal leads are orientated such that the heat from the current causes the gag to increase; making the arc get longer and longer.

29Oc9Qz.jpg


This is still a work in progress as I still have to add a brass platted duplex receptacle to supply power to the oscilloscope and sweep generator (just left of the scope) shown in the first photo.

If you have any thing old and would like to share a photo, please do. It's all beautiful in my mind.
 
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  • #2
davenn
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very cool, Don
beautifully displayed collection :smile:

Dave
 
  • #3
jim hardy
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That you have the stuff working makes it triple-cool .

In these helter-skelter times it is good to have reminders of from whence we came.
Like a good mariner who hones his skill at steering by a periodic look at his wake.

A simple thing like the ornate script on those meter faces reminds us of a time when craftsmanship and attention to detail was paramount.

I too have some old stuff . Some of it i need to send to you.

Don I hope this starts another photo thread.
Hmmm, i wonder if i can figure out how to work that digital camera the kids gave me?

old jim
 
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  • #4
Averagesupernova
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Pretty cool stuff. Some of it doesn't seem that old to me. But, when placed with other older things they do seem old. Is that an oven temp gauge in the third pic?
 
  • #5
dlgoff
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Pretty cool stuff. Some of it doesn't seem that old to me. But, when placed with other older things they do seem old. Is that an oven temp gauge in the third pic?
Yes. Not too old.
 
  • #6
Nick O
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Beautiful. Where do you find these things?
 
  • #7
dlgoff
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I too have some old stuff . Some of it i need to send to you.

Don I hope this starts another photo thread.
Hmmm, i wonder if i can figure out how to work that digital camera the kids gave me?

old jim
I could send you one of these. :biggrin:

97PMYFg.jpg
 
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  • #8
dlgoff
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Beautiful. Where do you find these things?

When around 14 years old I gained the confidence of Oscar E. Clark, well-known in Eudora as “Dobbs” who frighten most residences of the town for his idiosyncrasies. He made his fortune from scrap collecting. He would let me look through his stuff behind his home where I found lots of old military electronics; most of which are long gone. I did get the 9 kv transformer from there. But most of this stuff I found at various places as a kid,
 
  • #9
jim hardy
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Ah-Ha! I could send you another of that leftmost one !

"American Pickers" is raising public awareness of 'junque connoisseurs" ?
 
  • #10
dlgoff
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Ah-Ha! I could send you another of that leftmost one ...

Only if I can figure out how it works! I don't see any menus showing me how to set-up the darn thing. :confused:
 
  • #11
berkeman
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Beauty, Don. :smile:

In your first pic, is that an HP Impedance Analyzer on the left wall near the bottom? We still use a couple of them at work (for different frequency ranges).
 
  • #12
dlgoff
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Beauty, Don. :smile:

In your first pic, is that an HP Impedance Analyzer on the left wall near the bottom? We still use a couple of them at work (for different frequency ranges).
Well, I guess you could use it for that with some other gear. It's a HP 651A TEST OSCILLATOR.

There was a whole in the wall where I had removed an old Craig AM/FM 8-Track Receiver a couple years ago and I filled it with the HP. I use it every once in a while. Never thought about picturing it. I guess it's kinda old.

hpmemory.org said:
In 1965, the HP 651A, first of a new generation of test oscillators took over the "good old," all vacuum tube, HP 650A born in 1948.

Every oscillator of the 650 series use a Wien Bridge basic circuit arrangement followed by a negative feedback amplifier and associated output attenuator and precision output amplitude metering circuit. ...
Every oscillator of the 650 series covered a frequency range of 10 Hz to 10 MHz in 6 bands, ...

http://www.hpmemory.org/wb_pages/wall_b_page_10a.htm

IRjutOn.jpg
 
  • #13
Borek
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Cool :smile:

That could be a new cyberpunk genre - electric punk.
 
  • #14
davenn
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OMG a Box Brownie in the middle of the pic in post 7

I did my first couple of years of astro photo's with one of those that my mom gave me
somewhere ~ 1969 - 1970

Dave
 
  • #15
dlgoff
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Some of it doesn't seem that old to me. But, when placed with other older things they do seem old. Is that an oven temp gauge in the third pic?
I was hoping that someone else would post a pic or two. Oh well. Here's some other temperature measuring devices.

This is a oven temp calibration gauge that uses a Type J (iron – constantan) thermocouple (0°F to 650°F).

HvVx9mi.jpg


A Hg glass lab thermometer (0°C to 50°C)

azzZxmN.jpg


A Hg deep fat fryer thermometer (100°F to 400°F)

JfMS9X9.jpg
 
  • #16
Borek
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Sigh, I can't find it, I hope it is not lost :frown: I had a textbook about electric measurements, published somewhere between WWI and WWII.
 
  • #17
dlgoff
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OMG a Box Brownie in the middle of the pic in post 7

I did my first couple of years of astro photo's with one of those that my mom gave me
somewhere ~ 1969 - 1970

Dave

Still have it?
 
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  • #18
jim hardy
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I was hoping that someone else would post a pic or two. Oh well.

Still haven't made the "leap to digital" yet. But i'll be along.
 
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  • #19
dlgoff
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Still haven't made the "leap to digital" yet. But i'll be along.

Only if I can figure out how it works! I don't see any menus showing me how to set-up the darn thing. :confused:

Hope you know I was only teasing you. I love my little point-and-shoot Cannon. I've never read the user manual. The only thing I ever need to change is Flash off/auto.
 
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  • #20
Averagesupernova
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Don I have some pix of things I would like to post but I need to do some digging to get to them and I don't have a lot of time to do so right now. I am glad this thread got a 'sticky' so it stays at the top. That way I just might remember.
 
  • #21
dlgoff
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Don I have some pix of things I would like to post but I need to do some digging to get to them and I don't have a lot of time to do so right now. I am glad this thread got a 'sticky' so it stays at the top. That way I just might remember.
Awesome Average. Can't wait to see them. :smile:
 
  • #22
dlgoff
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I need a duplex receptacle for the scope and sweep generator. This is the receptacle I chose.

X5SAwob.jpg


a8FtkJ9.jpg


When researching these patent numbers I found this United States District Court, D. Connecticut case that verified the patent dates.

All three patents were granted July 6, 1926 — the first to Nero, No. 1,591,772, the second to Nero, No. 1,591,773 and the third to Harrington, No. 1,591,707 — and all are for improvement in flush attachment plug receptacles.

Here's what it looks like installed with vintage brass platted copper cover.

zAOsN1Y.jpg


pQJHrFi.jpg
 
  • #23
dlgoff
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Since my Precision Apparatus Co, E-400 Sweep Generator hadn't been stored correctly, it lost it's crackle finish paint. So I decided to take it apart and restore it to it's original beauty and working condition.

Even though the outside wasn't so pretty, the inside showed it's beauty in it's construction.
Note the hand cable lacing. The coils were probably done by hand as well.

cPfONxO.jpg


AGAUWuD.jpg


S97Hoxv.jpg


This is what it looks like after it's restoration.

5JtyzO5.jpg


iw3bHLe.jpg
 
  • #24
jim hardy
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That's really neat, Don.
As a summer student worker in mid 60's i made a lot of similar harnesses. Lacing them good and tight is good for hand strength.

A digital camera surfaced amid the chaos here - if i can get it to talk to computer i'll join in your thread .

old jim
 
  • #25
jim hardy
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My first ever electronic camera picture .

IMG_2584_zps928d0965.jpg


"Look ma,no film ! "

Now to learn menu driven focus and exposure .

grumble grumble grumble...

old jim
 
  • #26
Bobbywhy
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Don,

Well done! Your collection is worthy of a first-class museum rating: Not only does it appear to be in physically in great condition, but evidently much of it functions! Not to mention the superb artistic aspect you've captured. Wish I could see all your collection up close in person.

Cheers, Bobbywhy
 
  • #27
the_emi_guy
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Thanks for posting the photos.

The antique pearl push-button light switches evoked some nostalgia for me, we had these in the home I grew up in, something I had completely forgotten until I saw your photo.
 
  • #28
dlgoff
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My first ever electronic camera picture .

IMG_2584_zps928d0965.jpg


"Look ma,no film ! "

Now to learn menu driven focus and exposure .

grumble grumble grumble...

old jim
Awesome. Love them dials.

Forget the menu. I use automatic mode. :biggrin:

Don,

Well done! Your collection is worthy of a first-class museum rating: Not only does it appear to be in physically in great condition, but evidently much of it functions! Not to mention the superb artistic aspect you've captured. Wish I could see all your collection up close in person.

Cheers, Bobbywhy

Thanks. It's a "work in progress" as I find new devices. I'll post some new pics soon.

Thanks for posting the photos.

The antique pearl push-button light switches evoked some nostalgia for me, we had these in the home I grew up in, something I had completely forgotten until I saw your photo.

That was one of the main reasons for starting this thread. And for the younger members who have never seen stuff like this.
 
  • #29
dlgoff
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This ceramic beauty is so fresh that I haven't done any research on it yet. It was covered with paint and dirt when I got it. I soaked it in hot water with a little dish soap. The paint came off fairly easily from the abrasion of my finger tips. When taking it apart, I was surprised that even the switch knob was made from ceramic.

udQTp5K.jpg
 
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  • #30
dlgoff
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Here's a real beauty I found stashed in a crawlspace buried in dirt. I finally cleaned it up and what a surprise.

CZTKN7a.jpg


ljrai45.jpg


xz124C5.jpg
 
  • #31
dlgoff
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This Western Electric telephone lightning protector (note the fuses and carbon block arrestor) was given to me by a very close friend. It's very special to me because of my admiration for him. He's been fighting brain cancer and all the emotional stuff associated with it.

So this one is for you David.

gQFJz4P.jpg
 
  • #32
dlgoff
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Cool :)

That could be a new cyberpunk genre - electric punk.
With this in mind, I decided to add a little "pop" to my always evolving project.
I added some chemicals (glitter) and a flame on the 7.5 kV "distilling light" thing.

B64OErO.jpg


I added porcelain fixtures and used them to display different filament configurations.

H9NLXDy.jpg


And why just a little arc from the 9.0 kV, so this

48cd97F.jpg


And here's a little something for Greg. :D
ALDKlD9.jpg

There's a lot of stuff that I've refurbished and is just waiting to be used.

KUBUzbI.jpg
 
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  • #33
zoki85
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H9NLXDy.jpg
Haha, this monster light bulb looks mean. How much power it can safely handle?
 
  • #34
dlgoff
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Haha, this monster light bulb looks mean. How much power it can safely handle?
It's a 1000 watt bulb that I'm running off a 24 volt transformer. I don't think my wiring could handle the full load. Besides, at full load, you'd be blinded and couldn't see other filaments. :cool:
 
  • #35
dlgoff
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I decided to put together something "useful" from old parts that shows it's beauty. I made a regulated d.c. power supply using vacuum tubes. It uses a old transformer that was integrated with a full-wave rectifier tube socket. I had never seen one like this before and my research came up empty. After opening and making some voltage checks, I figured the rectifier must have been a 5Y3. So I cleaned it up (painted outside and varnished some cracked leads), put in a 5Y3 rectifier and tested; it worked okay. Then decided to make use of two cold cathode gas glow regulator tubes (0A3 & 0B3) that determined my output voltages. The 0A3 was designed for 75 volt regulation and the 0B3 was designed for 90 volt regulation. By using an old two pole, 3 position rotor switch, I would then be able to get an output of 75V from the 0A3, 90V from the 0B3, and 165V from putting them in series.

Here are some pictures of the results:

m9MQBSG.jpg


Zp2Iqv4.jpg


Output with regulator A (75 volt 0A3):

bZ2UMob.jpg


Output with regulator B (90 volt 0B3):

ajOif1m.jpg


Output with regulator A and B in series (165 volt 0A3 + 0B3):

9he6eO8.jpg


Here's the supply showing it's beauty when the room is darker:

gmO7kGl.jpg
 
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