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Ash Flash Discoverer II's ballast

Ash Flash Discoverer II's ballast

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This is the ballast inside the Ash Flash Discoverer II portable fluorescent lantern from approximately 1969. You can see that it appears to be an off-the-shelf part, branded NEC, with the model BF-601. Searching that information turned up nothing. The transistor is also NEC, a type 2SD142. It doesn't appear to be made anymore, although there are NOS units on eBay, and I have no doubt that there are other transistors that could serve as replacements.

The way everything is wired is very weird - there are five wires coming out of the switch which go every which way throughout the lantern, to the ballast, to lampholders, the warning lamp, etc. - I can't figure out how it works, and my multimeter doesn't help in figuring out which terminals on the switch are connected when it's turned on, or in preheat mode, presumably because the components on the circuit board are interfering with the multimeter reading.

There is a wax capacitor (!) and an electrolytic capacitor - suppose I should replace both?

If any of our resident circuit analysts want to draw the circuit or help me figure out the wiring of the switch and emergency lamp, and want me to take more pictures and read component values, I'd be happy to do so.

DSC01363_2.jpg IMG_5310.JPG IMG_4701.JPG IMG_3673.JPG

Light Information

Light Information

Manufacturer:NEC
Model Reference:BF-601
Lamp
Lamp Type:F4T5
Fixture
Fixture Type:Portable fluorescent lantern
Ballast Type:Electronic rapid start-ish.
Electrical
Voltage:12V DC
Physical/Production
Factory Location:Japan?
Fabrication Date:~1969

File information

File information

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Filename:IMG_5310.JPG
Album name:themaritimegirl / Lighting components
Keywords:Gear
File Size:483 KB
Date added:Dec 27, 2015
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mrjukebox160
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David Ressel
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Dec 27, 2015 at 07:27 PM Author: mrjukebox160
The 2SD142 crosses to these #: BD239, BD533, BD933, 2N4231
BUY38 2N3054 KT815B And an NTE175
funkybulb
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Dec 27, 2015 at 08:21 PM Author: funkybulb
NTE 175 is easy to find here in most US electronic suppy part shops. U might able to order it from radio shack even.

No LED gadgets, spins too slowly.  Gotta  love preheat and MV. let the lights keep my meter spinning.

jercar954
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Dec 27, 2015 at 09:36 PM Author: jercar954
Replace the wax paper and electrolytic capacitors. Both deteriorate with age.

Preheat and T-12 fluorescents forever! Down with LED's and instant start T-8 fluorescents.

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