Author Topic: Building a new lamp testing table  (Read 207 times)
Alex
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Building a new lamp testing table « on: January 01, 2023, 03:38:28 PM » Author: Alex
Hello,

as a few of you may now I builed a lamp testfield that was updated over and over agin. It may be seen here (earlier version) and here (YT german).

However it had issues. The ballast compartment was used ineffectively. The concept also of two different individual device, which are however completely useless without each other didn't appeal to me anymore. The complete thing was also made only for measuring and testing lamps, however I noted that it would also help me if I could test appliances, antique radios for example. Also it had no ability to test LEDs that needed an external driver. Also there was not enough place to put more lamp holders on, and I got a few new ones... Lastly I moved, and would anyway need to take it apart to transport it anyway, so I will rebuild it but in another cabinet and hopefully liquidating some of the drawbacks I encountered with the first design.

So what do I want:

--I want more visual control about what mode is made? Variac, fixed transformers, ballasts, Ignitors, selected outputs.
--Put ballasts most compactly together.
--An adjustable overvoltage protection to make sure not damaging antique incandescent lamps
--The ability to parallel ballast to ballasts special lamps
--Switchable between mono and triphase
--self regulating cap bank, while it is not necessary for small power lamps, it certainly is for high power lamps.
--more place for new lampholders

So, I started by searching a suitable enclosure, it was found rather fast in form from an old desk with steel base (necessary due to high weight) that was given away free locally. It is 157cm long 60cm deep and 75cm high.

Than I had to draw up my basic idea:


I will slowly start going into the individuals number slowly when I build it. However I am happy to answer any questions. Please ask.

My aim is to archive here the development of this product and hopefully also involve you guys.

I will put a disclaimer in here just to secure myself:
What will grow here in my basement may not be code compliant. It is for private use only. This may not be read as an instruction to build such a device. I do not aim to build the easiest contraption as possible however to build a most sophisticated one, so I may build things that may be seen unnecessary. Working with electricity can kill you. Im not responsible for whatever you do.

best regards,

Alex
« Last Edit: January 22, 2023, 03:40:20 PM by Alex » Logged

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Alex
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Re: Building a new lamp testing table « Reply #1 on: January 22, 2023, 03:38:46 PM » Author: Alex
Hello,
I continued today. I builed a cardboard model of the final contraption which allows me to roughly place meters and control switches as well as control relays and switching contactors. I also encoutered the first problem. I have not vast amounts of money to spent on this project.
So the first task sounded rather simple. I need a surface to put the lampholders on. This surface needs to be:
1) strong, it need to withstand the effort of lamps in tight fitting base like the mogul prefocus (p40s) or mogul  bipin (G38) lampholder
2) Heat resistant
3) non flammable
4) electrically insulating
So there a few possible materials, for example a 2" thick Asbestos sheet, a thick glas sheet, a marble sheet, a massive toil, paxolin... 
All the above are sourceable but yeah: Asbestos for sure not, nobody wants to teal with that.
Glass and toils, are too fragile in my opinion especially when holes are drilled in it. So there it remains, Paxolin or marble or some other natural stones. Paxolin is certainly the easier to work with, you only need carbide tools instead of diamond tools. But those are not the problem, as I have both and experience with working with both. So no both come done to what is cheaper.
I determined I would at least need 12mm of thickness for the paxolin to make it nice and stable. That would come to a flopping $125+shipping... And there is no aftermaked for that stuff...
Marble around $50-90 for what I need but even better there is aftermarket. Even more as I saw a marble table outside in the street waiting to be collected to be disposed off. So at night the table plate vanished. (Sadly that need to be done late at night (Thank you very much EU) ). So I dragged that 35pound thing the mile back home (thats how it is if  you live in the middle of nowhere but thats how i wanted it) and sat it in the basement. For my intended plan it was big enough. I would have to cut it down a bit. But know with cardboard model i want to build it different and now I need a second one, so we need I need to continue the hunt.

You can see an elevated horizontal cardboard level. My first idea was to make only that marble. However I fear that the place may still be too limited and I do not like the big step to the right. So I will also raise the richt side to the same hight making a second plate necessary. It will first only be a work surface but shall be able to be updated if more place for lamp holders may be needed in the future.

Best regards,

Alex
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James
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Re: Building a new lamp testing table « Reply #2 on: January 22, 2023, 05:43:50 PM » Author: James
Good progress Alex!

At work we use Trespa for the testbench surfaces, a thin sheet of about 10mm screwed onto a thicker underlayer.  It is not perfectly heat resistant and might occasionally become charred from very high power lamps, but it is very tough and UV-stabilised.  Also rather difficult to cut, best to order it pre-cut to size but it can also be cut with an angle grinder if needed.

People living in Britain still have the luxury of buying Sindanyo sheet, a material originally developed by BTH-Mazda as an asbestos substitute and widely used in industrial environments.  I believe it is based on Mica, and used to be known as BTH board.  Where I worked before at GE in England practically everything heatproof had a surface of Sindanyo.  It was especially good for glassblowing benches because it has low thermal resistance and doesn’t cause shock to hot glass parts.  Which is also good for avoiding damage to hot lamps after testing.  It won’t burn even when white-hot quartz is dropped onto it.
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Alex
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Re: Building a new lamp testing table « Reply #3 on: January 24, 2023, 03:12:05 AM » Author: Alex
Hello James,
that is indeed an impressive material. It basically has all the properties of asbestos with the fibrous picture.
The risk of thermal shock is something I am actually rather scared of regarding when i use natural stone.

The material you use at work, Trespa, seem to be similar to paxolin by its properties. My old test bench was made from something similar, however it received a few burn marks, especially when halogen lamps were involved.

Best regards,

Alex
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