Author Topic: McPhilben EXIT sign restoration and information request  (Read 393 times)
CoolBeans
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McPhilben EXIT sign restoration and information request « on: June 01, 2024, 01:45:22 PM » Author: CoolBeans
Hello all, I have been sitting on pictures of this McPhilben Exit sign restoration that I mostly completed a few weeks ago. I could not know any information about the sign itself anywhere so I am unsure about the age, but I am guessing that is was made after 1980, so this section seems most appropriate. If anyone out there has an old McPhilben catalog and can find the date, model number, and options that would be appreciated.

The original robertson L8 ballasts were cooked and crispy char would fall out of both of them. One of the ballasts the coil ohmed open, the other did ohmn good, but while slightly adjusting the wires It would also read open, or ohm to ground/earth. I replaced both ballasts with robertson L48 ballasts.

Electrical specs:
2x robertson L48 ballasts (original robertson L8)
2x F6T5 tubes, warm white because it is what I had on hand
2x FS5 starters, new and not pictured
Combined the sign consumes 20 watts and 0.59 power factor.

More pictures to come later.
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joseph_125
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Re: McPhilben EXIT sign restoration and information request « Reply #1 on: June 01, 2024, 01:50:12 PM » Author: joseph_125
Nice job! I've always found the 2x T5 exit signs pretty neat but they're not common here. There might be a date on the old ballasts so if you still have them it's worth it to check them.
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CoolBeans
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Re: McPhilben EXIT sign restoration and information request « Reply #2 on: June 01, 2024, 02:37:43 PM » Author: CoolBeans
Nice job! I've always found the 2x T5 exit signs pretty neat but they're not common here. There might be a date on the old ballasts so if you still have them it's worth it to check them.
I have looked at the stamping on the old ballast and did not see anything indication a date code. The back rest of the surfaces were smooth. Attached is a picture of the stamping.

The signs housing is made out of cast aluminum, and some of the corrosion is deep. I started scrubbing with simple green and scotchbrite pads and after getting nowhere I switched to barkeepers friend, steel wool, and a stainless steel brush. After an hour of scrubbing no more progress was made and I was tired. This is as good as it is going to get.

More pictures to come later.
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CoolBeans
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Re: McPhilben EXIT sign restoration and information request « Reply #3 on: June 01, 2024, 10:46:09 PM » Author: CoolBeans
I finished it. The old red diffuser looked orange instead of red, so I decided to change it to green after cleaning. I think any flourecent sign looks better with a green difuser anyways. The camera does not do the green any justice as the legend illuminates a pretty green color. I tried to play with the manual settings on my phone, but could not capture the color. I know exit signs are not popular here, but I thought this restoration in particular was worthy of sharing as linear florescent, especially preheat seem to be a favorite amongst several other members.

I have a prescolite edge lit up next for restoration, and I need to fabricate a flourecent strip to put into it. I am thinking of using a F8T4 because a 10.5" tube will fit almost the entire length of the sign, however I was thinking about using a vintage sylvania GTE F8T5 tube. If anyone has any interest in seeing it, or a preference on what to install let me know.
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Metal Halide Boy
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Re: McPhilben EXIT sign restoration and information request « Reply #4 on: June 07, 2024, 06:08:35 PM » Author: Metal Halide Boy
Nice restoration!
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