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How to Mount your Starters - Vintage Style

How to Mount your Starters - Vintage Style

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I was converting a 4 footer Sunbeam Visionaire fixture this afternoon to Preheat, (Yes, another one, again :P) and this guy was originally Rapid-Start but had 3 starter knock-outs on the side.

The knock-outs have two screw holes far enough from the edges of the starter hole. They used to sell a kind of socket specifically designed for those common knock-outs, but the picture of the socket pretty much speaks for itself, and they're quite hard to find as well.

So if you have a fixture with similar knock-outs, or would like to add them for a vintage look, you can check out the steps images, and get it done for about 10 bucks at Home Depot, in case you feel lazy to cut and drill your own metal plates. After all, seeing a starter fully glowing is the coolest thing in preheat.

Step 1: You'll need to get those U bent bolts that comes with two nuts and a metal plate. Get one per starter. You won't need the U bolt, just the metallic plate, that is going to tight the socket against the fixture's body. Get the smaller size.
You will then need Round head slotted screw with nuts, the #8 - 32 1-1/4" is the best choice, but if your fixture is tighter inside, feel free to cut them or buy a shorter length.
Next are the washers, they're needed under the nuts as the holes on the plates are generally too big.
And finally, you'll need a starter socket. Preferably the smaller size, the one I'm using is an excellent quality, with bottom contacts.

Step 2: Shows you how the plate is holding. You can add some silicon glue if you want the socket rest on a smoother surface.

Step 3: Insert Starter. *cough* :P

Step 4: Show how it look like at the end. All the starter body is out, love the look!

Voltarc-U-Bent-HO.jpg Westinghouse-F13T8.jpg Starter-Insert-How-To.jpg playmovie.jpg

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Album name:Miles / Fluorescent Lighting
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Date added:Jul 31, 2009
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Jul 31, 2009 at 09:05 PM Author: DaveMan
I've seen those Leviton pre leaded starter sockets at the hardware store and I like how the contacts are but lament how the holes are too close to be mounted from the front so this is a good solution. BTW is that starter pic from the Semperlite site? Cause if so they have two other starter types that fit that exact same spacing. One is made by Kulka which is pretty close and comes with leads attached, the other is a Leviton with contacts on the bottom and screw terminals. I can send you the links if you like. PS, Sunbeam Visionaire made a lot of the fixtures in my university's library before they closed and gutted it. There are pictures of them in my fluorescent fixtures gallery. What kind of fixture was this may I ask? I'd like to see pics of the finished product, and if you ever convert the Smoot Holman with turret sockets to preheat I'd like to see that as well.

David L.


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Jul 31, 2009 at 09:51 PM Author: Miles
The pic is from SemperLite, yes! I saw the other model later on Thank you for the details on the sockets!

The Sunbeam was I believe an industrial reflector fixture, with an Apertured reflector (Long holes) and very steep slope going down on the edges, instead of a wide, flatter reflector.
However, the reflector was missing when I bought it but the place where I got it has another one, still in use with this kind of reflector.

So I got a bunch of old apertured reflectors a while ago and decided to use one. They look the same with the steep slope, but the slope is shorter and doesn't goes down as much as the original. I had to bend the edges of the inner part near the sockets as the reflector was 1 inch too long. but the look is here.
Sockets are for Bi-Pin but resembles HO style with one that sinks inside, and they're stuck in a Turret too.

I will post a picture very soon!
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jonathon.graves johng917 GeorgiaJohn
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Feb 10, 2010 at 09:12 AM Author: DieselNut
Leviton still makes the starter sockets that will mount right in your starter knockout holes. I bought quite a few for my retrofits/restorations. Will have to look up the part number if you are interested.
Edit: Leviton part number 380. Very well made units and a much simpler way to install them, truly vintage style!
Here is the pic:

Preheat Fluorescents forever!
I love diesel engines, rural/farm life and vintage lighting!

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